The ‘pipeline process’ in commercial real estate agency will have considerable impact on your market share and client database. The concept behind the ‘pipeline’ is that you are continually growing your database with fresh prospects and leads. This concept should start at the very early stages of your career and continue through all your time in the industry.
It is interesting to note that many agents struggle from time to time with lower listing numbers and a drop in commissions. Whilst a change in the property market has something to do with that, a big part of the problem is a lack of focus and attention by the agent to personal database growth and constant contact. Every day new prospecting has to occur with fresh new people.
The top agents in the market are successful for one main reason; they maintain contact with the right people for the long term. Potentially a lead or an opportunity will come back to them to act on.
When you make contact with any new person or current client, remember that today’s market will change, and somewhere out there the client or prospect will have a future need in sales, leasing, or property management. You want them to remember you at the right time for the right reasons. That’s why a constant contact process is really important to building market share.
You should contact the people in your database at least once every 90 days. That should be in a personal way, and most particularly in a meeting or a telephone call. Seek to put yourself in front of more people as much as possible. Put your personality and character into the connection. Show your professionalism and knowledge as a top agent. Ongoing relationships will help you with the listings and the commissions that you require.
Given that the cycle of commercial real estate activity is relatively long, it can be months if not years before your client or prospect is ready to take some action. That is why the 90 day contact cycle is essential. When you believe the client or the prospect is getting closer to making some decision or taking property action, then the cycle of contact should be shortened to at least one direct contact telephone call or meeting every month.
Here are some tips to help you manage your pipeline:
- Make contact with at least 5 to 10 new people every day. From contacting that small group of new people, there should be at least one or two meetings evolving. The new meeting will help you build your personal profile in a relevant way.
- Following the initial meeting with the contact or prospect, stay in touch so that they remember you at the right time. That contact process will involve property updates, newsletters, social media, telephone calls, and meetings.
- Maintain your database personally. Given that it such an important part of your market share and growth of listings, you need to get involved with database entry and updates. Make the calls and contacts from your database each day. Update the information at the end of each day to ensure that it is accurate and relevant.
- When you have established a link with a prospect, keep the ongoing contact underway. This then says that you will be speaking with established contacts in an ongoing way, together with and in addition to the 5 to 10 new people that were mentioned earlier. In doing this, you will be making between 30 and 40 telephone calls each day as part of a prospecting program. Some of those calls will be converted to meetings and in that way your personal profile and relevance will grow.
So that is how a prospecting pipeline works in commercial real estate agency. Regular ongoing contact at a personal level will always strengthen the relationships that you establish. Make contact for all the right reasons, and show your personal skill and knowledge in the industry.