Every broker or agent in commercial real estate needs to attract plenty of new clients regularly over time. It’s a ‘rule’ of business for brokerage success. If you ignore the ‘rule’, then problems will evolve. Take control of your real estate business and build your client list; then stick to the process.
So, why is this so important? Some clients will stay with you over time and others will not. Some clients will fade in and out of the property market depending on their investment plans. The property market does change throughout the year, and your listing focus and client base should change with that. Be prepared for the changes and use them productively as you build market share.
As a professional broker or agent working on commercial properties, you are part of that ‘flux’ or property change, and you can use it efficiently to build your real estate business. Prepare for the change around you with both clients and local properties, and promote yourself into the ‘churn and change’. Look for the leverage points of the market and take action.
Some of your clients, be they investors or business owners, will come and go from the property market in each year depending on economic conditions, finance availability, and investment activity. Grow your client and prospect list constantly to compensate for that change. Stay close to your clients and customers.
As a safeguard, you can use ‘diversity’ as a business tool as well. Deliberately work with different clients and client segments across different property types; that diversity will allow you to move your focus as the property market swings from sales to leasing and vice versa.
Develop your professional services as a specialist for the location, and market yourself on that basis. Prepare for the variables of the property market, and diversify your real estate business with the locally identified sellers, buyers, tenants, and business owners.
Know the location and your client types for what they are and dig deeper into relationships for the right reasons. Some people will be ‘priority’ contacts for you with potential activity in property over time; understand just who they are as ‘VIP’s, and why you should contact them or serve them.
Where would you start? There are some rules to set here from a personal perspective. Get a new business plan and a contact strategy underway to create momentum and market penetration with high-quality clients and properties. Some clients are better than others when it comes to new business activity over time; your choices are important when it comes to clients and canvassing activity. How often you connect with those people and the method of approach will also be important to your business and momentum.
Grow your contact list comprehensively; get some database software and build a good database with contact model that continues through any localised property market changes across the entire year. Make plenty of calls and create lots of meetings. Are you ready for the client challenge? Let’s get started.
Define the location of your property market geographically and break it down into streets, precincts, building types, and priority locations. Over time you will be researching and gathering information comprehensively, methodically, and directly when it comes to all of those categories.
Key Questions for Brokers and Agents
Answer these questions before you go too much further. They require unique consideration at a personal level. Think about your business and location:
- Why would someone need your help with a commercial property?
- What value do you bring to the client and their property challenge?
- How can you offer better services or skills to the client when compared to those attributes offered by your competitors?
So, you need some communication and contact tools to make this process work successfully for you at a personal level. The following are the commercial real estate strategies that are known by all and are proven to be successful when it comes to generating listings and new clients.
New Business Ideas that Work
Compare these ideas below to your current activities of canvassing and prospecting for new real estate business; see where you can make improvements and changes:
- The business telephone book – get a ‘hard copy’ of the local business telephone book for your town or city. You can directly cold call every business in the telephone book over time, and that is to identify property challenges and opportunity with each business. It is quick and easy to ‘tick off’ your call progress through the telephone book. You will be making lots of calls, and many will be non-productive, but the concept is good for building your dialogue and professional cold calling skills. In calling 30 or 40 businesses per day, you will likely find a few ‘seeds’ of upcoming property need and activity. You can glean so much information in this process that can later lead to meetings and contacts with the right people that can require your help.
- Database software – Given that you will be calling plenty of people each day, your database should keep you on task with identified prospects and people; some will be VIP clients for regular repeat contact. Ensure that you have a comprehensive database program that you can work with from your mobile phone and your office, and capture ideas and facts quickly and effectively.
- Previous investor clients served in your brokerage – Most property investors will be active in numerous ways over time. They will require help with resolving investment performance challenges; that can be many different things. Look for the client’s property challenges as they will be there.
- Previously served business tenants with both sales and leasing activity – Some businesses will change direction on just how they use property in their day to day operations. They will also use improvements and buildings in unique ways. See what your business owners are thinking and doing.
- Referral business connections through contacts and clients – Simple questions to the people that you connect with each day will create fresh leads and client relationships. Ask the questions about referrals to others.
- Direct marketing into a location and around a listing – Every listing that you have ‘exclusively’ on your books now and into the future, should be the subject of direct marketing. Do more in marketing your good quality listings. Spread the word about each good quality property into a location of buildings, streets, and property owners.
- Social media activity and internet penetration – There are a few good things that you can do on the internet with blogs, portals, articles, video, and audio. Use all the internet tools and integrate them into your social media actions. Don’t just put up listings and think that they will be of benefit in the social media equation; they usually have low impact on your ‘social’ footprint. It is far better for a broker to publish in their social media, facts about local property and local area changes.
In using these tools, you can build a comprehensive and strong real estate client list. Over time that process can lead to better listing numbers and commissions.