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Commercial Realtors – Cold Calling is Really Tough but Essential

Business man talking on mobile telephone
Cold Calling is an important part of a commercial real estate career

When you work in commercial real estate sales and leasing, you will find that the cold calling process is really tough to get started.  That being said, it is still one essential part of being a good commercial real estate agent or realtor.

The biggest challenges in the cold calling process are a combination of the following:

  • The ability to get organised on a daily basis to make the right calls to new people can be a challenge.  Many salespeople are not sufficiently organised.  Connecting with new people is a critical part of the role of a salesperson.  Many that have been in the industry for a long time will selectively connect only with previous contacts and acquaintances.  Whilst this is partly appropriate, you still need to find new people otherwise your market share will not grow.  People come and go from the market, so you really do need to know who they are.
  • The research required behind the call process is ongoing and extensive.  The research required should be done in the evening ready for the next day.  This is an organizational issue on a personal basis.  At the end of the working day, the prospecting research still needs to be done at a later stage ready for the next day.
  • It takes about 2 or 3 hours every day to do your prospecting.  Many salespeople can’t find the time in their diary.  Your prospecting time should be focused to a core time where you expect to be able to connect with the right people in reasonable volume.  That may be in the morning, the afternoon, or the evening.  Whatever that time frame is, the prospecting process should occur.
  • The telephone can be your friend in the process however you are required to develop a good dialogue to create good conversions.  Practicing will fast track your dialogue and prospecting conversation.  There are many good books to help you develop the process.  Importantly the dialogue should be natural and convenient for you; don’t use words and phrases that are artificial and canned.
  • Many salespeople struggle with the rejection factor that comes with cold calling.  Many of the people that you call will not want to talk to you.  That is a problem for some salespeople.  It may take 50 rejections to find someone who is willing to meet with you.  On that basis you need to accept the rejection factor.  Over time your conversions will improve.
  • Most salespeople may try the calling process for only a short time and then move on to other prospecting issues which are more convenient and less mentally challenging.

So the prospecting and cold calling process is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of your job as a salesperson in the industry.  You have a choice here.  Those that can master the process will always develop a better market share faster and more effectively.

When you look at a commercial real estate career, many opportunities exist in both property type and market segment.  That being said, the only way the opportunities can be nurtured is through the prospecting process.

If you have decided to make commercial real estate your road to better income and life opportunity, then prospecting will need to be seriously considered in your personal business model.  It really does not matter who you work for, but it doesn’t matter what you do.  You have a choice here.

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How to Map Your Territory for Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

In commercial real estate sales and leasing, it pays to map your sales territory so you know how to optimise the advantages contained therein.  This becomes even more important when you have a large territory to cover.  Here are some tips from our Prospecting Newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

Here are some tips regards identifying and tracking the activity in your sales territory:

  • Get large maps of the area covering the entire potential sales territory.  At the extremities of the area, define the road boundaries that will be at the very end of the territory.  You cannot sell and lease everything in the broader town or city, given that it is too hard to service; you will never create a dominant market share that way.  Top agents dominate, that’s the rule!
  • Inside the defined sales territory, circle the pockets of properties that produce more interest from the market, action, and attention.  You will know where most of the buyers and tenants congregate when it comes to business location and property investment location.  The pockets of properties should be segmented into A grade, B grade, and C grade opportunity.
  • Within the A grade property zone you will need to know the owners of all the quality properties.  This will require considerable research and effort over time.  You should also take the time to identify the tenants within each of the high quality properties.  The owners of the properties and the tenants within those properties should be contacted for potential new business.  Develop your prospecting model around this group.
  • The B grade property zone is that which has some reasonable activity although it may be in some transition or pressure when it comes to property occupation.  The property zonings or development plans may be changing, the tenants may be leaving or relocating, or the roads and highways may be difficult for access to the area.  Within the zone, you can identify the key property owners and businesses of some substance or relevance.  That means you should understand the ideal customer type that is attractive for your business model.  Select the right people to contact and remain active with from and networking point of view.
  • The C grade property zone will produce some new listing business but you recognise that it is not the desirable area for a number of local reasons and pressures.  It is likely that this precinct will have pressures on occupancy, high vacancy factors, and smaller businesses or property owners.  If any listing opportunity comes to you from this area, you should selectively decide whether the opportunity is realistic and achievable.  When in doubt, don’t take the listing.

When you split your territory into the three zones, you can understand where to focus your prospecting efforts and where your progress is being made.  Ideally you will be seeking to dominate your property type and property location over the next two or three years.  Top agents can do this when they dedicate real focus to the personal marketing plan they require.

Get signboards into your territory on all the quality properties that you list.  Prioritise your listings and prefer to take exclusive listings in most situations.  You want to be known as the agent that does the deals, not the agent that takes experiments in property marketing.

Need some help with prospecting in Commercial Real Estate?  Get our Newsletter right here.