In commercial real estate agency today, you as an agent really do need a personal prospecting system. When you can establish a prospecting system that is geared to the local area and your relevant property experience, things get a lot easier when it comes to market share and growing your responsibilities.
One key problem that exists in the commercial property industry is that many agents work with far too few clients. When they lose a few key clients, they lose a massive amount of income and momentum. It takes time to build up good and productive client relationships.
Your personal prospecting process should bring new clients into your 'pipeline' of client contact and networking. Be prepared to lose a few clients every 6 months or so. Prepare for the loss by building new relationships. Nurture good clients and quality listings; it is a deliberate process that is 'composed and completed' at an individual level.
The cycle of commercial real estate sales and leasing is quite long. On that basis it can be months if not years before a client is ready to act in a sale, purchase, or lease. Your networking system has to continue in a relevant way for the ongoing time to capture that business. The only thing that you should determine at the outset of a first contact is that you then know that the person or prospect has the potential to need your services in the future.
Here are some other tips to help you with your personal prospecting system in this property market and economy:
- Define your business area and your property type so you clearly know where you are focusing. You should also determine why people should use your services. If you can not find that information for yourself it will be very hard to sell and pitch the idea of your services to anyone else. Confidence and relevance are key factors in presenting and pitching your agency services. You must be better than the competition agents; how can you do that?
- Given your special services, why are you a top agent? Can you sell that idea to a prospective client? What can you do that is more relevant and real than some of your competitors? Over time these things will need to grow and consolidate. They must become part of your personal brand.
- At any time and in any market you will find clients that are under property pressure in some way or form. Through consistent daily prospecting you will locate these clients and you can work with them to solve the 'property pain'. If you are lacking clients and listings now, take a serious look at your prospecting systems and efforts. Most of the agents that are struggling are those that do not prospect enough. I have met agents that admit that they do little or no prospecting at all; I then wonder why they even bother being in the industry given the costs and pressures that apply to the average agent. Every property market has opportunity to identify and action.
- Track your prospecting efforts so you can see where you are progressing in conversions, calls and meeting outcomes. It takes about 3 or 4 approaches to some prospects and targets to get them to let you have a meeting with them. Consistency and relevancy in contact are the key factors. When you 'open the right doors' with prospects, keep them open through ongoing relevant contact.
Given all of the above, the prospecting time that you apply to your career every day should be split 50% to established contacts, and 50% to finding new prospects. In this way you can build market share for the time that you lose a few good clients. Understand what works for you in commercial real estate and repeat the process over and over again. That's a good way to get more new business.