Getting commercial real estate leads doesn’t have to be expensive or even time consuming. Here are as many options as I can think of to get your lead generation rolling!
1. Reonomy List. Buying a list from Reonomy is simple and easy. Their filtering software makes it easy to pull only the leads you want! Get as targeted as needed, IE “Multifamily owners in zip-code 85205 with 3 to 10-unit complexes.” Learn more about Reonomy.
2. Lime Leads. At twenty to ten cents per contact, Lime Leads makes pulling an Excel spreadsheet fast, cheap and easy. Unlike Reonomy, Lime Leads will not provide real estate owner information, but it would be great for tenant rep. Lookup contact information for retail, office, or industrial in specified areas and pull your contact list. More about Lime Leads.
3. InfoUSA. Pricing on lists can be negotiated with a sales rep. These lists will not provide real estate owner information, only business contacts. You can use this information for tenant rep purposes. I recommend working with a sales rep, as they can get you a better deal than the website. More about InfoUSA.
Purchasing Email Blasts
4. Big Boys Blast. Currently, Big Boys Blast is the king of commercial real estate email lists. They claim 128,000 emails in their database including both brokers and investors. Email start at a low cost of $69 and you can advertise your listings or services to a huge group in one shot. More on purchasing email blasts.
5. Property Blast. The second contender for commercial real estate email lists is Property Blast. They claim over 90,000 emails in their database. You can also choose to do emails by states (great for leasing). Emails start at $59 per email. More on purchasing email blasts.
6. Property Send. Company claims 120,000 in their database. When I personally use this service, I get half the open rate of Property Blast, and a quarter of what I get from Big Boys Blast. Their emails start at $129 per email. More on purchasing email blasts.
7. Catylist. Price runs from $99 to $329. The sales rep claims about 50,000 emails in their database. They allow both single and multiple property emails, so if you’re sending out multiple properties, one email with multiple properties could be the best option. One of the few options that allows you to choose emails by state (great for leases)! More on purchasing email blasts.
8. News Funnel. Online real estate news site with a weekly newsletter of top stories. They have several options to advertise on this newsletter including banner advertisements and sponsorships. The smaller banner ads will run about $250 per week. More on News Funnel.
9. LoopNet Newsletter Ads. The banner ad on top of their weekly newsletter is for sale for a mind boggling $2,000 per week. They boast an average of 400 clicks per newsletter. Although the price is staggering, if their claimed click-thru rate holds true, one ad will get you significantly more clicks than most of their competitors combined. More on LoopNet Newsletter Ads.
10. Internet Presence. I cannot stress this enough – the world is turning digital, YOU NEED TO GET ON THE INTERNET! Shrugging your shoulders and claiming your clients don’t “go online” is ridiculous. Old-fashion clientele may be your majority now, but as they retire, how will you replace them? A website is a great way to keep leads rolling in completely hands-free! 5 Steps to a Killer Lead Generating Website.
11. Social Media. I had doubts about social media’s significance in the commercial real estate industry, but since I began a social media campaign of just 1 post per work day, my website traffic from LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter has doubled. My followers went from 10-25 to over 500. It’s worth the extra time and effort to establish a social media presence.
12. Content Creation. Blogging is a great way to keep visitors coming back to your website. It’s also an easy thing to advertise on social media and place on your newsletter. I won’t get into the technical details, but blogging increases your SEO strength with original content and long keyword strings.
13. Newsletter. Use your blogs as a main feature and put in a few interesting articles about commercial real estate, money, economics and business to keep people interested and engaged month-after-month.
14. SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is the art of making your website easy for search engines to read – the result is higher rankings (1st to 2nd page of results). Not many commercial real estate brokerage and agents put a lot of money into SEO, so if you put some effort into it, you’ll see results very quickly.
15. Follow-up. In today’s world, most of your follow-up activities can be automated. Set your website to automatically email people who have filled out a form, so they’re contacted immediately. You can also set this to send a few days apart some educational information like most popular blog posts, news articles and other information potential clients would find interesting.
16. Mailers. Mailers can be either extremely beneficial or enormously wasteful. Get extremely targeted to make mailers effective. For instance, send a sales letter and property brochure to current owners of multifamily properties with buildings of 15-units to sell your 6-unit multifamily building. Reonomy allows you to get extremely targeted with your list. Thin your list to just 100 that fit your criteria and save money. Gone are the days of wasteful shot-gun mailing techniques.
17. Cold Emails. I won’t lie to you; cold emails are a numbers game. Send about 100 emails per day and expect to receive a hand-full of responses. The good news is, cold emails can be automated. With inexpensive services like Woodpecker, you can automatically set 7 emails to send over time, including using custom fields like name, company name, and more for customization and to hide the fact that it’s automated. Learn more about cold emails.
18. Cold Calls. Your broker probably screams down the hallway “Cold Call!”. And here I am, putting it at the bottom of the list. It’s time to retire your old way of cold calling! There’s no excuse for you not to automate this annoying chore. With services like Direct-to-Voicemail and Mass Texting, you can get thousands of cold calls done with a click of the mouse. Record a message, set to send, and it automatically hits voicemails (cell and landline) without a ring. Potential clients will never know your call was automated. Learn more about cold calling.
19. Associations / Networking. I, personally, am not a huge fan of networking. I think it’s a lot of time and energy for maybe 1 lead a month. However, I think the best way for a commercial real estate agent to network is by utilizing the meet-n-greets by NAIOP, CCIM, and ICSC. Other ideas are your local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau.