In commercial real estate today, it pays to develop some solid telephone skills and prospecting strategies. Through effort and practice, you can lift your conversions of calls to meetings.
Most of the new business that we create as real estate agents will only come over time and on that basis you need plenty of meetings with new people to establish that trust and the right relationships that can be nurtured to a future opportunity.
Here are some ideas to help you with your telephone prospecting efforts:
- Make no mistake, telephone prospecting in commercial real estate is quite a specific process and does require practice. Failing to practice will slow your progress and even destroy your results. Be prepared to learn everything you can about professional telephone dialogue. Be prepared to improve what you say and how you do it.
- You will be calling two types of people. The first group will be those that are in the local business community and that may occupy or own the concessions in which they are located. It is easy to reach and identify this group of contacts. The business telephone book will be the initial place to start from. As part of this contact process, you should also add local property developers to the list.
- The second group of people to contact will be property investors. In many respects they may be private individuals. On that basis you will be looking for the right telephone number to call. Finding the right number can be an issue and will take time. Given that they are private individuals, your call process will be impacted by the do not call register. Be aware of the rules and regulations that apply to making calls to individuals in your location. Do not break the rules and the laws that apply when it comes to calling individual people on the private and domestic telephone system.
- A lot of agents struggle with the mind behind the call contact process. They think that each call should be a sales pitch in some form. That is not the case. Any call that you make to a new person should be based around a single question that centers on their current or future need in commercial real estate. Some other people that you call will have no interest, and that is quite OK. Simply move on to the next person to speak to. There is absolutely no reason to generate a meeting with someone who really does not want to talk to you.
- Good client and prospect relationships are built from relevant and real contact. I go back to the point that your first approach to a prospect or client across the telephone should be to simply see if they have a need or an interest in commercial real estate. When you have established that fact, the conversation can proceed further to the potential of a meeting. That is how you grow your share share and your client base.
- To help with your call contact activities, prepare the list of targets to call each evening prior to the next day. In doing this, you will not distract yourself from the requirement for momentum when making calls.
- There are many call scripts to use, but the important thing is that you choose the one that works for you. Your approach to someone that you have not spoken to before should be simple and direct. It should be nonthreatening and efficient. The dialogue that you develop should be natural and efficient. You need to be comfortable with the words and the direction of the conversation. This does require some practice.
- To help with the call process, you will find that your conversational ability will be lifted significantly when you stand up as part of making the call. The most successful agents in the call contact process are usually those that stand up for the 2 or 3 hours that call prospecting requires. The depth and versatility of the conversation that they create can be observed and heard. From a more effective conversation they create more meetings with qualified individuals.
You can add to this list of telephone activities given your property location and specialty. The fact of the matter is that you can do very well as an agent providing you master the telephone prospecting model that works for you. Market share will then follow.