Darren Krakowiak: five keys to winning more listings in today’s commercial real estate market

In any market, the best commercial real estate agents do everything that they can to stay ahead of the competition and increase their chances of winning listings.

But when you’re operating in a market where there are fewer opportunities, being on top of your game and doing the small things right, so that you’re converting what’s in your pipeline, is absolutely critical.

Here are five tactical tips to help you win more listings.

Personalisation is key

Our clients and their concerns are no longer vanilla. With increasingly diverse clientele and their unique concerns, instead of rolling out the same spiel for every listing opportunity, you need to personalise presentation materials to suit the prospect’s specific needs.

I recommend initiating a conversation with prospects before you present to them.

It’s as simple as asking them about their expectations, and then tailoring your content accordingly (or even cutting some of your standard content that isn’t relevant – less is more!).

As is the case always, be sure to double-check your presentation materials so that they are relevant to the current opportunity and free from remnants of previous pitches – when there are fewer opportunities, little oversights like this are almost unforgivable.

Arm yourself with information

In times of market uncertainty (who was expecting that last interest rate rise!), your role is to alleviate ambiguity by providing accurate and up-to-date information that creates clarity.

This means being positioned as the to-go expert by staying informed, anticipating questions, and sharing the latest market trends with your clients.

One of the keys to alleviating doubt is to present relevant information that will shift perspectives and establish yourself as knowledgeable, without being argumentative or coming across as a know-it-all.

You can think of your role as guiding would-be clients towards well-informed decisions.

Summarise, confirm and clarify

After your presentation, take the time to summarise the key points, and ask for confirmation and agreement from all parties involved.

State the next steps, using phrases like, “at this stage of the process, our clients typically do this” or “this is what I’d recommend we do now, based on what you’ve told me”.

Asking questions like, “How does that sound?” helps to flush out objections and ultimately leads your prospects towards giving you the work.

It also clears up misunderstandings that may be lingering under the surface to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Schedule and secure the next meeting

If we don’t win the work on the day, one common mistake is agreeing to follow up at a later date (e.g. “in about a week”).

It’s good to follow up, but it’s better to schedule the next meeting right away.

This approach positions you as more of a prize because it eliminates the need for you to chase after work.

It is worthwhile if you can also pre-frame the next meeting as the time when a decision will be made.

By locking in the time and date, you create an environment consistent with achieving the progress you were hoping for – while saving yourself the ignominy of trying to reach someone three or four times just to set up the following meeting or to ask for their decision.

Utilise the power of references

If you have another meeting scheduled, you don’t have to chase your prospects in the meantime.

However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them before the next meeting.

Create a touchpoint where you provide them with a list of existing clients who are willing to speak to prospective clients about working with you (yes, the list should include names, email addresses and phone numbers).

This step serves as a reminder of the impending decision and increases the likelihood that the prospect will make one which is favourable.

Offering the chance to speak with satisfied clients can provide the positive reinforcement your prospects need to feel comfortable about working with you – and most of the time, seeing the list (as opposed to using it) will be enough reassurance that going with you is the correct decision.

Doing the small things become even more critical if you want to continue to grow your revenue when markets are tougher for agents.

So, to stand out and succeed, remember personalisation, providing accurate information, summarising discussions, scheduling meetings, and offering references.

These are just five of the many success tactics you should always deploy to boost your chances of winning more listings, authorities, and projects.

And, if you are already doing these little things, this is for you: taking the time to brush up on your skills is even more important in the context of challenging market conditions.

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Darren Krakowiak

Darren Krakowiak is the Founder of CRE Success. He helps commercial real estate leaders to get their businesses growing faster and is the host of Commercial Real Estate Leadership, available as a podcast and on YouTube.