1. Find your comfort level. If the industrial district creeps you out, do you really want to specialize in industrial real estate? The point to specialization isn’t to automatically say “no” to jobs outside of the scope, it’s to advertise to clients you want to work with. Take time to think about when you’ve been the happiest working with a particular client and critically think how to duplicate it.
2. Define your audience. Identifying your customer and what exactly they’re looking for will help you refine your selling strategy. People often fail because they’re trying to be all things to all people. Identify who you want to work with and offer them services that pertain to their business. For instance, industrial leasers need to know what parts of town have their zoning, what locations are best for their distribution or incoming shipments. Listing out what is specifically interesting to a particular market will separate you from the hoards of “sales and lease specialists” in the market.
3. Make things easy. If you have a marketing plan that can be applied to almost every property, outline it in bullet points. Especially the selling and buying of property can be a confusing process, so being clear about what your role will be can ensure the client that you’re knowledgeable and prepared.
4. Take time to build relationships. If you give a call or an email every once in awhile just to say “hello” it won’t be so “salesy” when you do it to promote new services. Make a point to personalize emails rather than using standardized messaging. Send your clients links to articles they may find interesting or send them a tweet with a link. The younger generation generally doesn’t want a phone calls, so be sure to target your calls accordingly.
5. Study your client’s behavior patterns for planning. You’ll notice business has a tendency to get busy during August until April and slows during the summer months. Adjusting your own patterns to this curve will help you plan vacations and send out marketing materials. You may also be able to use your down-time to write blog articles, newsletters and sales letters ahead of time.
6. Don’t make assumptions. Too often, commercial real estate agents sabotage their sales by assuming they know what customers need. Instead of making blanket judgments, ask questions or test different ideas with several mailers/emails/phone messages to see what provides the largest response.
7. Everyone Googles. Make sure your potential and current clients are seeing only good things about you on the Internet. Check your reviews (even your firm’s reviews) and consider having your own website separate from your firm. People are likely to search your full name, be sure your prior listings and service offerings are up-to-date and looking favorable.
8. Industry expertise. There’s nothing like already being established as an industry leader before you walk into a sales pitch. Writing articles or your own white papers will give you creditability in the industry. The more you write, the more knowledgeable you’ll become.