When you make lots of cold calls on a regular basis to prospects and clients in commercial real estate you can build your momentum for a better market share. A call contact system is the precursor to meeting with new prospects. Every agent should have a good contact system. You must have new people to work with into the future.
That being said your personal call contact system should be aimed at the decision makers in the industry locally and most particularly:
- Property investors
- Property owners
- Owner occupiers
- Business leaders
- Professionals such as solicitors and accountants
- Property developers
- Planners and similar decision makers related to local planning decisions.
- Franchise groups
Many times I have come across agents that ask me about what may be the easiest way to make contact with this group. The question is usually, ‘How do you find people the right people to call?’ The fact of the matter is that continual effort and systemised contact is required at a personal level to find the right prospects and people that may need your help. There is no ‘easy’ way, but the rewards are many for those agents that establish a solid prospecting system and contact model.
You can make a start with this by making the cold telephone calls and dropping by to a few local businesses to introduce yourself. Set up a system of contact that works for you. Stretch your comfort zone and find new people to talk to. It is not hard, but it is a ‘mindset’ that requires consistent effort. It takes a new habit to break a few old bad habits; it takes about three weeks to set up a new habit. Do you have what it takes to commit to the process?
To put quality into your call contact system, this is what I recommend:
- Set aside the same time each day to make your calls. Do not let anyone or anything change your diary and plans for prospecting. If you do that you are threatening your business future.
- The prospecting process should take about 3 hours per day. Now I know that many agents will have a problem with that commitment, however I will then say that they are likely not to be the top agents; they will struggle to reach that ‘top’ level of the market without a solid and successful prospecting model. Top agents commit to the prospecting process regardless of other pressures. You can do that too.
- The purpose of contacting people and prospects in commercial real estate is not to ‘sell your services’; it is simply to see if they have a need or an interest in property today or in the future. You cannot easily pitch your services in commercial real estate across the telephone. The industry is built on contacts and trust. You cannot create trust across the telephone; you can however create a meeting with the right people. That should be your target. The trust process starts after the first meeting.
- When you contact the ‘right people’ in the list above, make sure that you are talking to the ‘decision maker’. When it comes to business owners or franchise groups, the process of qualification and connection gets a bit complicated, however the decision makers are the ones that you should focus all of your time on. Find out who the right person is to be talking to. Don’t let ‘middle management’ waste your time.
- When connecting with any new person in the property market, recognise that they will quite likely know a lot about their immediate property market, and they will know other people that may be referral opportunities. Asking the right questions at the right time in conversation will help you greatly with these leads.
If you are struggling with your commercial real estate career, take a good look at what you are doing in prospecting. Resolve your prospecting errors or shortcomings, address your fears, and start to look for new clients. The business is out there for you.