Saturday, May 17, 2014

5 ways to manage your #CRE pipeline more effectively...AKA, how to close more deals!

Image attribution: www.channelmanagement.com

Managing the transaction pipeline for your commercial real estate business can be a little akin to herding butterflies...once you get them all corralled, one flies in a different direction.

So exactly how do you manage a transaction pipeline for optimal productivity and keep the butterflies herded?

Indulge me and I will try to explain.

As a disclaimer, I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA...I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984. That qualifies me as some sort of an expert...if I can only remember why...

Before I jump into the coral of butterflies...a bit of background.

I recently employed a marketing associate, Joshua Harper, to assist me in all things commercial real estate, to make me more productive, and to persuade Joshua and our daughter Paige to move back to SoCal from Arkansas. The arrangement is working well! One of the side benefits of orienting Joshua is that I've spent a fair amount of time analyzing HOW I do things. After so many years, you do deals on "auto pilot" and don't think about the steps you take to originate, execute and close deals.

So if you are experiencing the same issue, here is what I suggest to get this party started:

Define what you do step by step: whether you specialize in listings or tenant representation, ultimately a transaction will occur (or consider a new profession). For us, we came up with eight steps in the transaction pipeline...Source, Find, Qualify, Control, Execute, Close, Bill, Collect...easy!

List all of the deals you are currently managing: Many great CRMs have project functions...REA, CRE Building Blocks, Aptotude, Outlook, etc. However, we wanted a custom spreadsheet with contact information, source of the deal...referral and from whom, sign call (what is that?), Internet inquiry, etc. As we manage a deal through the pipeline, we also wanted to be able to grab key documents...executed leases, escrow instructions, title report, etc. The spreadsheet Joshua created is killer!

Figure out where each deal rests on the steps you have defined: We can copy and paste each deal into the category that we created...source, execute, etc. This gives a real time picture of the transaction moving through the pipeline...like a pig through the pecs of a python.

Design a means of tracking the information: see killer spreadsheet above. The system is designed to be a receivables tracking document as well.

Use this tracking means to set specific "to dos" each day: Each day, Joshua prints out the spreadsheet for me...I'm still old fashioned that way...and I write my to do list on the sheet. Joshua and I then divide up tasks from the to do list and off we go to make it happen.

If you are steadfast about this management technique, I can assure you you will close more deals!