The prospecting activities of the rich and famous and there for us all to see and use. In commercial real estate brokerage, you simply must have a prospecting system that you can refine and improve over time. You need to start somewhere when it comes to connecting with clients and converting good quality listings to your brokerage and its services.
So what can you do here? You can learn a lot from the other successful agents in the area simply by watching their business activities and approaches to presentations, listings, marketing, and negotiations. You can replicate the things that work, and also avoid the things that are obviously time wasting.
Top agent challenge
The top agents of the property market today are those that have built their market share specifically and directly through personal effort. They have taken the time to develop the personal systems to create momentum and connect with local business owners and investors. In a constant an ongoing way, they are connecting with new people from a base of relevance and professionalism; they have the tools and the systems to do that. They understand the differences between sales and leasing services today, and they are adjusting their business approaches and processes accordingly.
So what are the prospecting activities of the best agents and brokers in your location? Whilst you can undertake some direct observations yourself, here are some ideas to help you get started:
- They are constantly creating the client base that they need at a professional and personal level. The best agents in our industry today have a client base that they can relate to accurately and specifically with every type of property inquiry and marketing requirement. Within that client list they will have segments relating to sales, leasing, tenants, buyers, and investors. They will also have the necessary information relating to prices, rents, and timing. A good software program will integrate across all of those fields and criteria. The best agents use the information positively. They work that database in such a way to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date. The best client lists are those that are small and accurate. There is no point in having a large database of random information containing out of date content. Focus on accuracy and relevance when it comes to building your client list. Build your client list every day as part of your direct prospecting activities. Don’t let the pressures of business divert you away from the requirement for prospecting.
- Online marketing is a valuable process to use in commercial property today. Whilst you can always list a property online, there are various levels of interaction to feed into and around the listing and the marketing process. The different channels of social media can be used with all of your listings and with articles that you may create relating to your location and property specialty. Lift your online promotional processes to the next level through deliberate marketing efforts. Write some articles relating to your location, and also publish editorials relating to property listings. Put everything online where ever possible.
- Get out into your location so that you can meet with the business owners and the property investors. Walk the streets in a logical and direct way so that every building and every business is identified and listed. When you dig deeply into property ownership and occupation, you will always find opportunity in some way or form.
- Target absentee owners and investors. They are the property owners that are remote to the location and on that basis are most likely to be the property owners requiring local assistance in sales and leasing activity.
- Undertake a systematized approach to telephone prospecting and cold calling. Devote at least two hours of your working day to that process. Over time you will find that the telephone will be your most productive tool when it comes to building a client list and the required momentum towards property meetings and presentations. Integrate your database into the telephone prospecting process. Recognize that it takes two or three calls to the same people to create the opportunity of the meeting. The meeting will give you the ability to create the trust and the interaction that you require with the client or the prospect.
- Target expired and withdrawn listings in your location. The older listings and those that failed to move in any sale or lease activity are likely to be the next listings that will sell or lease off market. Frustrated clients and property owners be looking for a property result, and after withdrawing their listing from the market they will still be primed for the suggestion of a deal or new approach.
- Identify the owners locally selling or leasing their property on a private basis. Generally, those owners fail to have the broader market coverage needed to create sufficient enquiry and inspection volume. They will generally be open to the suggestions and involvements of a professional broker or agent.
- Every inspection or meeting will be a source of market intelligence and feedback. Referrals can also be created through inspections and meeting activities. Ask the right questions at the right time, so that you can open up with new ideas and new people. Conversations lead to opportunities, so every inspection or meeting should be structured around a professional and valuable conversation. Understand what people are thinking when it comes to sales and leasing activity, and how they see the property market today from their perspective.
- Many property owners and business leaders require appraisals from time to time for a variety of reasons. Be prepared to undertake the appraisal process when requested, and then ask the required questions to open up the client to the underlying property challenges they are facing.
- The direct mail process has been around for years when it comes to property and listing marketing. Every quality listing should be directly marketed both online and off-line. The letter and brochure process will always give you plenty of leads and opportunities to work with. Adopt a strategy of direct marketing with all of your exclusively listed quality listings.
- Understand how to promote your properties through the email system. You can use an auto-responder as part of that process, and then you can monitor the open and click rate relative to the singular listing you are sending through the email system. You will then know who you can talk to when it comes to the particular property and their potential interest in it.
So there are many good things that you can do here as part of a specific prospecting model and client contact process. Build your personal brand professionally in commercial real estate brokerage using these tools and the others that you see as relevant to your location.