The new business prospecting process in commercial real estate leasing is quite special. The focus of prospecting has to be on the right people, the best buildings and top precinct locations. Cold calling has to evolve around the right factors locally.
Before I go too far here it is worth noting that most brokerage commissions derived from leasing transactions will usually be driven by the achieved rental levels and the size of the transaction. It directly follows that the larger properties, the better rents, and popular locations will always create more momentum from a leasing perspective, hence commissions. What do you focus on now? You have some important choices to make.
What does it look like?
One all too common weakness in this special part of the industry is the leasing agent’s lack of understanding as to what a leasing prospect should be to them, so that prospecting, cold calling, and personal commission potential is improved. Understand the leasing facts, determine the property priorities, and make the right tenant and landlord choices for your brokerage business.
Here are some steps to help you improve your lease prospecting processes:
- Divide your location into ‘hot zones’ – There will be particular parts of the local property market (your town or city) that are important from a business location perspective. On that basis tenants will prefer that area for relocation or new occupancy; the enquiries in those zones will be better for you. There will be certain streets, suburbs, and roads that are a priority location for tenants when they are enquiring and looking to change building or expand occupancy. Do your research to understand the ‘hot zones’.
- Research select businesses – Determine which businesses locally are successful and strong. You can gain a good understanding of that when you drill down into business types (e.g. Manufacturing, Retailing, Services, Financial Sectors, etc.). Look for the signs of business success. Look for the businesses that could be good candidates to move, grow, or change.
- Research particular tenants – When you look at a zone of properties or a part of your city, some buildings will stand out as ‘prime’ and of good quality. Within those buildings will be some good tenants to tap into. Check out the directory boards and tenant lists in the good quality buildings. Get tenant lists together on that basis. Make a direct approach on that basis.
- Research Good Quality Landlords – From the previous point, the landlords locally should be identified and split up into categories that you can target. At the top of the list will be those landlords that own the best buildings in your location. Get to know those investors and build strong relationships starting from the very first cold call.
- Direct call system – From the previous 4 points, you now have your call targets, so you can get started and create prospecting momentum. You can now make the calls as part of a tenant and landlord contact program. Why will people want to talk to you? What can you say? How can you track your progress? These important questions will now need your attention. Your call results will improve as you refine every step of the prospecting process.
The call contact process in commercial real estate leasing is quite special given that you are connecting within a special part of the property market with people that have certain occupancy needs. The ways that you approach the process will greatly impact your results. Selectivity in your prospecting model and regular practice will help you find the new leasing business that you need.