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Prescription for a Healthy Database in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

address book rolodex
Use your address book as a foundation for new business growth in Commercial Real Estate.

If you’re going to get anywhere in commercial real estate brokerage you need a comprehensive database that covers the marketplace for you. In simple terms, you need a healthy database that is up to date and growing in a regular and ongoing way.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

It is very hard to establish a career in commercial real estate today without a reasonable database to support ongoing contact and listing opportunities. The people that you know today are the sources of future opportunity if you work them correctly and directly; the need to be nurtured and shaped into the next sales, leasing, or property management appointment. Strategy and effort will help those outcomes.

Assess What Clients and Systems You Have Now

Look at your database activities as they exist today and decide how you can improve the depth of the data and the quality of the clients in the list. Understand where the next opportunities are within that list. Start talking to the right people in an ongoing way.

Here are some specific rules to help you establish a healthy database in your commercial real estate business as a broker or an agent:

  1. Segmentation – split the database into zones, price ranges, customer types, and property types. In that way you can successfully use the search facility to put together people and opportunities.  Make it easy to find the right people when you need them or when you have the right property to market.
  2. Up to date information – the data that you put into your list today is to be shaped and maintained over time. That information will change as will the property requirements of the clients and prospects that you know. Establish a contact program that allows you to maintain relevant and real information relating to each person and their current property situation. Look for pressures and the changes that they could be experiencing.
  3. Location based – in most towns and cities, property requirements will be centralized into particular streets and property types. On that basis you should focus your prospecting activities into a defined and active geographical zone. Assess your territory for the pockets of priority and property change. Look for the next levels of activity that you can tap into within the location.
  4. VIP Clients – some clients are better than others. Understand what a client should be for you and rank your clients on the basis of price sensitivity, timing, and location. When you find the right listing, you can make the direct contact in a relevant and real way.
  5. Email and Document integration – a good database will integrate into e-mail messaging, and document storage. Every communication and every document involving each and every client should be suitably stored and referred to through the database. Ideally, you want to access previous communications, messages, and documents easily and effectively.
  6. Marketing integration – when you get an enquiry for a particular type of property or perhaps a listing, that enquiry should be entered into your database. The subsequent dispatch of marketing information should occur from the database. Every brochure, listing, campaign, and method of sale or lease should be accommodated and managed through the database software program.
  7. Remove redundancies – don’t let redundant information destabilize your database. Every person and entry in your client list needs to be maintained for accuracy and relevance. Remove the redundant information in a continual and ongoing way. Enter new information daily from every meeting, conversation, listing enquiry, inspection, and negotiation.
  8. New information – given that you should be focusing all of your client contact and prospecting into a particular zone of your town or city, there will be new parcels of information that you can capture every day regards business owners, investors, developers, and owner occupiers. Carefully consider the categories, the segments, and the contact processes within the database that can then allow you to effectively capture the new information as you receive it.

If you are serious about commercial real estate brokerage, then you will be needing a database to support your activities in a regular and ongoing way.

Don’t take too long to understand that basic fact and the importance of creating your client list; start building your list and the necessary new relationships with valuable property people locally. That’s how you will grow your market share across sales, leasing, and property management.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

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Real Estate Agent – 7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Commercial Real Estate Database

Most commercial real estate agents will have a database.  More often than not the database they have or use will be well out of date and poorly maintained.  With all of this technology around us today you would think that the life of an agent would be easier?

I have seen agent databases that are many thousands of people only to find that most of the contacts are redundant, incorrect, or outdated.  My view is that it is far better to have 600 people that you do know very well, than 5000 people that would not know you from a ‘bar of soap’.  Our industry is built around the strength of relationships; remember that!

So, it’s the time of year where we should talk about refreshing and revitalising your database.  It’s a personal process, and you can’t delegate it to anyone else in your team.  Work your contact list comprehensively so you tap into the future deals in the market.  It’s that simple!

A good real estate database will help an agent do all of the following:

  • Provide leads and opportunities
  • Integrate into automated newsletter systems
  • Give you sources of commissions and listings
  • Allow you to dominate market share or property type
  • Track and measure all client contact

So why do agents let their databases ‘self-implode’?  It’s an interesting question; I think the answer has something to do with a personal lack of focus and not enough time to update the database information.

If there was a ‘golden rule’ in commercial real estate brokerage, it would go something like this:

‘Grow and maintain your database each working day.’

It’s a simple rule to understand; keep your business simple and centre your business on local people and prospects.  Talk to lots of people every day and track your contact processes in your contact database.  Ongoing relevant contact is required.

Here are 7 very good ways to ‘spring clean’ your contact list:

  1. Make 10 calls into your list every day to update contact information.  By calling people you already know you will find ‘changes to circumstances’ and future property needs just waiting to be tapped into.  That’s a very good reason to make calls every day!
  2. Check emails with all of your contacts so you can put them into an auto responder for ease of regular contact (you will need their permission to do that).
  3. Update mobile telephone numbers where possible so you can keep in direct contact when the right property listing comes up.  As part of that process, load all of your contacts into your mobile telephone for convenience of access and a ‘heads up’ when they call you.
  4. Check websites for the business people that you connect with.  You will find changes in information worth talking to them about.
  5. Segment your contacts into VIP’s, Sellers, Buyers, Tenants, Business Owners, and Developers.  Ask them about their property preferences and update your records accordingly.
  6. Ask your VIP clients and regular contacts about property requirements and timing of needs.  Whilst they may not require a property change currently, they are likely to do so in the future.
  7. Integrate your contact list to your social media, blog and your email newsletter.  Keep your communications business like and frequent.  You want to be ‘top of mind’ when your contacts are seeking property change or help.

It is relatively easy to ‘spring clean’ your database and keep it that way.  It just requires a daily process and consistency at agent level.