When you take a telephone inquiry in commercial property sales and leasing, make sure that you question and fully qualify the person that you are talking to. Get plenty of information before you release too many property details to the person calling.
You never really know who you are talking to in the initial inbound call without asking questions; those key questions will help you probe the person and the reason for the call. You could be talking to a competitor or another agent or broker. Why would you give out too much information without a fuller understanding of the person calling and the broad background of their inquiry?
Control the information
When you control the property inquiry, you control the momentum to an inspection and a subsequent offer or negotiation. So the issue here is that you should have an awareness of the person making the inquiry, their property needs, and their reasons for calling. Protect your client’s property listing, and your real estate business.
- Who are they? – When you ask the specific questions about name, email, and telephone number, you will get some ‘push-back’. That being said, you still must have the full detail of the person before you release your listing information; your clients would expect that level of control on any inbound inquiry.
- Where do they come from? – Company name and location will help you understand if they are ‘local’. Local people tend to know the market in some way or form. Outsiders to the location will need greater levels of local information about the market and the local listings.
- What have they seen? – It is likely that they will have seen an advert, a signboard, or internet listing. Find out what they have seen so you can track the effectiveness of your marketing and property promotions.
- What is their inquiry? – This will in most cases be a particular property. You can then quote listing facts, prices, rents, and improvements. Ideally you will be escalating the inquiry to an inspection if they are suitably qualified, and can afford the listing given its facts, prices or rents.
- Have they contacted other agents locally or seen other properties in the zone or precinct? – Make sure that you know this information early in any contact process. If you hold listing exclusivity, then they have to work through you to inspect the property.
- What do they know about the local area? – See what they know about the location and the others properties on the market. They will be trying to do some comparisons so you want to have the answers regards other properties locally.
- Location priorities – Certain locations will be more preferable than others, perhaps due to property improvements, transport, access, raw materials, and logistics etc… Get to the short list of priorities that they have for their property choices or selection.
- Budget selection and timing – When do they want to find the ‘ideal’ property and what will be the timing of ‘change-over’? Timing can be important to a business relocating or a new investment so get to the timing facts that really impact their choices and priorities. Also ask the important ‘money’ related questions so you can understand that they really can afford the property they want in today’s conditions.
So the important fact to remember here is when the telephone rings with a property inquiry, it is the start of a question and answer process. You must control that activity in all ways possible for your client.