Technology in commercial real estate today can be an advantage but also a weakness. There are so many tools for us to use and yet so many of them are poorly used. Any real estate agency can then be improved if technology is correctly applied across the business. Gone are the days of the commercial real estate salesperson keeping their records and contacts in the back of their diary.
Typically the technology systems and tools available to us today will include:
- Mobile telephones
- SMS Technology
- Cloud based database systems
- Email auto responders
- Electronic newsletters
- Social media
So the list can go on and will change from time to time as new technology is developed and implemented. It is important that the tools we use are not a cheap substitute for a face to face connection and meeting.
Commercial real estate sales and leasing is really built around personal relationships and ongoing contact with sellers, buyers, tenants, and landlords. Rarely will you win a new business opportunity with someone that you have not met before.
So how do you find these prospects in your local area? Diligent hard work and good research tools will get you there. That being said, there is no easy shortcut when it comes to building your list of prospects and clients. Identify the key people in your marketplace and the important properties of good quality. When you list and sell and lease quality listings, the enquiry will come to you in a major way. That is how top agents build their market share and consistently maintain that level over time; they start from a base of quality listings on an exclusive basis.
So let’s go back to the issue of technology. It is remarkable how so many salespeople overlook the diligence and accuracy required for the maintenance of a database. There is no point in having a database unless the information is up to date and well maintained. Consider the following questions:
- Who will be entering the data into the database at the end of each day?
- How will the data be reviewed and upgraded?
- Who will be extracting the leads and opportunities from the database over time?
- Who will get the benefit of the lead or the opportunity from the database?
- Who are owns the information inside the database? This is particularly relevant when it comes to the termination of employment of particular salespeople.
A good database system that is accurate and up to date will allow you to record the necessary telephone numbers and E mail contacts for all qualified prospects. Someone in your office will need to check the integrity of that information over time and keep it up to date. It is very common to come across a real estate agency with a huge number of contacts that are really so old that they are irrelevant. It is quite effective to have one central person placed in charge of the database implementation system. Salespeople should be filling the system at the end of each day with the results from each and every telephone call and meeting. In this way the customer base for the business will grow and the potential market year similarly.
When a CRM System or database is well maintained, you can integrate into it layers of different contact including e-mail, newsletters, auto responders, social media, and website feeds. That being said, shortcuts should not be taken when it comes to making the ordinary telephone calls, prospecting, and face to face meetings. Nothing will replace the advantage of getting together with the client and building a relationship over time.
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