In commercial real estate agency we can get a lot of new business and listing leads from the previous or older clients that were served by our agency in the past. All too often I see agents that are mainly focused on finding new clients, totally forgetting the clients that they have served a few years ago. The reality check comes when those clients then list their property with another local agent.
There is a lead time in our industry to building a relationship with the client. There is also an average time cycle that applies to a transaction. For this reason we should focus on establishing relationships and consolidating them for the long term.
So the message here is quite clear. There are many clients out there that your agency may have served previously. It is time to reconnect and open the door for ongoing communication. Some of those clients will want to sell, lease, or buy some more property this year or next. They will need a good agent for the process.
It is also worth saying that the clients of other agencies will also be repeat clients in the coming years. You can also tap into the other clients with the other agencies as part of the same plan.
One of critical fact needs to be remembered here. The commercial real estate property market centres on a cycle of process and activity. Most people and properties will go through that cycle once every 5 to 7 years. This means that the process of staying in touch with the same client will likely produce repeating business. As a byproduct of exceptional service, you can also pick up referral business.
So here are some tips to help you work with previous clients and those clients of other agents. Look for those clients that may have transacted property in the last few years in your local area. Start the reconnection process.
- Recognise that the cycle of activity exists. Look for those clients that transacted a sale or a lease approximately two or three years ago. They are most likely to be the clients that will act again inside the next two or three years.
- Check out the previous sale records through your region. You can do this quite easily through a review of the sales transaction records at the local titles or property office. It is also quite likely that the information is available online. Systematically go through the sales activity on a street by street and property type basis. Approach the current property owners with regard to their current property situation. Whilst they may not want to sell currently, they may have a lease requirement coming up. They can also require property management services. When you ask the questions, you can find the opportunities.
- When you open the door with each one of these clients, ongoing contact is really important. You can do this through emails, direct letters, and market updates. It is important that you personally contact the client or prospect on a regular basis. Meet with them to establish trust and consolidate your relevance to them.
The successful and knowledgeable people in our industry largely base their success on personal contact. They also drive a significant database as part of a prospecting system. You can do all of this, it just takes the correct mindset and the focus.