Having a career in commercial real estate can be a feast or famine industry if you don’t learn how to find clients consistently. However, with the right strategy and tools, you can become the go-to expert in your community and generate commercial real estate leads without spending large amounts of time and money.
It’s a big task to create a complete lead generation strategy for commercial real estate. Luckily there are plenty of tools available online to help with the process. Parkbench, for example, is a network of local neighborhood websites, where businesses can post events, deals, or even be featured and is a great opportunity for a local business to make itself known as an industry expert. Find out more about ParkBench below.
1. Attend In-Person Networking Opportunities
Even though online marketing is extremely valuable for commercial real estate businesses, making face-to-face connections is often even more memorable for your potential clients. There are many ways to network and meet with local business owners by paying attention to local events and opportunities.
2. Ask for Referrals
One of the most straightforward real estate prospecting tips is to find new clients by asking your previous clients, friends, and family members for referrals. Although this is uncomfortable for some people, happy clients will most likely be glad to return a favor by sending you new leads. Your friends and family may also have connections with business owners or starting entrepreneurs who you may not have come in contact with otherwise.
3. Join Local Business Groups
Many communities have groups and events specifically for local businesses, which are perfect places to meet business owners who may be in need of commercial real estate services. You can find events by searching for “local business groups” or “small business groups” along with towns and cities in your area. You can also use meetup.com to find business groups of all kinds near you.
However, be aware that some business groups put a limit on members from certain types of professions. Not every group you find will be open or will be a good fit for you, but it will be worth your time to keep searching.
4. Host Neighborhood Tours
Host no-pressure walking tours, pub-crawls, or business information sessions designed to showcase your area’s local merchants while being sure to explain what makes the neighborhood great for businesses. You never know who might also be shopping around to buy, sell, or lease an office space. While this is great for building partnerships, if executed correctly, these tours also help establish you as the go-to commercial real estate expert for your area.
5. Join Commercial Real Estate Associations
There are many commercial real estate associations that you can join. Groups like American Seniors Housing Association and National Multi-Housing Council can give you even more deeply specialized expertise and connections. You can also find many resources and tools to help you grow your commercial real estate clientele and make sales that your colleagues cannot.
6. Set Google Alerts
The fastest way to find a new commercial real estate client is to offer your knowledge and services to someone before they have to ask. You can do this by using available tools to keep tabs on local businesses and current data. For example, you can set Google alerts for specific keywords and businesses, so you will automatically receive an email when there is a news story or an article published.
7. Subscribe to Real Estate Analytics Services
There are plenty of commercial real estate data sources like Real Capital Analytics, Costar, Reonomy, IdealSpot, Piinpoint, and CoreLogic. Some of these are intended to help you find commercial real estate leads, and others are intended to help you find the best locations for clients. If you get familiar with all the commercial real estate data you have available, you will be more aware of new leads and how to make your client experience even better.
8. Partner With Universities
There are many colleges and universities all over the US that have startup incubator programs. These universities allow young entrepreneurs to start their businesses on campus and often provide mentorship and resources as well. As these businesses grow, they will need a commercial real estate agent to help them purchase the best office or retail space. This is a great method for building relationships with first-time commercial real estate clients.
9. Network With Angel Investors
Although you probably don’t need to find an angel investor as a commercial real estate agent, these investors most likely know of some up-and-coming businesses that will be in need of real estate services. Your potential clients are frequently searching for angel investors, so building relationships with investors that can refer leads to you can be an extremely effective and time-saving strategy.
10. Use Crowdfunding Sites to Find Startups
Another way to make connections with business owners who will most likely need commercial real estate services in the future is by using searching for successes on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Take advantage of these services filters to find local innovators and inventors whose projects exceeded funding requests and who may be ready to expand operations.
11. Sign-up for a Google My Business Account
Google offers businesses the ability to set up a free profile with the search engine which can be used to display photos of your successes or show off how you are positioned to help prospective clients with their commercial real estate needs. The service makes it easy for clients to contact you as they can book appointments and services from your profile and gives you insights into who is coming to your site from Google searches.
12. Sponsor Local & Virtual Events
Combine in-person events like contributing to the local sports team or neighborhood business mixer with the online world by utilizing local online websites and apps. An effective way of getting your name in front of potential clients and being recognized in your community as a commercial real estate expert is to sponsor your local ParkBench website. Using this tool will attract and benefit business owners in your area and give you a perfect point of connection.
13. Create Landing Pages for Your Website
Landing pages are the first page a client sees when they click on a link to your website and should be designed with one thing in mind—capturing leads. While landing pages can be built with any website builder, the best, for real estate agents, have internet data exchange (IDX) enabled which helps connect leads with properties they might be interested in without needing to leave your site.
When they do land on your site, you should be prepared with a funnel to capture your leads’ contact information and start building their trust automatically. You can create a real estate lead generation strategy all on your own, or you can work with digital marketing professionals to fully optimize your website for commercial real estate prospecting.
14. Create a Lead Magnet
As soon as you have a website set up, it will be wise to create a method of gathering your visitors’ contact methods. To do this, you can create a lead magnet, which is something that you can offer your website visitors in exchange for their email. An example of lead magnet for real could be an e-book that informs business owners on what they should be looking for in a location when just starting out or considering moving to a new location.
You can save a lot of time and effort by utilizing the software and expertise of BoldLeads. BoldLeads is a lead generation software that makes it easy to choose a lead magnet, install it on your website, and follow up with your potential clients. You can even link it with your CRM to continue to build relationships with your leads. Click the box below to start gathering more clients with less effort today.
15. Start a Blog
Publish regular blog posts on your website that answer questions that might be at the top of your client’s minds and provide value to people who need your commercial real estate services like is a farm considered real estate, or how much is a down payment on a commercial property? Publishing regular content will help you start ranking on Google searches, which increases your traffic and the potential for more leads coming into your inbox.
Pro Tip: Using content marketing like a blog strategically can give you extreme success in commercial real estate prospecting. If you are looking for more resources to grow your commercial real estate business using a technique like this, check out OnCourse Learning. It offers books such as “Effective Real Estate Sales and Marketing,” and “Mega-Producer Results in Commercial Real Estate.”
16. Create an Email Drip Campaign
After you capture new lead’s contact information, the last thing you want to do is leave them waiting. You can start building rapport with your commercial real estate prospects by creating an automated email sequence designed to move a prospect from the initial awareness stage through making an offer. You won’t have to spend extra time writing emails, but your leads will get to know you and your expertise on autopilot.
17. Use Social Media Marketing
Social media is an undeniably useful way of getting your name, your brand, and your commercial real estate expertise and services in front of your potential clients. It also allows you to make genuine connections with them by simply engaging with their posts. Since there are so many different types of social media, you should focus on the ones that your clients are using the most frequently, like LinkedIn and Facebook.
18. Send Mailers to Strategic Locations
Mailing physical flyers and letters to local addresses used to be the only way to advertise yourself to new customers. Even though a lot of real estate marketing today is done online, there is still a lot of benefit to using mailers and there are a number of great online templates you can use to create beautiful and professional brochures or flyers to those you can’t reach electronically for a very low price.
19. Use Google AdWords to Target Keywords
Since it takes time for your content marketing strategy to consistently bring you valuable leads, you can cut in line by using Google AdWords to reach your audience. Whether your budget is small or large, you can have significant success with Google Ads by using BoldLeads to create an effective landing page, lead magnet, and follow up strategy. To read more about how to use Google Ads for real estate, check out our guide.
20. Use Social Media Ads
Facebook ads are a well-known source of revenue for millions of businesses, which means there’s a good chance that you can find potential clients on this platform. Creating an effective Facebook ad takes a lot of expertise and strategy, so you can avoid wasting money by doing research and consulting with an ad manager. That said, they are not the only social media platform.
Since your potential clients are professionals and business owners, it is very likely that you can find them on LinkedIn and start networking as well. Utilizing LinkedIn ads can help you drive more specialized traffic to your website and generate even higher quality leads.
The Different Types of Commercial Real Estate
All commercial real estate properties are used for business purposes. Although there are many types of business properties, they usually fall within four categories: office spaces, industrial properties, multi-family properties, and retail properties. However, even properties such as hotels, churches, and amusement parks are considered commercial real estate properties ripe for lead generation.
Bottom Line – Commercial Real Estate Prospecting
There are many ways to generate commercial real estate leads, and it is best to create a strategy to maintain a consistent client base and income. By networking in-person, prospecting startups online, setting up a website, and using physical and digital advertising to find clients, you’ll be prepared to generate high quality commercial real estate leads.
While you can utilize all of those commercial real estate prospecting strategies, sponsoring your local ParkBench website can be one of the fastest and most effective methods of networking and establishing yourself as a commercial real estate authority figure. Get started with your ParkBench website today.