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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.

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Tips for Making Successful and Professional Cold Calls in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

black telephone
Make more high quality cold calls in commercial real estate.

 

In commercial real estate brokerage the cold calling process is an essential part of new business generation. Making direct cold calls is a real skill and requires personal effort and systematisation.

 

One of the most important factors to help when it comes to telephone prospecting and new business generation is that of practice. Making telephone calls in this way does not come easily to many people. Most agents and brokers will struggle when it comes to the right words and phrases to use when telephone marketing. Regular daily practice can help when it comes to call conversions and meeting opportunity. The more calls that you make, the easier the whole thing becomes. Over time you will feel comfortable when it comes to telephone prospecting.

 

Before going too much further here, it should be understood that the principal target of cold calling as an agent or broker is mainly to achieve meetings with people that could need professional property services in the future. To achieve that knowledge and to create those meetings with the right people requires a conversational approach, not pitch and push process. If you push too hard for business in any telephone call, it is likely that you will lose out on the conversation and the call will come to an end.

 

Here are some ideas to help you with your professional cold calling process and meeting conversions:

  1. Commitment – Commit a particular time of day to the process. The best time to make those calls will be first thing in the morning before other things take over your activities and focus. You will need to spend approximately 2 or 3 hours in making cold calls each working day. During that time you do need to have absolute focus on the process and avoid any distractions or diversions.
  2. Mindset – When you have the correct mindset to make the calls, conversions to meetings are a lot easier. The best mindset to use is that of confident questioning. You are simply making a call to understand if the person you are speaking to has an interest or a potential future need in commercial investment property into the future. If that is the case, then you have a reason to stay in contact and/or create a need for a meeting. As the local property expert, you have the professional skills and the market information that is valuable to the right people.
  3. Focus on Groups – In making your calls, focus on two distinct groups of people. Firstly you should be talking to all of the local business owners and business proprietors. Secondly you should be talking to all of the local property owners and investors. Within both segments you will find needs and opportunities when it comes to property selection, acquisition, and disposal.
  4. Database Software – Choose a database program to help you with tracking conversations and opportunities. The database that you choose doesn’t need to be expensive or complex. It does however need to be readily accessible and user-friendly. Every day you should be shaping and changing the detail within the database subject to recent conversations and meetings with key people.

 

Taking these four simple factors into account, telephone prospecting and cold calling requires real personal effort and deliberate activity. There is no easy way to get around the process other than hard work and commitment. That is how you will find new business leads and opportunities in commercial real estate today. You can then professionally drive your business further when it comes to new clients and quality listings.

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Cold Calling Tips and Mindset for Commercial Brokers

The cold calling mindset is really important in commercial real estate brokerage if you are going to get traction with reaching people and creating meetings.  I have put this audio together to help the process.

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Create Confidence in Your Cold Calling Today

The cold call process in commercial real estate brokerage is quite special.  In this audio MP3 file I give you some ideas about how to improve your call conversions in the property market today.

Start connecting with more sellers and buyers, as well as tenants and landlords.  You will soon see and find the prospects that you are looking for.

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Dialogue Practice for Commercial Real Estate Agents

sales people talking in group
Practice sales dialogue in teams.

In commercial real estate agency, you will need to interact with many different people in differing circumstances.  To improve your chances of success, it pays to refine and practice your dialogue for the demands of our industry.  Practice like this will help you in so many ways including market share, listing conversions, marketing adjustments, and deal conversions.

Our industry is competitive in many different ways, and on that basis personal dialogue improvement should be part of your skills upgrade.

The following situations are highly competitive and arise frequently each day:

  • Prospecting for new listings and prospects to serve
  • Talking to property investors and business proprietors in the local area
  • Identifying property changes and opportunities
  • Inspecting properties with buyers and tenants
  • Inspecting properties with property investors
  • Presenting and pitching your professional real estate services with property owners
  • Negotiating a sale or a lease transaction
  • Qualifying prospects and clients
  • Closing on the necessary documentation as part of a sale or a lease
  • Moving a transaction forward through the terms and conditions of the deal
  • Keeping the clients, tenants, and buyers motivated as part of the transaction
  • Working with solicitors, accountants, and other professional people
  • Referral business with current clients and contacts
  • Lead generation through people that you know or want to reach

This list can be quite daunting considering that many variables exist in each situation.  If you cannot communicate well and show that you are a true commercial real estate professional the market will soon avoid you.

The longer you stay in the industry, the more experience you will have in each of the above matters.  You can however fast track the process through some deliberate dialogue improvement and role playing.

The ways to improve your dialogue will involve a strategy and process.  Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  1. Share the challenges of the market and your clients with the sales team.  You can then discuss how you would respond to issues and challenges.
  2. Watch what other agents are listing today.  Create some alternative marketing packages that you can use as examples in role playing.
  3. Once a week take the sales team to your listings and talk them through the properties as you see them.  Sometimes an extra set of ‘eyes’ will help you see alternatives in inspections, marketing and promotion.

Self-improvement is an essential part of our industry.  When you take on the challenge of improving yourself, the industry takes on a new momentum.  Practice and improve what you do and say.

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Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Model

commercial real estate agent on the telephone
You can perfect your cold call process in commercial real estate agency.

In commercial real estate you must prospect for new business every day.  In that prospecting time, 50% of the time should be spent on people that you already know and are progressing up the contact pipeline, and the other 50% should be spent on the new people and property owners that you have not spoken to before.

When you follow this model of prospecting, you find that your market opens up with opportunity; the clients and contacts that you know will expand.  From that action plan you see the new business that you need.

It is a fact that many agents if not 90% of agents do not prospect enough.  They like to find excuses to move on to other things.  When they get busy, the first thing to be avoided or removed from the diary is prospecting.  That then leads to a market downturn and decline in listings and then commissions.

Here are some rules for prospecting in commercial real estate:

  1. Don’t work with a small group of clients and prospects.  This will expose you to loss of income when a client moves away or stops activity in property.  It is better to have your main client list (the ‘A’ list) and then a secondary client list that you can move into or escalate when the ‘A’ list is shrinking.  As a general rule you should have an equal number of people or prospects in your ‘A’ and ‘B’ list.  Prospecting on a regular basis will help you with the numbers in each group.
  2. Know what your idea client looks like and where they are located.  When you get focused on a specific client you can target your prospecting for better effect.  Top agents tend to focus on clients with large properties or portfolios of multiple properties.
  3. Know what your ideal property listing will be and where it is located.  This focus helps you with organised prospecting.  Keep to a geographical area so you can methodically go through your region with focus on properties and clients.
  4. The prospecting efforts between sales and leasing, versus property management are a bit different.  The best agents can work with sales and leasing quite well.  Be aware of the property management opportunity and have someone to service it with you or for you.  That being said you will need the right people in the agency business to take on the workload.  Commercial property management is quite special.  The same can be said for retail shopping centre management.

These are quite simple rules to follow; simple to create, but hard to do.  Prospecting reluctance is a big issue for some agents.  Take on the task and get better at it.  Soon the business will come in.

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Straight Thinking Wins More Commercial Real Estate Business

telephone sitting on desk
Shift your mindset to make cold calling in commercial real estate more effective.

It is a fact that the way you think when you are prospecting will impact the results that you get.  This then carries through to the prospecting that you make in commercial real estate.

Has someone told you that you need to prospect and they have given you little facts on how to do it?  Perhaps they have told you to get out of the office and start doing something to build your market, yet the facts behind the process seems to be a bit lacking?

It is a very common issue that many salespeople do not know how to prospect at all very well.  They simply know that they must lift the telephone and talk to prospects and more new people to see if there is a problem that they can solve.

To help the process here are some rules to help you get better results in commercial real estate prospecting.

  1. It is extremely important to start a contact and prospecting system that you can work to every day at the same time.  As part of that process you will need a few tools to use and stick to such as a database or spread sheet to record your contacts.
  2. Track your numbers of outbound calls to meetings arranged.  Out of 40 or so calls, you should be establishing 2 or 3 meetings with people that you have not spoken to before.  It should also be said that you will not reach 40 people in all those calls; you will be lucky to reach 20.  Those that you cannot reach today can go into the system for call contact later.
  3. Protecting your thinking in call contact is very important; many people will decline your offer or your request for a meeting.  Over time your conversions to meetings will rise, however it is the first 3 weeks of making the calls where your thinking processes need to be protected.  Read some good books on making calls so you understand the importance of the mindset and thinking process in commercial real estate.
  4. Having a reason for the call will help your conversation.  If you do not know the person, the best approach is to see if they have a need or an interest in commercial real estate of any type.  It is a question that can lead into a telephone conversation.  As the local real estate agent, you can keep them updated with market trends and property changes in the local area.

I have coached many salespeople through the barriers of making cold calls.  Just about all of those barriers I have noticed are self-inflicted and self-generated with most salespeople.  Change your thinking and you will open more doors faster with the people that need your services.  Making cold calls professionally will fast track your career in commercial real estate today.

You can join our Newsletter right here and get more tips on Commercial Real Estate Agency Practice.

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Key Prospecting and Networking Tips for Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate agent walking to appointment
Plan your prospecting and networking in commercial real estate agency today.

In commercial real estate today, the prospecting process is critical to your career.  On that basis, the earlier you start prospecting as part of your daily activities, the more successful you can be over time.  If you neglect your prospecting processes, you are doing yourself a lot of financial damage, and creating a loss of market share.  Over time you can be looking for another job!

It should be said that the prospecting process is quite hard for some salespeople and requires considerable focus.  It is hard in the sense that it is a process that not many salespeople are comfortable with or familiar with.  Essentially it is a new skill and requires discipline to create a new habit.  Prospecting does require a specific mindset that will allow the skills and momentum to improve into daily habits.

Finding the right people to talk to is all part of the prospecting process.  When you start talking to them, regular ongoing contact is the rule and not the exception.  This industry is based on personal ongoing contact and networking.  It is a people based industry.  It takes some time for the property owners and business proprietors to trust you sufficiently to help them with their property needs.  Commercial real estate is not an experiment; it is a specialized business process requiring expertise and knowledge.

Here are some tips to help you with your prospecting processes:

  1. The commercial real estate industry is built around local businesses and business people.  It is the business people that occupy the premises and pay the rental.  In starting your career, you can get a lot of information from local business proprietors.  They will also be excellent sources of leads and opportunity.  On a daily basis you should be talking to at least 10 to 15 business people as part of a new prospecting process.
  2. Property investors are on the lookout for quality properties and or future investments.  As you identify these people, your ongoing relationship with them should be nurtured for the opportunity and situation where you can help them.  In many respects, some of these investors are in contact with many agents at any one time.  For this very reason, your relationship needs to be stronger and more productive than those that the other agents may have with the same investor.
  3. Property owners will always be a target from a new business perspective.  The fact of the matter is that they are hard to find and hard to connect with.  In many situations the true owner of the property is hidden within a company structure or Property Trust.  Getting to the required person can be a frustrating process.  That being said, it still needs to occur and it is part of the prospecting process for each and every commercial salesperson.  Set yourself some simple benchmarks in regards to contacting these people and building relationships.
  4. Check out all of the significant local properties and local businesses.  They should all be entered into your prospects list and networked over time.  It may take some time for you to connect with the right person and or get the necessary meeting.  Persistence is the key to getting the results that you require.

Prospecting in commercial real estate does not need to be complex; it simply needs to be done.  When you establish your own prospecting system and merge it into your time management processes, you will find that the property market will open up with the opportunity that you need.

Need more tips for networking and prospecting in Commercial Real Estate Agency?  You can get them here at our main website http://commercial-realestate-training.com/

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Commercial Real Estate Agents – Networking Local Businesses for Real Market Opportunity

commercial real estate agent looking to the sky
Local business owners are a great source of leads and opportunity for commercial real estate agents.

When you work in a commercial real estate agency you can get a lot of valuable information from the local business owners.  For this reason they should feature in your cold calling efforts every day.

Many agents will focus on just property owners as part of their networking process for new business; whilst that in fine, the reality is that the process is hard and slow.  It takes a lot of time to find the right property owners and chase them down for a conversation.  I am not saying that you should not do it; I am just saying that you should mix it up a bit and add the local business owners into the networking process.

Talking to new people every day is part of building your business and your market share.  When you do this regularly you will find that the property market and opportunities within it will open up for you.

How do you do it?

So how do you get to these local business owners?  The easiest process is in using the local business telephone book.  You can also door knock the businesses locally on a street by street basis.  Either way the process is easy.

Many commercial real estate salespeople tend to analyse the process of networking far too quickly and critically.  They think that they should get results from just talking to just a few people.  That is not the case.  On average, you do need to talk to perhaps 40 people to get one opportunity.  For this very reason, the networking process should be a daily event and continue throughout the year.  Keep yourself organised as you speak to new people; gather any leads and information into your database.

Not interested?

Many of the people that you talk to will not be interested in commercial real estate. For this reason, you should simply be asking a few questions to see if they have a need or a future interest in commercial or retail property.  There will always be plenty of business owners and property owners to talk to providing you get yourself organised and talk to lots of new people.

Commercial real estate is a specialised part of the property industry.  Landlords, tenants, and business proprietors will need your assistance from time to time providing you show them your relevance and provide local market knowledge.

When you establish the initial connection with new people, and have satisfactorily qualified them as relevant to you, keep the contact open so they can find you when the commercial real estate need arises.  You should be networking all of your contacts at least once every 90 days.  That is the secret to building market share.

Through this connecting and networking strategy, the following information will help you with future business opportunities.

  1. The business owners will tell you what is going on in the local area.  They will likely know the intentions of some of their neighbouring businesses when it comes to property activity.  They will also have observed changes and pressures that exist with their neighbouring businesses.  Asking the right questions will help you here.
  2. Some of those business owners will be tenants in occupancy.  For this reason they will one day require potential relocation and or market information relating to rental and leases.  Building a relationship over time with these people will help you tap into that opportunity when the need arises.
  3. Some of those business owners may share information with you regards the landlord that owns the property in which they are located.  That can then short circuit the process of finding the property owner.
  4. Some businesses today will own the property in which they are located.  Over time they can have pressures of occupancy, expansion, contraction, or relocation.  They may also consider a sale and leaseback strategy.  You can help with all of these things.  It is simply a matter of building the right relationship.

Sometimes we tend to complicate the networking and cold calling process.  It is not hard or difficult, it is simply a system.  When you understand that, and develop your own processes within the system, you can create massive opportunity in your local property market.

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How to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Market Today

Commercial Real Estate Agent giving Ok handsign
Develop the right systems to take your commercial property market forward with real momentum as a Commercial Real Estate Agent.

When you work in commercial real estate agency, it is important that you have a prospecting model to support your momentum and market share.  This is a personal process, and has little to do with the agency that you work for.  The agency may provide you with some profile, but they would not normally produce the required levels of listing business that you require to be successful or gain the mantle as a top agent.

Here are some tips to help your commercial real estate activities in growing market share and listing activity.

  1. Determine the geographic area in which you can locate listings.  The geographic area should be split into two zones.  The primary zone is where you will get the majority of your listings, and the secondary zone is where you will get other listings.  All of your prospecting effort should be focused into the primary zone.  Anything that comes to you from the secondary zone is pure luck and a bonus.
  2. When you focus your marketing efforts into a specific zone, the area should have sufficient property types and property numbers to allow you to convert regular business over time.  As part of the process, look at the history of the area to ascertain the commissions and listings that have been transacted over the last few years.
  3. Within the primary prospecting zone, look at the business community and its current business sentiment.  What are the factors of change?  What are the things that are changing through their business community?  What can you do to attract property enquiry in your direction?
  4. Research the number of competing agents in your primary prospecting zone.  Who are the agents that are more successful than others, and why is that so?  Is there sufficient room for you to be competing with these other agents?  What will be the points of difference to differentiate you from these other established agencies?

In commercial real estate today, the general property market may be somewhat slower and tougher, however the opportunities still exist for those agents that can systemise their approach and drive some real momentum.

When you look at your average business day, there really are only two or three things that are quite important.  Those things should feature in your diary on a regular daily basis.

In almost all situations, prospecting will be number one on your list.  When that occurs each and every day, you will drive better market share and you will create more listings.  Over time that will help you become the top agent in the local area.  Action is more important than words in our industry, so set the rules to your business, and take consistent action.

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Getting Some Goal Leverage in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

hi rise office building
Set some significant goals to build your commercial real estate career today. Move to the top of your market faster with a plan.

When it comes to winning business in commercial real estate agency, you cannot do so easily without having a reasonable plan and process to support you.  As part of that activity, you will need goals.  Goals are like the points of the compass that take you forward into the industry and will help you track yourself towards being a top agent.

It is notable that many agents and salespeople formulate goals relative to their property type and career from time to time.  Rarely will they stick to the plan; in most cases, the plan will be relegated to the bottom of the filing cabinet after it is created.

If you’re going to create a list of goals and a plan to achieve them, you really do need to stick to the process and keep the momentum heading in the right direction.

Established goals and targets should be reviewed on a weekly basis.  That will then allow you to adjust your processes and focus.  The commercial and retail property market changes throughout the year and on that basis your goals and targets will need to be adjusted.

There is no point getting to the end of the year and making a new year’s resolution with fresh goals and targets relating to your career and commercial real estate.  If you cannot stick to the goal process today, there is no point in doing it in the future.  That being said, there is massive opportunity in the industry for those that can get organized and focused.

The top agents of the industry work to a plan and that is why they are successful.  They understand what is required of them on a daily basis to consistently control property enquiry and attract the right listings.  It is all a matter of focus and the correct action.

Any goals we make in commercial and retail property are impacted by the following changes in the market:

  1. Listing opportunities in the local area
  2. The competitive agents that we must work against
  3. The amount of enquiry coming into your office from marketing
  4. Your local office business identity of your agency and office
  5. The supply and demand for property in the local area given the existing property and any future new developments planned
  6. The conversion rates that you achieve from sales pitches and presentations
  7. The stability of the local business community and the factors of property change that are resulting from that business community
  8. Your personal prospecting processes that are consistently implemented on a regular daily basis
  9. The size of your database and the accuracy of the information contained within it
  10. The regional and global economy as it relates to property ownership and investment.
  11. The availability of funds to allow businesses and property investors to purchase and or occupy commercial property.
  12. The amount of tenant enquiry coming to agencies in your local area.

There is absolutely no way that you can predict these factors 12 months in advance.  That is why the goals and targets process must be continually shaped and adjusted throughout the year.

Small adjustments to your plan that are regularly undertaken, will allow you to adjust your systems and daily prospecting systems.  The real way to achieve success in this industry is through prospecting on a daily basis, and supporting the prospecting process with personal professional skills and comprehensive industry knowledge.

If you really want to move ahead in the industry as quickly as possible, setting significant goals and formulating a plan should occur right now, today.

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Super-fast Cold Calling Success in Commercial Real Estate

business woman making telephone calls
Get your facts and research ready to make great cold calls in commercial real estate.

In commercial real estate sales and leasing, you need results when it comes to cold calling.  There is no doubt that the cold call prospecting process is a significant part of the business generation system that you should be running.  That being said, you still need to get results from your telephone contact processes.  Tracking your numbers as you make the calls is really important.

To get the call system up and running for you I have provided a number of tips that will help you with establishing the right mindset, and building the processes to support the results that you will achieve.

  1. The first two or three weeks in the call prospecting system are always the toughest.  That is because it takes time to develop a new habit, and you have had years of other activities to break or reshape.  Developing new habits are part of the commercial real estate business and certainly part of the prospecting process.
  2. Every day you will be contacting many people in the local area.  The key to the process is in making lots of calls in the easiest possible way.  When it comes to commercial and retail property, the best place to start is in the business telephone book.  Every business will have a relationship to commercial or retail property as a tenant or an owner.  When you ask the right questions, you will get the market intelligence that you need.  Local business owners will also tell you more about the local area and their immediate location.  It is very easy to telephone 50 businesses from the telephone book on a daily basis.  As you do this, you should track your findings and the comments from relative prospective business owners.
  3. To telephone 50 businesses, it takes about 2 hours.  You will not get through to 50 people during that time or establish 50 reasonable telephone conversations.  Those people that you cannot contact today should be put into the pipeline for a return phone call.  Out of 50 telephone calls, you should get through to approximately 15 to 20 business proprietors.  It is then simply a matter of asking the right questions.

Many salespeople look at the cold calling process incorrectly.  In our industry, it is very difficult to pitch over the telephone.  On that basis your initial call should simply be to find out if they have a need or interest.  Following that point of qualification, you can generate a meeting with the right people.  On that basis you will not be wasting your time.

The super-fast process to cold calling is simple and straightforward.  When you stick to the rules above, you will find that results are achieved.  Keep yourself focused and detailed when it comes to capturing information.