Commercial Real Estate Lead Generation 101 – Go Where Your Clients Are
By BTS Brands
“Where will I get my next lead?” This is a question you likely ask yourself every day. When it comes to commercial real estate lead generation, your business needs fresh prospects and opportunities flowing to you on an ongoing basis to ensure sustainable success and future growth. In order to successfully create a system that is generating constant interest in your services, you’ll need to have an in-depth understanding of the market’s landscape. As you know, your expertise is only as good as the quality and depth of your market knowledge. Some of these “need to know” areas of emphasis may include an understanding of a tenant’s current lease status, an investor’s buy priorities and sweet spot when it comes to overall volume, a knowledge of what buyers are doing, whether it’s looking to acquire, sell or a possible lease back and let’s of course not forget about a certainty of which transactions were recently completed and the details on each of these deals.
How are you currently generating leads? Going through lengthy lists, executing database searches, cold-calling and your commercial real estate crm are all certain realities of just how to market commercial real-estate. But, are those really the most effective methods and best uses of your time? There’s an old saying that says “fish where the fish are”. You should look to generate leads where your prospective clients are. Likely, you already know this to a degree from your existing experience with sales, participating in local NAIOP, ULI, CCIM, SIOR or ICSC events, partaking in broker events, and attending industry conferences.
These are all good things, according to marketingprofs.com, that say the theory behind the majority of those interactions are some of the top B2B lead generation methods. Although it’s likely you have in place some type of strategy when it comes to lead generation, you may find opportunities to refine those methods by looking a little closer within your targeted communities and uncovering new opportunities. Here’s five ideas that may jump start your thinking and help build your list of highly qualified prospects.
1. Get in with your local business community. The local commercial real estate market revolves around the business community. You should be connecting regularly with a lot of business owners and proprietors. Do this by joining community associations, chambers of commerce or other volunteer organizations. Don’t just attend meetings, get involved. People are more likely to share opportunities with people they’ve worked alongside.
2. Stay in touch with tenants. As business plans and the economy change, tenants will want to understand the available levels of property supply and demand. They’ll want to understand rentals in comparable properties and the cost of relocation. Be a tenant advocate.
3. Make your marketing efforts date related. Determine lease expiration dates and network with relevant tenants during the 18 months leading up to expiration. This will give you plenty of time to get ahead of the competition and the future client will appreciate you giving them plenty of time to consider change and make all necessary preparations for the move. Focusing your email marketing campaigns and seo efforts around this and other property related dates could give you a significant advantage. Think similarly about dates that can occur with landlords and owners and make them another target of your marketing efforts.
4. Don’t forget about investors. Commercial real estate owners are seeking investment performance and gain. Be sure to check-in with this set on the anniversary of their most recent activity – typically, this is about the time they’ll be ready for the next opportunity or at least review the success or short comings of their recent investment. Have brochures and other media specifically tailored to property owners and investors so you are suitably placed for this cyclical activity.
5. Know the people that tenants and owners rely on. Face it, you’re not the only person servicing your client inside your buildings. Tenants and owners rely on food service vendors, janitorial suppliers, HVAC engineers and construction professionals. Each of these vendors should be on your hit list to network with and target with communications. They’ll know about events or changes with tenants and owners that may hold value for you.
Knowing where to fish is certainly a big part of the chore for lead generation. There are lots of options for attracting those fish once you know where they are. Figuring out the most effective methods for generating leads for your commercial real estate business will help you connect ROI to your marketing efforts and ensure that you’re keeping your pipeline full with new opportunities. Every lead generation approach has its own moving parts, and oftentimes, it’s difficult to know which of these is going to be right for your business and the parts that need fine tuning.