In the past, generating leads for commercial real estate was much simpler.
People who are looking to lease, buy, or invest in commercial real estate are spending more time than ever researching online, so it’s important to have a marketing strategy that will make your listings stand out and build trust with potential leads.
You should have a plan for how you will acquire lists from existing databases, how you will use real estate data sources, and how you can optimize your website to capture visitors as leads.
Not only does the quality of your marketing material matter in commercial prospecting, but also your ability to provide valuable information to visitors on your website. You need a large volume of leads to keep your pipeline full, and these should be leads that you can nurture and close.
Here are 20 ideas to help you with commercial real estate prospecting and lead generation: 1. Join relevant industry organizations. 2. Attend tradeshows, conferences, and networking events. 3. Get involved with community organizations. 4. Use social media platforms to your advantage. 5. Develop a strong personal brand. 6. Get featured in industry publications. 7. Speak at industry events. 8. Collaborate with other professionals. 9. Teach a class or workshop. 10. Write a book or ebook. 11. Launch a podcast. 12. Create helpful blog content. 13. Develop a lead generation-focused website. 14. Use direct mail campaigns. 15. Implement targeted online advertising. 16. Host or sponsors industry events. 17. Connect with past clients. 18. Make warm calls. 19. Send personalized notes and gifts. 20. Meet with prospects in person.
1. Build a List from an Existing Commercial Real Estate Database
Mining your existing contact list to generate leads is a good place to start. You should try to segment your contacts based on interest, profile type and level of prior activity.
Even if you haven’t talked to someone in a few years, they could still be a potential customer. Their needs may have changed, and what you have to offer might fit those needs now. You can reach out to them using email, the phone, or LinkedIn.
2. Research Contacts from Commercial Real Estate Listings Sites
There are also many other platforms where you can find potential leads for your business, beyond your current database. Some well-known listing sites include LoopNet, Costar, Catylist, CREXi, Reonomy, Quantum Listing, Brevitas, and Spacelist.
The commercial property owners database LoopNet Property Records was useful for finding information about owners, property history, tenant rosters, and current and previous mortgages, but it is not available to users anymore.
You can use other criteria on the mentioned websites if you spend time researching leads.
3. Research New Deals in CRE News Sites
Keeping track of recent real estate transactions in your area and creating a list of the brokers and owners involved can help you build a list of people to reach out to for new opportunities. National news outlets that publish information on recent transactions and the teams involved include Bisnow, The Real Deal, and Commercial Observer.
The Google extension Hunter can help you find email addresses for contacts from their company websites.
4. Use Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Software
ProspectNow has an algorithm that predicts which properties are most likely to be listed for sale in the next 12 months. The algorithm looks at data points on properties that have already sold and applies the characteristics of those properties to properties that have not yet sold.
If you’re looking to buy or rent a property in New York, Property Shark can help you find out everything you need to know about the property. Their reports include information on when the property was developed, who owns it, its exact characteristics, sales history, property value estimates, current zoning, air rights, and more.
5. Use Commercial Real Estate Data Sources
There are some great commercial real estate data sources available that provide information about ownership, transactions, and investment opportunities. Here’s a few sources you can use to find potential prospects:
You can use Real Capital Analytics to find potential investment opportunities by targeting properties that meet certain criteria. This can help you find firms that could be potential joint venture partners.
Reonomy is a platfom that helps CRE professionals find information on commercial properties in the US. The data on the platfom comes from public and private sources.
CoreLogic has data and analytic solutions for properties in the U.S., including ownership and mortgages, mortgage maturity data, listings of distressed properties, and snapshots of property owner and lender’s holdings.
6. Research Leads on LinkedIn
Linkedin can be used to find potential customers by their location, what industry they work in, what company they work for, and how many degrees of separation there are between you and them. You can then contact them directly to begin your sales process. If you want to be more efficient in your lead generation, then Linkedin’s Sales Navigator tool is something you should look into. It is designed for CRE professionals who want to connect with brokers, tenants, and investors on a large scale.
7. Generate Leads Through your Website
Any inbound marketing campaign should start with a well-made website for your commercial real estate business. The website should be easy to find and designed to capture, engage, and convert visitors into leads.
No matter who your target is, building an effective website is the most important marketing asset.
8. Capture Your Blog Visitors
A blog is a great place to share high-quality content that will attract new website visitors. Write articles on topics like local real estate, commercial real estate, state and local laws, financial news, and current events to show that you’re an expert in your field. This will help you generate new traffic and leads.
Make sure your blog has a subscription option so your readers can get notified whenever you post new content. This way, they won’t have to go looking for your blog themselves and risk missing out on your latest post. Provide value to your readers by delivering content that is worth their time.
9. Include Lead Generation Forms on Your Website
It is important to have a contact form on your website so that you can collect information from users who are looking for answers to general questions, or who are interested in scheduling a consultation or sales call.
10. Create Gated Documents
In addition to your contact forms, you should also have gated content in the form of eBooks, white papers, checklists, case studies, and other documentation. Gated content, also known as “lead magnets”, can be promoted on relevant pages of your website, linking to forms that capture user information before they can download the content.
11. Target Prospects with Google Ads Campaigns
Google Ads is a platform that allows you to generate leads by targeting specific keywords through pay-per-click campaigns. Google AdWords can be expensive, but by targeting keywords that your prospects are searching for, you can reach more people and drive them to your website or landing page.
12. The Heather Buckman Strategy
If you want to make your business stand out, focus on your clients instead of yourself. Use stories to humanize your brand and generate more leads.
Our brains are designed to process information in the form of stories. By making your client the main character in your story and sending that story in an email to past clients and prospective customers, you can guide their brain’s natural inclination toward stories in the direction you want them to go.
When you are writing your stories, it is more effective to pretend that you are speaking to one person. This will help your writing sound more like a conversation and be more convincing.
13. Answer the Public
If you’re looking for some unique real estate marketing ideas, Answer the Public might be a good resource for you. It crawls the internet for questions that people are typing into Google, and then visualizes the data so you can see which content marketing angles would be most effective.
If you type “Selling my home” into the search bar, you’d get a list of all the different questions that consumers are asking about the process of selling their home.
Use this resource for inspiration and guidance so that you can create better content.
14. Facebook Fishing
You can start a conversation with past clients or leads by sending them a message on Facebook Messenger. Once you have their permission, you can give them a call or ask them for their input on a project you’re working on. Our clients have seen that this level of personalized interaction generates more conversations than emailing them.
If you send a lot of messages on Facebook Messenger, or send them too quickly, you will be told by Messenger and your account may be disabled temporarily.
It is advised that you send these types of messages that are tailored to the person once a month or every other month to increase the amount of responses and conversations.
15. Go All-in On Google
If Zillow changes its rules again, you could lose all of your reviews and sales history.
It is essential to make requesting reviews part of your workflow and sales process.
If a potential customer only sees one review of your business when they Google your company name, it can actually damage your reputation. You want to ensure that when people Google you, they see a list of positive reviews and want to hire you. Invest time and effort into building up your Google presence by getting more reviews, completing your local profile, and updating your photos, videos, business hours, address, and phone number.
If you want to improve your marketing strategy, you should look into Google Local Service Ads. These ads show up at the top of search results when a consumer searches for something like “real estate agents” in your area. This can help you reach more consumers and improve your business.
When someone searches your name on Google, it is not common, but it is important.
one way you can improve your business is by improving your customer success stories. Google is a great place to start when looking for reviews, but you can also try exploring other ways to improve your business.
The purpose of this strategy is to share stories about your everyday experiences to help sellers sell and buyers buy.
An excellent example of our company’s success is from our client Scott Hartis. He highlighted Addison and Kendra’s selling experience on his website with an impressive and personal client success story. What makes this success story even more powerful than the average story is that Addison and Kendra’s experience is told in their own words.
16. Google Local Service Ads
Google introduced Google Local Service Ads to their Service Ads recently. If a consumer searches “best real estate agents in Boston” the first three results are “Google Screened”. This feature is Google’s way of giving real estate agents more credibility. It is an incredibly powerful tool.
We are currently researching Google Local Service Ads to see how it would fit into our strategy and services for our clients.
17. Revamp Your Retargeting
Customers who see ads that have been retargeted are 70% more likely to convert on your website at some point in the future.
Retargeting is a marketing technique that involves showing ads to people who have already visited your website. The aim is to show them relevant ads that will encourage them to come back to your site and make a purchase.
Most real estate agents are not taking advantage of the huge opportunity that is actively running retargeting ads. When they do use retargeting ads, they usually only focus on listings.
What we mean by “revamping your retargeting” is creating ads that focus on you and your unique selling proposition. By putting these ads in front of people who have already visited your website, you position yourself as the local expert and you win more listings.
18. Short-form Education
This shift from text to video will shape content marketing in the years to follow In the future, the majority of internet traffic will be video and a large portion of that will be short-form video. This will have a big impact on content marketing.
When creating short-form video content, it is important to tailor the content to the specific medium you will be using. This means that each second of your video should have a clear purpose and message.
Your audience will appreciate content that is actionable and practical. For examples of this type of content done well, take a look at Jimmy Mackin or Chris Smith’s Instagram feeds.
19. Annette’s Content Calendar