Contrary to how it may appear, the way agents operate within the commercial property space is nowhere as near as targeted, focused or strategic as that of their counterparts in residential sales, leading trainer Tom Panos says.

The industry veteran draws his conclusion after decades coaching both residential and commercial agents and observing those who have gone on to achieve the highest levels of success.

“The most successful commercial agents are those who have closely studied and then adopted the strategies and processes used by the best in the residential business,” Mr Panos says.

Here Mr Panos lists 5 top residential sales strategies followed by many leading commercial property agents to reach the top of their game.

1. Development of an EBU Effective Business Unit.

The EBU is a cohesive group of people working toward the common goal – namely to increase sales and listings and provide clients with optimal service.

“In a thriving commercial agency, the individual will have been replaced by teams where there is a lead agent and many specialists underneath the lead agent,” Mr Panos says. “This ensures that the chief commercial agent is focussed on high dollar productive activity. That’s the reason you will find that the bigger the dream the bigger the team.”

2. Building An “Attraction Business”

High performing residential property agents focus on making themselves well known. They also work hard to position themselves as the agent with the most local knowledge, the one renown for delivering truly excellent, semaless service and the best at helping clients achieve their goals.

“Residential agents discovered a long time ago that it’s not who you know it’s who knows you,” Mr Panos says. “While commercial agents generally operate behind big brands the top 1% don’t hide behind the brand.

“If you’re a commercial agent you also must understand that you’re the chief marketing officer of your own business.”

3. Investing in Extensive & Quality Marketing

Too many commercial agents believe their sector’s assets do not call for the same levels of marketing spend seen in residential property sales. In the home market for instance it is not uncommon for residences ranging from $3 million to $5 million home to cost vendors between $30,000 to $50,000 in marketing – digital placements, listings, photography, brochures and more.

 “It’s a little illogical when you see commercial assets worth $5 to $10 million allotted a marketing budget of only $5000,” Mr Panos says. “Yet this kind of scenario is common.

“Commercial property marketing campaigns tend to comprise smaller advertisements and involve less spend on digital marketing so they don’t end up attracting a wide audience.

“Commercial agents tend to be very much focussed on just their data bases, and many in this space simply love pursuing email marketing.

“Residential agents use data-based marketing but the difference is that they will also be looking to attract the passive aspirational buyer who could be outside the data base.

“To this end they’ll create great video content, promote it on all the social media platforms, and use high level photography.

“Residential agents understand that when you’re selling, you’re looking for the best buyer - not the first buyer.”

4 Being Fanatical About Prospecting

“Residential agents are normally competing in marketplaces saturated with agents,” Mr Panos says. “This drives them to prospect with fanatical focus and at substantially high levels, simply to ensure they can maintain a string of ongoing leads to generate new business.

“Every time they list or sell a property they contact everyone who is relevant and let them know. We’re talking about the best of the best – those in residential real estate are making up to 100 phone calls per day.

“This is unheard of in commercial.”

5. Obsession with Product Knowledge

Most successful residential agents are product knowledge obsessed. “They are across every bit of detail about their area and type of property including clearance rates and days on market to upcoming changes in council zoning restrictions,” Mr Panos says.

“There is so much change in the industry right now and it’s created a tremendous opportunity for commercial and industrial agents to adopt some of these practices in their business"

“With the current conditions and such a low interest environment the opportunity for commercial and industrial agents to build their businesses is at an all-time high.”

Tom Panos is founder of The Real Estate Gym, the largest coaching platform in Australia and New Zealand. He is also an auctioneer and property commentator for Sky News. The Real Estate Gym clients in the commercial real estate sector include CBRE, Colliers and Knight Frank.