A great majority of people think commercial real estate (CRE) brokering is just about assisting people with buying, leasing, selling, and investing in commercial real estate.
But – the greater majority of people have never even met a CRE broker.
A small percentage of commercial real estate professionals have mastered the art of CRE lead management. They know where to look, what phone calls to make, how to get those elusive leads, and ultimately grow their brokerage. Commercial real estate can be a feast or famine business –and knowing how to prospect and generate leads sustainably is the key to long term success.
So, what is there to know? How can you be a successful commercial real estate broker?
For starters, a good CRE broker understands the market and the various types of assets defining various neighborhoods. But if that’s all he or she knows – they’ll miss the mark. There’s nothing in the world that can benefit your brokerage more than mastering commercial real estate lead management.
3 Ways to Master Commercial Real Estate Lead Management
Most commercial real estate agents already know that successful lead management includes a good CRM software or other management tool. A lead management system coupled with marketing automation can mean the difference between capturing every relevant lead – or the good ones slipping through the cracks.
But to really grab the attention of prospects in your area, these three things are a must:
- Get your name out there
- Blog about businesses in your community
- Follow the rising stars
Let’s examine these a bit closer.
Get your name out there
Aside from the usual “attend some Rotary meetings” and “join your local chamber of commerce” advice – while this does work for many industries – this logic is merely playing on the numbers aspect of becoming recognizable.
For commercial real estate brokers, it’s a little more than just handing out business cards and attending some monthly meetings. Instead, seek out speaking opportunities at these events. Ask for some time to properly introduce yourself and your commercial real estate business. It wouldn’t hurt to have your entire real estate team attend, too. Invite your top producer to say a few words.
All of this networking is lead generation at its finest – but it also gives you an edge over brokerages that aren’t doing this sort of thing. And if there is a firm in your local community already hosting events, attend one and evaluate their approach. What can you do differently? More importantly, what can you do better? Hosting your own event is the pinnacle of lead capture – which can lead to commercial real estate sales.
Blog about businesses in your community
Blogs have been around for almost as long as the internet. They’re one of the best aspects of your website as a whole. You can post about your real estate revelations and other thought-provoking ideas. And, more importantly, you can post information that’s beneficial to businesses in your local community. Position yourself as an expert and you could be answering the phones instead of dialing cold call after cold call.
But here’s the thing – you have to be interesting! Most brokerage blogs don’t fare well because they aren’t interesting. Sure, they talk about real estate leads management – but they don’t do so in a way that’s appealing. Bottom line, the reader knows the writer cares very little about the reader. The agent is only looking for leads. How can you set yourself apart from the CRE pack?
Now, of course it’s fine to post about real estate leads – just like it’s fine to talk about it at your events – but any advice (whether for other brokers or for buyers and sellers) needs to be helpful. Whoever reads your blog should come away with a feeling of confidence, like they just learned something really valuable about commercial real estate.
But that isn’t all you can write about. What else is top of mind for businesses in your area?
Consider posts about:
- Local business laws
- The current state of the economy in your community or state
- Other tips for businesses in your local community
You can even interview local business owners for their take on current events or market stakes. For example, chat with an accountant in your area about how the current state of the world is affecting their practice. Not only does that provide helpful content, but it also expands your network. Consider this – what if that CPA needs to transition into a bigger – or smaller – office? Or what if they know a client who’s looking for retail space? Your odds of obtaining real estate leads just shot up. Plus, you’re casting a much wider net.
The current state of things means many companies aren’t looking for commercial real estate at present. Instead, they’re curious how new laws will apply to their business. If you can provide helpful assistance, they’ll remember you in the future when they do need help finding a new location.
Follow the rising stars
Of course, outreach is powerful – but if that’s all you’re doing you could see disappointment. Because whatever form of “outreach” you’re using costs money. A lot of money. And it doesn’t always reach the intended recipient, especially when it comes to mailers.
Rather, consider those local businesses that might need you down the road. This is really easy if you follow that first bit of advice – becoming recognizable. Keep your eyes on local businesses in the news. Of course, you don’t have to be at your computer all day tracking local news stories, but you can set up a Google Alert for business names or other search phrases that apply, such as “real estate leads” or “lead management software”.
When you get that tidbit about a business in your community that’s really excelling, consider reaching out and introducing yourself. Don’t immediately try to go for a sale, though – not yet. Simply introduce yourself and a little about what you do and offer some free info if the owner’s interested.
Narrowing your targets to those businesses that are just beginning to soar – instead of every business with a local address – will boost your ROI down the road.
Each piece of advice above is a little different, but they all have something in common – they take time to see results. Even the tiny learning curve of Google Alerts and local business prospecting requires a bit of patience. But these methods are tried and true. If you put in the effort now, you will see the results long term. ProspectNow knows. We’ve been in real estate – helping professionals like you – since 2008.