Brokerage Sales

How to Stay Ahead of the Game with Referral Prospecting

Sometimes in commercial real estate brokerage, you can be so busy with ‘ordinary prospecting’ that you can forget about ‘referral prospecting’ as a specific idea or strategy.   The ‘referral’ process is specific and different, and you can use it daily to build your real estate business.  Referral connections are of a higher quality than others; the conversion rates are easier to achieve.

So, what are the prospecting differences and ideas here?  Think about these:

  • You are meeting plenty of new people each week or every day. Those new people are valuable contacts for new business leads and conversations.
  • The many people that you meet or know now, have plenty of friends and or connections that may have a commercial real estate need.
  • Sales, leasing, and property management are all facets of our business that can be grown through referral leads and conversations.

Interested in getting this strategy underway?  There are two directions to head here; one with existing clients, and the other with people that are ‘first-time’ acquaintances.


New People and New Contacts

Always pursue new people for new business, and don’t forget to ask about referrals to others.  Use the connections with people (clients and prospects) to open more doors and conversations with others.  Relationships build a real estate business faster.

There are different people in your territory or precinct of activity that can be ‘optimized’ for referral discussions.  Consider these categories in your database:

  • Property owners needing leasing help
  • Property owners needing more property
  • Landlords seeking vacancy help
  • Tenants looking for help with leasing requirements or change
  • Investors looking to buy or sell
  • Business owners in the location seeking more property or premises

The timing of a commercial real estate requirement or change for an investor or business owner is something that is hard to identify without ‘inside information’ or change awareness.  The only way to work with that is to talk to plenty of people on a regular basis.  Talk to plenty of local people every day.  Conversations create leads and opportunities.


Referral Channels?

How can you grow a referral-based channel of opportunity in your real estate business?  Try these ideas:

  1. Every listing discussion with a prospect should include questions about others they know that may need property help.
  2. Every successful sale or lease is a good reason to talk about property services for others.
  3. Every telephone enquiry can lead to a referral question or connection.
  4. Create a VIP group of like-minded investors that could come together socially a few times a year to share information about the property market and the local area. You can be the ‘catalyst’ for that meeting process.

There are a few key strategies to be developed here in commercial brokerage.  That is why I say that it is a specific process of business development.  It is not something that you should do occasionally but regularly.  Referrals apply to sales, leasing, and property management.  Make it a core part of your contact management and client growth strategy.

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