The telephone is an important tool when it comes to commercial real estate client contact and brokerage activity. You can use the telephone to a strategic advantage each and every working day. It can save you a lot of time, and help you move to the next level of activity in your real estate business.
All too often I hear of agents and brokers that tend to wait for the business to come to them. Invariably they are overlooking the requirement to make cold calls, talk to clients regularly, connect with new people, and follow-up on leads and opportunities. The telephone is part of those particular business activities.
Why make calls?
Here are some of the reasons to make more calls, and the rules as to how you should be using the telephone comprehensively and regularly as part of your real estate business activities:
- FREQUENCY: You can connect with many new people every day as part of a simple telephone call and contact prospecting model. There will always be a degree of research behind the process, and that research should be undertaken out of hours. When you have your client list or prospect list ready, you can make plenty of calls at the start of the day. That is how you can build your database quickly and directly.
- MAKE SENSE: Call conversation should be firstly qualifying, and secondly connecting. In other words, you should be encouraging a conversation with the other person to qualify if they have an interest in property activity locally. There may be various levels of conversation to consider across sales, leasing, and property management. Be prepared for the various twists and turns that apply to a telephone conversation. Practice will help you develop that necessary conversational strategy.
- GET THE FACTS: You can obtain plenty of background information about the location, your clients, and the properties before you make calls. Preparation is the key to a call conversion and a potential meeting.
- PROTECT TIME: Don’t create meetings with people that really don’t want to see you. Your time is quite precious, and each day there will be many people seeking to talk with you and divert your daily activities. Only meet with the people that really do have a property interest or a fit that can work for you over time.
- COST EFFECTIVE: A telephone conversation can be much simpler and cheaper than a meeting or a presentation. Simplicity allows you to drill down into the essential facts that may suit your prospecting and negotiation requirements.
- PACE YOURSELF: When you are making a telephone conversation, don’t be too eager to move to the next point or agreement. It is very hard to get anyone to agree across telephone. It is much easier to meet with the person at a later time to move them through the alternatives that may be available with a property, a property challenge, or future real estate need.
- NOT TODAY THANKS: One thing to remember here is that it is very easy for the client or the prospect to decline your telephone call or the call conversation. Be prepared for the factors of rejection that come with a telephone call. Professional skills will help you develop relevant dialogue and conversational strengths. If someone really doesn’t want to talk to you then simply don’t bother to push matters, and move on. Keep your prospecting and client contact relevant and professional. Desperation is not good leverage in client contact.
- RELEVANCY: A productive call marketing process is actually commenced and centered on a relevant conversation. From that conversation the questions and answers can move you to the next opportunity or a meeting at the right time. Be prepared to ask the right questions in a professional way. We work with many experienced business people in commercial real estate today, so your professional standards and conversational ability across the telephone will be assessed and checked on a regular basis.
So there are some things that you can do here to make the telephone an important part of your commercial real estate activities. Spend the first two or three hours each day on the telephone talking to both clients and prospects.
Call strategy is everything
Build the telephone into your new business strategy and marketing processes. Always track the results that you achieve from call conversations and direct marketing. Soon you will see your averages improving and meeting frequencies changing. That then leads to a better client list and database.
Given that most of the traction and opportunities in our business come from direct contact, you really do need to create plenty of meetings in a regular ongoing way. The telephone as part of that.