Getting started as a new commercial real estate Broker can be overwhelming. Not only are you still learning about the industry, you are doing so while trying to earn an income. This means finding prospects, winning their business and ultimately closing their deal.
It’s easy to forget that even seasoned commercial real estate Brokers started in the exact same spot: trying to score their very first listing. Scoring listings is a common thread between all newbies and successful veterans. After all, acquiring new clients and maintaining existing ones is a commercial real estate Broker’s lifeblood.
So, as a new CRE Broker how do you score that first listing? Short answer: you put in the hard work and never give up. Long answer: you prospect, you define a focus and you ask for it.
Create a Prospect List
You want to build new business in commercial real estate? First step is creating a prospect database in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Sitting in front of an empty spreadsheet can be quite un-motivating, so our best advice is to just get started! First fill in your database with all of the people you know (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) and then you can work outwards to qualified prospects. How do you find those ‘qualified prospects’? In this helpful article from the CCIM Institute, they share a list of who exactly fits that title. They are:
- Someone who needs commercial real estate services;
- Who knows they need commercial real estate services;
- Who has the authority to act on their need;
- Who has the budget to back up their authority;
- Who feels a sense of urgency to act;
- Who knows your company and has had a positive experience in the past;
- Who knows you and likes and trusts you; and
- Who is willing to follow your guidance.
Even if a prospect only meets the first few attributes, they are still qualified and worth talking to. If they meet the whole list? Then meet your first listing!
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin, Find a Niche
Creating a quality prospect database takes a lot of research and hours. It’s easy for a new commercial real estate Broker to go down a rabbit hole, spinning their wheels on collecting data for prospects that will never turn into listings. Avoid this common new Broker mistake and don’t spread yourself too thin. You know you want listings, so focus on narrowing your search.
To do that a new commercial real estate Broker must first define a target market. This can be done in terms of location (farming a particular market sub-set, MSA or neighborhood) or commercial specialty (retail, office, multifamily, industrial, land, etc.). Is there a specific area or commercial sector that piques your interest or you have familiarity with? By defining a niche a new commercial real estate Broker not only begins defining himself or herself as an expert, they make it much easier to prospect.
A final word of advice on defining your target market: you still need to earn an income, so don’t make it too small.
As a new commercial real estate Broker trying to score their first listing you need to understand two things: (1) this business is based on referrals and (2) amazing resources are just one conversation or call away. What we’re saying is, if you want to be successful and get that listing, all you need to do is ask. Ask everyone you know to refer you and ask every Broker you meet for advice.
Think about any service provider you have ever needed. Whether a dentist or mechanic, instead of going to Google to search who was in the area you first asked your family and friends who they liked and had good experiences with. The same goes for commercial real estate. To help ramp up your new business and score that first listing you should:
- Ask Your Sphere of Influence: Start with the people that know and trust you best: your friends, family and colleagues. They want you to be successful and will be more than willing to tell everyone they know to hire you as a commercial real estate Broker.
- Put it Out There: Beyond telling your friends and family, shout it from the mountaintops that you are looking to assist buyers, sellers and tenants in their commercial real estate needs. From social media to networking events to doctor appointments, anyone you meet or come in contact with is a potential prospect.
- Be Thankful: To keep all of these people referring your services it’s important to always be appreciative. Be sure to send thank you cards or gifts to anyone who is helping you start your business.
Successful Commercial Real Estate Brokers Never Give Up
While we have provided you tips on scoring your first listing as a new commercial real estate Broker, the truth is there is no “secret sauce” to success. It really comes down to working hard and never giving up. In addition, training doesn’t hurt either.
At Rosano Partners we are committed to the success of our new Brokers and as such offer extensive training programs to help them reach, and surpass, their earning goals. For more information on training, or current career opportunities, click here.