In commercial real estate agency you will have the constant need to generate leads and new business. The big question arises for many agents as to just how that is to be done.
You have a few alternatives such as:
- Direct mail
- Cold calls
- Warm calls
- Database contact, etc.
You may have one or two strategies that you can add to the list. The important thing is that you choose the ones that work for you and that you create the systems to spread the word about your skills and offering. Our industry is based on personal contact. The greater the numbers of people that you know well, the better chances you will have of growing market share.
Prospecting letters are a good strategy to implement as part of your prospecting plan. In saying that, there are two definite rules to the process; firstly you must direct the letter to a real person (i.e. don’t send a generic letter), and secondly you must follow up every letter that you send out.
Prospecting letters only work when you follow them up. You must have a system to support that process. For most agents and brokers that means a simple number of letters sent and followed up per day. On average that is typically 5 to 10 letters per day. If you send more than that you will not get the work done and the necessary follow-ups under control.
Most of your letters are likely to be discarded when received so you have to keep the process very simple. Here are some ideas:
- Keep the letter to just one page of 3 or 4 paragraphs.
- Use dot points to simplify the message.
- Send the letter to introduce your follow-up telephone call in a few days.
- Put your business card with your letter; avoid sending other bulky marketing material (it will be put in the rubbish bin)
- Make the telephone call after a few days. Refer to your letter sent.
- Seek a meeting with the client or prospect as a result of your call.
A prospecting letter in commercial real estate is created for one clear reason; that is to see if the person you are connecting with has a need or an interest in commercial property. From that point you can start a relationship of contact.
Stay in contact on a frequency of at least one contact every 90 days. Keep the cycles moving ahead with each client or prospect. Over time the ongoing contact process will create more meetings for you. That is how you consolidate market share and grow your database.