Why Telephone Canvassing is Essential in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Smiling businesswoman talking on cell phone uid 1173570
Make the calls and convert the meetings every day.

In commercial real estate brokerage, you need clients and lots of them.  Over time the greater the number of people that you know, the more leads and opportunities are available for you to act on.

(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)

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?

You can see why relationships are just so important in our industry.  The variety, depth, and strength of your relationships will drive better business for you.  You can use the telephone to build your client contact list and your prospect database.

Making this Work

Telephone canvassing is part of that.  Here are ways that you can make that work in your brokerage business:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

(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)

4 Essential Prospecting Skills in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

business woman sitting at table
Develop effective prospecting systems in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage.

Every commercial real estate agent should have a prospecting model.  In an ongoing way they should be connecting with new people each and every day.  That can be a challenge for some brokers and agents as they balance workloads and property listings.  The fact of the matter is that we should all be careful when it comes to personal time focus and client commitment.

Attract and Focus on the Best Properties and Clients

We should be focusing all or our prospecting activities and model on the best opportunities and the best clients locally.  Applying that back to the beginning of the contact pipeline cycle, we should be concentrating our prospecting skills into the best segments of the market and particularly the best people owning an occupying the prime buildings and the prime properties.

We all get our fair share of poor quality listings and redundant properties.  That being said, we do have a few choices to make when it comes to accepting a listing and working for a particular client.  As you grow your market share, be increasingly selective as to the properties that you list, and the clients that you work for.

Size Matters

The larger properties and the better listings will always create better enquiry churn and activity from your marketing activities.  If you focus on the higher quality listings within a location, the levels of enquiry will always be higher, more active and interesting.  That is how you can build a pipeline of investors and prospects faster within a location.

Here are some ideas to help you improve your prospecting activities within your town or city:

  1. COVERAGE: Understand the coverage of your prospecting activities. There is no point in spreading your prospecting activities across a huge area or a large town.  You have limited resources and time to cover the market.  Consider your territory and split into priority precincts of prospecting focus.  You should have your primary zone of prospecting.  Most of your new business should come from that defined area.  Everything else outside a primary zone will be a secondary focus; listings may come to you from the secondary zone but you would not specifically prospect into the secondary zone.  Understand your time as a resource, and focus all of your prospecting on a time basis into the primary precinct of property activity.  Typically you will need about 2500 properties to focus on in that primary precinct so you will need to get organised.  Over the year you can get to know all of the best property owners, the business leaders, the lease expiry dates, and investment opportunities.
  2. LOCAL PROPERTY: Focus within particular property types locally. When you focus your prospecting activities within a particular property type, you can get to know exactly what’s happening when it comes to prices, future supply, and time on market, contracts, and leasing.  You can also predict what challenges may exist when it comes to the segment and the location.  That then allows you to adjust your marketing activities and any negotiation factors that arise.
  3. PRIME PRECINCTS: Get to know the owners of quality properties in prime locations. As a commercial real estate specialist, you will already be focusing on certain segments of properties such as office, industrial, or retail.  Within those segments, identify a small group of prime properties locally.  Determine the ownership identity of those properties and make contact.  Connect with the owners and build relationships at professional level.  Understand that those property owners are likely to be talking to many local agents, so your connection will need to be comprehensive and professional at all levels.
  4. THE BIG END OF TOWN: Track the property ownership and occupancy activities of the larger businesses and corporations in your primary prospecting precinct. Certain businesses will be more successful than others and therefore more active when it comes to property.  Certain industries will be looking for resolving factors of expansion and contraction.  You can and should focus your prospecting into the active segments of the local companies and businesses.

These four simple approaches to commercial real estate prospecting will help you find the right people to talk to in a timely and ongoing way.  Focus on building relationships.  As a general rule, don’t list or work with low quality listings unless there is a bigger agenda to support the approach.

Understand that your pipeline of prospecting will be an ongoing event and will require a commitment at a personal level to keep up the momentum and the persistence.  Over time you should be talking to many hundreds of people in an ongoing and relevant way.

Keep it moving

Connect with all the people in your database at least once every 90 days.  When you can identify a property need or challenge, the frequency of contact will be shortened to monthly or even weekly.

Relevance is the key to making the contact prospecting process work effectively with reasonable levels of conversion.  The relationships and the trust that you build through that regular contact will eventually lead to listings and property requirements.  That’s how any top agent will build market share and grow market relevance.

You can get more prospecting tips for commercial real estate brokerage in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.

Develop Some Simple Territory Tactics in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

Commercial Real Estate Territory Planning
Commercial Real Estate Territory Planning

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.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in commercial real estate sales, leasing, property management, or tenant advocacy; the same rules apply.  You can get my base territory planning strategy here in pdf form.

Tips for Making Successful and Professional Cold Calls in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

black telephone
Make more high quality cold calls in commercial real estate.

 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Classic Commercial Real Estate Sales Letters

address book
Send prospecting letters in commercial real estate.

In the commercial real estate brokerage today, the classic sales letter will always create opportunity for an agent or broker if the process is put in place successfully and consistently.  It is necessary to understand the logic behind the process, the timing of the letters, and the requirement to do it regularly.

It is a fact that the e-mail prospecting process has taken over a large section of the real estate industry.  For this very reason, the traditional sales letter sent through the Post Office System will create a major point of difference in marketing when it comes to the prospecting activities of an agent or a broker.

If you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to your marketing efforts, merge the sales letter process into your personal marketing efforts.  Here are some rules to help you:

  1. The sending of letters needs to occur regularly.  Send your letters to groups of prospects on a monthly or bimonthly process.  Given that each letter is specifically written for the target market of property owners or tenants, it is quite easy to group your prospects into segments.  At different times of the month you can send your letters to selected segments.
  2. So a key factor here is to write letters specifically to the targets within each group.  You can are groups for landlords, tenants, business owners, investors, and developers.  Specific letters are used in each case.
  3. As a general rule, and wherever possible, take the time to follow-up each letter with a telephone call.  If you know the telephone number of the person concerned, make the call.  Many letters will help you convert more meetings.
  4. It is preferable that the letter process is simple and select.  Three or four paragraphs on a single page will get the message across.  Sign your letters individually and ensure that they are personally addressed to the people concerned.  Enclose your business card with every letter.  You are marketing yourself and your contact details; that is what the letter and the message must do.
  5. Given that this is a prospecting process, the letter is designed to connect with the person you are sending it to, so that you can get more meetings and opportunities.  On that basis the message and the letter needs to be simply designed.  Do not fill the envelope with bulky marketing material that will confuse the central message.  Marketing letters are best left to a different approach and a generic mail system.
  6. Make it easy for people to contact you as part of the mail out.  Some people will call you as a direct result of getting the letters regularly.  That is why you enclose your business card as part of the process.  It is quite likely that the receiver of the correspondence will keep your business card for future reference.

So the direct mail process is a real and important part of the commercial real estate brokers marketing system.  Make it an important part of your regular marketing efforts.

Get more tips in our Newsletter right here.

Cold Calling Success in Commercial Real Estate Today

In today’s commercial real estate market there are so many challenges for agents to address and conquer.  On of the big ones is prospecting for new clients.  Cold calling helps the process greatly but so many agents struggle with the rejection factor and the organisation that is required on a personal basis.

Here are some tips on audio MP3 to help agents with their prospecting efforts and outbound calls.

If you want more resources you can get more tips like this at my main website on commercial real estate training.

Symptoms to Watch for in Commercial Real Estate Agency

graphs of results
Look for the symptoms of change in commercial real estate agency

In commercial real estate agency there are certain market symptoms for you to watch for.  If you like they are the symptoms of change.

I like to think that any property market is an ‘agents market’.  The buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords will all suffer some market pressure and change, but we are the professionals that can choose our responses and actions.  The commercial property market is full of opportunity for those agents that look for symptoms and adjust their actions accordingly.

So here are some ‘symptoms’ to watch for:

  1. New property developments will throw some pressure on supply and demand for occupancy space and property ownership.  Check out the local planning office monthly to see what new property developments are coming up.
  2. Market rents will change seasonally, and for other reasons.  Understand the ‘seasons’ and what happens to lease or tenant enquiry as a result.  In some cases it pays to regulate the timing of property to be marketed for lease.
  3. Incentives will change in your local area when it comes to leasing.  The idea behind an incentive is that the cost of it is loaded into the balance of the lease term.  In other words the landlord gets back the incentive cost and interest from the lease structure.  You can build this extra cash flow from the rent review structures placed in the lease.
  4. Time on market will change each year by property type.  It is also a ‘seasonal’ factor to be watched.  Some properties will have a long ‘time on market’ factor, whilst others will move quickly to a transaction.  You must understand the reasons for either and both to occur.
  5. Certain price ranges will be more acceptable to the market throughout your region and during the year.  Keep the local sales records active so you can see what price ranges are more active than others.
  6. Renovation and refurbishment will be factors of change that can apply to older and redundant properties locally.  There is opportunity to be had here with the right properties that need to go through some usage change and property repositioning.  Look for the properties that need to go through this cycle of change.
  7. Always track the types of property enquiry coming in to your agency and how that enquiry is coming to you.  Understand what those people are looking for when it comes to a property or location.  This current property enquiry from all your listings will give you hints as to what is happening locally and how you can satisfy the demand.

Property research is easy in commercial real estate agency when you know what to look for.  Keep your records accurate and up to date.  You will then know how to improve your prospecting and marketing efforts.