It is a fact that many commercial real estate brokers and agents struggle when it comes to finding the right people to talk to, be it in cold calling or door knocking. That then makes the prospecting process all that more difficult for new people to the industry. The whole thing gets a lot simpler when there are a few resources to work with to find the right people to call or contact.
So what are those tools and strategies that you could use in finding new people as prospects? Here are some simple ideas to start with:
- The property ownership database – In using the property ownership records for your town or city the best approach is to methodically work through properties on a street by street basis. Visit the street first, taking the necessary photographs and notes regards each property; familiarity with the property and the street will help you later when it comes to cold calling the property owner. If there appears to be a tenant or tenants in occupancy, you can leave your business card or see if the manager of the business will talk to you. In asking the tenants in occupancy about property matters, you can short circuit a lot of hard work and get to the real facts of just who owns the property.
- A list of franchises trading locally or nationally – Local franchise businesses are always looking to expand or change occupancy in a town, or city or region. Identify the local franchise council or franchise membership group. It is likely that they will have a website where you can get the names of regional and national franchise groups or companies. Some of those franchises may not yet have entered your area and on that basis will be good prospects to talk to. Make the call to identify who the right property person may be with each franchise group, and exactly what property types that are looking for. They will have certain criteria that they apply to the property selection and leasing process. They will also have standard documentation to use in any lease under negotiation.
- The business telephone book – Local businesses are a good source of property leads and referrals, and the business telephone book will be a valuable resource to tap into when locating businesses within locations or types. Some of those businesses will also be looking to change property for a number of different reasons including expansion, contraction, and improved occupancy costs. They may also be looking for a higher quality of property, or greater access to customers and end user markets. Get to know what the businesses are doing today and the changes they may see it as necessary to help them grow and thrive in their market segment. Most businesses consider property issues before the start of a new financial year, or calendar year. Time your approach to take full advantage of the market at that time.
- Other buildings – You can target other buildings in your location. Take a photograph of the directory boards in every high quality building. You can then use those photographs to research the companies to call and direct mail. The object of the approach will be to identify leasing needs and potential relocation opportunities.
These four simple strategies can lead you to a lot of leads and opportunities in sales, leasing, and property management. Talk to new people every day and ask questions relative to future property needs. Track the responses that you get in your database so that you can return to the right people at the right time with listings and property information.