1 Introduction

Nowadays, the real estate sector is facing difficulty in the world. I got to experience it for myself during my internship at BNP Paribas Real Estate for ten weeks as the assistant to the Associate Director, Head of business unit and Logistics Ile-de-France. So, I’ve worked on commercial and industrial real estate properties in other words properties that are for companies and not individuals and properties that have more surface for activity than office.

Real estate may be defined as immovable property, esp land and buildings, including proprietary rights over land, such as mineral rights“ (Collins English Dictionary, 2009). In France, real estate transactions have decreased of 20% in 2013. And there are too many real estate agencies in comparison of the demand. This is the reason why the competition is very hard in this sector. So, the role of the real estate agent is more and more important. The real estate agent assists the customer from the beginning of the customer’s research and the different visits until the signature of the sales act at the notary’s office. 2 In search of new offers and requests

2.1 Prospection

The goal of the prospection is to be the first one to identify the demand of properties. The real estate agent is looking for available properties and customers for these properties. His objective is to be the first one to detect the request because in the real estate sector the competition is tight.

The role of the real estate agent


2.1.1 Field prospection

The field prospection is a good way to find new offers or meet new demands. It consists of going into the property directly, asking to the owner if he has any need in real estate. To prospect effectively, it is better to target the prospection in other words to target a given sector for commercial prospects. To be credible it is also important to know the name of the real estate decision maker and the history of the property. Whenever possible, my colleagues and I find out about the owners of the properties and the history of the properties. When, we do not find the name of the real estate decision

maker, the welcome less receptive.

2.1.2 Phone prospection

Phone prospection is another method for finding new offers or demands. It means calling the owner/director of companies to know if they have any real estate need. The prospector has to ask the person which area, sector/department/municipality the person is interested in, which is his/her motivation and if it is for selling/buying/renting. There are different ways to do that. One of them may be to select the companies which are close to the property that the real estate agent has for selling/renting with the aim of finding a buyer/renter for this property. During my internship, I have worked on four prospection campaign. The first one was to target the companies of “Ecommerce” because those companies are growing faster so they should need more space or other properties. The second one was to find new prospects which are looking for 1000-5000 metrics only, in other words companies that are not yet in the BNP Real Estate’s database. The third one was to work on requests detected previously because many requests appear every day and the sales agents may not lead each requests to signature.

There are some useful points to know to be a good prospector: have a good voice intonation, do not overburden your speech, use some key words or phrases, and to listen to the person. For instance, I did not have the same atmosphere at the beginning and at the end because at the beginning I was not at ease and the person would feel it. It also important to be clear and not to overburden your speech. In fact, my prospection was more effective when I presented myself as “Estelle from BNP Real Estate” rather than “Estelle Basmadjiev from BNP Paribas Real Estate”. Some phrases are more effective on people like “I would like to know if your business needs new properties because we have new The role of the real estate agent


opportunities that should be very interesting for you” rather than “I would like to know if you have any particular need in real estate”. The first sentence is more concrete, it links the proposition with the needs of the customer and the word “opportunities” is more appealing to the person. Finally listening to the customer is a way to establish a good contact with him, and to learn more about his need and about his company. 2.1.3 Mailing

The mailing is a way to market one or many properties with the goal of finding new offers and demands. There are two types of mailing: the mailing fax and the mailing starprint. The mailing fax can be used to market only one property. There is no color and no image. There are just a tagline, 4-5 lines of description and the contact information of the person to call if the person is interested. The fax mailing can be to reach more people than the starprint mailing because it is less expensive for the company. So, the fax mailing can be send to up to 2 000 prospects.

Starprint is the name of the software used by BNP to create mailings with colors and images. There is a pre-established framework and the creator of the mailing has to fill the blanks with his information. It is more complete than the mailing fax and it is more attractive thanks to the colors and the images. The starprint mailing can be used for one, two, three or four offers. But it also can be used for 26 offers. In which case, the mailing is not on two pages but on four pages. For the starprint mailing with one, two, three or four offers, a common tagline has to be found. So the offers must have something in common. To be successful in the mailing creation, it is important to know which information should be put in first position, which information is relevant. It is also important to choose a good image to draw the attention of the customer.

2.2 Notoriety

The notoriety of the company helps. Someone who is looking for an intermediary to sell, buy, invest, or rent a property may call the BNP secretariat because he has heard of this The role of the real estate agent


company. Or, the customer may prefer going on the website of BNP Paribas Real Estate rather than the competitors’ website. BNP Paribas Real Estate has many offers and demands thanks to its notoriety

because BNP Paribas it is one of the most famous real estate agencies and is well-known as a bank. In fact, this is one of the largest banks in the world. It can sometimes also be a disadvantage for the company BNP Paribas Real Estate when some customers associate the bank and the real estate agency because those who are disappointed by the bank will not use BNP Paribas Real Estate as real estate agency. For instance, during my internship, one customer did not want to listen to me anymore when he heard that I was working with BNP Paribas Real Estate because he was dissatisfied with the bank. 2.3 Ancient customers

The ancient customers are also a source of new offers and new demands. In fact, a satisfied customer may come back when he has another need in real estate in other words if he would like to buy or rent his property or buy or rent another property. This is the reason why it is very important to leave a good impression even if the deal is not concluded. For instance, leaving a good impression, during the field or phone prospection, increases the chances that this person would call on BNP when he will have any need in real estate. The role of the real estate agent