The prospecting process in commercial real estate is quite special. That is because the cycle of business can be quite lengthy, or slow to occur. It can be a long time and some years between property purchases or lease transactions. This says that you need to connect with the right people and then stay in contact.
The best prospecting model for commercial real estate brokers and agents is one of constant contact. Connecting with the right people in an ongoing way will be part of the process. Keeping in contact with local tenants, business leaders, sellers, and buyers will help you with building the transaction frequency that you require.
A good prospecting model will help you create a pipeline of listings and grow your commissions. It should be said that your listing strategy should be one of ‘exclusivity’ with the clients that you serve. The exclusive listings are by definition ‘controlled listing stock’ that will help you build market share.
You may get some leads and opportunities from the brokerage that you work for, but most of the new business opportunities will come from your personal marketing activities in an ongoing way. This then says that you must have a good prospecting model.
Here are some highly effective prospecting tips to implement at a personal level in your real estate market:
- Create a list of targets relative to your territory and property type. You need to be quite specific so that you can focus on the quality clients and the quality listings. You will always get more enquiries from those targets.
- The inbound enquiry from your marketing efforts should be captured into your database. Categorize the enquiries so that you can maintain regular contact with the right people with the correct property types and new listings coming into the market.
- A good contact model to implement is that of a 90 day cycle. When you identify someone who has the potential property need, staying in touch with them every 90 days will help you build your relevance and brand. You want them to remember you at the right time into the future. You want them to call you when they require a new property, or a new lease.
- It has been noted by many agents and brokers that the second or third contact with the same person will give you a higher level of meeting conversions. The meetings will eventually lead to the strengthening of your personal brand and your identity as a top agent. When the local prospects trust you, they will start to share information with you about the property requirements they may have. To build the trust with them, make sure that the prospect can see and understand your knowledge, skills, and market share.
- When you make your cold calls, do so from relevant local research. Look into the property ownership records, business lists, and property development activity. There will be plenty of people to call and talk to every day. The business telephone book is a good place to start.
- In making your calls, make sure that you are adhering to the rules and regulations that apply to the do not call register. The calls to local businesses should be handled separately to those calls that are made to private individuals. Follow the rules so that you do not breach any local laws and incur a fine.
- Make your prospecting calls at the same time every day and devote 2 or 3 hours to the process. Creating a habit to the process will help you break through the ‘comfort zone’ and the challenges that can divert you away from prospecting.
It should be said that every salesperson will generally struggle at the start of a prospecting session or in creating a prospecting plan. Over time the system will be improved and refined through personal actions and activity. You will soon know what works for you and how to do it with better results. That will be the start of your growth of market share.