Archive for the ‘Cold Calling’ Category

5 Keys To Consistently Generating New Listings

June 1st, 2013

Forgive the overused metaphors but:

  •  If our bodies don’t constantly pump new blood, we will die;
  • If our cars don’t get refilled with gas, they won’t run;
  • If you don’t recharge a battery, it will run out of power;

And if commercial real estate agents don’t constantly engage in new business development, they will go broke! All too many times, we let our days get filled up with “busy work” or we are consumed with all the little details involved in a deal or two we are working on. Because these activities feel like they are moving us closer to a closing, we let our daily business development activities take a back seat, delaying those activities to an unknown time in the future……that usually never comes.

Probably the single most important thing that we as commercial real estate agents and brokers must focus on consistently in our careers is new business development. It should be a daily scheduled activity with a strategy attached to it. Here are 5 keys to getting and maintaining a focus on new business development:

  1.  Have a Business Development Plan – As an independent commercial real estate brokerage professional, you should have a business plan that reflects your goals and methodology for reaching those goals. Clearly mapping out your plan for developing new listings should be an integral part of that plan. A detailed, written outline that (more…)

Bringing The Best “You” To Every Commercial Real Estate Sales Opportunity

May 2nd, 2013

I had a nice chat with my friend Jeff today and we were discussing varieties of “secret sauce” that make up the keys to success in selling. Jeff is a consummate sales professional so I wanted to hear what he thought was the most important factor that was present in every successful sales situation. His answer was simple but very profound.

“Be yourself, but be the best “you” possible in every selling opportunity” he said. I asked what he meant by the “best you possible”. He told me that there are plenty of days when he got up in the morning and there were about a million things he’d rather be doing than speaking to new prospects.

“On those days I just have to tell myself that I have to be here and the only way I will have a successful day is to shake it off and give the prospect my very best”. He went on to tell me that means assessing his positive attributes and strengths, then taping into those things when he interacts with the prospects.

“You know when you are at your best and you know how it feels to succeed during those times. That’s the energy you have to draw upon every single day when you are prospecting. But being aware of your strengths is key. If you know you (more…)

Cold Calling: Finding The Proper Quantity – Quality Balance

January 26th, 2013

How important is a business development call or as it is more commonly known, a “cold call”? Is it more important to dial the phone as many times each day as humanly possible or is it more important to make each call truly meaningful by researching the prospect, property etc.? In reality, it’s both. The irony is that the two concepts are somewhat at odds with each other. Perhaps you work for a firm that requires a certain number of cold calls be made each day or each week and tracks that activity as a metric of your production. The theory there is something like “the more calls you make the more money you make”, believing that it’s a numbers game and if you call enough prospects the business will come. This has merit but only to a limiting degree. If the quality of your initial client contact is poorly planned, unprofessional, “salesy” or otherwise ineffective with the prospect, you are actually doing yourself more harm than good. The damage gets compounded if the only focus is quantity because you will continue to burn bridges with prospects by making poor calls and leaving the client with a negative impression of you and your company.

The most successful commercial real estate sales professionals find a proper balance between making enough new business calls and delivering a positive impression to the person on the other end of the phone by knowing something about them and having a relevant purpose for making the contact. These successful agents realize the importance of each and every call. Why? Because each and every call is a treasured opportunity for the commercial real estate agent to build a client relationship that can foster long term revenue, referrals, positive branding and a countless number of other benefits that cumulatively defines success. I suggest replacing the concept of “quantity” with a more effective concept…consistency. If you simply create a well thought out plan each day or each week that consists of whom you want to make contact with, a relevant purpose for (more…)

3 Key Components of a Great Database

July 24th, 2012

Ever heard the expression “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts”? Well in commercial real estate brokerage what you know does matter but it’s kind of useless if you don’t have a properly populated database of contacts upon which you can espouse that knowledge. Building and maintaining a solid database is arguably the fuel that drives the engine of your brokerage machine. I’m often amazed at the lengths that some agents will go to when trying to build their list of contacts. Some trudge it out looking up each property record, scouring the internet for phone numbers and scrubbing their information for accuracy. Some hire brokerage assistants or interns to do the work for them. Whatever the process, let’s examine what is really important in building your database:

1. We need client contact information. That means not just the ownership or buying entity, but the name, address, phone number and email address for a real human. Remember, a successful commercial real estate business is about person to person relationships.

2. We need lender contacts. Especially in the environment we have experienced over the past few years, it is extremely important to know who key decision makers are within the commercial real estate lending community. Opportunities about for commercial real estate agents who establish solid working relationships with key lenders.

3. We need co-brokerage contacts. When marketing our listings, the efficiencies of leveraging contacts within the commercial real estate brokerage community must be an important component. The buyer for your new listing may be in the database of a good commercial real estate agent in another area or another state. Having a database with agent contacts will strengthen the punch of any property marketing campaign.

Obviously to build and manage the above described key contact information could be a time consuming undertaking. Fortunately, in the internet age there are streamlining options that take some of the frustration out of the process. Yes, search features on some property appraiser websites are getting better. Social media and search engines improve your likelihood of finding your way to a key contact. But in these scenarios you or your staff are still the ones compiling the information and time is money.
Some technology types are figuring out ways to automate this process for commercial real estate agents by curating the data and keeping it up to date. I’ve been a subscriber to one such service for a couple of years. www.CREfirms.com is a subscription service that offers a complete database of key contacts in all of the three areas discussed above. The information is sortable and is delivered in a simple Excel format so it is easy to import it to whatever CRM system you use. CREfirms is a really affordable option to spending enormous amounts of time doing this research and it’s way less expensive than an assistant. From firsthand experience, I can highly recommend them. You can receive a 30 day free trial by going to www.CREfirms.com.
However you go about the process, never ignore the power of feeding your key contact database. Take what you know in commercial real estate and impress who you know by having those people in a well populated database.

6 Traits Commercial Real Estate Brokers Should Learn From Tim Tebow

January 11th, 2012

No matter what you think of “Tebow Mania”, you have to admit it’s been interesting to watch. Love him or hate him, the guy is a proven winner which is what most of us certainly try to be when it comes to our commercial real estate brokerage practices. I’ll admit, I’ve been on the Tebow bandwagon and I’ve developed a few parallels that I think can be applied to what we do to be “winners’ in commercial real estate. I’ve identified 6 traits that Tim Tebow exemplifies and that you will also find in almost every successful broker:

 

  1. ATTITUDE: Tebow has always had the attitude of a winner. He knows what it takes to prepare and he goes about his business with a positive mindset, even though he is under tremendous scrutiny and pressure. It’s been hard to have a positive attitude in the commercial real estate business over the past couple of years, but the attitude you project day in and day out reflects how you approach your business. I believe you either project a winning attitude or a losing attitude.
  2. ENTHUSIASM: Tim Tebow loves the game and it shows. He has been displaying a childlike enthusiasm on the field and off since he was at Florida. That enthusiasm is contagious and makes everyone from his teammates to his fans want to be a part of it. Dale Carnegie said “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence is the quality that most frequently makes for success”. Be enthusiastic about everything you do. When you make a cold call, meet a client for the first time or make a marketing presentation exude enthusiasm that tells the person on the other end that you LOVE what you are doing. More importantly, enthusiasm is the reinforcement of belief.
  3. COACHABILITY: Throughout his football career, Tebow’s coaches have raved about him. Why? Because their job is to coach and he is a coachable kid. Even when he was experiencing championship success at the University of Florida, he remained disciplined and open to the coaching he was receiving. (more…)

Defrosting The Cold Call

September 20th, 2011

I’ve heard of the 3 biggest lies in the world, but one has been forgotten….” I love cold calling!” Sure, there’s always the commercial broker at a party or in the office who proclaims his love for making cold calls and all of the justifications. He’s lying. Nobody likes making cold calls for one simple reason…. Nobody likes BEING cold called. There are a number of ancillary reasons, rejection, time consuming, low payoff, etc., but when we really think about it….. it just isn’t any fun. Maybe because of the “cold” part. In the context of calling someone you don’t know and who doesn’t know you, a “cold” call implies that you are simply going to spew your commercial real estate agent 30 second elevator speech to whoever correlates to the name on your list and the voice on the phone. Isn’t that what every cold call you’ve received sounds like?

What we need to hear the person on the other end of the phone say (right after “hello”), is “WHY AM I LISTENING TO YOU”. You have very little time to deliver the answer to that question. “I’m a great commercial real estate agent and you should work with me” isn’t going to cut it.

In order to turn the cold call into a warm call and thus enjoy some positive results, you have to put a little work into what makes up each call. Think “quality” as much as “quantity”.  As commercial real estate professionals, I assume we are not calling out of the phone book. Effective business development starts with building a data base and populating it with as much information as possible about the target prospects in your market. This must include the obvious, owners name and contact information, but also should include a complete property record, photo of the property that YOU take, loan info if available, market data such as rental rates, market concessions, and your notes from visiting the property. When you are physically visiting the property you plan to enter into your database, envision yourself touring it with the owner. Note anything and everything you can make a comment about…….. new landscaping, broken sidewalk, remodeled lobby, vacancy on the directory. These notes must be in your database record along with all of the previously mentioned information.

Now your call goes something like this…. (more…)

If LeBron James Had To Cold Call For a Living

May 9th, 2011

If you’ve ever watched NBA Mega-Superstar LeBron James play basketball you’ve undoubtedly seen him perform a living highlight reel of seemingly impossible feats on the court. You’ve also seen him perform in entertaining commercials and of course his now infamous “Decision” program where he announced his move to Miami. Some people love him, some people can’t stand him (hello Clevelanders!) but he has to be given respect for his talent as well has his ability to maximize his brand. He’s a guy who demands personal achievement at the highest level with a focus on being the best. A famous quote from LeBron goes like this: (more…)