Laws of Prospecting and Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate

business woman on a telephone headset
Build your commercial real estate prospecting into your diary and do it every day at the same time.

In today’s commercial property market, listings and commissions can be a bit challenging.  That being said, top agents know how to prospect on a regular basis and build their pipeline of opportunity.  It is the pipeline that helps them with quality listings stock and qualified buyers or tenants.

In any property market, the prospecting process or system that you adopt should be well managed and implemented on a daily basis.  Prospecting is not something that you can do once a week, or when you get sufficient time.  It is also something that should not be delegated over to someone else; far too many agents are remote and distant from their market for this very reason.

It is interesting to note that so many agents and realtors will overlook the prospecting process if they have other things to do that they consider more important.  This single one decision impacts their future business in a major way.

Top agents prospect every day regardless of market conditions.  They know that the prospecting process will reap benefits over time.  Developing the habit of prospecting and cold calling takes significant effort on a personal basis.  That is where many salespeople struggle and give up.

Here are some tips to help you establish your prospecting model in your local property market place.

  1. Take charge of your time and commit to prospecting for 2 hours every day.  Choose the same 2 hours where you believe you can connect with your group of prospects and business owners.  In the space of 2 hours you should be using the telephone as the primary and introductory point of contact.
  2. When you make the cold call over the telephone, you are simply seeking to understand if the person has a need or an interest.  Many people will not require your services now or in the future.  The cold call that you make should filter those people out of your database list.
  3. As a general rule, you should never pitch or sell your services over the telephone.  That does not work in commercial real estate given that the services you offer are quite complex.  To help you here I go back to the point that your telephone call is simply to see if the person has a need or an interest.
  4. The dialogue that you use in the telephone call should be friendly and conversational.  To achieve this advantage you will need to develop your script and practice the words.  When the words you use become natural as part of the conversation, your conversions to meetings in and from the telephone call will escalate.
  5. Set yourself some targets to be actioned as part of the call process.  That will normally be the number of outbound calls, and the number of meetings achieved.  Typical ratios will be one or two meetings from 40 or 50 calls.  In making 40 or 50 calls you will not get through to that many people.  In fact you will only get through to maybe 20 people at the most.  On that basis you need to be prepared for the well-known rejection factor.
  6. Keep your prospecting and call processes organised so that you can follow up old clients and people spoken to previously.  At some stage in the future, they are likely to be prospects for active property activity.
  7. When you have done your daily calls, you can get out of the office and into the sales territory for any meetings that can occur.  Meet more people at every opportunity.

The prospecting process in commercial real estate is quite specific and specialised.  That is why it never pays to pass the task on to someone else.  Passing the ‘buck’ and avoiding the issue simply doesn’t work.  Top agents do their own prospecting on a daily basis understanding that they can achieve significant market knowledge and advantage from talking to other people.

Author: John Highman

Commercial Real Estate Broker, Coach, Speaker, Author, Broadcaster.