Commercial Agents – Build Your Commercial Property Business on Cold Call Prospecting

In commercial and retail real estate, the cold calling process is quite important to building your market share. Many agents and salespeople struggle with the cold calling process and the necessary mindset to make it work. In the end they will avoid making cold calls at every opportunity. That then produces a slower growth of market share and territory development.

You have a choice to consider and a process to develop. Consider the following ideas.

  • If you want to build your market share and achieve a greater number of quality listings, then the best way to do it is through a defined prospecting process including a daily cold calling effort. Over time these processes will build new leads and opportunities. The system really does work, however it does require specific focus and diligence on a personal basis.
  • When you start off in the industry, you really have no prospects to talk to other than the people and businesses you find in the telephone book. That is a good place to start; contact all the local businesses in a systematic way. From that point you can then contact specific property owners and large local businesses.

You will need some form of simple database to record your findings and activities when you get prospecting up and going for you. Initially you can use a simple contact address book system that allows you to take sufficient notes with the people that you speak to. When you are ready, you can export this information to a more comprehensive database that you purchase at a later time.

Only purchase the database software that you know will work for you; study the alternatives that are available and test them out.

So when it comes to this prospecting model, you can make excuses or you can take definitive action. You cannot do both in prospecting. Here are some tips to make the system work for you.

  1. Develop the mindset to support the process. When you make the calls, you are simply seeking to understand if the person has a need or an interest in commercial real estate. The initial call is a questioning process and not a pitch. Create a conversation with the people that you call.
  2. Build prospecting and calling time into your diary on a daily basis. Consider the best time of day you to reach the segments of prospects that you would normally talk to. Your choice of time really comes down to the property type, the local area, and the way in which you do business.
  3. Practice your telephone approach. Given that most of the people you call will not have heard from you before, the initial telephone call should be a simple introduction and questioning process surrounding their interest and activities in commercial property. There is no point in having a pitch based around your services, as that can come later when and if you meet with the qualified prospects. Further to that concept, pitching over the telephone is really difficult and a special skill. You really do not know if they have a need or an interest in commercial property so ask questions first.
  4. Not everyone wants to talk to you when you make the first call. So don’t get offended if they push you away or will not talk to you. Forcing a conversation where it is not required or warranted is unnecessary. It is far easier to move on to the next telephone call and the next opportunity with someone else.
  5. Keep the process moving on in a positive way, and track your ratios. You will find over time that your ratios of call conversions to meetings will improve. As you track your ratios, you will see this change and hence you can develop further confidence in the process.

Success and call confidence takes about one month of persistence in making calls. Every day you will find simple examples of better conversions. Your confidence will build and your meetings will start to occur. If you want to fast track the results you are achieving, start practicing your telephone conversations in a role playing effort with a friend.

Cold Calling – Why So Many Commercial Agents Hate the Process

Lots of commercial property agents and other salespeople will tell you that cold calling doesn’t work or that they have tried it and it didn’t work for them. The fact is that all of those negative people are really not much good at the process, so they have decided to do something else to build their market share. They have taken the easy way out. So why listen to them?

The facts of the cold calling process are that it really works if you put in the effort every day and that you seek to improve your skills. There is really no point in even trying this special prospecting process unless you are prepared to keep it going and improve personally as you do. Success awaits those that have the discipline.

So the calling for new business process is really hard for some agents and salespeople because of the following:

  1. It takes too much time out of their day and that upsets everything else that they think that they have to do.
  2. They have to get really organised to find the right people to call each and every business day. This is hard for some to get sorted and solved.
  3. Many salespeople do not know what to say in the call and give the impression to the other person on the end of the line that they really hate the process.
  4. Some salespeople lack a good database to record their efforts, or even worse, they fail to track their results in a database.
  5. They have not defined exactly who or what type of prospect they should be calling. They simply make too many calls and many of them are to the wrong people.
  6. They fail to track their numbers in making the calls so they really have no idea when they are improving.
  7. Many salespeople do not like the rejection process that comes with 80% of the calls that you make.
  8. When the business gets busier, some salespeople simply drop the call contact process and go back to the ‘order taking’ system.

So you have a choice here; you can either take the ‘easy road’ with only a few new calls each day to new people, or you can drive your business ahead by finding lots of the right people to talk to and making a habit of doing it each and every day regardless of other pressures and issues.

The people that cold call prospect each day in commercial real estate really do drive faster business growth for themselves in commercial real estate. Expect the process to be hard, but your consistent effort will get you through. The process of consistency takes about 3 months and then you will know that you are doing the right thing and in the right way.

Commercial Agents – Tips for Advertising Commercial Property on the Internet

When it comes to advertising your commercial property listing on the Internet, the strategy you adopt is really important given that many other properties will be similarly listed in the same general location or suburb. In other words each listed property has to be individually optimised for the internet advertising process. If you want enquiry from your marketing efforts on the internet, then you have no choice.

The Internet is one of the most convenient and effective ways to advertise commercial and retail property today. It is cost effective and conveniently accessed by the people looking to buy or lease property. Just about every property that is available for sale or lease will be placed on the Internet, so you have some competition to handle and position against.

In any given suburbs and for any property type you are likely to have 50 or more properties competing against you as the salesperson or property owner promoting the property; sometimes (and in the case of CBD or capital city property) this number is even more difficult.

The numbers can be stacked against you as the marketer of property. This is where the expertise and experience of the commercial agent becomes crucial to the marketing and promotion process.

Today you can simply not advertise the property and hope that the results will come in the door or a cross the telephone. You need to think about the Internet Marketing process as it applies to the particular property listing and then you need to apply particular processes and strategies.

Here are some ideas to help you:

  • List your property on industry based websites that are well accepted and proven promoters of commercial property. Get some statistics from each of the website portals to understand their positioning and results on the search engines.
  • Design the adverts for the property around the relevant features, improvements, and location. To achieve this, you really do need to understand the target market that will be attracted to the property. The advertising needs to be appointed to the target market in a way in which interest can be optimised.
  • Use keywords within the property advertisement that are used currently in accessing properties through the search engines. You can do a keyword search with most of the search engines to understand the types of enquiries that are being made currently.
  • You can pay for priority placement in some of the search engines and commercial property website portals. This comes at a premium but is very relevant for quality properties.
  • Send out emails to your database and prospects, with links to the particular property advert on the internet. There are some good software packages available that do this very well. Track the opens and the hits on the email.
  • Break the advert down into simple form and presentation. Dot points that feature the attractive aspects of the property should be used in preference to the long and drawn-out sentences that we have seen in the past.
  • They say a picture is worth 1000 words. When it comes to property advertising, the observation is relevant and a real. As part of your marketing campaign, get some professionally prepared photographs of the property taken at the best times of day. One or two photographs should appear at the top of your advertising.
  • Develop a caption to place consistently across all the advertising material. The caption should be relevant to the target market and attract interest.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you to make further enquiries. It is questionable whether the address of the property should be placed on the advertisement. This can sometimes lead to lost enquiry not reaching the agency. In simple terms you want people to ring you. When they make contact, you can optimise the enquiry and qualify the inspection.
  • The method of marketing and advertising on the Internet should be optimised for the first three or four weeks of the advertising campaign. It is a proven fact that most enquiry with most property types come to you during this period. It is also a known fact that most people tend to review properties listed on the Internet between the days of Wednesday and Saturday in each week. If you track your website hits, you will likely see that this is a proven fact.
  • Every property listed on the Internet should have the page hits tracked from the start of the campaign. In this way you will know how a particular property is comparing to others that you have listed. If you cannot see reasonable improvement in Internet hits from the start of the campaign, then you should review the advertising for different wordage and placement.

As a permanent and long-term strategy for your personal Internet profile, it is best that you write industry based articles about your property type specialty and location, and then place them on a personal blog. Providing you adopt this strategy regularly, you will find that the personal profile of your name and property specialty will improve. This will have benefits across all the search engines and potentially lift the levels of enquiry you get from the Internet.