In commercial real estate brokerage, you can and should mix and match your prospecting activities to the market conditions and target market. You can get involved in networking events and meet new people that way.
In this audio program, John Highman talks about the important prospecting concepts that help brokerage growth and opportunity.
In commercial real estate today there are all types of properties to work on as well as zones of activity. The opportunities are out there. That being said I get a lot of questions from new agents as to how they can tap into their property market effectively and directly. Some simple strategies will help. I have put together these notes on how that should be done.
In commercial real estate prospecting some people will want to do business with you and others will avoid any real connection. You will get the feeling that some people really do not care for a connection or information. Look for the ‘signs’, and understand what is going on (or not going on).
You can spend far too much time in chasing people that are ‘not interested’. Whilst it is great to have a good degree of professional persistence in prospecting, the fact of the matter is that you must protect your time. If someone is not receptive to your genuine approaches and communication you should remove them from your contact process and simple move on to talking to others.
In any town or city, there are plenty of people to talk to. Momentum is really important when it comes to growing your market share and your contact database. In most towns or cities you will have several thousand business owners and property investors to talk to. Finding them remains the challenge; however diligence will get you there over time.
Here are some guidelines to help you with a system for prospect and client communication:
Set some daily prospecting goals that you can relate to and believe in. That will usually involve a mixture of outbound calls, personal meetings, and property inspections. From that contact process you will find the people that really want to talk to you and build a relationship.
If you are at the beginning of your career and prospecting activity, start with some achievable numbers so that you can grow your momentum easily and effectively. Ultimately you should be prospecting for 3 hours every day. In that time you should be making 40 to 50 outbound calls. That can be a daunting target for many people. If you are at the early stages of your professional career and prospecting is a developing habit, then make 15 outbound calls every day until that becomes an achievable habit and target. From that point onwards, you can grow the numbers at five extra calls per day to reach the level of 50 calls. When you reach the level of 40 to 50 outbound calls, your prospecting time will be saturated with activity and meeting opportunities. At that level you can sustain reasonable activity and attract new business. From 40 or so calls you should be able to connect with 15 people. From that connection you should get 2 meetings per day. That is how you build your prospect list.
Practice your dialogue so that you can improve your connections and conversations progressively. In approaching a new person for the first time, the conversations should be based on trust and information. There is no point in pitching your professional services or pushing for a listing opportunity over the telephone; that can occur when you meet with the person and truly understand their needs in property today. Help the person trust you by providing valuable market intelligence and genuine property solutions.
So the key message here is for you to establish a contact and prospecting cycle based on trust; understand the necessity for filtering out the people that will not do business with you over the long term. Read the signs in any conversation, and avoid time wasting people. When you look at your sales territory and property speciality, there are likely to be many more people for you to research and connect with.
In commercial real estate brokerage, you can get accelerated prospecting results when you systemise the process. It is just a matter of understanding what needs to be done within your property market today based on industry trends and opportunities.
There are always plenty of opportunities to be had in sales leasing and property management. Here are some tips to help you improve your prospecting efforts and business outcomes:
In any period of 12 months, the property market will change in a variety of ways. Be sensitive to the changes when it comes to inquiry rates, and listing opportunities. Look for the patterns in property enquiry, prices, and marketing.
Understand the factors of supply and demand that will change the balance of property occupancy and ownership. Ideally your business community should be growing within the region. Understand the pockets of priority and desirable locations that the buyers and tenants are looking for. Focus on those high priority areas.
Split your territory or prospecting zone up into smaller segments. In that way you can focus your research and contact process. Ideally your territory should contain at least 2000 properties. You can split that zone up into groups of 100 properties based on a street or zone selection. From that point it is simply a matter of researching and contacting the property owners and businesses.
Every day make a priority to contact at least 25 businesses in your designated area. That process is quite easy given that you can use the business telephone book and the Internet to capture the required information. A simple cold calling process is quite effective here.
Every day research two property owners within your designated sales and leasing zone. This research can take time hence the allocation of only two property owners per day. Chasing down the required addresses and or telephone numbers is a strategic process and a high degree of investigation is required in most cases.
Connect with the professionals in the industry that have clients requiring property assistance. Normally the best people to connect with will be solicitors and accountants. Establish levels of trust and service with these groups. Over time it is quite likely that they will release some of their clients to you for property help and assistance.
Monitor the recent listings for all agencies and brokerages in your territory. When your competitors place a signboard on a property, it is an opportunity for you to network the surrounding properties and businesses.
Look for the property ownership patterns relating to sales and leasing activity. Generally speaking, beyond four or five years of ownership you will find a property transaction occurring. That will be because the priorities of the property owner will have changed or improved. They may then seek to sell, expand, or lease. Research the historic sales in the area over the last 3 to 5 years. That information will help you create a list of targeted prospects for the future.
Don’t make your prospecting efforts too complicated. Do the job and keep it moving ahead. It is better to progress in a controlled way than try to do too much too soon.
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