New business prospecting in commercial real estate has to be part of your daily activity. If it is not so then you have some problems from the start and your stay in the industry will be short; your success in the industry will take longer. If you want to change things then read on.
Whilst it sounds sensible, not many salespeople do the prospecting well. On that basis it is worthwhile discussing the 7 qualities of the great people in the industry. A bit of self-assessment is then required.
So the 7 key skill elements of great real estate prospectors are:
1. Less time in the office – Coming in to the office should only be a 2 or 3 hour event each day. That would be for cold call prospecting, meetings, and time where you are required by others in the office. Given the variety of technology today, you have little excuse to come into the office. Develop a mindset that the office time is a waste of time. It is better to be out in your property precinct or territory meeting the people, the people that will give you business and listings in the future. This practice also helps you relate more to your market and the properties located therein.
2. Interpretation – This is your ability to see opportunity before your competition. Many triggers exist in the market that can be interpreted towards new business. They could be:
- Sales by owners
- Property that has been held for a long time
- Things that have not sold and then taken off the market
- Open listings
- Other agents signboards
- Time on market
- Leases expiring
- Properties purchased over 3 years ago (they are the most likely to come on the market in the next 2 years)
3. Talking to others with intent – Every time you meet and talk to new people, be aware that they will sometimes know more about the local area than you do. Ask them questions about what they have seen going on in the property market and businesses locally. Do they have an interest in property themselves from a business or investment angle?
4. Prospecting every day – This means setting aside 3 hours a day to make new and fresh prospecting calls. Regardless of how much business or listings you have at the moment you must start this prospecting habit and keep it moving ahead. Your prospecting should be creative and consistent.
5. Keeping great records – Technology allows us to keep great records. Your database is your responsibility in every respect. You have to grow your database and be accountable for its accuracy. Keeping your prospects in the back of your diary is not the way to generate massive business; in fact you will be loosing ground to those agents that have the diligence in keeping their database up to date at the end of each day. Your database will build your income. Get computer savvy and use the computer to your advantage.
6. Follow up on all leads and discussions – Great salespeople follow up all opportunities and stay in there for months if not years until the real need evolves. Most listing and deal opportunities in commercial real estate happen after the 5th contact with the right people. Unfortunately many salespeople only stay in the contact loop for 1 or 2 calls. After that they forget who the person was. The stark reminder comes when another agent puts a sign on the property or it appears in the internet or paper.
7. Work the streets and the properties – When you diligently prospect in a logical way, you are in control and your prospecting has direction. This means that in addition to your cold calling from the office each day, you should be systematically working the streets that contain the properties that you consider are target listings in the future. Use a street directory for this process only and carry it with you in the car. Highlight the areas that you have been in and keep good records of your findings.
So this list is an equation of ‘success in prospecting’ for commercial real estate people. Every part of the equation works with the other, and should not be overlooked. Your success in commercial real estate awaits you, and only you have the key to the door.
The more people that say ‘no’ to you, will put you closer to the ‘yes’ that you need. Do not take the easy way out of delegating your cold calls to a telemarketer; only you really know how to talk to your prospects on the telephone, telemarketers are not high converters of new business. You are the key to your own success.