Most commercial real estate agents and brokers have a database that they use in sales, leasing, and or property management.  Over time that database can become less accurate simply because people and prospects move on or their property requirements change.  You need to stay ahead of those changes.

If you have a large database of contacts, the system of updating information can be difficult.  To get around this problem you can run a simple online survey using an auto responder and a survey form created for that purpose.  Every six months you can run the survey online and update many of your contact records automatically.

Note that this process does not replace the requirement for all agents and brokers to be in regular face to face contact with their valuable clients and contacts.  A survey is just another tool to use.

Missing and inaccurate contact information can be a real frustration for agents.  In many cases your information should be updated about prospects and clients after any meetings or a conversations; that still leaves those people that you may not have connected to, or may have come to you from a property campaign some time ago.

So it’s Survey Time

So it is probably time to do a survey across your database.  There are some very good auto responders to use for the purpose and most of them have a survey management tool or process.

Don’t worry if you do not have such a system now and may be operating your contact management system from a spreadsheet.  It is very easy to create a list of contacts in CSV format for uploading to the auto responder (AWeber or Mailchimp are good for this purpose), and for the survey process to be created.  You could use for this purpose Survey Monkey or similar system.

So what do you want to know about the people in your property contact list?  Here are some good questions and ideas:

  • Get them to update their contact detail with emails, telephone numbers, and postal addresses.
  • Are they investors, owner occupiers, tenants, landlords, business owners, or other professionals (solicitors or accountants)?
  • What property types do they prefer?
  • When will they be looking at property?
  • What location do they prefer?
  • What is their property budget?  That will be as a price or rent.
  • What improvements do they prefer in a property?  Some further parameters may be necessary here to accommodate facts about floor plates, car parking, quality of property, services, amenities, and transport.
  • What is the ideal timing of the property requirement?  Business owners and investors can have very specific requirements with property timing.
  • Would they like to get updates from you regards those property requirements?  If so how can you contact them?
  • Would they like to get your property listings sent via email as soon as new listings come onto the market?
  • Would they like to talk to you today on a property matter?
  • Do they lease or own other property now?  If so would they like help with that?

Simple questions like these are so important to bridging the gap on client and property matching.

Design a survey and get it out into your database as soon as possible.  Encourage the completion of the survey by providing a ‘property update report’ for the local area.  Also put those people into a draw for a small and yet interesting prize; that could be tickets to a sports event or a local movie.

The process of the survey in commercial real estate doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, but it can help you greatly with matching the right people to the right property listings and upcoming listing situations.