Making the most of every opportunity is key to a successful commercial agency – yet more often than expected commercial agents overlook the importance of referring an investor and their property over to their property management department says industry leader Leteicha Wilson.

Ms Wilson has spent over 10 years working in commercial property and is now a business development executive for Ray White Commercial's corporate team.

Over time she has been surprised at how many cases she has seen where agents fail to capitalise on initial transactions and client requests.

“Most agents focus their energy toward sales and leasing transactions and may not look beyond that,” Ms Wilson says. “They therefore miss the opportunity to seek the investor’s intentions when it comes to property management. 

“We are in an industry where a client presents themselves to seek out a single service such as to sell or lease their property.

“However, agents and the businesses they work in can become more than that. An agent may not only provide a great service by selling an asset but can also be a facilitator in providing a client with more than what they’ve come for.”

Improving the client-agent bond

Instead of simply doing the basics commercial agents could be offering investors a full package of services for all their real estate needs, Ms Wilson says.

Solving problems, providing answers and generally making life simpler for a client will foster the relationship and is simply better business. Should a client need a solicitor, broker, property manager or tradespeople the agent should be providing them with recommendation.

“The benefit to the agent is not only being able to sell a complete package of services to their client but the long-term return on investment for them that will go hand in hand,” Ms Wilson says.

“If a property investor is referred to their property management department, when it comes time to sell or lease again that client and property they've referred will come back to them to facilitate the transaction.

“It’s an almost guaranteed pipeline of hot listings, and therefore potential deals.

“If the agent refers a multi-tenanted building to property management, over the course of a few years they may complete numerous leasing deals and even provide themselves with an opportunity to sell.” 

Ms Wilson strongly believes it is imperative for agents to work more closely with their property management departments and ensure clients are serviced with all aspects of their real estate process. “As an agent, referring investors and their properties over to property management provides them with repeat business in relation to listings, now and well into the future,” she says.

Getting back to basics to strike a deal

Marketing expert and founder of Bluewire Media Adam Franklin advises agents remember to think of themselves as “deal makers, not order takers” now that the market is dealing with rising interest rates.

“These economic shifts mean that now it’s even more important to double down on getting back to basics and then to increase communication with people,” Mr Franklin says.

Firstly, focus on being strategic and deliberate in expanding your current network Mr Franklin advises.

“Connect with people you meet on social media and prioritise Linked In then Facebook and Instagram if appropriate,” he says.

Proactively reach out to contacts who look interesting and appropriate and set aside the time to reach 20 people each day who fit the criteria of those with whom you want to engage.”

Such simple approaches often work better than more complex marketing methods Mr Franklin believes.

“Don’t get distracted by shiny new objects like advertising on Facebook or Google ads – or going down a rabbit hole of Tik Tok strategy. 

“Although people are intrigued by these newer areas they can be very overwhelming.”

Secondly, maintain a “communications rhythm”.

“With above the surface communication – information people can see publicly - I’d be looked to post once a week or fortnight on Linked In as this will potentially be seen by the people in your network which keeps you front of mind,” he advises.

“Aim for recency and frequency as well.

“The more frequently people see you or say ‘I just was thinking of you’ will often be due to the fact you’ve been showing up recently or regularly on their social feeds.”

Below the surface communication in the way of text messages and Linked In direct emails also needs to be done correctly, Mr Franklin says.

“You earn the right to communicate with people privately once they know, like and trust you some degree, so if they’ve seen your content above the surface and perceived it as valuable, in-depth or genuine it is time to communicate.”

Mr Franklin advises private messaging be kept conversational. “Avoid sending massive, long emails or just a copy and paste of a sales pitch,” he says. “Keep the conversation flowing and going back and forth.”

“Using this two-pronged approach to marketing will keep you top of mind and build trust and better client engagement.”