In commercial real estate brokerage the database that you create is a critical component of business activity. Over time it will help you find the deals and the opportunities in sales and leasing activity.
As a priority, every agent should focus on their database growth for approximately 2 or 3 hours per day; that is certainly the case if they aspire to greater commissions and listing opportunity. In that way they can add new people to the contact process in a meaningful and direct way. Many agents struggle with the discipline needed to build their pipeline of contacts and prospects within the database concept.
Most of the leads and the opportunities created for an agent will be generated at a personal level. The agency or the brokerage that you work for will have little to do with the results that you achieve. Results for agents are in the majority personally generated. Don’t wait for people to walk into the brokerage seeking property help; it is unlikely to happen in any great volume.
So let’s go back to the point relating to the database and your need to have one. Here are some strategies to help you in connecting with more clients and prospects over time; in that way you can build your database efficiently and directly.
- The accuracy and the integrity of your database should be a high priority. For that reason you should take personal control of the data that is entered and maintained over time. Move closer to the information within your database so you know exactly who to call when the right property or business situation arises.
- It is sometimes difficult to connect with property owners and investors in great volume. It takes time to research these people through the property ownership records. That being said, research is a critical component of agent activity. On a street by street basis move through the property ownership records identifying the right people and the quality listings. When you can find the name and contact to make, connect directly in a personal way. Far too many agents take the easy way out to connect with property owners by sending a letter. In most cases that letter will be trashed and forgotten. When you identify the right people to talk to, make the call or create the meeting. One on one contact is important to growth of market share.
- If you focus on quality listings in good locations, you will find that the marketing process and the campaign around the listing will generate plenty of names and leads for new business into the future. The process is self-perpetuating when you focus on quality properties. A person that approaches you through a property listing or marketing campaign should be entered into your database and tracked over time.
- It is not unusual for a top agent to have over 1000 prospects and clients within their database. The agent will be connecting with those people directly and continually in a meaningful way. Every person in your database should be spoken to at least once every 90 days. When you expect a person or prospect to be taking property action soon, you can shorten the cycle of contact to monthly and perhaps even weekly. The property investors and the business owners that we work with respect relevance and diligence in the contact process; they like to work with the agents that work hard in a meaningful way. When you connect with the right people directly and efficiently, they soon understand the skills that you can provide when property action is required.
Whilst these four points may seem logical from a business perspective, most agents and brokers struggle with the disciplines needed to maintain the database and their customer relationships over time. That is then a significant opportunity for those agents that can get the disciplines established at a personal level. Are you ready for the challenge?