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John M Peckham III is the chairperson of the Peckham Boston Advisory Co., a Boston-based commercial investment real estate brokerage firm, and executive director of the Real Estate Cyberspace Society. Just recently, Wiley Publishing released the fourth edition of A Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage, Peckham’s guide for successful income property brokerage. In the first of a two-part interview, Peckham talks about the book, commercial real estate and the ways technology is affecting it.

GlobeSt.com: How would you describe your book?

Peckham: The book is an updated guide for marketing such listings as apartment and office buildings, shopping centers and other properties that involve a flow of income and expenses. The content is appropriate as a training manual for commercial and investment brokers, but also as a primer for other specialists who want to cross over because it covers the basics of income properties. The update includes significant new e-mail and Internet sales and marketing techniques.

GlobeSt.com:: What advice can you give residential real estate agents or others who are considering transitioning to the commercial sector?

Peckham: Residential agents who want to change focus should not abandon the residential side all at once. Investment property sales tend to take longer than house sales. The best approach is to absorb information from the book, ease into the business and then ‘go for it’ once you have a feel for the investment property arena. The book has a chapter on getting started, including a 20-week timetable for incorporating this specialty without abandoning one’s regular activities. The newcomer to this specialty might also consider doing a deal or two with an established commercial specialist. Many of my transactions start when a commercially less experienced real estate professional comes to me with a buyer or seller resulting in a cooperative sale–and a wealth of new experience for the less experienced real estate professional.

GlobeSt.com:: How should agents find commercial property owners who want to sell?

Peckham: Don’t overlook elementary ways such as reading newspapers, local trade journals and financial reporting papers. Join local associations of apartment house owners to network with potential clients. Familiarize yourself with lists of owners such as tax rolls, watch for sale by owner notices and be able to show owners how you can help them. Keep up to date on ways to reach both buyers and sellers using today’s latest cyberspace techniques.

GlobeSt.com:: Why are you so enthusiastic about income property brokerage?

Peckham: There’s no start-up cost to make money selling income properties. You begin with a list of properties and a list of potential buyers. Success lies in matching them up. Technology has provided effective ways that didn’t exist even a few years ago to put buyers and sellers together. Today’s technologies help to put a newcomer to this specialty on an even footing with the more established specialists.

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