3 Things To Do Immediately After You Set an Appointment

Real estate agents are always looking to make their next appointment and focusing all of their energy on getting those appointments, and in turn neglecting the steps that should be taken after setting the appointment. Immediately after you make an appointment with a client make sure you are doing these three things to ensure that your meeting is successful and beneficial for both you and the client.

Send an Invitation

Technology is vital in setting and managing appointments. Whether you use Google or Outlook, it’s important that you send the client an invitation to the appointment thanking them for their time and telling them that you are looking forward to meeting with them.

This will remind yourself and the client when the appointment is and can help you manage multiple appointments. This tool can help you communicate more efficiently with clients and keep your own schedule neat and organized. Following up is a huge key to having a successful appointment and ensuring that you don’t face cancellations that could hinder your sales.

Sending Advanced Information

Gather marketing collateral and information documents to send to the client before the appointment so that they can review and learn more about what will be discussed during the appointment and perhaps anything they may need to bring to the meeting. Sending advanced information helps you and the client better prepare for the appointment and helps keep both of you organized.

Just as you want to learn about your client, your client will want to learn about you, too. Send anything you think may be beneficial to the client for the appointment, but don’t clog up their inbox.

Gather Sales Intelligence

Learn about who your client is and what their goals are. Find out who your client’s audience is and find out specific key benefits your service can do to help them accomplish their goals. The more you learn about your client and their wants and needs, the more successful the appointment will be.

Your client will truly be impressed with how much you already know about them and that you have taken the time to truly understand their wants and needs. Gather as much sales and lead intelligence as you can and your appointment will be sure to run smoothly and successfully, creating a positive outcome for both you and the client.

Setting appointments is important for gaining clients and increasing sales, but what’s more important are the steps you take immediately after you set an appointment. Make sure to send an invitation to your client including a short thank you message and the date and time of the appointment. Send your client marketing collateral and information documents ahead of time so that they can review them before coming to the appointment.

And most importantly, make sure that you put forth the effort to gather sales intelligence and learn as much as you can about your client’s wants, needs and goals to ensure that you are targeting exactly what they need.

4 Actionable Strategies for Winning Expired Listings

ProspectNow, Listings

In the commercial real estate game, many have tried the expired listing strategy and have failed. But, when executed correctly, an expired listing strategy can fuel your bank of listings, help you acquire more contacts and drive traffic to you and your brokerage. If you are ready to up your game in commercial real estate, use these 4 actionable strategies to win expired listings.

#1: Know the Expectations

The commercial property listing you’re going after expired for a reason – whether the price was too high, it was in poor condition, the agent didn’t do a good job or a number of other factors. The prospect selling the property could have a negative opinion on the real estate profession because their agent failed to sell or lease their property.

In order to gain the client’s trust, you must go in knowing that expectations will be higher and you must prove to the client that you can sell or lease their property by offering a different and more effective approach.

#2: Have a Good Attitude

The seller isn’t looking for someone to post their commercial property online and leave it at that. They are looking for someone who can sell their commercial property as soon as possible. For many unsold commercial real estate properties, the price is the biggest factor in why the property hasn’t sold. Explain to your client respectfully the reasons why the price needs to be lowered and show compassion for this decision.

Don’t hit your client with an extremely low selling price without reasons for the extreme price drop, even though it’s necessary. Convey your confidence that you can sell the property and keep a positive attitude, regardless of how defeated the client may feel.

#3: Stay Consistent

Many sellers with expired listings don’t want to immediately jump back into the real estate market and often wait weeks or a month to start setting up appointments with agents again. As time passes, the amount of callers decrease, so it’s important to stay consistent and persistent with the sellers.

Show the seller that you are truly interested in selling their commercial property by continuing to stay in contact with them no matter how long it takes for them to meet with you. Call the seller a few times a week to secure an appointment. If you stay consistent and persistent, you will gain more expired listings and you will increase your sales.

#4: Keep at It

Stay on top of your prospecting system daily. Work on the current expired listings and past expired listings and be sure to contact hot prospects daily. The more contact you have with the sellers the more they’ll know that you are serious about selling their commercial property.

Develop a strategy and relay that strategy to the client to show them that you have a game plan to free them of the property they still own. Many sellers have moved to a new location and feel as though the property they didn’t sell has now become a burden to them – prove that you can sell the listing efficiently and quickly with the maximum profit possible.

How to Land a Meeting via a Cold Email

You’ve deleted enough of cold emails to know that it’s tough to get the attention of a hot prospect via a cold email, but with the right strategy, it is possible to land a meeting. Here are some tips to help you land more meetings with cold emails.

 

Lead With a Relative and Personal Subject Line

A cold email is only as good as its subject line. Many people will delete an email if the subject line doesn’t interest them. For a cold email, it is extremely important that you have a subject line that peaks interest and is personable if possible.  Use their first name, and after all, what’s more personal than their name?  Do some social research – if you are looking for listings, use the address of their property.  If they write a blog, refer to that.  Would you open an email with the subject line of “Robert, re: Your Property at 123 Main Street” or “Robert, re: your blog post?”

The shorter and more concise the subject line, the better. Place yourself in the shoes of the prospect – does the subject line entice you to open the email? If not, then there’s a good chance the prospect won’t want to open the email either. Be clear, personable and informal with your email subject line.

 

Cold Email Copy: Be Short and Sweet and Demonstrate Value

After you’ve conquered the subject line, it’s time to write the email content. Prospects don’t have a lot of time to spend reading emails, so you need to get your point across in two or three sentences.  That’s all that shows in an email preview or on a mobile device.  Your goal is to get them to the call-to-action.

Be brief, give context and tie to your subject line with a value proposition.  I find the “share” technique works well: “My name is Steve with ABC Commercial Real Estate and I’d love to share with you how we helped other investors like you maximize their investment in commercial property.” Incorporate bullet points to help make a strong argument and make it easier for the prospect to digest the information presented. Be direct and leave out minor details that can be discussed during the phone call.

The point of a cold email is to give the prospect enough information to interest them in contacting you or taking your follow up call, but not enough that you have nothing to discuss during the call.

 

Bring it Home With a Strong Call to Action

Make it clear what the next step is. Should the prospect email you back or should they give you a call? Let them know how they will benefit if they contact you. The chances of the prospect getting in touch with you increases when you repeat the call to action at the end of the email. Be reasonable in your call to action. Ask for a few minutes of their time for a phone call, rather than an in-person meeting.

Make things easy and simple for the prospect by offering a clear and strong call to action at both the beginning and end of your email. Something as simple as “give me a call at your earliest convenience,” or “What’s the best way to get 15 minutes on your calendar?” will work.

 

Don’t Forget to Express Appreciation

Always thank the prospect for taking the time to read your email. The prospect may not be interested in pursuing further contact at the present time, but in the future they may contact you. It’s best to always express appreciation to your potential prospects because you never know when they may want to do business with you in the future. Leave a good impression with every cold email.

 

Five Ways to Improve Your Prospecting Calls

ProspectNow, Prospecting

Prospecting via phone – you either love it or you hate it. No matter what category you fall into, perfecting your prospecting calls can mean increased conversion and – ultimately – sales. But, how do you really improve your calls with the goal of conversion in mind?

Here are a few of the topics I have found will have the biggest impact on your prospecting.   Practice makes perfect, so use this list and get started testing out these techniques on your next call!

Continue reading “Five Ways to Improve Your Prospecting Calls”

Five Best Practices for Real Estate Prospecting

Before you start strategizing your next prospecting plan, be sure to consider these five best practices for real estate prospecting. Your Rolodex will thank you.

#1: Ask for Referrals

Referrals are one of the easiest and most effective ways to make a sale because the referral already has trust in you due to your current client’s positive feedback to them.  However, even “cold referrals” can be really valuable.  For example, say you are cold calling and you get someone that says “I am not selling my property”….you can always say, “Ok, no problem.  I am representing a few buyers right now that are looking to invest…you would not by any chance know anyone who might be selling would you?”  Often times, you will get a positive response.

One of the most interesting things about childhood is that children are always asking for what they want.  If I had a nickel for every time my son asked me, “Dad can I play Minecraft?”, I would not be writing this blog right now.  Somehow adults lose this skill, so we really need to channel this and get comfortable asking for what we want.

There is no shame in doing so. Whether you’re looking for an online testimonial or want to be connected to a client’s sphere, it never hurts to show your ambition and drive.

#2: Time is of the Essence

Prospects need to be contacted quickly.  A recent study by InsideSales.com indicated that even waiting five minutes longer in contacting a lead can reduce your chances of making contact by 400%!   The same is true with referrals, very day you let pass by without contacting your referral, the less chance you have of making a sale. Contact your referrals within two business days, or sooner if possible.

#3: Prospecting from every resource

As mentioned, the days of real estate prospecting via telephone only are over. By limiting your prospecting to only phone calls you lose a lot of potential prospects. Reach out with other avenues such as text, email, snail mail, and  media.  Lately, I have found that DMs on Twitter are a great way to make contacts.  The wider your range, the more prospects you open up to gaining and building your client list.

Depending on the type of prospect, you’ll want to evaluate and choose which method you think would be most effective for that type of prospect. Many people will via their preferred medium.

#4: Deal with Rejection

Rejection is a badge of honor!  The world belongs to those willing to put themselves out there.  This is how we grow and learn and get better.  Dealing with rejection is like exercise, the more you do it the stronger you become.  I actually think this may be one of the most important skills in business.  It means you can be resilient and nimble.

#5: Devote Time

If you take nothing else away from this blog, take this:  Go to your calendar and set a time where you plan to prospect.  Block it out as if it’s the most important meeting of the day.  If you do this daily, you will see huge changes in your business.

The amount of time each real estate agent professional spends on prospecting may vary depending on how long they’ve been in the business, what their immediate goals are, etc., but you should dedicate at least an hour a day to prospecting. This will give you better consistency and results, while reducing your chances of a dry period.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow is an online real estate database of 100 million property owners, including phone numbers, mailing addresses, building details and 30 million commercial tenants. The platform caters to anyone marketing to property owners or businesses – including brokers, investors, banks, insurance companies and more. Unlike other databases, ProspectNow provides phone numbers and names of the key decision makers of the property, as well as a CRM or export capability. Learn more!

Prospect Follow-Up is Not a Sprint – It’s a Marathon

Today’s commercial real estate landscape looks far different than it did a decade ago – even just a few years ago, in fact. While personal connections and relationship management are still solid and traditional ways of communicating with your prospects, the Internet has changed the way we do business.

We’re connected in ways that we never thought imaginable. As such, consumers have become accustomed to near instant responses, unparalleled information and transparency, and expect sales professionals to go above and beyond in all new ways. These aren’t options in today’s market; they’re requirements. If so, how do you stand out from the crowd?

It’s in the follow-up. In many industries, it’s estimated that it takes between 7 and 13 sales touches to convert a prospect into a client. Whether you’re calling, sending drip emails, touching via social media, or work tirelessly for the in-person meeting, follow-up is a marathon – not a sprint. It requires a plan – and your dedication – to see it through to fruition.

How to Make Your Follow-Up Go the Distance

When it comes to making your follow-up go the distance, a good CRM system can do wonders for your closing rate. Not only will it keep you organized, many great systems will alert you when it’s time to make a touch and will allow you to make notes on pertinent information and your most recent interactions – thus allowing you to tailor your contact to be more personable.

But what else can you do? Here are a few tips:

  1. Follow-up immediately after the first contact. Just last week a customer of mine called and said “Steve, you have to talk to Mr. XYZ, the CEO of ABC Co.  I just told him how great your product is and he’s expecting your call.”  I called him about 2 minutes after that conversation.  There have been a number of studies on lead follow up that indicate time is of the essence.  I know if I had called Mr. XYZ even a few hours later, he would not have remembered the conversation with my customer. Whether you’ve just met a prospect for coffee, spent some time on the phone or exchanged business cards on the subway, be sure to follow-up right away.  Even a quick “thank you” to show appreciation for the prospect’s time can go a long way.
  2. Create value for the prospect. During your follow-up, always try to create an immediate value for your prospects. Maybe this means you introduce them to a contractor who can make repairs to their property or to a mortgage lender you know does a great job. You’ll instantly bring something of value to the relationship, and your prospect will remember that.
  3. Use technology to your advantage. With so much technology available to you, why not use it to your advantage? Reach out to your prospects via social media. Connect with them where they’re interacting and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the conversation.  Social media is not a silver bullet…but not being on a social media is a good way to ensure you are not even a part of the conversation.  Technology for the sake of technology is just noise, but technology with a very defined objective and  purpose is a game changer.  
  4. Don’t underestimate the importance of lead intelligence. Lead intelligence, or gathering as much information on the prospect as possible, is hugely beneficial when making follow-up connections. When you know more about your lead, you can custom tailor your responses and interactions.
  5. Keep going … and going. Follow-up takes time, patience and a plan. Just because a prospect has seemingly fallen off, it doesn’t mean you stop interacting. Develop a plan for prospect follow-up – maybe using technologies that help with drip campaigns – to stay on top of your game.
  6. Know when to quit.  While this may seem entirely contradictory to item #5, there is a time to give up.  We have a sales person in the office here who is consistently number one in her weekly calls.  She makes more calls than anyone, but when we drilled down on her call to closing ratio it was clear the quality of her calls were not as good.  As we investigated further, it became obvious that she was spending too much time on follow up with unqualified leads and not enough time focused on new business.  There is a time to give up the ghost.

 

Happy prospecting!

Updated Broker Survey: Why Do People Sell?

You may recall last year we did a real estate broker survey and we asked thousands for brokers “Why did your last seller sell?”.  Many of us in the real estate community have speculated as to the reasons people sell, but we figured it would make sense to survey our customers to find out the answer.  The answer to this question will help us determine how to find likely sellers before they list their properties.

When I was in real estate brokerage, I quickly realized that the key to the business is getting listings.  Provided I had a decent property that was priced fairly, actually selling the listing was not nearly as challenging as getting the listing.  I became fascinated with how to obtain listings in a systematic way that scaled.  In order to figure out how to obtain listings, we need to understand why people sell.

Especially for ProspectNow users,  this is valuable since it can help us filter for likely sellers.  Below you will find the updated survey that we conducted July 30th, 2015.  Since our email newsletter database has grown, this year’s survey included even more participants than last year.

Last year, the number one answer was “Retiring and wanted to downsize” where as this year the number one answer was “Tired of Managing the Property”.  I think these answers are related and would tell me that finding older properties with deferred maintenance would be a good approach for target marketing.  For example, in ProspectNow you can filter by year built.  You can also filter by ownership date.

Take a look at the specific answers below and happy prospecting!

Why to people sell their real estate?
Broker Survey

 

Investment Broker Survey: Why Do Sellers Sell?

This is a follow up to my previous post “Why do Sellers Sell?”.  The previous survey asked this question to predominately residential real estate agents…so I though it would be interesting to see what our commercial/investment customers had to say.  We sent this survey out to investment and commercial brokers and asked them why their last seller sold.  We added a few answers that are common investment properties, such as “management headaches” etc.  We also asked the type of property along with the ownership entity.

Incredibly, the answers were very similar to the first survey.  While “other” was the most common response, the second most common response was that the seller was retiring and looking to downsize followed up by ‘tired of managing the property” and 1031 exchanges.    This is not surprising considering that boomers are retiring in large numbers.

If you are prospecting for listings, it makes sense to target the most likely sellers.   While this is a moving target based on  many different variables, It is possible to focus your marketing efforts in a more targeted manner.  Stay tuned, as we will review some specific searches you can do in ProspectNow that will help you identify more likely sellers.

Survey Results

Survey: Why do Sellers Sell?

We recently conducted an interesting survey of approximately 100 residential real estate agents from all over the US.  The question we asked them was incredibly simple….”Why did your seller sell?”.  This was specific to their last listing.  What we found may help you in your prospecting moving forward.

While “other” was the most common response.  It’s interesting to note that the second most common response was that the seller was retiring and looking to downsize.  This is not surprising considering that boomers are retiring in large numbers.  We plan to do subsequent surveys focused on different property types and locations.  More to come!

Survey Results

Take over those expired listings

Nothing is more frustrating for a seller than to go through all the effort to get a property ready to sell and put it on the market only to have it sit there for months and not sell. These expired listings are a gold mine of opportunity to entrepreneurial agents.

When I was a real estate agent, a mentor of mine liked to say, “Go where real estate is happening.” What she meant is that instead of randomly hitting up people who may or (more likely) may not be buying or selling, target people you know are in the market. One example is hosting open houses for residential property. Everyone who walks in the door has buying or selling on their mind. Expired listings are another great example, and one that works for residential and commercial property. These owners have gone beyond just thinking about selling, they’ve made a serious commitment to sell.

One thing to keep in mind with expired listings, the owners are often not in a good mood.

  • They are discouraged
  • They are not a big fan of real estate agents and may assume they are all the same (worthless)
  • They probably know a little about their market, but not enough
  • Most likely, they DO want to sell

Think about it. They want to sell, they’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get the property ready, they’ve hired an agent (making a commitment to pay a commission), they’ve watched the marketing efforts…and nothing. After all that, they didn’t get to the finish line. They probably aren’t too happy with their agent, either. And, they transfer that blame to any other agent who comes along.

Adding insult to injury, many owners of these expired listings get bombarded with insensitive phone calls in the days after it expires, from agents all pitching the same old line: “Hi, I see your property listing expired. Are you ready to list with a professional who will get it sold and closed?” – or some variation. Most of these cold callers are trying to dial as many numbers as possible, without regard to the human touch.

The easiest and best approach to an expired listing is to bring them a buyer. When you pick up the phone to call, your intro is, “Hi, I understand you are selling the place at [address]. I may have a buyer who is interested. Are you still hoping to sell it?” Even if you don’t have a buyer at the moment of the call (remember you said “I may…”) you have an opportunity to find one for the property in the time between the call and the meeting you set up.

Expired Listings Calling Scripts

There are dozens of other expired scripts you can use to connect with property owners. Here are a few.

Getting the Phone Number

The challenge is getting in contact with the property owner once the listing expires. Normally, the listing doesn’t include the property owner’s phone number. Internet research can often turn up a name, but in the case of commercial properties, the name is likely an LLC or company name. The fact that the phone number is not handy is a two edged sword. On the one hand, it makes it hard to contact these people.  On the other hand, if you can get number, you will be one of the few who do. The competition pool will be much smaller.

This is where ProspectNow comes in. With ProspectNow, finding property owner numbers is easy. The painstaking research of property locations, LLCs, owner names, phones and emails has been done for you already. Just follow these steps in ProspectNow to get phone numbers for expired listing owners.

  1. Collect the expired property addresses in a single place. Normally, you can search your MLS and then export them to a spreadsheet.
  2. Copy (cut/paste) the addresses.
  3. In ProspectNow, click on Search Properties, then Advanced Search, then on Multiple Address Search.
  4. In the large blank box, paste the property addresses you copied in Step #2.
  5. Click Search
  6. Now you can click on “Contact Owner” for each individual property, or you can select them all and look up all the numbers at once

[See a quick video of these steps here.]

With the phone numbers in hand, you can start your expired listings calling campaign and tap this source of ready and willing sellers.

Happy prospecting!