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Develop an Action Plan for Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

city buildings at sunrise

When you create an action plan for prospecting in commercial real estate brokerage, you have something to work with that can help you find the right clients and listings.  Most prospecting plans require modification and refinement given that most property markets will change throughout the year.  The important issue here is that you also change your approach accordingly, and keep new contacts and prospects flowing into your database.

So you need an action plan.  That plan is something that you can do every day to reach new people to talk to and connect with.  Have you got one of those plans now?  If not this will help you get started:

  1. Understand that you are the person to drive the prospecting plan and all the stages of it.  Diligence to the process is required.  You can’t take a day off or ‘cheat’ on the tasks required.  When you define the actions to take, they simply have to be done.
  2. Define your territory to focus on.  That will be ‘geographically’ so that you can concentrate on the streets, property owners, quality properties, and listings in a logical way.  Split up the area into segments to be covered and worked.  Ideally that will be in segments of 100 properties.
  3. Understand your property speciality in all respects.  Most of the clients that you work with require an agent that is really experienced in the property type and the market; the client must see that you are the ‘real deal’ when it comes to understanding the property and what to do with it.
  4. List high quality properties as a preference.  On that basis be selective in what you list and why you do it.  It is a fact that any quality property will create better levels of inbound enquiry.  In that way you can create more inspections and create leverage in negotiations.
  5. Letters should be sent to property owners locally and the required follow up calls should be done.  Don’t send letters and hope that the prospect or property owner will call you back; it is highly likely that they will not.  You are the key to getting momentum from your prospecting letters.  Only send out the required number that you can follow up in calls.  A good number to start with is 5 letters per day.
  6. Each day call at least 25 business people, tenants, property owners and any others that may have an interest in commercial real estate today or in the future.  Ask the questions to see what they are doing now with property.  Qualify them before you seek a meeting.
  7. Conversations are the secret to finding the leads and the opportunities that you require.  Talk to lots of people every day and leave your business card with all the people you speak to.  You really do not need much in the way of other marketing material.  Your business card is the key to the process.
  8. Other listings, sales, and leasing should be watched for action and opportunity.  Monitor your competitors and the factors of time on market.
  9. Track your momentum with a good database.  People of substance and relevance to commercial property should be spoken to frequently, and a database will help you do that correctly and specifically.

Your prospecting plan doesn’t need to be complex, but it does need to be done.  It’s not something that you can delegate.  Personal action is required.  The processes that you create can take you to the top of the commercial real estate market much faster.

You can get more tips like this in our newsletter right here.

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Detailed Cold Calling Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

man lifting telephone headset
Create a cold calling model of prospecting in commercial real estate.

The process of cold calling in commercial real estate brokerage is essential if you want to drive more clients and listings into your database.  The process is so logical and yet avoided by many.

Here below are some tips from our Newsletter.

Every so often you will hear some agent or broker say that ‘cold calling doesn’t work’.   They are of course giving themselves some reason to not make the calls and avoid the process.

It is a fact that the top agents of the market are not afraid to make lots of calls every day to new people.  The important issue here is that they are talking to both new people and current contacts.  They are growing relationships on a daily basis.

Our industry is based on relationships.  Get to know many property investors, tenants, business owners, and property developers.  Keep in contact with them for the long term.  Trust is a big issue when it comes to attracting new listings to your agency or brokerage.  It can take months if not years for some prospects and clients to be in a position to move on a property matter.

So here are some detailed cold calling tips to help you grow your real estate business:

  1. Determine your market area and targets.  The market area is likely to be a part of a town or city and that should be determined by boundaries.  Stay within your boundaries and get to know all the properties and property owners inside the zone.  The targeted properties are likely to be by type and size.  On that basis travel the streets in your sales and leasing territory.  Find the quality properties and network the property owners and or landlords.
  2. Call times should be set that work for your business and the people that you should be talking to.  Ideally you should be making calls for 2 or 3 hours every day.  That will take some discipline in your diary.  Don’t let others interfere with your prospecting plans and efforts.
  3. Record your numbers relating to calls out, calls connected, meetings arranged, and listings created.  Over time you will see those numbers improve.  The improvement can be fast tracked through practice each morning when you first arise.
  4. A conversational approach works better in prospecting.  Don’t pitch in any way; you really have no idea of the needs of the other person, so a conversation will get you further into understanding future opportunity.
  5. Get a good database to track your call results.  Simplicity and flexibility are important with a database.  Protect your data and keep it up to date.

If you want more listing and commission business in commercial real estate brokerage, you will get there a lot faster with a professional approach to cold calling.  Understand that most brokers avoid the process, and on that basis it can be a major source of leads and new business for you.  Remain confident and make more calls.

Join our Newsletter for more tips for commercial real estate agents and brokers.

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Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate Today is Not Dead But Very Alive

Far too many commercial real estate agents look for excuses not to make cold calls and prospect in commercial real estate.  Here are my thoughts on that to help agents develop better prospecting systems and models.

If you have been struggling with cold calls, now might be a good time to consider lifting your skills.  Have a listen to the audio.

This is part of a larger commercial real estate training program on cold call prospecting and networking for agents by John Highman.

You can check out our other website for more information on that.

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Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Model

commercial real estate agent on the telephone
You can perfect your cold call process in commercial real estate agency.

In commercial real estate you must prospect for new business every day.  In that prospecting time, 50% of the time should be spent on people that you already know and are progressing up the contact pipeline, and the other 50% should be spent on the new people and property owners that you have not spoken to before.

When you follow this model of prospecting, you find that your market opens up with opportunity; the clients and contacts that you know will expand.  From that action plan you see the new business that you need.

It is a fact that many agents if not 90% of agents do not prospect enough.  They like to find excuses to move on to other things.  When they get busy, the first thing to be avoided or removed from the diary is prospecting.  That then leads to a market downturn and decline in listings and then commissions.

Here are some rules for prospecting in commercial real estate:

  1. Don’t work with a small group of clients and prospects.  This will expose you to loss of income when a client moves away or stops activity in property.  It is better to have your main client list (the ‘A’ list) and then a secondary client list that you can move into or escalate when the ‘A’ list is shrinking.  As a general rule you should have an equal number of people or prospects in your ‘A’ and ‘B’ list.  Prospecting on a regular basis will help you with the numbers in each group.
  2. Know what your idea client looks like and where they are located.  When you get focused on a specific client you can target your prospecting for better effect.  Top agents tend to focus on clients with large properties or portfolios of multiple properties.
  3. Know what your ideal property listing will be and where it is located.  This focus helps you with organised prospecting.  Keep to a geographical area so you can methodically go through your region with focus on properties and clients.
  4. The prospecting efforts between sales and leasing, versus property management are a bit different.  The best agents can work with sales and leasing quite well.  Be aware of the property management opportunity and have someone to service it with you or for you.  That being said you will need the right people in the agency business to take on the workload.  Commercial property management is quite special.  The same can be said for retail shopping centre management.

These are quite simple rules to follow; simple to create, but hard to do.  Prospecting reluctance is a big issue for some agents.  Take on the task and get better at it.  Soon the business will come in.

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The Perfect Cold Call in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

commercial real estate agent on the telephone
You can perfect your cold call process in commercial real estate agency.

Most commercial real estate agents hate cold calling and will avoid it at all cost.  That simple decision costs them dearly in market share, leads, and opportunities.  If you are in the industry by choice, you will need to do some ‘hard stuff’.  Telephone prospecting is one of the most important to do.  Here are some tips for agents from our Newsletter.

Master Cold Calling

To work in commercial real estate agency you have to master the cold calling process.  Each day you should spend 2 hours on the telephone talking to new people that you have not spoken to before.  It is a time factor that requires discipline and focus.  If you can master the art of call prospecting, then you will rise to the top of your market a lot faster than most.

The big factor in moving ahead in the industry is for you to practice and refine your call contact processes.  Who should you call?  Here is a list:

  • Property owners
  • Property investors
  • Business owners
  • Owner occupiers of commercial and industrial property
  • Tenants
  • Property developers
  • Property professionals (solicitors, accountants)

When you look at a list like this you will soon know that some of these people are hard to find and contact.  For that reason you should call the people that are easy to find first and then research the rest on an ongoing basis.

Keep it Simple

Business owners are simply taken from the telephone book or by researching the businesses located in the streets in your territory.  You can call 40 of those per day quite easily.  As to how many you get through to, the number will be less than half; that being said, you simply make the calls and keep doing so.

In contacting property owners you will find that the process is slower and more tedious.  That is because the property owners can be hidden inside company structures or property trusts.  Allocate yourself a target of researching 1 new property owner per day.  At the end of the week you will have spoken to 5 new people that have a solid interest in quality property.  Over time that connection will pay dividends when it comes to leads.

Watch Out!

Making all these telephone calls is one thing, but you should be aware of the ‘Do not call register’ and legislation or laws that could apply in your area.  Do not break the law when it comes to making calls.  In most cases, the business people and owners that you call are not impacted in the same way that private people in residential situations may be.  Understand the calling laws and stay within them.

The perfect cold call is a systemised process that occurs every day to a plan.  You can develop your dialogue, call contact systems, database, and follow-up systems to take you forward.  Start practicing and you will get there faster.

You can get some more tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents in our Newsletter.