November’s Broker Spotlight: Kristie Webb
November’s Broker Spotlight is Kristie Webb a Kelowna-based commercial real estate professional and certified business broker at Business Finders Canada. Kristie’s career began in Calgary at a brokerage specializing in retail leasing. At the present, she stays in touch with her previous broker through volunteering with Consumer Real Estate Canada (CREC) which runs a monthly conference call creating a community of commercial real estate professionals across Canada who discuss and analyze changing market conditions.
Since moving to Kelowna, Kristie has expanded her services to include commercial property acquisitions and dispositions as well as business brokering throughout the Okanagan and has recently renewed her license in Alberta. Taking a relationship-based approach to her business Kristie believes no single transaction is as important as the relationship it creates. Recognizing the trust clients place in her and utilizing knowledge gained through her background working in mental health she is capable of understanding and meeting each client’s individual needs. Kristie’s industrious attitude has allowed her to provide quality service throughout each transaction whilst building long-term relationships based on integrity and confidence.
Q&A WITH Kristie
What do you like best about Spacelist or how has Spacelist helped your business?
In the real estate industry listing sites are generally geared towards residential listings. Spacelist provides a platform that is easy to navigate for consumers and has consequently generated a large audience for listings. As a real estate professional I value the knowledgeable and personable customer service as well as the search capabilities and analytics.
What do you love most about commercial real estate?
As a woman in a male dominated industry I am no stranger to the question “Why didn’t you choose residential real estate?”. For me, commercial real estate was always a clear choice. I love that decisions are based on calculations and facts rather than emotion. Most of all I love that the CRE industry is that it is dynamic by nature, each transaction is unique providing constant opportunity to learn and grow confidence.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Knowing what I don’t know. Nobody knows everything, sometimes a client may ask a question that you don’t know the answer to – and that is ok! Responding with “That’s a great question, let me do some research get back to you on that one” instead of giving an answer that may not be entirely accurate actually increases trust in your relationship. In my experience, clients aren’t offended when you don’t know something and in turn appreciate your humility.
What are the toughest technological challenges in the industry you are seeing?
Commercial real estate is often overlooked in industry education as there is a primary focus on residential. Consequently, there are far less tools available to commercial real estate professionals. Because there is no one-stop-shop across Canada for commercial listings it can be time consuming to keep up to date on what is available in any given area.
Are there technologies should brokerages be investing in right now?
The unavoidable truth of modern-day marketing is that social media is no longer simply a social platform. As we’ve seen with residential realtor’s social media has become a staple in the industry. By comparison, commercial real estate is currently less reliant on social media, however, it is important to recognize the importance of an online presence.
What are some tactics you’ve used to establish yourself as a trusted CRE professional?
Believe what you say and do what you say you are going to do. Sounds simple enough, right? In reality there are no shortcuts to building a reputation of trust. If you don’t have the time to take on an extra client without compromising the level of service you provide then consider referring the client to another agent. It is far easier build trust than to try to rebuild it.
How do you qualify potential tenant leads?
Treating each lead with the same care and diligence prior to qualifying is vital. Dismissing a lead based on a lack of information provided is a disservice to your client and the prospective tenant. In my opinion the best way to qualify a lead is through speaking with them directly. Establishing rapport with a prospective tenant will quickly provide you with all the information you need. In short, try writing out some key points you need to know about the prospect and find a way to naturally insert them into the flow of the conversation to avoid the prospect feeling like they’re being interrogated. It’s also important to keep in mind that sometimes we will learn that the prospect isn’t a fit for your space for whatever reason. I see this as an opportunity to represent a new tenant, not an inconvenience.
Check out last month’s Broker Spotlight here.
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