Prospecting, or lead generation, is key to success in many fields, but building a contact base is especially vital in commercial real estate. Whether an agent specializes in helping investors buy and sell commercial properties or in property management on behalf on an owner or investor, tenant prospecting is the key to ongoing effectiveness. It represents a way to build legitimacy and expertise, and is also a valuable means of gaining referrals that lead to future business. However, prospecting is not a part-time effort, and it requires diligence and consistency.
Basics of Prospecting Success
Prospecting techniques are not difficult to master, but they may sometimes seem redundant. It's important to be aware of market trends, but it's equally important to examine local business directions and be attuned to potential future needs.
Awareness about property ownership, planned development, business expansion, lessees and lease terms, available space and upcoming vacancies is the raw material that a successful property manager calls upon to match prospective tenants with the right landlords. Every lease negotiation centers around existing market conditions, but closing a deal also requires knowledge about the competition and a thorough understanding of tenant requirements.
A beginning agent should research available buildings, owners, key tenants, business types in a specific location, and identifiable trends. No matter what your focus, whether you represent owners or tenants, it's important to establish yourself and your firm as a knowledgeable player in the world of Crow Wing County commercial real estate.
Enlarge Your Potential Contact Base
Leasing services are typically considered a specialized function of real estate. In order to grow your clientele and enhance your reputation as a property manager or leasing specialist, it's important to think beyond your initial comfort zone. The specialization required to work with investors as well as tenants means than property managers must develop skills that are uniquely service-oriented. Generate new leads by thinking beyond your initial comfort zone.
One way to do that is by returning to some more traditional methods:
- Search city records and send an introductory letter to building owners;
- Develop a pitch to introduce yourself and your services;
- Knock on doors or make quick phone calls;
- Ask for referrals from current clients;
Use Pinpoint Prospecting Rather than a Shotgun Approach
Expand not only your client base, but also your skill mix, to take advantage of new opportunities. Although many property managers specialize in either landlord services or tenant or renters advocacy, it is always an advantage to have a working knowledge of relocation needs, new property finish-outs, property redundancies, and other related topics. Sell yourself as the expert in the field whenever it's appropriate.
In addition, pull out all the stops when it comes to creative packaging that will lead to new occupancies:
- Bundle complementary businesses as potential tenants in a single building;
- Suggest possible new uses to an existing landlord faced with changing demographics or an altered economic landscape;
- Contact municipalities and government authorities to forge new alliances for future development;
- Investigate the possibility of marketing live-work spaces and creative "maker spaces" in locales where previous uses have changed.
- Target areas ripe for renovation and redevelopment in order to work with both sides of the Landlord/Tenant relationship.
In addition, utilize your knowledge of changing market conditions or planned new development in the region to identify potential businesses that might have an interest in relocating, and then contact them to schedule a meeting.
If your business is primarily owner-oriented, use similar techniques to identify new investment opportunities, whether it's a different locale or a variant of the tenant profile. Effective property management goes far beyond the knowledge of major buildings, popular locations and planned new developments. As a property manager or real este broker who specializes in leasing commercial properties, there are a myriad of opportunities to expand your menu of services and be of more service to clients.