In commercial real estate brokerage, the telephone is a valuable tool to use in growing any real estate business. Why is that? There are easy connections to be made and systems of call contact to be developed with local people.
What are the real facts? Unfortunately, most agents and brokers don’t devote enough time and or the right tactics to the call process, which then leads to personal struggles and fluctuations in brokerage sales and leasing. That is not a good thing. It can be fixed with a bit of ‘focus’.
Develop Your Plan to Cold Call Prospects
So, all agents and brokers should have a plan for cold calling that is ‘tuned’ to perfection over time. Soon listings and transactions get a good degree easier to achieve due to a pipeline of fresh listing stock and clients to serve. Momentum and commitment are focus points to build in any cold calling system of prospecting.
Does this seem an attractive outcome in your real estate business? Here is a plan to make cold calling a central part of any brokerage business (and perhaps yours):
- Know why you will be making the calls. It is important to have a clear understanding of why you are connecting with other people. In saying that, the reason should be from the client’s perspective, so you can talk to them about the help or solutions that you can provide.
- Determine the property types you will be talking about. Focus on certain property types or solutions that allow you to drill down on information in any call conversation. Information is a powerful factor of engagement in making lots of calls. The connections that you make are about the other person and their needs (i.e. not your requirements of listings and commissions). When you change your focus or mindset, the calls get a lot easier.
- Create a list of people that are to be ‘called’ as part of your contact plan. Be target specific in finding the right people to connect with. That allows you to talk more specifically with a better chance of conversion.
- Lock in a time of day to do the calls. Habit development is a key component of making prospecting calls. It is necessary to make about 2 hours of calls every working day, to get a reasonable amount of traction and momentum. The first part of the day is the best time to do that.
- Set up a basic script to start your conversations. You only need a few sentences to get a conversation started. Beyond the initial connection, the call conversation should flow with some direction. You can practice that and refine it over time.
- What are the key questions to ask? Be prepared for your questions, and the potential questions that could be directed at you in connecting with local people. Any good awareness of prices, rents, and listings will help you with answering questions.
- Focus on real estate qualification first and then meetings. Know that the person has a real need or interest in commercial property. There is no point in meeting a person that has little control or ability to act in property matters. Qualification is then an essential part of your approach to local people, be they investors, business owners, or tenants.
- Track your call progress and call plenty of people to a directional plan. When you know your call numbers, you can get results and refine your call skills. I go back to the point that practice will help call results.
- Repeat the contact process over a 60 to 90-day cycle. This is perhaps the most powerful way of creating and growing market share in sales and leasing brokerage. Talk to the same local people again and again over time; that is those people that have a potential future need or interest in commercial property. Help them remember you as the agent of choice or the specialist for the location. Track the conversations created in a simple database.
In considering these things, a lot has been said here about creating a ‘database’. If you haven’t got one or don’t know where to start, one of the simple and most flexible ways to get your ‘list’ up and going, is to use something like Microsoft Access. It is a lot more powerful than just a spreadsheet, and yet it allows you to export the data into a spreadsheet if you later require doing that for any reason. Learn how to use Access as a professional tool in new business prospecting.
Getting Started with Your List
So, why do I say that Access is a good place to start your commercial real estate database? It is simple, powerful, and flexible. With a little bit of education from the tutorials that they provide, you can easily build the client or prospect list in Access that helps you connect with people in your location. Later, you can handle the ‘bigger’ decision of what other specialist database software may be appropriate for you. When that time comes, you can export data easily from Access. Grow your real estate business.