7 Things to Look for in a Commercial Real Estate CRM

A CRM is a business necessity, especially for a real estate office. Commercial and residential agents cannot compete in this market if you do not have advanced industry tools at your disposal. Commercial real estate CRM software allows your business to maximize workflow, utilize marketing tools and improve collaboration. Implementing the right system leads to more sales and better customer satisfaction.

Pipeline Management

Your sales pipeline is the heart of your business, and if this workflow is not managed properly, your company will unnecessarily lose revenue. CRM software allows you to establish an effective sales process, distribute leads and resources fairly and ensure that all pipeline steps are completed. You can monitor the process of any sale, generate analytics and make alterations when necessary. Best of all, you will see more sales completed!

Collaboration

Most CRM software makes collaboration easier, at least in-house, but you can choose a system that is geared toward increasing collaboration among all of your real estate teams and includes outside stakeholders. You have control over who has access to your system so that you keep company information secure while enhancing production.

Property Database Integration

Your agents work with multiple property databases, often spread among several platforms. A superior real estate CRM will allow you to integrate these databases as well as other software applications to make accessing vital sales information fast and efficient. Your staff won’t need to waste time looking for property information in half a dozen places.

Marketing Tools

Your commercial and residential teams can identify properties that are most likely to go on the market and sell, which allows you to target owners before your competitors can. Forbes recommends choosing a CRM that offers automated task reminders, scheduled consumer email generation, and social media enhancement – including online ad generation, Facebook posting, Twitter use, and customer interaction.

Ease of Access

Your agents vary in technological ability, so you need a CRM that gives you ease of access. Information on potential buyers and promising properties should be only a click or two away. And all the features should be user-friendly. You cannot afford to buy a system that takes months for your people to master.

Technical Support

Prompt technical support is a key component of your business. Real estate offices and agents do not operate on a 9-5 weekday schedule. If your staff members encounter a software issue, they need technical assistance ready to go. Otherwise, you are looking at lost sales and frustrated team members.

Data Analytics and Reporting

All excellent CRM systems give you data analytics and reporting ability so that you can measure your teams’ successes and help them work on their weaknesses. You’ll be able to see sales projections at a glance and evaluate how individual agents are performing. You can also monitor how well everyone is managing their individual and team tasks.

ProspectNow is the only platform that uses predictive analytics that lets commercial real estate prospectors identify the commercial properties that are most likely to sell. Residential real estate agents can use these predictive analytics to identify the properties primed to sell in your market and then use the platform to target owners with digital or postcard marketing.

The ProspectNow Advantage

ProspectNow can help you integrate the CRM that your company needs. They have been around for more than a decade, which means they have a proven track record. Plus, they have the ability to adapt to any changes in the real estate market.

Not all CRM systems are created equal. ProspectNow software gives you the data you need at significantly lower prices than competing platforms. With their platform, you will get access to information on 40 million commercial and 100 million residential properties. You will also have easy access to up-to-date contact information of commercial property decision-makers, detailed sales comps, properties most likely to sell, a tenant/company database, and more.

The ease of use, expansive data, and sophisticated marketing tools make ProspectNow the best choice for revenue growth and consumer satisfaction. By using ProspectNow, your real estate brokers will generate more productive leads, close more deals and make more money.

 

 

 

How to Find Out Who Owns an LLC

When you want to purchase commercial real estate from a business, you might find that an LLC—rather than an individual—owns the property.

Limited liability corporations serve several purposes. They can avoid profit-draining double taxation through pass-through deduction, reduce the number of administrative tasks companies perform, and relieve owners of personal liability.

Unfortunately, starting an LLC makes it harder for real estate investors to discover who owns a property. The company owner might not anticipate this situation, but it happens. As a result, you run into obstacles trying to find out who owns an LLC so you can make an offer on commercial real estate.

Don’t fret. Discovering who owns an LLC might take a few extra steps, but most companies list their owners in places you can browse easily. Before you give up, learn how to find out who owns a property so you can analyze their real estate and decide whether you want to make an offer.

Read the About Section of the Organization’s Website

If you’re lucky, you can find the owner of an LLC by visiting the company’s website and looking at its “About” section. Most LLCs don’t want to hide the identities of their owners. They just want legal protections and tax benefits. With nothing to hide, they might proudly display the name of the corporation’s owner or owners.

Before you bother contacting other organizations, take a few minutes to visit a company’s website to see what you can learn.

Contact Trade Associations

You can also contact trade associations to get information about an LLC’s owner. Some trade associations won’t give you data they consider “private.” Others consider connecting their members to other professionals as part of their jobs.

A trade association might not give you the contact information of the person who owns an LLC, but there’s a good chance that they will give you the company’s contact information and the owner’s name. From there, you just need to call the phone number and ask to speak with the owner. Depending on the LLC’s size, you might find yourself lost in a labyrinth of assistants – or the owner might answer on the first ring.

Some of the largest trade associations for you to contact include:

If the LLC doesn’t belong to one of these groups, search the internet for trade associations within the company’s industry.

Search the Secretary of State’s Website

Assuming that you know the company’s state of incorporation, you can visit the Secretary of State’s website to browse LLCs in the area. Most Secretary of State websites have databases you can browse easily. Others will only give you accurate results when you know information like:

  • The LLC’s exact name
  • The LLC’s listed address

More often than not, the Secretary of State offers a straightforward way to find the information you need.

There are some potential complications, though. First, you might not know the LLC’s state of incorporation. An LLC based in Vermont can own commercial real estate in Florida, California, New York, and other states. Knowing that AcmeX, LLC owns a building in Ohio doesn’t mean you know where the company has filed its incorporation documents.

If you run into this problem, you might want to take a strategic approach to querying every Secretary of State website’s databases in the United States. It might take a long time. Then again, you could get lucky and find the right state quickly.

Second, Secretary of State databases do not have consistent formats or data. The information one state offers could look completely different from data offered by another state. Prepare to do some work, dig deep, and try to avoid frustration.

Use a CRE Database With Updated Information

A comprehensive CRE database that updates its information frequently gives you the easiest way to find out who owns an LLC. The CRE database may even include the official contact information of the LLC and the owner. That makes it much easier for you to approach the property owner with an offer to buy or invest in real estate.

The downside to using CRE databases is that many of them charge high subscription prices. Some of them also have outdated information because they don’t update their files frequently.

Save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration by reviewing your CRE platform options before you make any commitments. The platform you choose could mean the difference between initiating and closing deals quickly or spending money on useless information that doesn’t get you any closer to finalizing an investment.

ProspectNow Makes It Easier to Find Who Owns an LLC

Before you start comparing CRE platforms, take a few minutes to browse ProspectNow’s features. Many commercial real estate buyers, sellers, and investors choose ProspectNow because our platform gives them accurate information that leads to successful deals.

ProspectNow’s database has listings for more than 40 million commercial properties and apartments. Perhaps more importantly, you can search the database for the owner names and contact information of 15 million LLCs and corporations. Forget about contacting an endless list of organizations and government agencies. ProspectNow gives you the contact info you need to start a positive relationship that leads to a successful real estate deal.

ProspectNow also uses predictive analytics to help you identify which properties are likely to sell in the near future. You can use predictive analytics to focus on likely sellers struggling to make loan payments, keep tenants in their retail centers, or fill their office spaces.

The sooner you contact the owner of an LLC with a failing real estate portfolio, the easier it becomes to purchase the property at a price that helps you generate a profit.

Get started with ProspectNow to get the expansive data you need to make informed, strategic movements in the commercial real estate industry.

 

How to Digitally Transform Your Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

 

Digital transformation is the goal of businesses everywhere. How can you bring it to your commercial real estate brokerage?

As business technology booms, industries everywhere look for ways to leverage them. The phrase “digital transformation” is everywhere, promising a complete renovation of the workplace and business practices for good. 

When it comes to real estate, the potential for digital transformation may not be clear at first. Much of your work happens outside of the digital sphere: selling real property to human clients. But recent advantages in technology can make part of the commercial real estate business easier, more efficient, and more profitable. The ProspectNow platform specifically has tools to find and reach sellers instantly — often before properties hit the market.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of changing your business practices according to new developments in technology. There’s no specific definition because it will vary for any business depending on business needs, technology levels, and new technological advancements. Our technology continues to advance every day, and businesses are making it a goal to keep pace with or stay ahead of these developments.

Why is digital transformation necessary? There’s more at play than fancy new tech. We’re also seeing significant changes in the way we do business because of COVID-19, changing customer demographics, and other emerging issues. Digital transformation is a broad concept that forces businesses to rethink how they’re doing business now, and whether it will still work in the near future.

But the process of transforming your business digitally can be a delicate one. Businesses have been known to rise or fall based on their strategies. In order to be successful, you need to consider not what digital “toys” you want to use, but how you can use these services to move your brokerage forward. In other words, you want to emphasize the “transformation” aspect rather than the “digital” one.

Bringing Digital Transformation to Your Brokerage

Digital transformation isn’t necessarily about adding the latest technology to your business. For a successful transformation strategy, you need to take a good look at where you want to take your brokerage and how you can get there. You also want to look at how these changes will affect workflows throughout the brokerage. New tech doesn’t mean anything if you can’t use it effectively.

Before you get started, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the brokerage’s current technology level? Where are we limited?
  • What are our goals for the next year? For the next five years?
  • What needs to change in our brokerage to make these goals happen? Are there different services we should implement?
  • What technology exists that can help with this transformation?
  • How would I incorporate this into my team’s workday? Will our business processes need to change? How much?

You’ll first want to decide on the direction you want to take your brokerage. Don’t focus on the technology you want to add, but instead on what services you want to provide. Do you want to expand your capabilities? Perhaps branch out into working with different property types? Or do you want to expand on the skills you already have and find out how you can make them better?

Once you have an idea in mind, you can then look into what technology exists to help you with these goals. Keep in mind your brokerage’s current technology level as well as the learning curve of the new tech. Adding a cutting-edge AI program may sound like fun, but it might not be what your business needs. You may need little more than a new approach to marketing.

Monitor and Improve

But you aren’t done when your transformation plan is up and running. Now is the time to monitor your team’s progress and see if it lines up with the goals you’ve set. If you’re meeting or exceeding your goals, that’s great! But often you may find your brokerage is running short. This is the time to take a look at what accounts for the discrepancy. You may find that the new workflows you’ve implemented aren’t working as well as you’d planned.

Use Prospect Now in Your Digital Transformation 

Operating since 2008, ProspectNow has the most complete database for commercial and residential properties in the country. Millions of properties are already listed and waiting for you. You can also use our database to find who owns an LLC in charge of a property, giving you an instant point of contact without the hassle of searching through county records.

Once you have a property and someone to contact, you can use ProspectNow to reach them directly. We provide phone numbers, emails, and mailing addresses straight from the platform. Not sure what to say? We have email and postcard templates at your disposal so you can start an advertising campaign directly from your office. If you prefer to call, though, it’s best not to sweat the cold calling script.

To take your prospecting to the next level, ProspectNow has a “Likely seller” algorithm that will identify properties not yet on the market but predicted to be soon. These unlisted properties are a prime opportunity to strike before anyone else and close a better deal. We use predictive analytics and machine learning to make this algorithm smarter.

If you want to integrate this technology into your own systems or build further upon the ProspectNow platform, our public API is available for download.

Ready to close more deals and make more money? Take a look at how much more money you could be making with ProspectNow. We have an ROI calculator to show you just what you’re missing out on. Once you’re convinced, sign up for our 3-day risk-free trial.

How to Find Out Who Owns a Property in California

 

Many experts believe that California’s commercial real estate industry has ample room for growth over the next several years. A report from Deloitte shows that many companies realize they need to prepare for unexpected interruptions, such as those caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Buying and improving commercial real estate, therefore, could make it possible for investors to earn significant returns.

Before you can purchase commercial real estate, you need to know who owns the building and surrounding land. The following should help you find out who owns property in California so you can approach them about potential deals.

Contact the County Tax Assessor’s Office

If you only need information about a few properties, you can probably find out who owns commercial real estate by contacting the county tax assessor’s office. County tax assessors determine the value of properties within their jurisdictions so they know how much property tax to charge the owner. That means they should have the name and contact information you need.

You can find every county tax assessor’s website through the California State Board of Equalization website.

Keep in mind that California has 58 counties. It shouldn’t take much time to contact a couple of offices to inquire about commercial real estate property owners. However, if your plans include making offers on properties throughout the state, you could waste a lot of time contacting offices and waiting for responses. The government, after all, isn’t exactly known for its quick replies.

Reach Out to the County Clerk or Recorder

The county clerk or county recorder should also know who owns a property in California. As long as you know the property’s location and county, you can typically get the information for free. Even if you need to print documents, these offices typically charge minimal fees.

You can find the right county clerk or recorder through the Public Records Online Directory.

Of course, you could run into the same problem as communicating with county tax assessors. If you have a long list of properties, the number of phone calls, emails, and documents can become oppressive.

Knowing the Property Owner Isn’t Always Enough

Often, you will encounter a second issue when you want to know who owns property in California. Individuals rarely own commercial real estate in their names. Instead, they own them through corporations. If a corporation owns a property that interests you, records will list the organization as the real estate’s owner.

The California Secretary of State office should have documents that show you the individuals that own a corporation. You can even search the online database and download PDFs of incorporation documents for free. Finding out who owns the corporation who owns a given piece of property will enable you to reach out to the owner. Finally, you’ll get to ask whether they want to talk about selling their commercial real estate.

Get Accurate Information Quickly From a Membership Database

Instead of spending time dealing with government offices, you can find out who owns a property in California by purchasing a membership to a CRE database. Most CRE databases update their information often, so you can get accurate contact information for properties in California and other states easily.

A reliable CRE database will also help you find the owner of a corporation, allowing you to eliminate one more step from the search and save even more time.

Rely on ProspectNow for Accurate CRE Information

ProspectNow gives you a fast, reliable way to find out who owns commercial properties in California. Real estate buyers, sellers, and investors have trusted ProspectNow for more than a decade. More often than not, you also save money by choosing ProspectNow over other CRE databases.

ProspectNow uses predictive analytics to help you determine which commercial real estate owners might want to sell their properties. Instead of contacting a lot of property owners who don’t want to sell, you can focus on those willing to give you a good price on their commercial real estate.

Get started with ProspectNow to find commercial properties and their owners in California.

Understanding the Commercial Foreclosures Process

It’s not uncommon for businesses to fall into financial hardship. Falling behind on a mortgage payment can happen to businesses, too. Failing to meet a mortgage payment date or violating the terms of the loan in some other manner is a default. When a default occurs, a lender usually begins a foreclosure proceeding in an effort to resell the property and recoup the proceeds of the original loan. It’s a good idea to ask your lender how you can avoid the foreclosure process entirely before the matter is out of your hands.

The commercial foreclosures process is normally quite similar to the residential foreclosures process with just one difference – the appointing of a third-party receiver. But more on that in a moment.

Let’s first examine commercial foreclosure types.

Types of Commercial Foreclosures

Like their residential counterparts, commercial foreclosures are conducted in one of two ways – judicial or non-judicial process. The process used depends on where the property is. While several states allow both types of procedures, some only allow a judicial foreclosure process. The language and loan terms of the contract are also weighed.

What is a judicial foreclosure?

In judicial foreclosures, lenders must file against a borrower in a court of law asking for a judgment and order. The defendant, along with any other parties with a vested interest, will be given an allotment of time to respond and file an answer – usually around 20 to 30 days.

If no defendant files within the allotted time, the attorney for the lender asks the court for a judgment of foreclosure. Then, If defendants do respond within the timeframe, the process will normally go to trial. If the defendant loses, the courts enter judgment favoring the lender and the foreclosure is granted.

After a foreclosure is granted an order of sale is written. The property will then be sold to recoup the borrower’s debt.

What is a non-judicial foreclosure?

If the wording of the loan document contains a clause granting power of sale to the lender – and the state in which the property is located allows it – lenders can foreclose on commercial properties nonjudicially, or without the assistance of a court.

In a commercial foreclosures process, non-judicial foreclosures occur when the lender takes a series of steps according to the state’s laws without the assistance of a court. For instance, the bank or lending institution may mail a notice of loan default to the borrower(s), post public notices of the property’s foreclosure, and/or publish said notice in a local newspaper. The laws governing the commercial foreclosures process are different in each state.

What is a Receiver in the Commercial Foreclosures Process?

If a commercial property owner (borrower) defaults, lenders make every effort to ensure that the borrower:

  • Maintains the physical property in good condition
  • Continues to carry insurance on the property
  • Does not continue to collect rent or any other profit from the property without first putting the amounts toward their outstanding debt

Usually, commercial property mortgages contain a clause for the assignment of any profits in the event of foreclosure to the lending institution. This is where a “receiver” comes into play.

The lender asks the courts (in a judicial or non-judicial foreclosures process) to appoint a receiver. This individual’s job then is to take over management of the commercial property until the completion of the foreclosure. In some instances, a receiver will be responsible for the sale of the property.

How a Commercial Foreclosures Process Works

Whether as a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure, properties are often sold to the highest bidder. The sale’s proceeds go towards the mortgage debt.

If there are no bids at the sale, the lender bids. The lender can make a bid for any amount up to the amount currently owed. This amount includes the principal and interest of the original loan, as well as any late fees, attorney fees, trustee fees, or other costs.

Because this amount is already owed to the lender, the lender doesn’t actually pay anything. This is also known as a credit bid.

That said, sometimes after the appointment of a receiver, the foreclosure sale may not occur. In this instance, if the receiver has the permission of the court, lender, borrower(s), and anyone else with an interest in the property, he or she can sell the commercial property outside the foreclosure proceedings.

How to Avoid Commercial Foreclosures

If you’re a commercial borrower and you’ve defaulted on your mortgage – or you’re in danger of doing so – contacting your lender at the first sign of trouble is crucial. Some lenders may work with you to avoid the commercial foreclosures process. For instance, some lenders may allow an adjusted repayment plan allowing you to catch up on your payments according to an agreed-upon schedule.

It’s always best to be communicative with your lender. If a commercial foreclosures process goes too far, it may be too late.

Understanding Predictive Analytics in Real Estate

Making the right decisions in real estate can have a crucial influence on how much money you make. Agents who make bad decisions tend to have low incomes. Those who make excellent choices tend to earn a lot of money that sets them up for future successes.

You don’t necessarily need “gut instincts” to perform well in the real estate market. When you understand predictive analytics in real estate, you get to use data that will point you in the right direction. You may not even need to learn special skills since some of today’s most sophisticated real estate platforms come with predictive analytics features.

What Predictive Analytics Do

Predictive analytics look at real-life data to determine how a person or the real estate market will likely respond to changes. 

Software has the ability to look at massive amounts of data and spot patterns that go unnoticed by the human eye. For instance, when you look at hundreds of housing prices in a community, you only see the information right in front of you. That’s how the human brain works. When predictive analytics software looks at the prices, though, it starts to compare them to the prices from last month, last year, and last decade. Suddenly, trends emerge that might tell you what to expect next month.

Predictive analytics can also tell you whether someone is thinking about selling a house. How can this happen? By reviewing public records. People are more likely to move after:

  • Having children.
  • Getting married.
  • Getting divorced.
  • Filing for bankruptcy.
  • And other life-changing events.

When the software sees those events, it creates an alert that the property could go on the market soon.

Taking Advantage of Predictive Analytics

What can you do with predictive analytics in real estate? The simple answer is that you can get ahead of your competitors.

When you know that a homeowner is likely to sell within the next few months, you can send a brochure to that person’s address. The brochure might even get the person to start thinking about good reasons to sell. 

You could even go to the neighborhood to hand out business cards and talk to residents. Don’t mention that you know the person recently had a life-changing event. That can seem a little creepy. But, you can mention your previous successes selling homes without burdening their owners. Leave your card behind so the owner can think about it. You might get a call asking you to oversee the sale while the owner makes other arrangements.

Get Predictive Analytics About Homes Likely to Sell Within 12 Months

Cultivating a lead can take some time, even with predictive analytics on your side. Someone who loses a spouse, for instance, may feel uncomfortable moving for several months. A couple having another child may feel too overwhelmed to move until they spend a few months with their new baby.

ProspectNow’s predictive analytics looks 12 months ahead to help you start cultivating leads now. You get a clear view of the properties in your area. When you know which ones are most likely to go on sale soon, you have the ability and motivation to lay the groundwork that it takes to secure a property. 

See ProspectNow’s Predictive Analytics in Action

Register now to watch a demo of ProspectNow in action. The company has been serving commercial and residential real estate agents for over a decade, so you can trust the platform to give you accurate data that helps you increase sales. ProspectNow even has a lower price than most real estate platforms with comprehensive databases. Find out soon so you can start benefiting!

 

 

 

5 Things To Know About Commercial Real Estate Investing In 2021

2020 was a rough year for the commercial real estate sector. The need for social distancing led to a distressing domino effect. It left businesses temporarily or permanently shuttered, and landlords unable to collect an income. While we’re not completely out of the woods yet, there’s some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Here’s what you can expect to see over the course of the year in commercial real estate investing.

Distribution Is King

Ecommerce was growing even before the pandemic, and brick-and-mortar stores were shaking. But when social distancing became a thing, online shopping became the hero. People spent 44% more money online in 2020 than they had in the previous year, showing the highest jump in recent history. Meanwhile, retailers struggled and shuttered as quickly as online stores popped up.

But all this online shopping doesn’t make things appear out of thin air. The increase in shipping goods means a growing demand for distribution centers. Expect to see more moves on this front, especially from larger retailers, and consider investing in warehouses. The Motley Fool predicts that warehouses and distribution centers will fill the void retailers left behind. And if you read on, you’ll see there are already moves in that direction.

Brick And Mortar Is Not Dead

If there’s another thing we’ve learned from social distancing, it’s that a lot of people aren’t very good at it. Many struggled to stay at home and took multiple outings out of boredom. Some protested their inability to get a haircut, of all things. But there’s a silver lining to this: it indicates that there’s still a need for neighborhood retail in our increasingly digital world.

Simon Property Group, who in all likelihood owns the closest shopping mall to you, felt the COVID-19 retail blues hard. Rent from retailers makes up a huge chunk of their revenue – as much as 91% in 2019. But COVID-19 isn’t the only cause of their business woes. Ecommerce was on the rise even before the pandemic, slowly draining the life out of shopping malls everywhere.

But this isn’t the end for Simon. They’re currently testing out new strategies to both revive their industry and seek out new revenue channels. Along with Brookfield Property Group and Authentic Brands Group, they’ve bought up a number of struggling retailers like Forever 21 and JC Penney. But that’s not all – there are talks between Simon and Amazon to potentially replace closed department stores with distribution centers. This could be a win-win situation where Simon brings in more revenue and Amazon adds fulfillment centers across the country.

This could shape up to be a long-term commercial real estate investing opportunity, but don’t discount the old shopping mall just yet.

Go Back To The Office

Offices are still quieter now than they used to be, as many people continue the work-from-home lifestyle. But experts think this will change later in the year.

There are multiple reasons for this. Offices remain a sort of status symbol for workers, and many people will want an escape from the perpetual home life. Many industries aren’t suited for remote work and need to have some form of face-to-face interaction. Some employers may remain skeptical of the work-from-home concept. And finally, people are social creatures and miss social interaction and opportunities for collaboration.

Now can be a good time to look into investing in office space, with an expected long-term payoff.

Promising New Locations

The hustle and bustle of so-called “24-hour cities” takes its toll on many people. That’s part of what’s leading to a population decline in places like New York City, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. There’s a new category of “18-hour cities” that are drawing investors’ attention.

Eighteen-hour cities are small to mid-size and have above-average population growth with low cost of living and low cost of doing business. Examples include Austin, TX and Charleston, SC. They have the same amenities as the bigger cities but run at a slower pace.

They show promise for many reasons. The population growth will lead to more real estate transactions on the residential and commercial fronts. There are more available properties than in 24-hour cities, at least for now. The low cost of doing business is self-explanatory. 

If you’re looking to branch out into commercial real estate investing in new locations, now is a good time to look into quieter cities. It’s also a great chance to take advantage of ProspectNow’s likely seller feature.

Technology and ProspectNow

An increasingly digital world also means more data to work with than ever. With the ProspectNow platform, you can put together your own lead list in minutes, send out emails, and even create custom letters and postcards to send through snail mail.

But one of the most innovative features is the “likely seller” algorithm. ProspectNow uses unique data analytics and machine learning to pick up on trends in properties sold and use those to identify properties that are likely to sell but haven’t yet hit the market. Using this feature and the multiple contact options available to you, you have a chance to reach these prospective sellers before anyone else, giving you an advantage over other potential buyers and the chance to land a great deal.

ProspectNow has a handy ROI calculator to help you figure out how much you could be making if you take advantage of the platform and investigate the likely sellers available to you. Plug in your location, marketing spend, the number of deals closed, and the average amount to find out what you’ve been missing out on.

Ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow leads the pack in more data, insights, and analytics at a lower cost than the competition since 2008. Sign up for a free trial today and get the edge you need to maximize your earnings.

7 Challenges Facing CRE Brokers (and How to Overcome Them)

 

Usually, the challenges that face CRE brokers remain unchanged from year to year. While some of the challenges that made our list are probably not new to you if you’re an established broker, 2020 changed the landscape for new and established brokers.

The following seven challenges facing CRE brokers reflect the unprecedented upheaval felt around the world  some of which have never been seen until now. Others are challenges that have always been present but uniquely challenging when coupled with the rest.

1) COVID-19

It’s tough to say at present just how impactful the pandemic has been on CRE and the real estate industry as a whole. Demand is an unknown  will there be more or less? For instance, office space demand may continue lagging if office personnel continue the work-from-home trend into the foreseeable future. Alternatively, places like airports and restaurants may commit to permanent density reductions and seek commercial space with increased square footage. The overall economy isn’t expected to recover for at least a few years, and given the nature of CRE, it may take longer to return to a semblance of normal.

How to overcome it: This is a wait-and-see challenge. The best way to handle it is to become flexible in your approach. Life might not return to the way it was pre-COVID-19  you must adapt and roll with the changes.

2) Establishing Yourself If You’re a New CRE Broker

New CRE brokers often have a tough time establishing their careers right out of the gate. In fact, it’s pretty unheard of for a new broker to settle in and build a portfolio of clients in the first year. This is actually akin to many industries  the first year in business is almost always the hardest.

How to overcome it: New CRE brokers can get established and begin building a stable of clients quickly if they join a well-known, existing CRE brokerage. With that respected household name next to yours, potential clients are much likelier to trust your broker abilities. Most commercial clients want to work with the best of the best  brokers who have great track records and impeccable skills. By partnering with a known CRE brokerage, a new broker can get the boost they need for their first year in business.

3) Current Marketing Materials Aren’t Consistent

When you think of branding, you might think of your brokerage’s name, logo, website, other messaging, and color palette. But branding is a far-reaching element of your brokerage’s existence. Your “brand” is every single interaction anyone in your brokerage has with anyone outside your brokerage. It’s how clients, both current and prospective, feel when they enter your office, speak to brokers, or flip through materials. You have a 20% better chance of reaching clients and closing deals with consistent branding than without.

How to overcome it: Establish a cohesive brand identity across your entire brokerage, whether it’s brand-new or already established. How do you want clients to feel when they think of you? Partnering with a design consultant can help you coordinate all your marketing materials throughout the entire brokerage to ensure uniformity in everything from logos to colors to messaging. After you get your brand solidified, store all marketing assets in one location accessible by everyone in the firm.

4) It’s Tough Keeping Profits up

In 2020, more retail businesses went out of business than during the Great Depression. If there’s a lessening need for commercial real estate due to COVID-19, how can you address this within your brokerage?

How to overcome it: Success is staying ahead of trends  but now it has more to do with the ability to pivot as necessary, as many times as necessary. As 2021 continues to herald fewer restrictions, look at how you can market commercial properties in novel ways. The cost of keeping certain businesses open, such as office spaces, will increase due to a need for more space. Be on the lookout for profitable upsells.

5) Maintaining Relevance in an Online World

Over the past decade or so, brokers have moved a lot of their activities online to meet the demand of consumers who use online search to find area properties. In fact, more than 90% of consumers use online research prior to calling an agent.

How to overcome it: You need an online presence. Embracing tech is how you’ll maintain your relevance, especially these days when many people don’t want to meet in person. Embracing tech also helps you and your team manage your time and improve your back-office processes. This frees up your time to better focus on your clients and potential customers.

6) Embracing New Technologies

Real estate has seen some explosive developments in recent years. Artificial intelligence (AI) now processes data, offering agents and brokers much deeper insight into CRE trends and how they directly affect consumer behavior. For instance, the IoT, or Internet of Things, can help property managers reduce operation costs, increase efficiency, and even attract businesses and tenants. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) adds a degree of excitement to the entire real estate landscape  for both you and your clients.

How to overcome it: Offer VR tours of your current CRE properties. Or, for a special occasion, consider an AR scavenger hunt  the person who finds the most hidden “eggs” wins a prize, such as a percentage of your services, for instance.

7) Lack of Access to Properties That May Sell Soon

CRE brokers want to be first in line for that next big potential sale. But how can you know which properties might sell before they’re actually listed? And how can you find out ownership information without having to do a lot of footwork or spend a lot of money?

How to overcome it: ProspectNow.

ProspectNow is a vital tool for residential or commercial real estate business success. Our proprietary algorithm highlights properties that may soon be up for sale  both residential and commercial. Our system is trustworthy and easy to use, offering reliable data and ownership information, so you don’t have to try to find it on your own. And we offer all this for a fraction of what you’ll pay at other property sites.

In fact, ProspectNow has been helping real estate agents and brokers just like you since 2008. Ready to find more properties, close more deals, and make more money? Reach out to ProspectNow today.

How to Find Out Who Owns a Property in New York

The commercial real estate market has changed a lot since the beginning of 2020. The prices of retail spaces have fallen significantly. Office spaces have fallen some, but they should recover quickly. It’s difficult to predict how multi-family housing will change over the next few years as real estate investors decide whether to keep their properties or step away from working as landlords.

Regardless of how New York’s commercial real estate prices and uses evolve, someone will always find a way to profit from shifts in the market. You need two critical pieces of information to take advantage of market changes: Who will sell their property soon and who owns the property in New York you want to buy.

The following article will help you identify the owners of property in New York. Then, you will see how predictive analytics gives you an advantage over your competitors.

Not in New York? Find out how to find who owns a property anywhere in the country!

Search for the Property’s Owner on NYCityMap

The NYCityMap page can give you information on most properties in New York City. You just need to enter the property’s address in the search bar. If the address exists, the map will show you the building’s location and information, including the real estate’s:

  • Owner
  • Square footage
  • Number of residential or commercial units
  • Year built
  • Zoning map number

The map’s search feature has some finicky traits. For example, you might not get the correct property if you search for “11 West 53rd Street.” However, if you search for “11 W 53 St”, you should get information about that property, which happens to be the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on NYCityMap to always give you accurate names. The database doesn’t get updated as often as it should, so you could get a previous owner’s name.

You can also run into issues when NYCityMap gives you the name of a corporation or business. The MOMA listing offers a good example of this problem. If you wanted to purchase the property, you would need to find the name of the person or people who control The Museum of Modern Art. Most properties owned by organizations will likely give you the organization’s name instead of a person’s name, just like the MOMA.

Use a Search Engine to Find a Corporation’s Owner Online

Don’t overthink how you will find the owner of a corporation. Start with a simple Google search. Most people are proud of their accomplishments. When you search for the organization’s name, you will likely find the names of board members and owners.

Search the New York State’s Database

Of course, not everyone wants to make their names readily available. Some people even want to obscure their identities by hiding behind corporate names.

When an internet search doesn’t help, head to the website of the New York State Division of Corporations, State Records and UCC. After you enter the organization’s name, you should get more information about the group, including the owner’s name.

Keep in mind that state records fall behind often, so you may get a previous owner’s information. You can solve that problem by going to a subscription database with an interest in maintaining the latest records.

Get All the Information You Need About Property in New York From ProspectNow

ProspectNow’s commercial real estate database has information about more than 40 million properties. It also offers an LLC database that gives you the contact information of real property owners. Many of the files include the owner’s phone number, email address, and mailing address.

Obviously, you don’t want to waste time reaching out to property owners who have no interest in selling their real estate. ProspectNow uses predictive analytics to help you find owners who are likely to sell. Perhaps they have tax liens, owe property taxes, or have lost a lot of tenants. In any case, you may find an opportunity to purchase property at an affordable price while helping the current owner escape a stressful situation.

Get started with ProspectNow so you can find out who owns property in New York and start closing more deals with ease.

4 Commercial Real Estate Marketing Tips for 2021

The most effective approaches to commercial real estate marketing can change quickly as technology evolves and business owners adapt to consumer needs. Keeping up with the latest trends can feel challenging. But you can’t let a few barriers prevent you from growing your agency.

Follow these commercial real estate marketing tips for 2021 to reach buyers and sellers. Staying ahead of your competitors will help ensure that your agency keeps growing and tapping into new revenue opportunities.

Build Authority With Content Marketing

If you have years of experience working in commercial real estate, you can use your knowledge to write content that shows off your expertise. Set aside a couple of hours each week to think of ideas, create outlines, and write blog posts that will build your authority in the industry.

The simplest content marketing involves publishing about one blog post per week. You can add a blog section to your agency’s website, use a publishing platform like Medium, or post your content on a service like LinkedIn.

The best content marketing does more than display your knowledge. You can attract more readers to your content by:

  • Using keywords that will help search engine crawlers find and index your posts
  • Including meta descriptions that summarize articles on search engine result pages
  • Adding images that make your posts look more appealing
  • Tracking your website traffic and post engagement to determine which pieces of content get the best results

You want to establish your authority, but you also want to collect leads and find clients. Include a call-to-action at the end of your posts. Some people need a little nudge before they will reach out to a professional for help with buying or selling commercial real estate.

Use Social Media to Reach More Buyers and Sellers

Social media has changed the way people connect. Make social media a central part of your commercial real estate marketing for 2021 so you can build an audience that helps you reach more buyers and sellers.

Take Advantage of a Social Media Platform’s Best Features

Each social media platform has at least one feature that makes it popular. Take advantage of each platform’s best features to broaden your influence. Some important things to remember include:

  • Facebook has the largest number of active users, excels at short-form content publishing, and lets you promote posts without spending a lot of money.
  • Instagram’s focus on images makes it a great place to share pictures of real estate.
  • Twitter works well for keeping up with other professionals in your industry.
  • LinkedIn has a relatively small audience, but the people who use it are more likely to have professional backgrounds and an interest in commercial real estate.

Experiment with different types of posts on these platforms to see which ones gain traction. You may decide that some of the services work better for you than others.

Use Social Media Tools to Improve Your Campaigns

You can’t determine how well your social media posts work until you start tracking data. While you use each platform’s built-in tools, they often take a lot of time and rarely provide in-depth insights. You can make your social media commercial real estate marketing more effective by adopting third-party tools.

Some of the tools that professional marketers use include:

  • Buzzsumo – Analyze your posts and compare them to those from your competitors.
  • Hootsuite – Bring data from all of your social media accounts to one dashboard.
  • Sprout Social – Features for analyzing post engagement and collaborating with other members of your agency.

These tools have affordable pricing for small teams. If you don’t want to spend money, you can find free tools that offer similar features. They don’t work quite as well, but they’re good enough for most small agencies that want to improve their social media outreach without changing their marketing budgets.

Respond to People Who Engage With Your Posts

Responding to people who engage with your posts is one of the fastest ways to grow your online community. You don’t have to spend a lot of time writing back. Often, a simple “like” will do the trick. People just want to know that you care enough to interact with them and show appreciation for their feedback.

Create Virtual Tours to Save Time and Attract Buyers

This year a lot of real estate agencies started investing more in online virtual tours so they could promote properties without coming into contact with a lot of potential buyers. The threat of COVID-19 forced everyone to rethink how they did business. Hopefully, the coronavirus will become a much smaller concern in 2021. That doesn’t mean you should stop using virtual tours as part of your commercial real estate marketing.

Virtual tours can save you a lot of time. For the best results, make 3D tours that show off the properties you represent. Instead of meeting buyers in person, you can let your website do the hard work for you. When you have virtual tours on your website (or you use a third-party website that hosts virtual real estate tours), you only have to talk to buyers who have a genuine interest in the properties. Instead of wasting time driving across town to meet with someone who walks away from a retail or restaurant property within a few minutes, you get to focus on people who know what they want.

Virtual tours can also help attract buyers from out of town. Let’s say someone who owns several multi-family buildings in California wants to take advantage of low real estate prices in a different state. That person might spend hours researching potential properties before deciding which ones to visit in person. With virtual tours, they can weed out the opportunities that don’t interest them. If they spend the time and money to visit the real estate with you, they probably have serious intentions.

Grow Your Brand by Sponsoring Events

The lockdowns of 2020 have created a primal urge for people to get out of their homes and interact with each other. You can use that to your benefit—and have a little fun—by sponsoring events.

As people start feeling more comfortable congregating in public, non-profits, college groups, sports teams, venues, and other organizations will need help setting up events. This gives you an excellent opportunity to get your agency’s name in front of people.

Sponsoring an event probably sounds like a huge expense. It doesn’t have to be. You can always co-sponsor with other businesses in your area to share the cost. You could even become a sponsor by using your industry connections to book an amazing location for an event. Depending on your relationship with the owner, you might not have to spend anything at all. Just provide a place for people to enjoy music, food, and the company of other humans.

Join ProspectNow to Make Your Marketing More Effective

No matter what commercial real estate marketing strategies you use during 2021, ProspectNow can help you reach your goals. ProspectNow’s commercial real estate database includes:

  • The contact information of property owners in your area.
  • Details about businesses and properties for sale.
  • Predictive analytics that will help you identify real estate likely to go on the market soon.

Don’t waste time and money pursuing leads that will never contribute to your revenue. Get started with ProspectNow so you can access the data that you need to fine-tune your commercial real estate marketing and get better-than-ever results for 2021.