Commercial Real Estate Agents – 6 Tips to Improve Your Sales and Leasing Documentation

When it comes to strengthening your commission and listing opportunity in commercial real estate agency, you really do need to establish systems and processes that can support client contact and transaction accuracy.  Attention to detail will be part of that process.  Your knowledge of property type, documentation, fiduciary obligations, and client services are all critical to building your business professionally as a top agent.

It is interesting to note that many agents have been and will be sued due to negligence, documentary omissions, and poor professional services.  There is really no place in the industry for poor quality agents with below standard business practices and knowledge.  Over time their shortcomings in skills and knowledge will unravel their market share and can have an impact on future business for the agency.

So let’s say that you do have some shortcomings at the moment when it comes to documentation and professional services.  If that is the case, you do need to consider how your knowledge can be improved and skills developed.  In this industry, we never stop learning.  Over time you come across so many new and unique issues that require personal development.  Every property type can be regarded as unique when it comes to skill requirements.  Build your knowledge wherever you can through relationships and education.

Here are some rules to help you with strengthening your property transactions and opportunities:

  1. Keep a paper trail that is accurate and up to date with every property transaction.  It is surprising how frequently people will misunderstand or forget what has occurred relative to a verbal conversation.  You do need to back up your actions and transactions with a solid and accurate paper trail.
  2. Any verbal instructions or agreements should be documented in writing.  Whether that be in a legal document, an e-mail, or a letter you will need to make the right choice for the circumstances required.
  3. The marketing of a property should be fully approved in accordance with the clients instructions prior to commencement.  Get all of the draft advertising material approved by the client prior to lodgement and activation.
  4. Before you act on any property listing on behalf of the client, ensure that you have a legally binding and correct listing appointment document.  Some agents will ‘bend the rules’ and get the listing appointment signed later on; they then find that the client will avoid paying commission at a later stage.  There are also some big questions that arise here when it comes to risk and liability when inspecting a property that you have no valid listing appointment over.  Without a valid listing appointment, you cannot quote a listing.
  5. Understand the clients instructions from the outset.  Follow their guidelines and their targets when it comes to pricing, rental, marketing, and inspections.  Keep the client fully up to date when it comes to the latest property activity and the status of any negotiation.
  6. Ultimately you will be moving a listing to a contract or lease situation.  Some properties are quite complex and the associated documentation will be similarly so.  That being said, you do need to understand the complexities of the document required; when in doubt involve the appropriate legal specialists to help with the documentation.  Every document created as part of a sale or leasing transaction should be valid and enforceable.  In that way you protect your commission and client relationships.

You can likely add to this list based on your property type and location.  The clear message here is that professionalism is a key component of your commercial real estate business.  Strengthen your skills and improve your processes.