There are just a few ways to generate lots of clients and listing opportunities in commercial real estate. One of the best strategies to use is the telephone. Cold calls and call prospecting should be a ‘non-negotiable’ part of the real estate business. Calls have to be made; new business can be converted more successfully when more calls are made.
Of course there are a few things to be practiced and refined in this prospecting process, so I have tried to simplify things for you. (NB – if you want more prospecting ideas for new business generation, you can get them in Snapshot right here – its free)
In this audio program, I share some effective call strategies that help when it comes to a prospecting model. Look at your real estate business today, and consider how these special processes could be added to your activities.
When you really understand the commercial real estate market and the brokerage activities in your location, you will fully appreciate that you should be talking to lots of local people in a regular and ongoing way. The database that you create from the people that you know and talk to regularly will be your pipeline of new business in so many different ways. (NB – You can get our free commercial real estate course right here)
Whilst some listings will come to you because of the brokerage that you work for, most of the high quality listings will be a direct result of your personal effort and ongoing contact with property owners, investors, and business leaders.
In those 3 categories of people you will find commissions, listings, and a good degree of property pain. So how do you get this important business activity underway? You make lots of cold calls in a regular and ongoing way.
Cold Calling Benefits
The principle and main benefits of cold calling can be best described in this way:
Building you personal profile
Finding new people that need property help locally
Tracking property changes locally
Finding new listings
Keeping up to date with market trends
All of these things fit quite specifically into the business of commercial real estate brokerage. If you are looking to improve your career in commercial real estate, then look to the strategies and skills in cold calling. Learn how to make more professional business calls every day in a relevant and logical way across property and business segments in your town or city.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the real benefits of cold calling and why you could consider it as an important part of your real estate model.
Learn the real and relevant skills behind making more prospecting calls in a positive way each and every working day.
Cold calling remains a frustration for many salespeople. Commercial real estate brokerage is no exception. The fact of the matter is that when you get the process of direct calling and database management under control, it gets a lot easier in connecting with new people and growing a valuable list of clients and prospects to tap into with property listings, sales, and leasing activities.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the things that are really important to a cold calling process and how that fits into commercial real estate brokerage.
In commercial property marketing it is better to look at the outbound call process as exploratory to see if you can help someone; you are not and should not pitch your services across the telephone. Simply see if the person that you are talking to has an interest or a challenge in property occupancy or ownership. There are always many things to talk about and discuss. If you are a real property expert for a location, the call conversation is easy and direct.
Here is the audio file on Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage:
In commercial real estate brokerage, you can find plenty of opportunity locally when you delve into the factors that support and drive the business community. When you understand the business community, you can turn that understanding into property leasing and sales activity.
Property Investments thrive and change when the local businesses are growing and relocating. As part of your brokerage prospecting model, get to know what businesses are doing and what they are thinking when it comes to growth and location.
Don’t be ‘Average’
Far too many agents and brokers wait for the listing opportunity to come to them through some inbound telephone call to the local real estate office; that is the slow way to grow market share.
If you want to get anywhere faster in our industry, then get out into the property market daily and talk to local business owners.
Find out what they are thinking about the pressures of their business and industry segment; some business segments are more active than others and that is what you can work with.
Ask questions about:
More or less space
Head office changes or merges
New businesses moving into the location
Improvements serving the business needs
Access to transport or end user markets
Lease duration or end of lease
The decision maker involved in finding new business locations
As an extension of this idea, you can work with particular types of businesses such as:
Bulky goods warehousing
So when you put these variables into a ‘local area equation’ of prospecting for new business, you can ask some valuable questions about business intentions, shifts, pressures, and requirements. Don’t be afraid to talk to new local people.
Local area business
Most of your new business will come from the local area. You want people to remember you so get out into your zone or territory and talk to the right people in a positive and direct way. Do these things:
Create a list of streets for your location where the better businesses are located.
Segment the businesses in size or type.
Research the leaders of each business before you make the call or contact.
Look for any property pressures in the location by travelling the streets and looking for the tell-tale signs of pressured property occupancy.
Somewhere in that owner/occupant awareness, you will find property change and churn requirements. Grow your property market on the basis of local area awareness. Talk to more people every day and build your business directly.
Perhaps the word ‘know’ here should be emphasized and explained. To actually ‘know’ a client or a prospect, you really should understand their property situation comprehensively, and they should trust you as an industry ‘expert’. That relationship takes time to develop.
Key Questions to Ask
Look at your database as it exists at the moment. Consider these questions:
Are you highly regarded by the people in your VIP database?
Would they refer friends to you when property issues arise?
How do you stand out as real and relevant to those clients now?
Would they say that you are the ‘industry expert’ that they trust?
Do they know you as a property specialist for your location?
Telephone canvassing is part of that. Here are ways that you can make that work in your brokerage business:
Cost effective – Today you can make many calls for very little cost. As part of that you can track your numbers of calls made, to leads identified. Over time you should see those numbers improve. Be aware of your time and its importance to the prospecting process. This doesn’t say that you should only make prospecting calls to find clients; it is one of a number of strategies that should be happening every day in your business career.
Regular and routine – Set aside time to make calls every day. Make a good number of calls to new people and also existing people. In that way you are building relationships over time and eventually converting more meetings.
Target meetings – From the calls made set yourself some targets relating to meetings with new people. It is realistic that you create 2 new meetings with new people each day, Monday to Friday. Put yourself in front of people; that’s what the business is all about.
Script development – What you say really does matter. Most of the people that we talk to in our industry are experienced in business and or investment, so the prospecting dialogue you use should be refined through practice and relevance.
Target specific groups – Make calls to groups of people, local businesses, and people in particular locations. Over time you can increase conversions simply by concentrating your call list and hence your conversation relevance.
So the message here is quite simple. Get your call prospecting started and refine it over time. That’s how you build your real estate business opportunities around you.
You will hear it frequently said that cold calling just has to be a part of a real estate prospecting model. Many agents and brokers struggle with the process and never really get it under control. That’s where the frustration is for many; they simply can’t get the skills under control or perhaps the focus is lacking.
One thing needs to be said here if your real estate business is important to you. The issue is that you must practice your skills at making calls and lots of them. There are plenty of people to reach out to and many ways to do that.
Focus Your Call Routine This Way
Here are some valuable ways to get things under control:
Best time of day – Choose the best time of day to make your calls. That will be the time when you can reliably get your calls done without disruption. Certainly you have to bend the rules sometimes when it comes to making calls because some deals and some client matters cannot be put off. Understand how you like to do your work and when you like to do that. Where can you get 2 or 3 hours per day to make your calls? The morning is perhaps the best time for most people.
Relevance in conversation – If you want people to listen to you, then you must have some relevant conversational facts to talk about. Those facts should be locally biased and interesting. Be prepared to talk about local property trends and changes. Be prepared to talk about identified changes that will bring interest and benefit to your prospect and client base.
Practice your words – Some words work considerably better than others when it comes to creating flow and interest in conversation. You can get some valuable books about ‘Words that Sell’, and ‘Phrases that Sell’. Merge some of those word concepts into your conversations and client contact methods. Practice will help you improve in that way.
Have a few stories to tell – Local stories about property issues and changes will always be valuable as you talk to many local people. Over the course of a year you can capture many good stories about property issues and changes. Choose the best stories. Master the art of storytelling; that’s what good salespeople do all the time.
Make lots of calls – Every day you need to make a reasonable volume of calls; that process will require research and a good database to track your progress. In a period of 3 hours you should be able to make 40 to 50 calls. If you are using the business telephone book to do that, the momentum you create will be valuable to the growth of your real estate business.
Track your progress as you make the calls – Make notes in your database of what people have said and what you decided to do for the people you have connected with. You can talk about call progress and previous comments when you next reach out to the same people. Familiarity will help you grow good levels of trust and respect in the people that matter.
Qualify the people in conversation – Good questions will help you know if you can be of help to the people that you call. Determine your relevance to them and when they will best benefit from your future advice. Tell them how you can help them and when you should be talking with them again. If you can see an immediate or pending need, create a meeting. The person to person contact process in commercial real estate is really important.
So there are some good things that you can do here with cold calling and commercial real estate prospecting. Are you up to the challenge of making the calls and providing the best property service for your local area? Show respect in your conversations with the people that will take your call and speak with you. Respect builds trust. That is how you can move ahead in your local area as a top agent.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.