If you are going to get any traction as a commercial real estate agent or broker, you are going to need to know the right property people in your local area in a consistent and ongoing way. Your database can help with this, and its growth will be critical to attracting listings and converting commissions. Constant ongoing contact with your VIP clients and all of the right people locally will help you grow market share. So to do this you really do need a system and a strategy as an agent.
Whilst the ‘connecting with people’ concept sounds quite logical, most agents and brokers do not spend enough time in growing their database and reaching out to new people in their market segment. As a common observation, when agents and brokers get busy with existing deals and listings, the first thing to fall behind in business activity will be client contact and prospecting.
It takes about three months to fall behind in market share and listing growth. That can then have a significant impact in your income over time and particularly the next six months. Unless you make changes to your client contact and prospecting model, business opportunities will never increase in any significant way.
If you aspire to rise to the highest levels of the commercial real estate industry as a broker or an agent, then now would be a good time to consider shifting and escalating your client and prospecting focus. You will need to commit to a solid period of time each day in building leads and opportunities with new people.
Key Ideas to Help You with Clients
So there are some real ideas here to help you achieve this new momentum with real estate business growth. The list below will help you connect with valuable contacts and prospects; most particularly they are the right people that are prized when it comes to attracting listings and commissions.
Over time you will find that your personal regular ongoing contact with these people, and doing so in a relevant way, will help you achieve leads, relevance and listing opportunity. How much activity and focus do you apply now to these people in the list? Can you improve your processes in each case? Try the checklist to see how you can modify your prospecting activities:
- Property Owners – Some properties locally will be more attractive than others when it comes to generating sales and leasing activity. Understand the properties, zones and the precincts that attract enquiry. As a general rule, focus mainly on quality properties and property owners specifically and selectively. Err on the side of quality when it comes to targeting fresh properties and owners. A good listing will always create better levels of enquiry and inspection frequency.
- Property Investors – Some local property investors and landlords will always be on the lookout for new investment stock in your town or city. Some of those investors will change property investments frequently, as they shift their focus on portfolio growth and diversity. You can help with that process through a comprehensive knowledge of upcoming listings and available listing stock. You can also help those property investors with regular updates relating to property returns, yields, capitalization, prices and rents. I go back to the main point that you should maintain a contact cycle with these people.
- Property Developers – Local property developers come and go from the market based on the existing costs of development, the availability of vacant land, and or the potential to renovate redundant properties. Many of these developers work with a few agents at the one time and on that basis cannot always be trusted. Be careful how you share property information with developers.
- Business Owners and Tenants – In your location there are always businesses and tenants to research and pursue regards property needs and opportunities. Some businesses will move in and out of property ownership based on the requirement for cash flow and asset usage. A sale and leaseback strategy will be a useful process for some businesses to release income and cash, particularly when they are looking to change liquidity or business structure. Expansion and contraction can be another catalyst or consideration for some tenants as they adjust to economic circumstances and business function. For these reasons, regular contact with business owners and tenants will help you find the right people seeking to make those changes.
- Regional planning officers – In your town or city, you will find and see regular changes to local development plans, roadways, and highways. Those changes can impact property use, investment, and enquiry. It is wise to stay in close contact with the people in the local planning office. Get a copy of the approved plans and drawings that apply to the existing property zones regionally and locally. Understand what restrictions and allowances apply to each of the zones relative to property.
- Solicitors or attorneys, and accountants – Many property owners and investors use local professional legal and accountancy services as part of investment and property usage. In many instances you will frequently see the outsourcing of property requirements by solicitors and accountants to solve their client’s property challenges. Get to know a good selection of these professional service people and maintain regular ongoing contact for this reason.
In understanding how to work with all of these groups, there will be a requirement for research and ongoing contact. Take the time to establish your client contact business model and a prospecting system to help you in this way. Over time that simple business strategy can help you attract listing opportunity and future property enquiry.