How To Be A Commercial Power Broker

You have received your first commercial deal! If you are like most of the brokers I’ve counseled lately your story is probably similar to the one below:

What does the average “money broker” ( I prefer to use the term capital consultant) do? First, the want to know the loan amount and then they quickly tack on 1-5 points (they assure me they are never greedy) and then they take an executive summary and shoot it around the internet asking lenders if they can close this loan in 14-21 days!

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

These brokers are not taking the correct actions. They are simply planning to fail. Why? They are ignoring the proven strategies used by seasoned commercial brokers.

Want to know the “Secret”?

Before you submit any loan proposal to any lender, you must find out:

The number of deals that lender has closed in the past, and how many they intend to close in the current year.

This is critical to your success! And how do you find out? ASK! Ask the lender by phone or email if they are looking for this type of loan and at the amount your borrower requires. If it is a medical office building ask them how many of these have they closed? And how many do they intend to close this year?

You want to hear: “Oh, we did many of these loans last year and we intend to do many this year!” Don’t send your prime office building to a lender that’s seeking to fund retail centers!

Find lenders and develop a personal relationship with them. Find out what their sweet spot is. In summary, Never submit a loan deal to any lender unless you are able to verify that the lender has closed many of the specific types of deals that your are seeking funding for and that they are currently actively lending.

Seasoned commercial brokers have honed their lender relationships over the years. You can begin this week by contacting at least one lender and interviewing them. At the end of one year you could easily have 52 lenders that you’ve developed a file on and what their lending parameters and preferred property types are.

One year from now you too can be a seasoned “Power Broker”.

To your Success!

Running Business Meetings

Business meetings may involve just a few individuals, or at times, many people. Not everybody is born with the talent to address so many people, especially when the object is to promote an idea or product or explain some financial statement. It may involve the takeover of a business, starting of new business, or negotiations of a deal. It may be called to obtain the approval of shareholders to sell assets of the company, or raise share capital. It may be necessary to consult experts or partners on any business matter, or plan how to deploy surplus monies on hand.

Even briefing meetings and brainstorming meetings for coming out of any crisis can be classified as business meetings. Periodical review of productivity, marketing, and financial liabilities, etc., are all part and parcel of business meetings, as are pitch sessions. Likewise, meetings where personnel requirements, and other issues related to personnel are discussed also qualify as business meetings. In addition to these, there might be creditors, and debtors meetings.

Based on the type of business that is to be conducted, meetings may be classified as conferences, seminars, board meetings, annual general meetings, extraordinary general meetings, creditors, meetings, debtors meeting and sales meetings.

Any business meeting should be conducted with a predefined agenda. This is absolutely essential otherwise the matters that are discussed at the meeting may end up completely overshadowing the important matters that need to be resolved immediately. The agenda may be accompanied by some documents providing details and explanations on various items in the agenda. This enables the recipients to mull over the contents, and come up with their input on the matter.

A reasonable notice needs to be given so that no stakeholder feels excluded from the meeting. The time and venue of the meeting too needs to be clearly defined in such notice.

There are legal provisions for calling shareholders meetings, and board meetings. When the meeting involves just a few individuals, like a board meeting, then such notice may be given verbally. But it is always advisable to have documentary evidence, or an email to prove that the meeting was called, and reasonable notice was given.

Since one discussion can lead to another and the meetings can end up nowhere, it is always better to conclude matters that can be resolved quickly first, and keep complex matters that require extensive discussions for later part of the meeting. For ensuring this, there has to be somebody who conducts the meeting, and opens each item for discussion and resolution. It is the responsibility of this person to ensure that the matters discussed do not deviate from what is stated in the notice or agenda. The person leading the meeting needs to ensure that any new matters if made are duly noted so that another meeting may be called, and opinions of all concerned on the matter can be obtained.

Another problem with large gathering is that people tend to repeat the same questions or the same opinions. The person conducting the meeting needs to ensure that this is minimized, as everybody’s time is valuable. Using a timer helps.

Best Ever Prospecting Letters for Commercial Brokers

In commercial real estate brokerage the prospecting letter process really works. To be successful at it you need to plan the process and control your actions as you progress.

Why will the ‘letter’ process help your prospecting efforts today? Well, it’s because the letters are less inclined to be ‘binned’; that is of course if you plan them correctly and follow the rules.

Here are some facts in comparing letters to emails:

  • Prospecting emails are not very successful at all. Most of the people you send them to will delete the communication quickly. As a by-product of the process you must have their approval to communicate in that way, otherwise you will be breaking the laws on ‘spam’.
  • A letter is very professional as long as you do not ‘overdo it’. In commercial real estate the best letter is compiled on one single page. The contents should be contained in no more than 4 paragraphs. Sign the letter personally in blue ink. Ensure that your signature is legible and professional (don’t sign in a ‘scrawl’ as it sends the wrong message).
  • Create the correspondence to introduce your upcoming telephone call. Make the call a few days after the letter has been received. The prospect will be expecting your call and will be more inclined to take it.
  • Always put your business card in the envelope. Don’t put anything else in a prospecting letter. The object is to sell yourself and your upcoming telephone call. Don’t confuse the message with bulky brochures on other issues and property matters. Focus on the one thing that is important, and that is your upcoming telephone call.
  • Design the letter for the person you are writing to. In other words you should have separate letters covering sales, leasing, property management, and retail. Get away from the generic approach and be specific to a part of the industry. Sell your upcoming telephone call on that basis.
  • Get a reference book on ‘words that sell’ or ‘phrases that sell’. Add a few words from the books into your letter to increase readability.
  • Every good prospecting letter should have a great headline. You want the person to read the message. Perhaps the headline you use could reflect local property activity or changes. Understand the concerns of the market and match the letter to the focus of investors, property owners, or tenants as the case may be.
  • The letters should be sent every 60 to 90 days. As part of that process, follow-up as many of the letters that you can. It directly follows that you should not send out too many at once and thereby create a situation where you cannot make the calls.

This is a system of prospecting. The letters are part of the bigger picture. They do not replace cold calling, but they add to the momentum that you would have in other prospecting processes. Start using the system as a boost to your market share.

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