To be really effective as a commercial real estate agent or broker you should be engaging lots of prospects in conversations in a regular and ongoing way. It’s a requirement for your diary every working day. From that point of connection with new people you will understand what they are doing now with property and what they may need in the future. Engage with more people; that’s the message.
The agents and brokers that struggle in our industry are not ‘engaging’ with enough new people in a regular way. That can then be a ‘slippery slope’ to low commissions and poor listings.
The fact of talking to new people can be a challenge for many agents, particularly at the start of their career or when they are new to an area of a town or city. To deal with the challenge, local market knowledge will always help and give you the solid confidence to talk about property results and alternatives.
Facts about prices, rents, properties, enquiry rates and recent inspections will always be a useful base of conversation to start from. A business conversation or the ability to create one is a special process.
The Golden Rules of Prospect Engagement
Here are some ‘golden rules’ to help you engage with more people in property today:
- What is Your Focus? – Define your market and property type before you go too far into prospecting and contacting new people. In a logical way connect with people by location (streets), and property type. You can create more relevant connections by logically working through a list of properties and business types.
- Business Conversations – Relevant conversations are the key to the process so don’t pitch and sell yourself unless you have a real reason. In our industry most of the property owners and business people are very familiar with a few agents and brokers, so pitching too early in a conversation or meeting is of little benefit.
- Find the Right People – Research and connect with more people each day at the same time. Habits are the key to improving market share. Make it a target to prospect for new people for about 3 hours a day. The same time frame will allow you to build that essential habit of prospecting.
- Quality Information – Provide information as part of the conversation. Tell people about recent sales and leasing activity. Tell them about enquiry rates and prices or rents. Most property investors and business owners will have an interest in market trends and property availability. The existing supply and demand for property will be a useful benchmark to track and talk about.
- Property Relevance – Understand your relevance as an agent and broker and how you can help with a property need. What do you specialise in? What value can you bring to a business owner or property investor that other agents will find hard to provide? In answering those 2 simple facts you will have some valuable points of difference to market yourself with.
- Professional Confidence – Show confidence in conversations and meetings. You can do that by practicing your voice and business presence. A simple process of reading a few pages of a book aloud every morning when you first arise will give you that extra ‘boost’ in conversational presence.
- Plan Your Questions and Answers – Ask questions that are carefully planned for particular use in sales, leasing or property management. Good questions will give you the edge in any client or prospect connection. In doing that, remember that many business people will not answer deep questions until they trust you. That trust will only come from a ‘comfortable conversation’.
Given all of these things, track the results that you achieve with client and prospect engagement and contact. Numbers and ratios can show you where things are improving each day and each week; it takes about 3 months of real effort at an agent level for momentum to ‘kick in’ and better listing conversions to start. That simple tracking process will soon show you where results are giving you a better market share as a commercial real estate agent.