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Local Lead Generation Rules in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

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Establish your lead generation system for 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.

(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)

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
  • Growth pressures
  • 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:

  • Franchise groups
  • Bulky goods warehousing
  • Manufacturing
  • Storage
  • Transport

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:

  1. Create a list of streets for your location where the better businesses are located.
  2. Segment the businesses in size or type.
  3. Research the leaders of each business before you make the call or contact.
  4. Look for any property pressures in the location by travelling the streets and looking for the tell-tale signs of pressured property occupancy.

The good thing here is that there will always be local businesses looking for help in finding new premises. Whilst it is always good to know the owners of properties, you should also get to know the occupants as businesses as well.

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.

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Common Problems for Brokers to Solve in Commercial Real Estate Database Use

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Grow your database every day and talk to ever more people.

Like it or not, the database process in commercial real estate brokerage has to exist at a personal broker level, and it has to be up to date.  Old and redundant information in any database will bring with it problems and time wasting conversations.

Every broker should be very focused on their data growth, content entry and accuracy.  The process can’t and shouldn’t be delegated.

So It’s Logical!

So this sounds very logical and yet why is it such a problem?  Some brokers struggle with the processes of list management.  These are the most common issues in commercial real estate database creation and growth today:

  • Choice of the wrong record keeping process – Many agents and brokers still keep information on basic spreadsheets. They do so in an effort to contain costs and or for the purposes of simplicity.  The fact of the matter is that a spreadsheet with a lot of contacts will leave itself wide open to data loss and or errors.
  • Doing the work of data entry – It takes time to load data into a software program. Many brokers either do not have the time or do not want to enter data; they try to delegate the process.  Unfortunately the person delegated the work of list management has little involvement or commitment to the end result.  The message here is that the work has to be done personally by the broker, and the best time to do so is after hours at the end of the day.    Keep a standard form process underway so you can write things down during the day that could be required as a new entry in your lists.
  • Set targets for growth – Determine where your client and customer numbers are now. Set some simple growth targets of perhaps 5 new people per day.  Over time you will lose some current contacts as they will have moved on, so a growth strategy is important.
  • Making categories work for you – Categories will be required to help you find the right people to talk to. Split your list up into zones, budgets, property requirements, VIP’s, owners, tenants, and business owners.  Your selected software for recording the data should allow you to cross reference categories to find people and situations.
  • Regularly making contact – When a person is captured into your list, they should be entered for one reason only, and that is because they have a property interest now or in the future. From that point onwards regular meaningful contact is required with clients.  Talking to them or connecting with them at least once every 90 days will help with list momentum and new business conversion.

If you are looking for new business in commercial real estate today, the answer is in your list.  Refine your database activities and drive relevant contacts and conversations through it. Over time the listings will emerge as will the commissions.

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