Some commercial real estate agents think that listings are the main focus of what they do. The observation is largely wrong. It is better to look at the matter differently, and then say that ‘clients are the real focus’ in our industry. When you focus mainly on finding and creating more clients, the listings will come.
Rarely will a listing come to you without the client knowing you and understanding your skills as an agent. Our industry is based on establishing relationships and trust; some of those relationships take months if not years to nurture.
Here are some facts:
- When a property is taken to the market, the agent with the strongest and most positive relationship with the client will usually win the business.
- Trust is a big part of winning a listing and trust takes a very long time to establish with some clients.
- Clients like to be respected and valued over time regardless of what new business they can give you today.
Taking these 3 simple facts, you can see the importance of opening up the fresh connections with new people and maintaining contact with them for the long term (that’s why prospecting and cold calling is so important in what we do). In saying that, do you know what a ‘good client’ looks like or where they may come from? Could you give me 5 key points that describe the ideal client profile for you and your business today?
The ideal client profile should be part of your business and prospecting plan. When you know what this ‘ideal client’ looks like and where they are located, you can create real focus in your business activities; that’s when your market share can start to grow.
So you need a ‘client development program’ before you worry about getting new listings. The listings will follow if you have enough clients or potential clients in your database, and your relationships with those clients are strong. So let’s create some key points to your ‘client development program’. Here are some key facts to get you started:
- Talk to 5 new people every day. Select those people from your prospecting efforts and cold calls. Make sure from your research that those people are ‘relevant and real’ in your client profiling. They should own property, or have the ability to do so.
- Maintain contact with the best clients and prospects on your list. Contact these people at least once every 90 days. Over time this process will help you build trust with them.
- Create meetings where possible with new people and high value clients. The ‘face to face’ process in our industry is really important.
- Use your relationships with others to ask for referrals to others. Invariably many property investors and business leaders know others that own or invest in commercial real estate.
- Within your database establish a VIP list of clients that you know are ‘high value’ to you given that they own portfolios of property. Those VIP’s should receive a great deal of your attention.
So these simple facts will give you something to work with and build listings from. Encourage new and fresh business relationships with clients and prospects in your local area. The people that occupy and own property are likely to know more about their street and changes to adjacent properties than you do. Ask questions and encourage trust with the people that you talk to; the information and the leads you needed follow.