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:
- 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 identifies who your target prospects are, how you’ll find them, how you’ll contact them, when you’ll contact them and a metric of ratios for the results you can expect if you execute this plan is crucial.
- Make Quality Business Development (Cold) Calls – As I talked about in an earlier post “Cold Calling: Finding The Proper Quantity – Quality Balance” making that first contact with a valued prospect is where you begin to establish your credibility, trust and brand. Have good, relevant reasons for speaking with new prospects so that you can engage them in meaningful dialogue. This should be part of your weekly or monthly plan when deciding who you will target for that time period.
- Do As Many New Business Proposals As Possible – Proposals are the initial bridge between you and the prospect which connects you with a common goal…achieving the prospects’ desired outcome. Always offer to do Proposals, Opinions of Value, Market Reports, etc. to bring value to the agent/client relationship. Impress your prospects by making these documents highly professional, using software such as our Proposal Generator.
- Utilize Social Media and Other Technology to Leverage Your Efforts – The prevalence of online networking, marketing and communication cannot be denied. Have an effective strategy for interacting with prospects through these channels every day or enlist the services of someone who is “tech savvy” to do it for you. These secondary marketing efforts, if done correctly, will help you to enhance your position as a trusted expert in the commercial real estate industry.
- Have a System For Revisiting Past Proposals – Create a tickler file every time you generate a Proposal which will prompt you to re-connect with that prospect at least every 6 months. Offer to update the Proposal or simply gather new intelligence regarding the property and the prospects’ situation.