In commercial real estate the cold calling process is definitely not dead. It is, in fact, a great part of the industry if you want to earn more listing business and commissions over time. Any agent or broker that fails to cold call prospect is doing damage to their career in a major way.
Any person that tells you that cold calling is ‘dead’ is not a specialist in the industry and they have little understanding of how we do business; that’s the fact. Top agents cold call all the time and do so to a high standard. How many calls do you need to make to find new business? There is no standard answer, but generally speaking, you will make several hundred calls and eventually you will find a meeting opportunity or a listing lead. Persistence pays dividends in commercial real estate telephone prospecting.
New Business Rule Number 1
So here is one important rule for you:
- Regular cold calling as part of a comprehensive prospecting model in commercial real estate brokerage will efficiently help you fill your database of leads and opportunities across sales, leasing, and property management. From the start of your career or as part of moving into a new sales territory, make the calling process a critical and active daily part of your prospecting model.
To help you with your calling activity and progress here are some little-known facts that are specifically helpful to many agents and brokers. I call them ‘secrets in cold calling’:
- It takes about 20 minutes each day to get into the calling process with reasonable momentum. If you allow yourself to be distracted in that time you simply ‘reset the clock’ and everything starts again. Focus on making 2 hours of calls and get through the 20-minute barrier without distraction. Don’t stop for coffee or conversation in the office; make the calls.
- Stand up as part of making the calls. That one simple step will help you with your dialogue and confidence in the calls. Some people have problems with doing that in an open plan office. If that is the case for you, find a private area to make your calls.
- It takes about 3 calls to each prospect to get the opportunity of a meeting. That then suggests you should call the same people on a regular basis to move to the next stage of contact in a meeting. Repeat your call process every 60 or 90 days.
- Over a period of time, make it a target to call at least 5 new people every day. Over a 90 day cycle that will add about 300 people to your database. That is how you grow market share. In addition to those 5 new people, you will be calling people that you have already contacted previously. Use the business telephone book as a starting source of raw data to make the calls.
- Call efficiency and conversions increase when you practice your dialogue. You really don’t need a comprehensive script but you do need a conversation starter. Every good contact call is a great conversation. Make your dialogue interesting and relevant to market conditions. Confidence is the key to a good call outcome, and confidence only comes through practice.
These 5 simple facts will help you greatly to improve your cold call rates, targets and results. Make more cold calls, and don’t listen to those that are finding excuses for not completing or addressing the process; the odds are that they have little market share a minimal client base. Start your prospecting model and don’t stop.