How to Find New Clients in Commercial Real Estate Sales

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Where are you headed in commercial real estate over the next 12 months?  It is a changing property market now, which is a good thing for just about every real estate agent and broker today.  What can you do now in this new property cycle?  It is a matter of how you adjust to the property market and the people’s requirements within it.  You can be part of that new real estate activity in the location and help plenty of people.

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Making More Connections

Connect with new people that own or occupy premises and ask questions.  It is all about engaging at deeper levels with the people in the buildings and properties.  It is not enough to talk to the people that you have spoken with before.  There are now new people coming into the property market.  Find those people.  Ask questions.  Build your daily prospecting activity around new people and new conversations.

The facts are clear.  There are people out there that want some ideas and strategies to move ahead with property investment and occupancy activity. 

real estate team standing together

There are investors on the lookout for the next purchase.  Leaving money in the bank is not necessarily a good option for them today as the interest rates achieved on invested funds are low.  Conversely, the stock market is shifting and changing as well.   Commercial real estate remains a good investment choice for property owners and business owners.

So, you are the local agent, and you want some listings.  What strategy will you develop so you can tap into the new property situations and opportunities?  It is a simple formula of connecting with people, and it should remain so.  Create real estate conversations and make a habit of that.  Find out who needs help and ideas regarding commercial real estate sales, leasing, buying, and expanding. 

Conversations lead to opportunities in sales and leasing activity. Sure, you have to talk to a lot of people each day, but that is the way things happen. The more people you talk to each day, the more new business you will find. Use the telephone to talk to local people and particularly investors and business owners. Ask questions and see if those people want help in any way.

telephone on desk with coffee mug
Telephone prospecting skills by John Highman

Know Your Territory Comprehensively

Dig into your allocated territory, your client lists, and your prospecting processes.  The only way to find volumes of new business is to talk to new people and the best way to do that is on the telephone.  That is a local focus in commercial real estate and the telephone is a good way of doing that.  Have you got your strategy of ongoing telephone prospecting and client contact firmly entrenched in your working day?

Property investment and business occupancy are the two factors of change for every agent to drill down into now.  Business owners and property investors are the people to find and work with.  Where can you find the new people in your property market and location?  Think about these facts:

  1. Look into the cycles of property ownership – It is a fact that the processes of investment and ownership in commercial property are long and sustained.  That means that the people that purchased a commercial, office or retail property at some stages earlier are likely to do it again in the few years following the original transaction.  You can find those people if you go back through sales and leasing transaction records for the location.  Look at the sales and lease transactions across all brokerages and precincts, and do not limit your research to just your brokerage.  Reconnect with the people that purchased about 3 to 5 years ago. They are likely to do something again quite soon, especially so in the new property market.  You want to know about their challenges and opportunities.  Ask questions of those people and find out what they are thinking.  Prioritize those people into types and groups.  You will need a good database for that.
  2. Talk to existing clients and contacts – Some of those people you already know will want to purchase again and or change their investment priorities.  Better buildings or diversified property types will give more investment flexibility to property owners and investors.  So, there are sales and buying requirements to think about there.  As you connect with people, find out if they have surplus funds to divert into another property purchase.
  3. Revisit the people you know now and have connected with from earlier transactions – Ask them what they are doing now with properties.  Ask them if any priorities are taking form with their investments.  Every person that has enquired about a property purchase over the last few years can be an excellent person to contact again now.  Find out what they are thinking and preferring from an investment or purchase position. Have their property situations changed?
  4. Break down your territory into zones and buildings – When you do that, it helps find investment situations and changes of property ownership and or occupancy.  As part of that process, you can look for the pressures of property use.  The best way to find that anxiety is to walk the streets, take photos of buildings, and ask business owners questions.  Some businesses will need to move and or expand.  Ask the questions, and you will find those businesses considering doing things.

Finding new people in commercial real estate brokerage is now perhaps the most important real estate thing you could do.  As we emerge from the previous property cycle and restrictions, the new people are now thinking about situations and opportunities. 

Align your commercial real estate prospecting processes with new people and the local properties. Do not spread yourself and your efforts too far as you look for subsequent and emerging transactions. You can find things faster by concentrating your efforts and conversations.

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