Digsy Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Bermudez builds on his experience as a commercial real estate broker to share more than a dozen and a half tools to harness the internet’s treasure trove of data to generate leads.
We were thrilled to have commercial real estate technology entrepreneur and friend, Andrew Bermudez, join us live for one of our recent Wednesday webinars. As founder of Digsy, an online portal that makes it easier to find, lease, and buy commercial real estate, Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge about lead generation software. Digsy is funded by one of the board members of Zillow, a former VP at LoopNet, a former CEO of Apple Computer, and many well known angel investors and venture capitalists.
We encourage you to watch the replay of the webinar to see Andrew walk us through these 19 different commercial real estate lead generation tools available to you. Check out our summary below for some actionable tips from each tool:
The lead tools below are more passive than active. While you are out touring buildings or prospecting for new tenants and landlords to serve, these are tools that can help you generate leads efficiently right from your computer. Most of these tools are incoming rather than outgoing, so you spend less time looking for the lead information and more time finding it.
“First things first, it’s all about growth”
Save time on your cold calls. Usually in commercial real estate, we are taught to pick up the phone and dial for dollars when looking for companies that are moving or seeking additional space. Instead, search on ZipRecruiter to see what companies are hiring in your selected area. This will help you gage who is growing and needs your service. Once you narrow down your search, now pick up the phone and call to see if you can help them find space. Chances are, you will exert less time and energy. Plus, you will reach them before other brokers who are only cold calling.
“Funding events = growth = space needs.”
Crunchbase helps you find companies with capital for growth by reporting funding events that have taken place. When you go to Crunchbase, you can search by Funding Round. If you select Seed Round, Crunchbase will populate all companies in your selected area that have completed seed round funding, meaning investors believe they have proven traction and are likely to raise growth capital (e.g., Series A, Series B) in the future. The key here is to develop a relationship with the CEOs before another broker does.
Note: It is easy to reach these companies because most startups’ founders and CEOs are listed on their websites with full contact information.
“Develop relationships early on”
AngelList (angel.co) is similar to Crunchbase but shows events about to happen, rather than events that have already occurred. Companies use AngelList as a marketplace for investors to find them when they are actively looking for money. Remember, funding generally equates to a company’s future growth, which in turn means they will most likely need space. Again, look at the seed companies because those are the companies likely to receive future funding. You can search by location and develop relationships with these companies early on before they are on another broker’s radar. This is also helpful for landlords looking for tenants.
“Get a lot more mileage”
A lot of brokers are already posting articles on social media or sending emails with downloadable links. Sniply provides a simple tool to help you get even more out of this work. How? By creating a pop-up call to action (CTA) whenever that post is viewed. When you share an article on your blog, for example, Sniply can prompt viewers to see a predetermined message of your choice, such as “Looking for office space? Click here to try our free service!”
“Reaching out cold, our success rate was virtually zero”
While people are familiar with the free version of LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to expand your reach and research people you are not already connected with. It also has an expansive list of filters so that your searches are limitless. This service is under $100/month, whereas similar platforms are over ten times more expensive. As Andrew states, people are 40% more likely to do business with you if they have a mutual connection, so the money is well worth it.
*Note: Digsy AI never once reached out via cold call for funding.
“Every dollar you spend, you are getting back $44”
Using the Sequences feature on Hubspot, you can follow up with people individually based on a set of automated rules. Want to follow up from Monday’s emails if someone doesn’t respond in 3 days? You can do that, and then some. HubSpot allows you to even customize which template you want to use for a particular user or add an extra touch to any email. This tool makes automation more human than ever.
“If they are unusually active, you really want to reach out to them”
Member Rating on Mailchimp shows how engaged recipients are with your emails (i.e. opens, clicks). After you send an email about a new building, look at who has the highest ratings. Pick up the phone and call them to develop a relationship if you don’t already have one.
“Make sure to add a call to action”
Mailchimp’s feature called Postcards provides an editor that allows you to easily design a postcard and send to prospects. You could send a new property listing, a recent deal, or even market information. Make sure you give a clear CTA, otherwise users are likely to read it but not engage any further.
Tried any lead gen tools?
Comment below if you have tried any of these lead generation tools or if you have a different one you would like to share! Stay tuned to hear about the rest of these CRE lead tools later this week. Spoiler Alert: QuantumListing and Digsy have their own lead services too!