4 Essential Prospecting Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

business woman sitting at table
Develop effective prospecting systems in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage.

Every commercial real estate agent should have a prospecting model.  In an ongoing way they should be connecting with new people each and every day.  That can be a challenge for some brokers and agents as they balance workloads and property listings.  The fact of the matter is that we should all be careful when it comes to personal time focus and client commitment.

Attract and Focus on the Best Properties and Clients

We should be focusing all or our prospecting activities and model on the best opportunities and the best clients locally.  Applying that back to the beginning of the contact pipeline cycle, we should be concentrating our prospecting skills into the best segments of the market and particularly the best people owning an occupying the prime buildings and the prime properties.

We all get our fair share of poor quality listings and redundant properties.  That being said, we do have a few choices to make when it comes to accepting a listing and working for a particular client.  As you grow your market share, be increasingly selective as to the properties that you list, and the clients that you work for.

Size Matters

The larger properties and the better listings will always create better enquiry churn and activity from your marketing activities.  If you focus on the higher quality listings within a location, the levels of enquiry will always be higher, more active and interesting.  That is how you can build a pipeline of investors and prospects faster within a location.

Here are some ideas to help you improve your prospecting activities within your town or city:

  1. COVERAGE: Understand the coverage of your prospecting activities. There is no point in spreading your prospecting activities across a huge area or a large town.  You have limited resources and time to cover the market.  Consider your territory and split into priority precincts of prospecting focus.  You should have your primary zone of prospecting.  Most of your new business should come from that defined area.  Everything else outside a primary zone will be a secondary focus; listings may come to you from the secondary zone but you would not specifically prospect into the secondary zone.  Understand your time as a resource, and focus all of your prospecting on a time basis into the primary precinct of property activity.  Typically you will need about 2500 properties to focus on in that primary precinct so you will need to get organised.  Over the year you can get to know all of the best property owners, the business leaders, the lease expiry dates, and investment opportunities.
  2. LOCAL PROPERTY: Focus within particular property types locally. When you focus your prospecting activities within a particular property type, you can get to know exactly what’s happening when it comes to prices, future supply, and time on market, contracts, and leasing.  You can also predict what challenges may exist when it comes to the segment and the location.  That then allows you to adjust your marketing activities and any negotiation factors that arise.
  3. PRIME PRECINCTS: Get to know the owners of quality properties in prime locations. As a commercial real estate specialist, you will already be focusing on certain segments of properties such as office, industrial, or retail.  Within those segments, identify a small group of prime properties locally.  Determine the ownership identity of those properties and make contact.  Connect with the owners and build relationships at professional level.  Understand that those property owners are likely to be talking to many local agents, so your connection will need to be comprehensive and professional at all levels.
  4. THE BIG END OF TOWN: Track the property ownership and occupancy activities of the larger businesses and corporations in your primary prospecting precinct. Certain businesses will be more successful than others and therefore more active when it comes to property.  Certain industries will be looking for resolving factors of expansion and contraction.  You can and should focus your prospecting into the active segments of the local companies and businesses.

These four simple approaches to commercial real estate prospecting will help you find the right people to talk to in a timely and ongoing way.  Focus on building relationships.  As a general rule, don’t list or work with low quality listings unless there is a bigger agenda to support the approach.

Understand that your pipeline of prospecting will be an ongoing event and will require a commitment at a personal level to keep up the momentum and the persistence.  Over time you should be talking to many hundreds of people in an ongoing and relevant way.

Keep it moving

Connect with all the people in your database at least once every 90 days.  When you can identify a property need or challenge, the frequency of contact will be shortened to monthly or even weekly.

Relevance is the key to making the contact prospecting process work effectively with reasonable levels of conversion.  The relationships and the trust that you build through that regular contact will eventually lead to listings and property requirements.  That’s how any top agent will build market share and grow market relevance.

You can get more prospecting tips for commercial real estate brokerage in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.

Author: John Highman

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