Getting commercial real estate sales leads can be time consuming and tricky.  Here are 11 great ways to get commercial real estate sales leads in your area.

1. Word of Mouth. Family, friends and current clients are a great way to spread the word on your services. Consider leaving some of your personal contacts a few business cards just-in-case they meet someone that you can help.  Make sure they know you give free consultations.  Sending small gifts to those that send work your way (even as small as a $5 Starbucks gift card) can go a long way.  Show your personal network gratitude and they will return it ten-fold.

2. Emails. Newsletters, announcements of new properties on the market, and helpful articles are all ideas that your target market would love. Be sure your emails are specific to your target market.  Don’t send industrial properties to agents that are purely retail.  Consider only sending property announcements to investors instead of other agents.  This will keep your email lists from getting tons of unsubscribes. 5 ways email marketing increases leads.

3. Blogging. Providing monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly advice to your target market is a great way to stay in touch. I know what you’re thinking. “How can I possibly think of things my audience wants to read?”  I have a few ideas here that will help you think of topics for a commercial real estate blog.  With blogging, consistency is key.  If you only have the time for one article a month, do that.  Setup reminders on your calendar and try your best not to skip them (it’s a slippery slope).  Also, consider not hiring an outside source to write your articles.  Most professional bloggers are great at residential real estate, but it’ll be clear very quickly that they know nothing about commercial real estate.  Writing articles yourself will ensure your content be high quality.

4. Mailers. Gather a list of commercial real estate property owners from Reonomy. Once you have your list, mail a series of sales letters and postcards to your potential clients.

5. Advertising. Ads in local industry magazines or business gazettes can be a great way to advertise. Consider local advertising online – including setting-up your business in online directories such as Yahoo!, Google, and Yelp.  An enhanced local listing can bring up your online viewership and conversions.

6. Social Media. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m not a huge fan of social media. In the commercial real estate industry, I think it’s a lot of work for very few conversions.  However, I’ve found that participating in social media can raise your website’s ranking in search engines.  For this reason, alone, it’s worth it to download Hootsuite and use it to setup future social media postings.  Consider putting a reminder every Monday on your calendar to setup social media.  Check out commercial real estate blogs, investment news, and more for recent articles to share with your followers.

7. Associations. Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP, Better Business Bureau and your local university will all have local events. Meeting fellow business owners and independent agents doesn’t have a great conversion rate, but the outside socialization will make you a happier person.  Get to know people outside of your industry and make some friends!

8. Charity. Social involvement in churches, schools, universities, and other non-profits can bring more word-of-mouth leads. Charitable donations are often rewarded with linking your business website with theirs.  This is a big deal with SEO since .org link-backs are Internet unicorns – very rare and difficult to get.  However, you’ll usually be shelling out some bucks to get that boost in search engine ranking as most charities will maybe keep your link for only a fiscal quarter.

9. Promos. Buy high quality pens, hats and T-shirts. Promos are useless if they’re immediately thrown away.  I know it’s difficult to spend $2 per pen, but when people keep it for a year instead of 5-minutes you’ll be happy you did.

10. Networking. Industry conventions are one of the best places to network. NAIOP, CCIM and ICSC has some great events.  There also may be some great, local conventions in your area to join.  Also, consider what your target market may attend.  Attending World of Concrete may sound horrible, but if you specialize in developers, consider going.

11. Cold Calls.  If you’re old-school, this is your go-to for hitting up sales leads.  While cold-calling can be effective, it can also be exhausting and time consuming.  Consider using some newer techniques with your cold-call routine like Mass Texting.  Did you know 26% of text messages get read?  Just a message of, “Thought you might be interested in a new 10,000 SF Retail Center I’m listing for sale in Scottsdale.  Below is the LoopNet link…” could really bring in prospects for that property.  Also, Direct to Voicemail services can be an easy way to fly through your cold-calling list.  Imagine hitting a button and leaving a pre-recorded message on 100s of voicemails.  It sure would lower your work-load!