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Strategy. It’s one of those words that people have overused because they think it makes them sound smart; like “paradigm” or “[something]-centric”. Simply put, a strategy is a plan – that’s it. Your grocery list can be renamed your weekly sustenance strategy. But, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not important. In commercial real estate, we’ve all seen brokers become unsuccessful because their prospecting strategies was to sit back and wait for clients. Or, we’ve all been victims of the “spray ‘n pray” approach to business.
Your commercial real estate business should have a strategy. And your strategy should have strategies. And each strategy should be strategically strategized by strategies until you find yourself in commercial real estate Inception. The point is, you need closing strategies, appointment strategies, and prospecting strategies. Since prospecting is the lifeblood of the rest of the stages in your business, it’s important to maintain a simple, successful plan to move forward.
So, here are 7 prospecting strategies to get more clients in your area, as well as help you maximize your efforts and results.
Mark your territory
First, you’re going to want to clearly understand where your borders are. All of your efforts should be concentrated on a specific region. One way to do this is simply putting a map up in your office. Or, you can drive street by street until you find the edges of your market. Either way, setting your territory allows you to focus your efforts on the people within your market instead of spreading you thinly throughout various different areas. This first tip is the foundation for the rest.
Be the history buff
Once you’ve determined your territory, set out to learn as much as you can about the history of your community. Obviously, you’ll want to focus on sales and leasing history. But, it doesn’t hurt to learn about the the history of the businesses in your area. Learning the history allows you to understand the current trends in your market and, more importantly, allows you to project new trends in the future.
Immerse yourself in your community
Now, it’s time to get yourself mingling with other community members so that you can meet the people in your area. You can take a leadership role in your community by joining a board or the chamber of commerce. Or you can emphasis your personality by joining sports, school, or church groups. Go out to the farmer’s markets or local fairs.
This is done so that you can get to know your market and the business owners that you will be working with. Most importantly, you can introduce yourself without being seen as a salesperson because, at a farmer’s market, you aren’t there to sell.
Become a local whiz
Immersing yourself in your community allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your market and keeps you in the loop of coming events. You should be on the lookout for information about new developments that are under consideration. Also, maintain a working knowledge of the local laws and ordinances that could affect businesses. And, keep a close eye on trends that you notice throughout your neighborhoods. All of these can help you plan for the future and notify decision makers about changes that may influence their businesses.
Know your enemy
You should make it a point to know the competitors in your market. Try to learn how they work, and what their strengths are. Keep track of how they’re marketing and prospecting in your area. This information will allow you to find your niche and focus your efforts on potential clients that may be overlooked by your competitors. Forgotten prospects could be a great source of business.
Monitor the listings
You must track the listings and transactions that are occurring in your area. Monitor the price, time on market, and marketing method. Specifically, keep a close eye on listings that are expired or being listed by the owner. These prospects benefit the most from having a dedicated broker. If so, they may be your biggest advertisement if you can help them with their needs. Additionally, if you are monitoring your community, you will be able to quickly adapt or adjust to any situation that may arise in your business.
Spread the word
Throughout the prospecting process, you’ll mostly encounter people who aren’t ready for your services. That doesn’t mean that they don’t know someone who is. Even if they say “no” they may remember you if a need does arise. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral, especially if you’ve helped them before. If you are actively engaged in all of these tips, there are very few situations where you won’t be of service.