In commercial real estate brokerage, your cold calling systems should be coordinated to a plan and a process. Over time you can then improve your actions as the plan requires.
Cold calling is a very specific process of agent actions tracked to results; monitor the things that you are doing and watch what is working for you. When you know that your telephone calls are getting meeting conversions, then you improve them further; if meetings are hard to achieve then skill enhancement is required.
What systems do you have?
So what are the key factors to help you in coordinating and improving your prospecting model and cold call activities? Try some of these:
- Why should someone listen to you? – There has to be a central message to your call process. Have a basic strategy to the call that is useful to the person you are calling. Don’t make calls based on your needs, but focus on them; talk about the other person’s property and how something you are offering will be of use. That could be a special report, perhaps an update on recent sales or leasing’s, or even a chart of property market trends that you can send them.
- Don’t push the other person – Too many agents push a conversation in cold calling. That generally doesn’t work. Polite professional telephone conversations get more results over time. The important thing is that you have something of relevance to talk about.
- Understand your ratios with call conversations and outbound prospecting – When you track your numbers you can see what outcomes you are getting, and if they are fruitful. Whilst everyone will have a different set of numbers to work at over time, those numbers should be improving; that is why you should be making regular cold calls and watching the ratios.
- Create a pipeline of contact – When you connect with a person across the telephone in a positive way, they should then advance up the pipeline of marketing and ongoing contact. Over a period of time you then connect with ever more people in a positive and relevant way.
You can take these simple strategies and merge them into your prospecting and cold calling model. Understand why someone should listen to you and provide relevance around that fact. Grow your skills in cold calling so that your results improve and grow over time. I go back to the point that you should track your ratios.
In commercial real estate today, the cold calling process is still a very big and important part of what we do as agents. Each day you should be devoting 2 or 3 hours to the process. When you do this you find the opportunities and the prospects that you can serve.
Many agents struggle with the research and effort required to get a list of people to call. To help with that here are some thoughts:
- Choose one or two property investors in the local area to research each day. On average you should be able to contact one targeted property owner per day. Over time you will have built a list of 30 new property owners per month. This is a very powerful way to build your property owner contacts.
- The foundations for income and occupancy in commercial and retail property are in the local businesses and tenants. Make it a priority to call 40 local businesses every day. This process is easy as you can use the business telephone book for that. You can also use the internet. A business owner will quite likely tell you if they are a tenant, they own the property, who the landlord is, or if they need to relocate. All of that information is very valuable. Track the information in your database.
- Selectively contact solicitors and accountants in the local area. The best way to do that is by sending a letter first. Then you make the call. Introduce yourself and get to meet them. These business professionals will have clients that you can help with property matters. It takes a little bit of time for the levels of trust to be built up and the proof of experience to be established however there is very high value in this level of contact.
- Get in touch with property developers to see what needs they may have locally with current and new projects. It takes a bit of time for the relationship to be built here, but there is high value to you in doing so. Understand that most developers have
relationships with many other agents in your town. Don’t spend your valuable time at no cost until you know that the developer is committed to you.
The secret to making a call prospecting process work for you is in regularity. The process has to happen every day. It is a habit that takes time to create and you will need to prime yourself for the challenge. After about 3 or 4 weeks, the whole process gets a lot easier and results start to come in.
When it comes to commercial real estate sales and leasing, you really do need to consolidate your territory around you as the agent of choice. In most cases you will have many other agents in the same patch chasing the same listings. This then says that you should have total focus on your marketing and prospecting efforts.
Given the law of averages that applies to sales people today, most of your competitors will be fairly ordinary and underperforming when it comes to prospecting and territory building. Most commercial real estate agents lack a consistent and relevant plan of attack when it comes to building the local territory and market penetration. I guess they would say that they have too many other things to do.
This then says that systemized agents can consolidate their market faster and more effectively than their competitors. Whilst it is easy to say, is difficult to do; difficult in the sense that personal commitment is required on a daily basis to a plan of self-promotion and client contact.
You cannot list a property if the decision makers do not know who you are.
If the next year is important to you when it comes to quality of listings and growth of commissions, it is really important for you to now formulate your plan of attack when it comes to the listing territory that you control.
Here are some ideas to help you consolidate your market share and grow your listing opportunities.
- When one of your competing agents puts a signboard on a property, talk to all the adjacent property owners and business proprietors. It is quite likely that those adjacent property owners or business people may like to compete with the existing listing nearby. Whilst the competing agent should have already spoken to those groups, it is quite likely that they have not. With a little bit of effort, you can open the door of opportunity around all of the other agent’s listings in your area.
- Check out the history of property sales in the area over the last 7 to 10 years. The people that purchased property approximately four years ago and beyond are those people that are likely to again soon act when it comes to property sales and or leasing. Determine that group of people and establish contact in an ongoing and relevant way. Consistent regular contact will help you brand yourself as a relevant agent in the local property market.
- When you take a property or listing to the market, contact all of the local business proprietors personally together with all of the property investors. This personal marketing process will open the door on many other opportunities and leads. You need to get your name and face in front of more people to grow your market share.
- Every successful sale or lease transaction should be communicated into the local area personally and directly. This means placing telephone calls and letters to the right people and the business owners. When you create a successful transaction, it can help you consolidate your brand as a top agent.
Most of the business people that purchase and lease property today are locally based. They know the local area, and they also know what their clients require as to access and property type.
Keep your personal marketing program specific to a defined territory and property type. This will help consolidate your database and your local market knowledge.
You can get a lot more tips and ideas in our Agents Newsletter right here.
When it comes to your career in commercial real estate, nothing will fast track your results faster than a good prospecting model. This then says that a prospecting model should be established into your daily business activities.
Prospecting for new business is quite a specific task and very specialized. It should be regarded as something that requires practice and directed effort. It takes about 2 or 3 hours each and every day to develop a good solid prospecting model.
This should also say that prospecting should be undertaken before anything else is done within the commercial real estate office. If all salespeople within a commercial real estate agency did this, the volume of listings and the quality of enquiry would be far higher in just about all cases. That will make the market share for the office more significant.
Quality listings and quality properties produce good enquiry. It’s in tougher markets like this that we have today that we need a solid enquiry base coming from qualified prospects. This is where your database will become highly important as part of your business activities.
Here are some ideas to help you with your prospecting activities and system.
- Determine a specific territory of prospecting. That will contain the necessary numbers of properties and businesses that will produce the required commission that you want. Make sure that the historic activity in the area has been significant and will remain so into the known future.
- Get to know all the local property owners of significant and important properties in your territory. It does take time to identify property ownership structures and particular property owners; that being said, it still needs to be done and should be merged into your prospecting model. Tackling property owner at a time is a good strategy to adopt in growing this market share as part of your prospecting system.
- The local businesses and business community will provide a significant volume of enquiry for you. They will tell you so much about the local area and also of their property requirements. In many cases they may own the property in which they are located. They could also be tenants and on that basis they will require further leasing assistance at a later time. Currently they may provide you with details of the landlord for any direct enquiry and networking.
- Go through the old sales records in your local region. On average, most commercial and retail property will change hands in every 5 to 7 years. That being said, the cycle can be a good source of future listing opportunity. You simply need to identify the right people who have purchased or sold commercial real estate about four or five years ago. They will again be entering the property industry in some way or form quite soon.
- Older lease transactions may still be current with business tenants. They will however soon be reaching the end of the lease and require assistance in locating another property. Every business in your local area should be entered into your database for the opportunity that it provides. That being said, the tenants of today are also requiring local property market information. You can be the expert to provide that.
To make your prospecting model work, a process of constant contact should occur. The commercial real estate industry is built around trust and personal connection.
The first approach to a prospect, property investor, or business proprietor should be the simple beginning of a long-term relationship. Over time you should be establishing meetings with those people and opening the door with property assistance at the right time. Those being said do not forget about property referrals and referral relationships that exist with people that you already know. Top agents do this all the time.