In commercial real estate brokerage, your database should be captured into a ‘cloud based’ software program that manages your pipeline of clients and prospects in both activity and opportunity. A ‘cloud based’ program will allow you to add to and access your programs anywhere and at any time. (NB – you can get our Commercial Real Estate Broker ‘Snapshot’ free right here)
So the database process can do some good things for you as a broker or agent; when you categorize all of the people that you connect with and know, the listings and the commissions that you are seeking are easier to identify and convert. Information correctly interpreted leads to opportunities with clients and property transactions.
Every broker and agent should have a database program with a well-structured pipeline management capability. That then allows them to see the progress that they are making in client contact and prospect identification.
Who is or Should Be in Your Database Prospect List?
So who should go into your database pipeline and what should you track as part of a contact process? Consider the following for starters:
- Landlords – Find those landlords locally who are seeking to expand their investment portfolios by property type or by location. Get to know what they are thinking and doing in the local area with their investments and investment plans.
- Tenants – When you look at the number of businesses in your town or city, many will be plenty of tenants in occupancy. You can do something with that tenant group, and offer a professional leasing and or tenant advocacy service. Your database can help you record the levels of interaction that you have with those tenants. Get to know what they are thinking and doing with their businesses.
- Business owners – Some business owners have pressures of production, warehousing, and or staffing. You can help with those pressures. Stay close to the bigger business owners locally. If they are running a successful business, they will have property pressures from time to time. Look for the catalysts of change.
- Property buyers and sellers – The change and churn of the buyers and sellers locally will be there as a commission and listing opportunity. There are reasons for properties to be sold or exchanged for something that is better, bigger, or in a new location. Expansion, contraction, or property age are the common reasons for change.
- Property developers – Some within the group will be ready for the next speculative development. Have you got some market information or vacant land to help them?
Timing and relevancy are everything in commercial real estate today. That is why your pipeline management software program will be critical to the daily business activities undertaken in brokerage.
All too commonly you see brokers and agents using spreadsheets to record their client conversations and business pipeline. Whilst at the very basic end of the prospecting process that spreadsheet process may be acceptable, it is certainly not so when it comes to growing your client contact list over time.
Look at the Available Brokerage Database Programs
A spreadsheet simply does not have the flexibility and the functionality to shape and identify the opportunities and the people that you know. If you are serious about improving your career in commercial real estate brokerage, take the time to review and understand the database management programs available to you.
Here are some important questions to consider in doing that:
- Will the program be suitably flexible to cover price ranges, timing, property types, and prospect categories? As the list grows, you will need to add categories and move people across a number of fields and stages of activity. The ease of that process will be important to the results that you seek. Understand how easy it is to manage and maintain the people in your list.
- Can you segment the database in ways that are relevant to your location and property focus? Segmentation in the database is important when you consider the different people that you can and will know over time. You will be connecting with tenants, landlords, property investors, buyers, sellers, and business owners. Within all of those categories of there will be certain levels of activity and communication to track. When you have identified the right person to connect with over time, you will need to maintain notes and track the opportunities from every conversation.
- How easy is the list to use and maintain? You will be the person to maintain the information in your list. You cannot successfully delegate that task to other people. Far too many brokers and agents disconnect from their database given that they may be overly busy or distracted into deal activity. Respect your database for what it is; it is the pipeline of opportunity for you in many different ways. Get involved with your database and the information contained therein. If your database is full of redundant ‘rubbish’, then you have some things to do.
- Will the software program allow you to display your pipeline of opportunity and conversion by commissions, timing, or stages of activity? It is always good to see how things are happening and where the opportunities will come from into the future. The flexibility of the database program and the graphical display of pipeline activity will help you quickly identify progress and change.
- Can you migrate the data into other formats and other locations? It is essential that you can move the data into other spreadsheets or data files so that you can undertake mail merge and email activities when and if required.
- Will the current software program you are using allow you to record email activity and the results that you achieve with meetings and telephone calls? Given that you will be growing the database over time, the integration of that software into your other communication tools will be essential. Every record of communication needs to be stored for future reference and advantage.
So the message here is that you can and should review your current or future database software program for the opportunities and the controls that it can give you.