In commercial real estate brokerage there are factors of change happening in the property market all of the time. Each year trends and enquiry rates shift and change both in sales and leasing. To add to the confusion you get a lot of agents coming and going from the business.
Some agents stay in the business for a short period of time whilst others move around to find the best brokerage to work for. The consistent element to the property market that always gives you plenty of opportunity are the ‘clients’ that you can serve; they are always out there and they need plenty of help with property activities.
One Dangerous Fact
Some agents have a very poor client contact model and on that basis overlook obvious current and future client opportunities. If an agent has less than 300 client prospects in their personal database, then they are not serious about new business generation. A good number to target is 500 to 600. Any number above 600 is unworkable at a high level of relevant contact. Some agents claim to have a few thousand people in their database; the reality commonly is that they do not and cannot work that many people effectively and directly.
A special note here is that there is no point having a database if the people in it cannot remember you and your relevance to them. A database has to be worked; that’s the fact that many agents really don’t understand or implement.
An Industry Standard
It directly follows that every agent should have a client contact system that they shape and improve over time. As any agent grows their business, the clients and prospects that they serve can be at the center of market growth.
So what does your client contact system look like? Does it work? Can it be improved? Here are some ideas to help your client communication and interaction as a broker:
- Divide up your database – If you haven’t worked it out yet, your database is the foundation of progress in the industry. Your database is different than the ‘client list’ that your brokerage may work and maintain. If you want to build a reasonable future in the business then you should be building a database from the very start of your activities in the business. To do that you will need to talk to plenty of people in an ongoing way. Over time they will start to recognize you as a person that can help them.
- Create relevant contact – There is no point in making client contact unless you have a reason for the contact and that the reason is of value to the person you are connecting with. Our industry is not about ‘you’; it is about the people that we serve. When you connect in a valuable way, trust is established with the people that work with and in property. Trust should be a strong part of your prospecting activities. Make all of your client contact opportunities direct and relevant.
- Focus into a property type and location – You cannot cover a huge area of your town or city when it comes to property activity. There are already plenty of other agents active in the market competing for the same listings. Your best strategy is to choose a property type and location and then specialize in servicing those two elements or criteria. Improve yourself in every way possible so you become the industry expert. Sell your services within your ‘expert status’.
- Put personality into your communication – People prefer to do business with the agents that they trust and like. How can you escalate your profile professionally in your client and prospect communications? Perhaps you can use your photo and contact details on all of your business communications. Understand that you need to be remembered by your clients and prospects at the right time. How can you do that?
- Use social media professionally – Everyone knows how to use social media in some way. The best agents use social media professionally at all times. They channel out information that will help the clients and prospects already connected in their social media platforms. The internet can be very unforgiving to those people that do the wrong thing or project a poor business image; be professional at all times. You can mix and match your social media processes into information sources such as blogging, writing articles and publishing them, taking photos of interesting properties and sharing them, and also providing industry based updates on slides or graphs to your clients. Information is valuable and search engines love to pick up a good quality piece of information and share it online. If you use social media professionally, your updates and links will be seen by the search engines; that will be a good thing for your business profile as a top agent.
You can put these things at the centre of your client contact activities. Are you ready to grow your real estate business on the back of your database?