The cold calling process is critical to the momentum and the success of any commercial real estate agent today. At an individual level, every agent should have a cold calling strategy that they can implement every day. Talking to new people will help you build a number of fresh leads and opportunities within property types and locations.
Cold Call Prospecting Rules
Here are some valuable ideas to help you structure your cold call prospecting model for commercial real estate brokerage:
- Research your property market – Get to know your property market in a comprehensive way. Review the streets and the property types to identify the correct people to call. Ideally you should be connecting with property investors and business leaders. If you systemise the process by streets and locations, you will find opportunities to work with into the future.
- Practice your skills – The best way to improve your conversions in cold calling is to practice your skills and your processes. Practice on a daily basis so that your call conversations can be quite natural and conversational. Most of the people that we talk to are experienced in business and professional communication. They will initially push you back until such time as you can encourage the conversation to move further. Forget about pitching your services as part of the call process; focus on creating conversations in a meaningful way. Show respect to the people that you talk to.
- Time of day – There are certain times of the day where your call conversions will be more successful and direct. Change the time of day devoted to making the calls until such time as you understand what works in connecting with the best number of people successfully. Over a period of 2 hours you should be connecting with approximately 15 to 20 individual people. To get that number of connections, you will be making approximately 40 to 50 outbound calls. Some people will not be available initially and on that basis you will need to make return phone calls at a different time on a different day. The database that you use as part of the call process will be critical to the results that you achieve. Develop a system of call contact and database use that works for you.
- Focus on creating meeting opportunities – The very nature of commercial real estate is complex. For that reason the calls that you make should be centred on qualifying the interest of the person in future real estate activities. When that fact has been established, you can move towards the suggestion of a meeting. Meetings allow you to open up with a level of personal contact into the future. It can take some months if not years for the appropriate levels of trust had to be established with some clients and customers.
- Keep in regular contact – The initial calls that you make should be the start of the call contact process. Some people will need to be contacted three or four times before the opportunity for a meeting arises. You should repeat the call process in every 60 to 90 days with those people that may have a future interest in commercial real estate activity.
- Use relevant property information – As part of regularly making cold calls, you will need some local property information to feed into your conversations and meetings. You can talk about the levels of sales and leasing activity locally, time on market factors, and other properties in the vicinity that may be available for occupancy or purchase. Most business leaders will have a general interest when it comes to neighbouring businesses, local property activities, rentals, and prices. Build your cold call systems and processes around relevant regular property updates.
- Create conversations – The best cold calls today are generated from conversations. Some of the people that you talk to will have little interest in talking today about their property needs. They may however have a future property need that has not yet arisen or reached a level of priority where they need to act. Create conversations that allow you to revisit the same person on the telephone into the future. Seek their approval to make another few telephone calls directly over time to update them on local property changes and information.
So these are the important parts to a successful cold calling process in commercial real estate brokerage today. Understand the importance of the parts and the skills involved. Every element of your cold calling system should help you improve your skills over time, generating more meetings and listing opportunities. Most commercial real estate listings today are created through trust and communication. That process takes time and effort. That is a personal process for every agent.