Prospecting is essential to success in commercial real estate. Unfortunately, many brokers hate doing it. And who can blame them?
More than 40% of salespeople cite prospecting as the most challenging part of sales, according to HubSpot, likely because 60% of customers say no four times before saying yes.
But while prospecting is tedious, time-consuming, and sometimes ego-bruising, it’s also the number one way to ensure a perpetually full pipeline. Prospecting helps you foster interest, generate leads, and grow your client base. And regardless of whether you’re a brand new broker or a seasoned expert, it’s vital to your sustained success.
Fortunately, there are tools and best practices that streamline the process and help make consistent prospecting less painful.
Why you should never stop prospecting
Before we delve into which prospecting tech and best practices you should use, let’s talk about why nonstop prospecting is so crucial in the first place.
- Keeping a full pipeline. Just because you have plenty of leads to work right now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be actively prospecting. It’s always better to have an overflowing pipeline than a trickling one.
- Building a network. Brokers who are later in their career may be able to subsist off client referrals (although relying on referrals alone can also limit opportunities). But if you’re an early to mid-level broker, you’re likely still growing your network. Prospecting is an excellent opportunity to find and establish lucrative, long-term relationships that will eventually lead to referrals.
- Connect with prospects when they need you most. Nonstop prospecting (with the right tech) will help you contact the right people at the right time—such as when a property they may be interested in has just come on the market—so you can get a head start over your competition.
3 prospecting best practices to keep in mind
How do the most successful brokers prospect? Here are three best practices you should adopt as part of your prospecting efforts.
- Request referrals. Always ask your best and happiest clients for referrals. Your value proposition is something they believe in, and data shows people trust peer referrals are often more effective than marketing.
- Schedule time to reach out. Salesforce data shows a whopping 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. People expect you to call them because it’s how they’re accustomed to doing business.
But while cold calling can be highly effective, it’s also something many salespeople dread. The best way to overcome this anxiety is to make it a habit. Set aside time every day to cold call potential leads, and, inevitably, it will become much easier.
- Get to know your community. Once you’ve selected a territory or niche, take time to build relationships in that community. Attend events, network with business owners, and begin building your reputation as the go-to broker in your field.
(Be sure to check out these lead generation tips for even more insight into how top brokers generate business.)
How technology can help
Of course, consistent prospecting is a big time commitment, even when leveraging best practices. How can you carve out the availability to continually fill your pipeline when you’re busy working active deals?
Here are a few ways you can leverage CRM technology to streamline the process.
- Provide access to accurate data. The right platform will give you access to data that helps you quickly identify trends. For example, you can pinpoint which properties turn most often and could become opportunities in the near future. You can also use a highly accurate property data tool that integrates with your CRM to ensure you spend less time digging for details and more time identifying opportunities.
- Automate workflows. Automation is one of the best ways to save time, energy, and headaches at any deal phase, which frees up your time for prospecting and connecting with clients. Instead of spending countless hours on manual updates, you can automate workflows and follow-ups.
- Keep deals moving forward. With automated workflows and integrated project management, you can drive deals forward and ensure nothing (and no one) slips through the cracks. This not only helps you easily nurture all those new leads you’re bringing in through your prospecting efforts, but it also helps keep existing deals on track and can even accelerate the time to close.
Prospecting is essential to your success in commercial real estate, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. By leveraging these best practices combined with the right technology, you can streamline the experience and free up more time in your schedule.