Everyone knows what cold calling is and most will understand that the process is required in commercial real estate brokerage. Getting to know lots of new people in the local property market can only be achieved through deliberate effort; the telephone helps with that.
In many real estate brokerages, little training is given to salespeople to help them get started and set plans for more cold calls and prospecting efforts. The end result is frustration and low rates of new business. Understand that practice is required in call prospecting and personal improvement is part of that.
Cold Calling Effort
As with anything that is rewarding, an effort is required in commercial real estate prospecting.
To help you get started, here is a plan that can give you momentum in growing your market share from connecting with new people:
- Get organised so that you have a daily prospecting window of time that nothing can interfere with. You will need at least 2 hours and hopefully 3 hours to devote to the process. As to whether that time frame should be in the morning or the afternoon is really a personal choice based on how you like to work. It should, however, be uninterrupted time so first thing in the morning or last thing in the day is perhaps the best way to set your time frames in your diary. It is interesting to note that the first thing in the morning works better for most people.
- Set your area of prospecting on a map so you know the businesses that you will be connecting with. Within that zone, you will also be approaching property owners on a street by street basis. Both of these approaches will require research into names and telephone numbers and that also takes time; so you will need another hour each day to research your calls.
- In our industry the idea of making prospecting calls is simply to see if the person you are speaking to has an interest or need in commercial real estate. So your conversation should be built around a simple introduction and an offer to provide help if the person wants local property assistance. Well-crafted questions can help you gather information from the people you talk to. Practice is important so that you sound and act professionally on the telephone. You don’t want to be another ‘call centre’ making pushy telephone calls on something that has no relevance to people. Refine your craft of making calls; practice what you do.
From these things you can track and measure your call rates, meetings made, and new business generated. Our commercial property industry is quite simple if you set up the right prospecting systems and work solidly to a plan. Commitment is required.