Brokerage best practices

6 Ways CRE brokers can recession-proof their deal pipeline

Depending on who you ask, the US economy is either already in a recession or may be heading for one soon. The rapid rise in inflation and the resulting interest rate increase has begun impacting buyer and seller behavior. And, as a commercial real estate broker, it’s easy to be discouraged by the barrage of alarmist news reports.

But as veteran CRE pros can attest, there are still plenty of opportunities available during market dips. And by making efforts to prepare your deal pipeline today, you’ll be better prepared to weather whatever storm is brewing on the horizon.

Here are six things you can do right now to recession-proof your pipeline.

1. Significantly boost your prospecting efforts

Let’s face it: no one loves prospecting. It’s meticulous and time-consuming, and hearing “no” too often can take a toll on your ego. However, prospecting is one of the best ways to generate leads and foster your client base. No matter where you are in your career, it’s essential to success. And, amid times of economic uncertainty, it’s arguably more important than ever.

But, when you dedicate time and energy to prospecting, you need to ensure you’re working smarter, not harder.

First, focus your efforts only on the listings most likely to sell. This is where the Buildout Insights can save you a significant amount of time. The AI-based property and owner research solution will help you identify which properties are most likely to go up for sale and unlock accurate property owner contact information.

Second, leverage technology to streamline the prospecting process. Instead of getting bogged down by inefficiencies and the sheer volume of emails and phone calls on your plate, adopt a CRM with a built-in prospecting tool. This allows you to send and track communications easily and keeps everything in one central location for easy referencing.

2. Broaden your horizons

Investors know the best way to lower their risk is to diversify their portfolios. By investing in a variety of asset classes, they know they’ll be more likely to weather market ups and downs.

The same holds true for CRE brokers. By diversifying your income streams with countercyclical asset classes, you can reduce your risk and increase your ability to survive (and even thrive) amid a recession.

In addition to expanding your business into new territories, here are three alternative slices of the market to consider.

  • Multi-family. When interest and underemployment rates rise, demand for residential rental property increases. Many would-be home buyers have halted their search in the wake of the Fed's repeated interest rate hikes and are looking for rental spaces instead. Now is a good time to delve into this market.
  • Discount retail and hospitality. In times of economic instability, consumers are less interested in luxury shopping and travel experiences and more interested in getting a good deal. That translates into higher demand for real estate from lower-price retailers and budget hotel chains.
  • Class B and C office space. When revenue is under pressure, companies seek ways to quickly reduce expenses. And, since many workers are still working remotely, many organizations will start their cost-cutting measures by moving to lower-cost office spaces.

As you tap into new areas of the commercial real estate market, you’ll need to do your research. Buildout Insights can ensure you always have access to the most accurate data to find new clients and grow your network.

3. Cut out the middleman

Two things are guaranteed to slow down your path to bigger commissions: unqualified leads and not having direct access to buyers. Wasting time working the wrong buyers and having to go through buyers’ agents can hurt your timeline and your payout. But, by cutting out the middleman, you can speed up the sale, double-end more deals, and take home a higher commission.

One way to achieve this is by using Buildout Boost. This solution promotes your listings directly to pre-screened investors, matches your listing to buyers’ investment criteria, verifies their interest, and delivers their contact information via the Buildout platform.

4. Clone yourself

While we don’t yet have the technology to literally clone brokers, you can do the next best thing: automate as much of your efforts as humanly possible. Instead of relying on manual processes for every step of a deal, you can boost your efficiency by implementing the right commercial real estate tech.

For example, you can leverage Buildout Marketing to generate professional-looking proposals in minutes, allowing you to win-over prospects before your competitors. You can also create all necessary marketing collateral, including a custom property website, and push listings to third-party syndication sites with a few clicks. And with the Grids tool, you can connect spreadsheet data to the Buildout platform and auto-populate them with data from the CRM.

By automating more of your workload, you can get more done faster, fill your deal pipeline, and free up time for building genuine, long-term, mutually lucrative relationships. 

5. Stand out from the competition

Now, more than ever, you need to ensure you’re setting yourself apart from other brokers in your field. What do you bring to the table that your competitors don’t? How can you make memorable first impressions and quickly earn prospects’ trust?

This is yet another way it pays to have leading-edge commercial real estate software. 

For example, the Buildout Marketing content generator tool helps you quickly spin up beautifully branded marketing materials to showcase your clients’ listings in their best light. And the Grids feature includes financial modeling functionality so you can synchronize detailed financial valuation data with your marketing packages.

6. Shorten your deal cycles

Inflation erodes your earning power. And the longer the time between earning a listing and closing, the less your commission will be worth. (For more on this, check out our recent blog post on how inflation and interest affects broker earnings.)

The best way to curb those losses is to shorten your deal cycles. That means you have to find, win, market, sell and close deals in less time than you do right now. And while that may seem impossible, once again, CRE software can help.

Buildout helps you find accurate data for new opportunities, quickly build proposals to win listings, create marketing collateral in minutes, and promote directly to pre-screened investors. Plus, you can easily manage your deal pipeline, so nothing falls through the cracks. This platform helps you bust through bottlenecks in the process, shorten the timeline, and get paid before inflation further reduces the value of your commission.

There’s no way to know how this economic dip will impact the CRE market or how long it will last. But one thing we do know is that it never hurts to re-evaluate your processes and identify opportunities for improvement. Taking these six steps will make you more resilient to the economy’s ebbs and flows and ensure more success in the coming year.

If you’d like to see how Buildout can help with one or all of the above, book a demo with one of our specialists.

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