Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Commercial Investment Property - How to Create Great Proposals and Get Them Noticed

When it comes to commercial property, and future new listing opportunities, the real estate agent or broker should have a strong strategy when it comes to property proposals. The competition for new business is significant today and the proposal may be the only chance you have to influence the client in the listing process.

The best property proposals and presentations are centered totally on the client and the property, given the current property market conditions and the target market that the property suits.

The days of generic proposals focused on the skills of the agency have well past. If your current proposal is not specific to the property then throw it out and start again.

Always inspect the property fully with the client before you prepare the proposal. On that basis you can understand what issues the client has and how you can best address them when you write the proposal.

Today sellers want to know exactly what you're going to do regards the property promotion, and on what basis you will be taking that action. They want to see that you totally understand the property and how to tackle the task in a timely way to attract the right price.

So here is a good structure and strategy to use with your property proposal and presentation to the client.

  1. The front of the document should always feature an Executive Summary. This will be no more than two pages of the most important points highlighted and taken from the document itself. The Executive Summary is designed to do one thing and that is creating solid interest with the client to read further.

  2. Next the property should be clearly described including its location, features, construction, history, services and amenities, and current occupancy details. The target here is to show the client that you completely understand the property and can sell its features.

  3. The brief and needs of the client should be clearly described so that the client can see you fully understand what they require and in what timeframe.

  4. A Question and Answer page is a separate section to your document and will highlight four or five key things which you have identified as being of major concern to the client. This puts the key issues under the attention of the client and that you have found a solution of how to handle them.

  5. A market commentary is required to completely identify the surrounding competition properties, the target market in which the current property operates, and the comparable rentals or prices that are established from other local activity. When the client sees that you can identify what you and they are up against, it makes negotiation at later time much more effective.

  6. Given the previous point, the identification of target market then allows you to establish a definite market strategy for the property. It is useful to give the client two or three alternatives of target marketing together with separate costings. It should be noted that the vendor paid advertising is the only way to promote the commercial property correctly. This is not the time to tell the client that you will pay for part or all of the advertising; it is a fast track to being 'poor'. At the end of a tough property campaign you could very well be left with no listing and no money. Always get vendor paid advertising and ensure that it is given to you in advance before you advertise.

  7. Samples of draft advertisements and successful previous marketing campaigns should be displayed in your proposal. This allows you to illustrate the best choices and marketing processes quite clearly.

  8. A time line to marketing and inspecting is a powerful visual tool in your proposal. You can easily achieve this through a Pert and Gantt model. Download some software from the internet to create this.

  9. Your proposal will be strengthened by reference to your database and your strategy of tapping into the pool of purchasers you currently have available.

  10. Create and provide an inspection strategy that will be used in the property inspections undertaken. This lets the client see that you understand how to highlight the best elements of the property and in what order.

  11. The fees and commissions to be charged in the marketing of the property sale should be explained and itemised. Many agents choose to create discounts at this point simply to influence a client's decision to sign the listing. Whilst this is your choice, low commissions are not productive and create campaigns of little focus and momentum. A good property promotion commands a reasonable fee.

  12. A summary of the key staff involved in the marketing process should be provided together with the critical skills they bring to the property promotion. Also let the client know how you will be giving them feedback throughout the campaign. Show them examples of how you have done this in the past.

  13. It is common today for the owners of larger properties to be given a private portal on the agent's website for access to private property documentation and updates during the campaign. This portal is protected by password access. The results of all inspections and the drafts of all current advertising can all be loaded into the portal for the client review at any time. It is a low cost point of difference you can use in all major property proposals. You can also create a 'dummy' building for the client to be shown this feature in your formal presentation.

From the above list, it is easy to see that the proposal is completely centred on the client and the property. You should assume that this document will take time to prepare and should be presented individually to the client in circumstances under which you have at least 2 hours of the client's time.

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