As a tenant rep broker, many times a relationship only gets your foot in the door. Once you make it in the door you’ve still got to set yourself apart from the competition in order to seal the deal.
Here at LeaseMatrix, we talk to tenants and tenant reps on a daily basis. During these interactions, we’ve noticed several (relatively simple) things the best tenant rep brokers do to set themselves apart.
1. They have a deep understanding of the tenant’s business and industry.
Every client is different. Take the time to understand the tenant’s business. What stage are they in? Expansion? Cost cutting? What are their top objectives they hope to accomplish with this new space? Is it so they can attract new talent, impress clients or reduce costs?
Lots of times, this means more listening and less talking during the interview process, but do as much research on the business and industry as possible. This way, you can identify their pain points, then identify possible solutions. Bo Barron has a great post titled The One Secret to Winning the Business Every Time which drives this point home with a more specific example.
2. They are transparent, genuine and accountable.
For many, any type of commissioned sales person is suspect. When the industry is as oblique as a commercial real estate, 100% transparency is critical to earning the new and repeat business. The quickest way to transparency is information; and lots of it. Oh, and keep it relevant. Your latest quarterly submarket report ain’t gonna set you apart. Ask yourself, “Who doesn’t have access to a quarterly market report at this point?” All it takes is a subscription to CoStar, Xceligent or REIS…
Instead, set yourself apart by offering a superior level of information, service and accountability. Many brokers are afraid to provide too much information to clients, as it gives a way to measure your negotiation prowess.
Rather than being fearful of this, think of it this way: your clients are held accountable by their boss on any lease they cut. They want you are in the boat with them. By allowing them to hold you accountable, you’ve got a better chance of earning their business.
3. Trophies don’t matter.
Believe it or not, prospects don’t care about your most recent NAIOP Deal of the Year award. They may have read about it in last week’s business journal, but they don’t even know (or care) what NAIOP stands for. They want to feel like they are your
biggest only client, no matter how small they are. Put a different way, they want to know that you know your market and will be a true advisor and advocate for them.
Anyone can make up “Tips for Success” list, but few attempt to help you achieve them. We want to do just that.
From now on, think of LeaseMatrix as a resource to use to achieve these tips and set yourself apart. Here’s how:
1. Industry expertise: Use financial analysis as a tool to show your client you know the benchmarks for your industry. Find out what the average cost of office space per practitioner (or employee, or % of revenue, or “X” metric…) is for the area. Show them how you will consider this for every possible location.
2. Transparency through information: Provide prospects with relevant information. Leave that off-the-shelf quarterly market report at home, it is total B.S. anyway. Instead, provide them with the terms of actual lease proposals you are seeing in the market. If you still use ProCalc, this might take hours to assemble, but if you’re a user of LeaseMatrix, we keep track of this information for you. All you have to do is hit “print”.
3. Be an advocate. There is no better way to prove to a client you’re their advocate than providing thoughtful and thorough financial analysis of every deal. Scrap that antiqued MS Excel model some college intern created for you in 1999 (where is he now, anyway?…). Instead, analyze each lease proposal in under 2:30 minutes using LeaseMatrix.
In other words, consider LeaseMatrix part of your team. Your success is our success.