Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Facts and Strategies

When you work as a commercial real estate agent or broker, it is essential that you develop and implement a prospecting program to generate new business leads. It is a personal process and it is not something that you can or should delegate.

I am amused sometimes when I hear that an agent has paid considerable money to a marketing company to ‘cold call’ their entire sales territory or market segment looking for leads and prospects to serve. Delegating the prospecting process to a marketing company or another ‘unskilled person’ is a waste of time and money. Commercial real estate is an industry built around personal relationships and trust; a marketing company or employed canvasser cannot offer that level of communication or service.

So why would a real estate agent employ such a ‘marketing firm’ to make prospecting calls? The answer in most cases is glaringly obvious; the agent doesn’t have the skill or the discipline for the prospecting process to be successful.

If you want to win the new business, then you will need to do it yourself. Yes, it takes time to get results and you will need to develop some new skills, but discipline will help you get to the results that you are seeking.

One thing should be said here; commercial real estate brokerage is tremendously rewarding for the sales people that can work hard and to a system or plan. Looking for leads and opportunities is part of the process or game. It’s a personal thing and it can’t be delegated.

Here are some way’s to find new business, better property listings, and good clients:

  • Redundant Properties – Some properties will move to a level of redundancy due to age, deterioration, change of zoning, or lack of tenants. When this happens it is time to move to the next phase of the property ‘lifecycle’. A good real estate agent can see the signs early and work closely with a property owner as they start to deal with the issue of investment change.
  • Vacant Land – As a city expands or suburbs change, vacant land will be rezoned for new development. Keep ahead of this opportunity by monitoring the planning and development applications at your local planning approvals office. Get copies of the public minutes of the planning committee meetings.
  • Old Listings – Some listings don’t sell or lease at the first attempt. What you can do here is withdraw the property from the market today and then revisit the property marketing effort a few months later in another and perhaps different marketing approach. Refreshing a listing is a valuable business process.
  • Open Listings – The best way to sell or lease a property is through an exclusive listing process. Open listings are very much a process of luck; most open listings stay on the market for a very long time and on average are far less successful when compared to the dedicated marketing efforts of an exclusive listing. Revisit old open listings to see if they can be optimised for a fresh marketing effort.
  • Larger Businesses – Local businesses are involved in property either as tenants or as owner occupiers. Business owners will need help with property from time to time. The best way to tap into that opportunity is through direct and ongoing contact. Cold call every business in your town or city and speak to them regularly about property needs and changes.
  • Surrounding Other Listings – When a competing agent puts a property on the market, you can use that listing as a reason to talk to all adjacent and nearby business and property owners. One property listing can be the catalyst to talk to others to see if they would like to compete or do something themselves.
  • Street Canvass – On a street by street basis, systematically move through your sales territory and research all property owners. Eventually you will create a good list of owners for your database. Ongoing contact will allow you to build valuable client relationships and the levels of trust that help grow commissions and listings.
  • Cold Calling – The telephone remains the most effective business tool that we have. Direct calls handled in a professional way will help you reach out to new people. Selectively researching the property owners and business people in your area will support the cold calling process.

A simple list like this will give you an abundance of property leads and opportunities. The secret to making things work for you is in doing it yourself.

7 Magic Marketing Tips For Commercial Real Estate Success

I never cease to be amazed. The other day I sent a survey to my clients asking what topics they’d like to learn more about and the response was unanimous – MARKETING. It’s funny because when we were all busy getting our degrees, certifications and real estate licenses we forgot to take a course on how to market our services. We never learned this stuff! The point of marketing is to generate a never-ending flow of prospects who call you! Who wouldn’t want that? I have come up with 7 Magic Marketing Tips (or Strategies) for Commercial Real Estate success:

Marketing Tip #1 – Brand Yourself as an Expert

Most individuals and companies prefer dealing with an expert. List ten ways you can be known as an expert in your niche and than start checking each one off as you accomplish it. Before you know it, you will be the “expert.” One of the best ways to be seen as an expert is to be published. Write articles, write newsletters, write a book, write a special report – just write.

Marketing Tip #2 – Don’t be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

Brainstorm ideas with yourself and/or others. Most commercial real estate professionals think alike. Every action step is the same. I have noticed that even though my clients want to try something different, when push comes to shove, no one ever will. Remember, if you want to get a different result, you have to take different action steps. This requires thinking outside the box. Be willing to take risks.

 

Marketing Tip #3 – Have a Marketing Calendar

Each November map out the next calendar year by putting in all the marketing steps you intend to take, the date (s) they will be taken, and the desired results. This can be written on a calendar (best method), entered in a spreadsheet or any other method you choose. The point is, plan ahead in writing and follow through.

Marketing Tip #4 – Have an Assistant Help Implement the Plan

You cannot possibly do everything yourself. When I work with clients and their marketing calendars we strategize to have as many things as possible be included that the broker does not have to do personally. For example, implement a postcard campaign where your assistant designs and sends a postcard on the second Tuesday of each month. Or, draft a newsletter but have it edited, improved upon, and sent out by somebody else. Perhaps have your assistant invite three people to join you for lunch each Tuesday (including making reservations and confirming each guest). You get the idea, don’t you?

Marketing Tip # 5 – Follow Up Regularly

This is a fact: 90% of commercial real estate brokers have poor follow-up. A lack of consistent contact causes valuable relationships to suffer, or even dwindle to the point where somebody else who’s stayed in contact snatches the business.

Marketing Tip #6 – Don’t Confuse Marketing with Sales

Before you can sell your service, you must have a prospect. Before you have a prospect, you must have a lead. Trying to jump from stranger to client isn’t a fruitful strategy. Instead, implement an effective lead- generating system (Learn how to do this by joining my Commercial Real Estate Success Inner Circle – watch for the re-launch later next month!). Focus your efforts entirely on generating qualified leads and keep your pipeline full!

Marketing Tip #7 – Don’t Give Up Marketing

Give your new marketing campaign a chance to work. Remember it takes five to nine times receiving a message before it kicks in. And, you must continue to stay in contact. If you don’t – your competitor will!

Tips to Hire a Commercial Real Estate Agent

If you don’t want to handle your relocation project or commercial lease renewal yourself, you can go to a commercial real estate agent. All you have to do is choose the right professional for your needs. Given below are 6 things you may want to consider during your evaluation. Read on.

Likability

A relocation or lease renewal is similar to a construction project. The difference is that it takes a bit longer than expected. So, it’s a good idea to go with someone who you like. This way you will enjoy throughout your journey and the process of negotiation may also go well.

Trust

Make sure the professional agent that you are going to hire can be trusted. It may be difficult to find out who can be trusted but it can be done during the interview. By asking a few relevant questions during the interview, you can get a pretty good idea as if they are trustworthy or not.

Conflicts of Interest

What does a conflict occurs? Actually, the conflict may occur when you go with an agent who already is a representative of many property owners in the same area. Now, the agent wants to serve you despite that the fact that they have given their word to the property owners that they will find a way to earn them the highest rate of rent possible. So, you may want to get a clear idea of the conflict severity and its importance for you.

Experience

Experience of the agent is of utmost importance as far as choosing the best professional is concerned. Ideally, it’s a good idea to go with a commercial real estate agent who has over 10 years of experience in the field. Their grey hair may be a sign that they have been in this business for years. You can ask about their experience during the interview.

Age

Age of the professional should not be taken as an evidence of their experience in the field. The million dollar question is how long have they been actively involved in the business. You need to keep in mind that commercial real estate is on the list of those businesses that people do part time. So, make sure you choose a professional who has been working full time as an agent. What matters is experience not the age of the agent. After all, age is just a number.

Specialization

Typically agents specialize in two ways. They can do it by industry vertical or location. As far as importance is concerned, location specialization carries more weight. An agent with location specialization has a pretty good idea of what is happening in the market. They know about the best deals and best property owners. Aside from this, their negotiation style is pretty impressive.

Long story short, if you have been thinking of hiring the services of the best commercial real estate agent, we suggest that you take these factors into consideration. This will help you choose the best service provider.