The Perfect Office And The Perfect Broker: Mission Impossible?
The Best Policy Is Honesty
This new era of business calls for an overhaul in the way we interact with our clients. We need to rethink the way we sell. More than ever before, transparency and honesty rule the roost, and they comprise an enviable skillset requiring intellect and creativity across a barrage of professions; not in the least in real estate.
There is an armory of techniques that brokers can deploy during the negotiation stage. They have two parties to appease: on the one hand, the property owner, who inevitably wants to do business with the highest bidder; and on the other, the tenant, whose aim is the biggest bang for their buck. Where is the point of equilibrium? In the broker.
Knowledge is Power
Brokers need to understand their market well. Clients are looking for office spaces that are more inviting than the traditional, sterile working environment. Break rooms, innovative design, and coworking spaces go beyond the normal call of duty in interior design and delve deeper to meet the personal needs of the end-users.
What Are Tenants Looking For in 2022?
The first requirement is that office spaces be multifunctional. Today’s worker needs space for analytical tasks, a different environment for creative tasks, and another type of space for relaxation, meetings, or socialization. Look out for office spaces that have these options – where worker autonomy can prime, they can flit between areas freely and we can boost productivity.
Lighting is actually an important factor when it comes to influencing buyers, tenants, and end-users. Strip lighting has truly seen its heyday. Clients in 2022 are looking to leverage natural lighting where possible due to its biophilic properties and contribution to sustainability, meaning large windows and south-oriented buildings are in high demand.
The concept of privacy in an open, collaborative office is not as juxtaposed as you may think. The solution is in pod-like meeting rooms or private offices that allow workers to take calls and hold meetings without disturbing others. They are an easy addition to your new office and require minimal to no construction. A handy addition, even in an office layout that doesn’t already have private areas.
Combining Client Criteria And Sales Skills
One of the key skills you should hone as a broker is communication. Results are achieved when the client feels listened to, so begin the relationship by letting them talk. Trust ensues when the client doesn’t feel like they’re being sold to from the get-go.
While communication headlines the toolkit, it is not the only skill you can develop. Traditional sales including persuasion techniques are a thing of the past, and negotiations now take the form of transparency and honesty. Modern-day sales skills are based on open communication and are sub-divided into the following categories:
- Building The Relationship
Take your time with your client. Taking the time to brainstorm with them is a long-sighted approach. Remember that when a client feels listened to, they are more likely to recommend you, helping your brokerage prosper in the long term. Find out what they will be using the property for, then look for features that adequately fulfill their needs.
- Managing Expectations
Binding communication, honesty, and transparency together, expectation management is a fundamental skill of any broker worth their salt.
It may seem intuitive to promise your client that you will find their dream office before anybody else, for example. But you can be honest about expectations while finding an advantage to what may seem like a less appetizing offer.
Empathy is fast gaining traction as one of the most desirable skills of leaders the world over, and it’s easy to see why. Empathy helps us to bridge our differences and feel a connection with the people we live and work with. Without it, you run the risk of pitching your clients or colleagues against you, thus hindering progress and souring the working relationship.
You can cultivate empathy even in situations of disagreement. Work to gain a better understanding of where they’re coming from. When you also explain your point of view, you can see where commonalities lie and resolve issues of conflict in an empathetic and productive way.
- Knowing Your Client
Deeply entwined with the all-important communication aspect comes knowing your client well. It’s more than creating a slap-dash list of what they want in a property and bombarding them with emails. Finding out their values and what their priorities are in the search can go a long way to making your job easier and truly delivering on what the client is asking for.
Showing them two or three properties that tick almost all of their boxes is more likely to land the sale than throwing dozens of options their way Niche down. If your client has the choice of a handful of properties, they are more likely to buy because it makes them think their ideal property is scarce.
Two facets of successful brokering – adapting your sales skills to align with the industry as it is in this day and age, and understanding what kind of office environment people are looking for in today’s office rental market. Can you utilize this toolkit to really stand out from the crowd?