In commercial real estate brokerage, you need plenty of current and new clients to work with on a regular basis; that ‘pipeline’ is fed by prospecting for new business. There is no shortcut there with creating new connections. The cycle of activity for most property clients and prospects in commercial real estate is relatively long; it can be months if not years before a client or prospect is ready to act on a property issue or create a property change. Be prepared for relationship building and client interaction; work your clients and prospects to the fullest of opportunity over time.
So, the rule here is that you need to know plenty of people in the local area that have an interest or a challenge in commercial real estate. You want those people to remember you at the right time when they have a challenge with their investments or their property portfolios. Get involved ‘personally’ with your property market and the people in it.
Getting in front of the right people in a regular ongoing way is an important part of the real estate business. Regular contact in a relevant way is then or should be part of a prospecting model for any broker or agent. Any person that wants to be successful in listings and commission activity in the local area should create a contact model and a prospecting process to get in front of more local people consistently.
Top of Mind Connections
Be ‘top of mind’ with the people that you know. Here are some ideas to help you get in front of more commercial real estate prospects and clients regularly, consistently, and in relevant ways:
- Determine the geographical boundaries of your current and intended property activities. In doing that, you can understand exactly where you will be focusing your new business prospecting activities, and be tracking the results. The focus of the geographical area allows you to research the streets and buildings that you believe will bring the opportunity of change and churn to you. You can use maps to delineate the precincts and the territories where you will be extracting business opportunity. You can highlight the priority buildings and precincts on your maps. You can also talk to people in and around the targeted properties to gain a ‘strategic awareness’ of the zones.
- Within your property zones or defined territories, research the streets, the properties, and buildings. You can then split the identified properties and ownerships into priority groups and property types. Again, this allows you to focus your contact processes and new business activities.
- From the previous two points, you can now contact targeted people with due regard to their location and or property situation. On that basis, the contacts that you make, and the conversations made will be specific and direct. It is easier to convert new business in that way. Talk about specific things when approaching clients and prospects; talk about their property and its location in a precinct. Talk about the precinct and the changes or the opportunities in the zone.
- Start a contact process specifically designed for connecting with new people and your current established contacts. You can merge direct mail, direct emails, and cold calling processes to create more meetings regularly. The telephone is perhaps more effective than anything else when it comes to finding new business, so use the telephone. You can easily make plenty of calls and track the conversations that you have with the right people. Research is required to get the telephone numbers and the addresses in each case. Be prepared to put in the work when it comes to property ownership research and local business activity. Identify the right people to talk to you, and make it a direct approach in a relevant way.
- As an industry, commercial real estate is quite traditional when it comes to new business. Trust plays an important part in client and prospect communication. The only way to build appropriate levels of trust is to maintain regular ongoing contact with the right people. They need to know you as an industry expert and respect your skills for the location and the property type. It can take three or four approaches to the same person over time before you will get a meeting to make your introductions. That organised contact process requires a database and systemized list contact daily.
- In connecting with more people, you will need some good tools of reference and interaction to support your meetings and conversations. Carry with you all the required devices and resources where you can quickly draw on prepared information relating to the property market, property types, levels of recent enquiry, prices, rents, and marketing processes. Cloud-based information will be helpful and useful.
- Put your personality and professionalism and into the property market. Listings and results evolve from personal relationships started and nurtured over time; get to know plenty of people professionally. Merge your contact processes into direct mail, e-mail, social media, and website activity. Understand the different tools to use when it comes to sharing local property market information online. Build your brand directly online and offline. Connect with more people; that is the rule.
From the previous points, it is obvious that the commercial real estate market and ongoing activity is centred around personalities and personal relationships. It is relatively easy to get in front of more new people in a regular ongoing way. From ongoing contact, you can create listing opportunity and the levels of trust that will support your real estate business into the future.