When you start your career in commercial real estate, you need a mailing list and a database to build the opportunity that you require. From day one, you should be compiling and growing those lists at every opportunity.
The top agents in our industry are successful principally because of personal relationships and networking. Most top agents have a comprehensive and accurate database that they work with the every day. That is why you should start the process as early as possible in your career.
Given that you have nothing to start with when you commence your commercial real estate career, here are some tips to allow you to grow your lists and improve your networking.
- The easiest place to start is with the local business telephone book. Commercial real estate is centered on the business community in many different ways. Changes to occupancy, property usage, property location, and customer growth will always create flux and opportunity within the business community. On a daily basis, you should be connecting with at least 20 business people from the business telephone book. As to how you choose to do that is really up to you, however the cold calling process or the drop in meeting approach will work.
- Get some plans and drawings associated with property ownership through your territory. Over time you can systematically work through those plans to identify the property owners in each case. That being said, this process takes time and there is a significant amount of research associated with identifying the property owner. Set yourself a target of two property owners a day to be researched as part of this process.
- Drive through the local streets containing the active business community. Write down all of the business names and telephone numbers that you can see on a street by street basis. Record those details into a spreadsheet on a street by street basis. Over time you can work through this list of contacts and business identities.
- Visit the larger properties in your area that will contain a number of tenants. Check out the directory boards in each of the properties to make a list of tenants to contact. The easiest way to do this is through taking a simple digital photograph with your cell phone.
- Business groups, community groups, universities and colleges, and business seminars are all opportunities for you to network and gather business cards. The advantage of the business card is that it will usually be retained rather than discarded. It is perhaps the single most powerful tool that you have to assist your marketing efforts.
- Your website will give you an opportunity to grow your database. On your website you should have some offer of free information in exchange for contact details. You could have a special report available to assist commercial property owners to understand the strategies behind property purchase. The report will be of interest and therefore drive some greater enquiry from your website.
- Previous clients and contacts will allow you to expand your communication opportunities with referrals. Get back in contact with these people to open the door on referral opportunity.
Building a contact mailing list today is not hard. It just takes consistent effort and a system to keep you organized. There are other things that you can add to this list over time. Importantly the system should drive new opportunity your way at the right time. Establish your mailing list and start to build a relationship through it.