Sales agents get nervous when we talk about “targeting a market”. The on-going thought is, “If I only advertise a certain group of people, I’ll miss out on deals.” If shotgun approaches were successful, there wouldn’t be hundreds of books about how to successfully segment your market. Don’t be afraid of segmenting your potential clients, you can always add more later!
1) Who do you WANT to work with? Think back over your commercial real estate career and try to pinpoint what deals made you the happiest. It could be repping tenants, selling apartment buildings or filling that vacant office building with leasers. After-all, you got into the sales business to be your own boss and do what you like. There’s no reason to advertise to unwanted clients. Let’s focus on the ones you want to work with.
2) Where do you want to work? Being a commercial real estate agent usually means you have to stick within the boundaries of your city or state. Most agents will either choose a particular subsection of a city or master plan area to really focus on. If you’re not sure what area you’re interested in, many agents will choose a radius around their office or home to cut down on commuting.
3) What services do you provided for potential clients? Now that we know who we want to work with – (a) buyers/sellers, (b) landlords with vacancies or (c) tenant who need space – and where you want to work, write down all the services you can provide. For instance, you’re an expert in Kalamazoo, Michigan commercial real estate who specializes in selling office buildings. Write down why you’re an expert in your area (X years of experience, live and work in city, etc.) and all the services you can provide to potential sellers of office buildings (valuation of property, marketing the property, pulling demographic profiles, etc.). When you’re done, you’ll have a “unique selling proposition” identified!
4) Gathering lead information. We want to target potential clients who have office buildings in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Let’s find those people! Luckily for CRE folks, all your potential clients are in municipal databases which are considered “public information”. Which means, they cannot hide from you. For free, you can run down to your county records department and request a demo on how to search their database for owners of office buildings. However, this can be tedious and very time consuming.
Thankfully, Reonomy has taken all this information and placed it into an easily searched database. I have a step-by-step tutorial on how to gather property owner’s contact information including contact name, mailing address, and phone.
5) Contacting your leads. The easiest way to contact those potential leads is by mailers. I have 3 ready-made lead generating packages: (a) buyers/sellers, (b) landlords with vacancies or (c) tenant who need space. This includes a white paper, 3 sales letters and 3 postcards. Each mailing package has the same call-to-action – contact you for the white paper. Printing and mailing 300 postcards with Vistaprint is only $189.
Another idea would be to gather phone numbers and setup a voicemail call with VoiceLogic. Your prerecorded message will go directly to voicemail, bypassing the ringing completely, so it looks like you called individually. You can do 300 direct to voicemail calls for only $32.
When used together (mailers + voicemail), you’ll have a great multiple-touch campaign!
Tip to remember: Start with a small target market, get bigger as you perfect your message!