Like it or not in commercial real estate brokerage, you may only be talking to some property people and prospects once and for just a short period of time at that. That conversation may be when they contact you to talk about a recent listing or the trends in the property market today.
In that brief discussion you must qualify and capture their interest for the value it can bring you in the future. That value can be across sales, leasing, and property management in so many different ways; be prepared for the unusual situation where you can help your clients and local property contacts in a comprehensive way.
Get to the Real Facts of Client Contact
Ask deeper questions and get to the real facts of a client’s situation in property today. Here are some good questions to raise with property clients today:
- Have they considered upgrading property assets?
- What properties locally can they move to that will give their investment portfolio greater flexibility and stability?
- When do they need to refinance?
- How can property values be improved?
- When will leases expire that can expose rental and income problems?
- Are they looking to solve vacancy problems currently or in the future?
- What can be done to the tenant mix to improve market rents and occupancy?
- Can the expenditure for the property be controlled to improve cash flow?
Have an established ‘customer enquiry system’ at a personal level in your brokerage operations.
Backup Systems of Client Support
So what do you need to have in action and systems to support this ongoing customer contact? Try some of these:
- A Property Helpline – Make it easy for a client to find you and ask questions about the local area. Your helpline could be integrated into your website, your marketing processes, your blog and your social media.
- A Database – A good database software program should help you in maintaining contact with a greater number of people over a specific area and property type. Many of the databases available today are online or cloud based. That is a good thing and will allow you to get access to your data just about anywhere at any time. Maintain your database and update it every day from all conversations and meetings; the quality and accuracy of the data will help you convert more leads into listings or property inspections.
- Mobile telephone system – Help people find you directly and easily at any time for a property discussion. The mobile telephone that you carry with you will give you convenience and versatility. Put your mobile telephone number on all marketing pieces and all brochures. Encourage people to connect with you on the mobile.
- A way of handling messages at any time – Given that you will have many meetings during an average working week, get a message and follow up system on your message bank that helps people understand how and when you will be calling them. It pays to take messages for a period of the day when you are prospecting for new business. Normal return telephone calls can be made in specific windows of time so that the important activities in your property business still occur.
- A standard form to capture valuable information – Set up a standard form that you can carry with you at all times. Following a meeting or telephone conversation you can complete the form for later entry into your database and contact management system.
- A record of all your listings – It is convenient to carry with you an up to date record of all of your listings. Given the prolific use of tablets and smart phones, you can easily load your listings as pdf files for reference at anytime and anywhere.
- A qualification process – Specific questions will help you get to the real facts and capabilities of a person and their property intentions. Create a specific set of questions for sales, leasing, and property management. If you specialise in a property type, those questions should be crafted accordingly for the property type and the location. Better questions help show the person you are talking to that you really understand the factors of the property market locally and you have the solutions to help them.
- Local property information that you can send out – When you have connected with someone about local property, it is best to have something that you can send out to them on the email quickly and effectively. A timely response is fundamentally important when we work with property people and prospects.