In commercial real estate agency and brokerage, the process of ongoing contact and prospecting will help you with market share in a significant way. You simply need to ‘turn the key’ on client contact and grow it at each and every opportunity.
To make this process work for you, ensure that you have the following tools in place and ready to use:
- A defined geographical area defined on a map where you can focus your prospecting activities on a regular basis.
- A database that is simple to use and easy to access. It is preferable that the database will be accessible from both the office, and when you are out in the sales or territory region.
- A landline telephone system that you can use each day in privacy and without the distractions of a noisy and busy office.
- A computer that you can have at your fingertips as part of making direct cold calls and prospecting research.
- Travel through the main streets in your territory and visit the other listings that are currently on the market so that you can understand marketing strategies, prices, and rentals.
- Create a system of calls to occur at the same time every day. Normally you can achieve 50 outbound calls in a period of 2 hours.
- Build a simple prospecting dialogue that you can use in the early stages of cold calling and client connection. Over time this will become redundant as your dialogue will improve naturally.
So the process of ‘turning the key’ on client contact is to take the necessary prospecting action each and every day. In doing so, remember that the cycle of commercial real estate is relatively long. Most of the people that you talk to today will not have an immediate interest or need. They will however have some property challenges down the track and for this reason your database needs to allow ongoing regular contact each period of 90 days.
In connecting with new people as part of the prospecting model, remember the relationships between sales, leasing, and property management. Ask questions across each discipline to see if any pressures apply or any future needs could occur.
Here are some interesting numbers to help you understand how all of this works:
- In a period of 2 hours, you can make approximately 40 to 50 calls. Those calls will need to be researched the night before. The Internet and the business telephone book will help you significantly at the early stages of your career with this process.
- Eventually you will find some good clients and prospects to maintain contact with. You will need some selective criteria to understand exactly who you will be putting into your database and for what reason.
- In making approximately 40 to 50 outbound calls, you will connect with about 15 people. The others that you cannot connect with today can be pushed to the next day or later in the week for another ongoing contact. You will need a system to maintain the flow of interaction and return call process. Organisation is the key to help you here.
- When you connect with approximately 15 people per day, your target should be to create two new meetings. Those meetings should be established on the basis that the person will have a current or future need when it comes to commercial property.
- From each meeting and from each positive outbound call, maintain a process of repeat contact at least once every 90 days. When you know the person is ready to act in some respect, you can shorten the cycle to bi monthly or monthly.
Many agents and brokers struggle with the rejection process that inevitably comes with prospecting and cold calling. That does not need to be the case given that you are a commercial real estate professional and that your services are highly valuable to the right people. The prospecting process should therefore be undertaken on the basis of identifying the people you can help now or in the future.
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