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Canvassing for New Business in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Victory comes to those people that plan and act towards professional goals or targets.  Commercial real estate sales and leasing brokerage is like that.  Luck has nothing to do with finding new property business and improving client activities.  Canvassing is critical to new business generation in any broker location or territory.  How is your canvassing model?  Can it be improved?  The answer is probably, yes. (NB – you can get plenty of commercial real estate prospecting tips in Snapshot right here)

The seasons of change

In any 12 month period, you will find quite a few changes happening in commercial real estate with buyer and tenant interest.  There is also a good degree of ‘seasonal’ influence on the property market.  That is why all brokers and agents should have a ‘planned’ approach to the industry, the marketing of listings, and their prospecting.  Failure to do so will see many issues arising such as longer time on market and slower commission or deal conversions.

The local property evidence is clear.  When you assess the top agents in any town or city, you will soon see that they have a special plan or an approach that they use every day to find the business, and stay in contact with qualified or targeted people that could require property help in the future.  It is a simple logical approach to grow market share through deliberate and effort.

Canvassing systems

To a degree, every agent must triumph over good and bad market trends and changes throughout the year; systems are required to get some progress and leverage.  Here are some ideas to help do that:

  1. Current listings – when you have a property to promote locally, get involved with marketing that listing at a personal level; talk to local people and create conversations. Any exclusive listings should be taken the people in the local area through a variety of initiatives.  Door knocking, cold calling, emails, brochures, and direct mail will all have a role to play in listing marketing.  I go back to the point that ‘exclusivity’ is important here if you are going to spend the time on a property and client.
  2. Skill specific – understand your personal skills and how you can use them with clients and prospects. Build your personal marketing program around your skill strengths and local area knowledge.  Improve your personal value to local area clients and prospects.  Be the top agent that people require.
  3. Improve your listing presentation and marketing – some agents are far too ‘ordinary’ when it comes to property marketing and listing presentations. Get some depth and relevance into your property marketing, and then demand exclusivity as part of taking on any new listing.  Your promotional processes should be a ‘cut above’ that which other agents are offering.  Make sure that your listing pitch fully explains why your services are better than that of your competition.  A ‘high quality’ listing promotion will always attract more inquiry and potentially then the inspections with targeted buyers or tenants.
  4. Put people at the center of your real estate business – understand what your VIP clients are thinking and doing with local property, and where they may head from an investment perspective. From that awareness, you can feed in the ‘tuned opportunities’ that may exist in the local area.  That can then lead to an ‘off market’ transaction at the right time and in the right way for your clients.
  5. Track and measure everything you do in prospecting and client contact – when you have a conversation or connection with a customer, register the facts and findings for later reference. A ‘snippet’ of information today, can be a lead or transaction waiting to happen at some future time.


When you establish processes like that mentioned, you can build a commercial real estate business faster than you otherwise would.  Take control of your market, your properties, your listings and your clients.

Establish your canvassing model and drive it forward into your location, the buildings, and the people.  That is how our industry really works.  That is how the top agents get the job done more successfully than others.

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