This book is designed to help you make MORE money with less effort in commercial real estate. Using advanced technology, support staff and prospecting techniques, you will gain a force multiplier effect in your business that will propel you to the next level. In other words, it will be easier to make $600,000 in fees than it was to make the first $400,000. This book will help you transform your real estate business into a money making machine.
Every success and failure that you have experienced thus far in your real estate career (and life in general) can be directly attributed to the daily choices that you have made along the way. For ultimately it is you who decides to do this thing or that. It is the compilation of countless choices that have brought you to your current point in your career today. Now, you have another choice to make. Do you invest your valuable time in to reading a book about commercial real estate? Do not discount the knowledge that is contained within this book just because you only paid twenty-five dollars for it. On the contrary, reading this book is going to cost you the most prized possession that you have—your time. There is only so much time in the day and by judiciously managing this scarce resource you can positively impact both your finances and your happiness. This is just one lesson that is covered in these chapters.
This book was written to help anyone endeavoring in commercial real estate brokerage make more money in any market condition and should be considered a best practices guide to commercial real estate. Whatever your specialty is in commercial real estate, you will benefit from the information contained within. You will learn new techniques (and reacquaint yourself with some old techniques) that you can use immediately to grow your business. In fact, I would even challenge you to set a goal of doubling your personal income over the next 12 months.
If you are an office manager or a seasoned commercial sales veteran who has decided to pass along your trade to the next generation, please make this book required reading for your junior agents. There are wonderful prospecting tools and explanations on how to become a productive agent inside. This book marries new software technology to proven business development techniques which will help both new and seasoned agents alike grow their business in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment.
It is an unfortunate truth that as you become more successful in this business some naysayers will be critical and attribute your success to pure luck. They will ignore your long hours of hard work, personal sacrifices and the disciplined approach that you took to become a success in commercial real estate. Pay your critics little attention, because they are the ones that will stagnate in the business.
I am very passionate about helping commercial real estate professionals make money. In fact, I am determined to change the entire commercial real estate industry for the better. I believe that technology should make the commercial real estate practitioner’s life easier and must never replace or marginalize their value proposition to the clients that they serve. It is the pursuit of this vision that drives me and frequently finds me working into the early hours of the morning. This book and the companion software that I have helped create would mean absolutely nothing to me if I did not truly believe that they were making a difference in thousands of careers right now.
Please share your success stories with me. I am very curious to see how you utilize this material in your real estate business and how you have grown your income.
Dan Dulin, CEO
27068 La Paz Rd Ste 637
It was my original intention that this book was to be written in two parts. The first part would explain how to use advanced software technology in commercial real estate brokerage to save you time and increase your income while the second part would discuss techniques and business strategies for commercial real estate agents and companies to become more successful in their businesses. However, as the book progressed it became obvious to me that the two parts were not separate, since continued success in commercial real estate is due in part to discovering, mastering and applying new technological advancements to a practitioner’s real estate business. In the end the two parts of the book were integrated into one and it is my belief that the result is a fluid and concise description of how to use existing technology to grow your business in any market.
A brief overview of the technology
RealHound® Live!, the companion software that is discussed in this book, was developed in collaboration with some of the best commercial real estate brokers in the country. Prior to the creation of this program, there truly were no good existing software solutions available for commercial real estate professionals. You are gaining the benefit of a business tool that was created at a combined cost of over eleven million dollars (and growing) in labor, research, equipment and capital-- all poured into a product that is the absolute best commercial real estate contact management software in existence today. This book will guide you through the same processes and will teach you the same system that these top brokers use to consistently make six, seven and eight figure incomes in commercial real estate using this software.
The strength of the companion software is its simplicity. The program was designed with the novice computer user in mind but is powerful enough to meet the needs of the most experienced commercial practitioner. It simplifies and automates complicated commercial real estate processes which increases productivity. You can run the program as a single user, in a team of networked multi-users, remotely (with or without the internet) or have a true virtual office. Your company can actually rebrand the program with their logo and a different name. It allows you to manage your contacts, properties, escrows, listings, leases, sales, loans, buyer & tenant needs, prospecting, marketing, and most importantly your time—all from a single application. You no longer have to toggle between various databases and different applications in order to run your business.
RealHound® is the most powerful commercial real estate software that you can buy. Whether you work alone, have a partner, are a broker with an office full of agents or have a single assistant, RealHound® is ideal for sharing data (locally or over the Internet), storing electronic files (documents), managing transactions, communicating with other members of your team and granting client access. If you have a team approach to commercial real estate our software will make you more money by increasing your team’s capabilities and productivity.
The program greatly simplifies the
prospecting process because you can easily execute cold calls, target your
contacts with direct mail, and identify potential properties for buyers and
spaces for tenants all from within your database. Find missing phone numbers (unlisted and
listed) and addresses right from a contact’s record by simply clicking on BullsEye
or a Smart-Link. If cold calling is a part of your business
plan (and I’m certain that it is), IntelliCall will increase both
your chances of reaching property owners on the phone and getting new business
from them when you do. The Auto
Compare feature gives you instant access to Rental,
Our revolutionary DealFinder & Tenant Wizard features will automatically match buyers with sellers and tenants with available space. You can even search for and import listings directly from the Internet, match them against your buyer & tenant needs and share property information with the real estate community- all from within the program! RealHound® is the only commercial real estate software that can actually help make you money.
Your world is what you believe it to be
Something that the top performers in commercial real estate all have in common is that they all view themselves first as business owners, and second as sales, leasing, tenant rep or marketing experts. Likewise, it is up to you to develop a positive business mentality. They know what their business goals are and they take consistent daily action to attain those goals. If something does not work they will take a different approach, but they never give up trying. Another commonality of the best performers is that they all have made a commitment to continuously improve themselves. They read books, take classes, attend seminars related to their field of expertise and have a business coach. They have written goals, experiment with technology and new ways of doing business. They are not afraid to invest in their business and get the best equipment, software and people to support them. They understand the concept of leverage and have hired staff to support their business. They also know that success in this business depends on daily Prospecting and Controlling the Inventory (through exclusive representation of sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants).
Finally, if you are a Broker with independent agents working for you, don’t miss Chapter Ten for a revolutionary new way to approach agent retention and increase your market share.
If you are currently struggling with another software program that was half heartedly adapted to support commercial real estate sales, leasing and tenant representation you are wasting your most precious asset - your time. RealHound® was purposefully designed for one industry – commercial real estate. You can use it straight out of the box without any customization.
Everyone at my company believes that they are in a partnership with our users and want to help you succeed in your business by supplying you with the very best commercial real estate software available. We truly care about your success in commercial real estate—it’s our passion!
Are you ready to grow your business and make more money? Great, now let’s get started!
Download your free trial of the companion software at www.RealHound.com
Some people will tell you that it is easy to sell commercial real estate because there are particularly low barriers to entering the commercial arena as an agent. They might say something like, “even Bozo the Clown can sell commercial real estate” or “selling commercial real estate isn’t exactly rocket science”. And, if we are honest, who among us has not from time to time thought that one of our competitors exhibited some clown like attributes? But what makes Bozo a success while Joe Schmoe washes out of the business? The answer is that daily prospecting practically guarantees your success in commercial real estate. Consistent prospecting is the difference between the agents/brokers who truly succeed in the business and those that only limp along or worse yet fail entirely.
There are two highly effective ways of prospecting in commercial real estate, cold calling and direct mail. There is a system to each method that you must master and practice regularly to ensure steady annual growth of your income. Cold calling and direct mail can work independently from one another, but when used in conjunction with each other they create a powerful lead generating machine that practically guarantees your success. Most commercial real estate agents favor one method over the other and the most popular method is also the least effective in a competitive market; direct mail. You must use both methods to have the greatest impact in your market.
You cannot effectively prospect if you do not know what your target market is or who your real prospects are. As simple as this principle sounds, I am surprised to find that many agents still overlook this basic rule. The most successful commercial real estate agents know what their target market is and have compiled their own integrated CRM (Contact Relationship Management) /property database. This data is meticulously maintained because it is essential to the continued success of the agent’s business.
Cold calling is the most effective method of generating new business and it is also the undertaking most dreaded by commercial agents. But let’s put this highly productive activity into perspective-- you will simply make a lot more money by calling owners and tenants in your market than by not calling them. Think of it in terms of probability, there is an excellent chance that there are property owners in your market that want to buy or sell real estate right now regardless of whether the market is good or bad. Somebody wants to lease space and there are property owners who are thinking about changing their leasing agent. Consistent telephone calls to property owners and tenants in your market will help you anticipate their needs and keep you ahead of your competition (Cold Calling techniques and other helpful calling tools are covered in detail in a later chapter).
You should contact every property owner (or major tenant) who is in your target market at least once per quarter (every 3 months).
TIP: To determine how many calls you need to make on a daily basis to reach your goal, divide the number of owners and tenants in your target market by work weeks in the quarter (typically 12 weeks) and finally divide the resulting number by the number of workdays in the week. You now know how many calls you need to make per work day to reach every owner (or tenant) in your target market quarterly.
If you realize that there is NO possible way to reach everyone on your list in a three month reoccurring cycle, then you have too many prospects on your call list. Cut your list down to a more manageable level. A good rule of thumb is that one person can effectively contact 700 to 900 prospects by telephone per quarter. Remember, your goal is to talk to a live body who can make real estate decisions and not just mindlessly dial the telephone.
Dedicate at least two consecutive hours each work day to cold calling. Schedule your cold call time during the week, alternating the days that calls are made in the morning and afternoons. Don’t let anything distract you from making your daily calls. Remember that calls come first and EVERYTHING else comes after that.
To avoid unnecessary distraction, alert your staff that you are not to be disturbed while making your calls. The first couple of calls tend to be a little awkward, but you will get into a rhythm that will make each subsequent call easier. If you allow yourself to become distracted, you run the risk of never finding your rhythm or finishing your daily call quota.
Each call must be tracked and a brief synopsis of the conversation saved in the prospect’s contact record for future reference. Both buyer and tenant needs should be recorded for future reference. Every conversation that you have with a single prospect builds on the previous conversations and it becomes easier to talk to that contact over time. RealHound simplifies the entire cold calling process which reduces your anxiety and allows you to make more effective calls. Like most things, the more calls you make the better you will become.
In a healthy real estate business, prospecting is a continuous process that is done in parallel with every other daily activity in that business and, when done correctly, can be characterized by smooth steady growth of a practitioner’s income. By contrast, sporadic prospecting results in income peaks and troughs which are also known as porpoising (yes, like a dolphin). This hair-raising experience can be avoided with consistent daily prospecting and will greatly reduce your anxiety and increase your faith that you will always make money in Commercial Real Estate.
Would you believe it if I told you that there is a magic recipe for sending out mailers? Well, it’s true and I’m going to share it with you now. Mailers are expensive in comparison to cold calls but if done correctly they will more than pay for themselves. If you approach mailers incorrectly you will be wasting your money on print costs, postage and, more importantly, your valuable time.
When done correctly you can expect a 350% (or more) return on your investment. In other words, for every dollar you spend on mailers you should get 3.5 dollars in return. However, if you are just starting your direct mail campaign, your results will not be immediate. It takes approximately six months for your prospects to recognize your name and want to call you.
A successful mailing campaign has these five critical elements: regular contact intervals, accessibility of the message, simplicity of design, a call to action and a take-away (which is a compelling reason for the recipient to call you). Unless you are sending out a newsletter or a targeted letter, you should always mail postcards only to the prospects in your target market. Postcards are the least expensive mailer that you can possibly send and they are also the most effective. They are more likely to be read because the recipient does not need to open an envelope to receive the message. A simple glance at your well designed postcard gets your message across quickly.
Maintaining regular contact intervals with your prospects is the first key component to a successful direct mail marketing campaign. If you are just beginning your mailing campaign, it is important that you brand yourself and your services in the minds of your prospects. In order to do this, your initial mailings to your target market must be once a week for four weeks. After the first four weeks, you will send a mailer out every two weeks for the rest of your career. Like anything worthwhile, a successful marketing campaign takes time and mailers can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to become truly effective. If you fail to send mailers out for more than 6 weeks you run the risk of having your prospects forget who you are which will force you to start your mailing campaign over again from scratch. A record of each mailer sent and the results it received get entered into each recipient’s contact record (RealHound® does this with just a push of a button).
Each marketing piece should have a consistent message that can be as simple as “Your commercial real estate sales expert”, “Your office & industrial property sales specialist”, “Exclusively representing the interests of tenants”, “Your full service commercial real estate expert” or “Your commercial real estate sales & leasing expert”. A successful message will clearly state what you service you have to offer.
Another component to a successful mailing campaign is to have a compelling reason for your prospects to call you. Offering something for “free” or a take-away is the most persuasive reason for the recipient to contact you. Some of the best freebies that you can offer are: property valuations, market rent surveys, lease analysis, market trend reports and sales surveys. When your phone rings in response to a mailer it is your responsibility to flush out a prospect’s need and assess their motivation.
TIP: If a property owner calls you to take you up on your offer for a free valuation of their property; they are thinking about selling it. Make sure that you personally meet them as soon as possible. This will further your branding initiatives and allow you to begin to develop a more personal relationship with your prospect.
The overall appearance of your marketing materials is very important. If you do not have sufficient experience designing marketing materials, then leave the design work to the professionals. There are many companies that can design and even mail your marketing materials for you. Their services are generally affordable and will save you a tremendous amount of time. More marketing information will be discussed in detail in a later chapter.
And what about email? Well, it is cheaper than direct mail but most unsolicited messages wind-up in the recipient’s junk folder.
Your contact and property database is truly the foundation of your success. Think about it. Without knowing who owns the real estate or leases space in your target market, how can you effectively prospect?
Successful agents all have databases that contain property data, corresponding ownership, lease data and tenant information. Internet sharing capabilities, ease of use and functionality are extremely important aspects of an effective database. Their data is unique and not dependant on third party data providers. Every change of ownership and major lease is verified against multiple sources including the Buyer and Seller (calling them to talk about the transaction is a great way to pick up new business). Leases are verified with the leasing broker, landlord and the tenant. Successful agents know who they have talked to, met with and who is receiving their marketing materials.
Unsuccessful agents do not have a database at all, try to use Outlook for the task or have a hodge-podge collection of dysfunctional data that was imported and never verified. Their contact records contain so many informational gaps that they would have better luck prospecting blind folded from a metropolitan phone book.
Without an accurate contact and property database, effective prospecting is not possible. If you cannot effectively prospect, you cannot maximize your business opportunities. If you are not maximizing your business opportunities- your real estate business will stagnate. This is evident in the business models of many “Old-timers” in the business because they only work with a handful of clients. As their clients transition out of the business and are not adequately replaced- their incomes start to stagnate.
Caution: There are no shortcuts to creating and maintaining a property and contact database. Some people only want to import data in to their database without ever questioning and verifying the quality of the data. If you decide to take this approach toward maintaining your database, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in lost fees. Effective methods of maintaining your database are discussed in a later chapter.
The top performers in commercial real estate invest in technology that works FOR them and not against them. RealHound® is the ONLY Commercial Real Estate software that is specifically designed to help you prospect. It is the only software that leverages your time by making the daily processes in commercial real estate simpler. It manages your contacts, properties, cold calls, listings, escrows, projects, buyers and tenants. It is designed specifically to meet the needs of a growing real estate business, to keep you organized and it is extremely EASY to use. It is the only software that can actually help make you money.
1) Daily prospecting is the key to making a lot of money in commercial real estate. Devote two hours of everyday to prospecting on the telephone. Do nothing else during this scheduled time and make sure that you do not entertain any interruptions. Record your call results for each contact reached in their respective contact record. Your goal with each phone call is to talk to the real estate decision maker and meet that person. People do business with people they know.
2) Send mailers out on a regular basis to every owner or tenant who is in your target market. Your mailers must have a consistent message and should compel the recipient to call you. Don’t forget to offer some service for “free” or a take-away. Most people find it difficult to resist free offers. Record every mailer sent in each recipients contact record. The secret to a successful direct mail campaign is to send out your mailer at regular intervals. This will further reinforce your branding efforts.
Email blasts tend to get ignored and left unopened in the recipient’s spam box.
3) Your database is the foundation of your success. Successful agents all have databases that contain property data, corresponding ownership, tenant information and lease information. Without this critical information, effective prospecting is not possible. If you are currently struggling with another software program that was half heartedly adapted to support commercial real estate sales, you are wasting your most precious asset - your time. RealHound® will be a different experience for you because it was specifically design for commercial real estate by the TOP practitioners in the industry.
In any given group from any industry, the highest paid and most highly recognized people are those that consistently outperform their peers. To these victors go the lion’s share of the reward. This phenomenon is known as the Law of the Vital Few or the Pareto Principle. But what really makes these Vital Few so successful while the rest of the group can barely achieve mediocrity? The thing that truly separates these people from the crowd is an unwavering dedication to achieve the maximum results for the amount of time and effort invested into their endeavors. This is recognized in our society as a commitment to excellence.
There is no magic or innate talent to being one of The Vital Few; it is not an exclusive club and the essentials can be learned by anyone who really wants to be excessively rewarded for their efforts. You are probably wondering about fairness to one’s fellow man but I am pleased to tell you that this system is perfectly fair. Everyone has a choice to have, to do or to be anything that they want. The real question is whether or not they will decide to take the action necessary to achieve their desired outcomes. This speaks volumes about an individual’s motivation and has nothing to do with the question of fairness.
So what is the common characteristic shared by the most successful commercial real estate agents? They execute the fundamentals of the business very well by getting the maximum results out of the time and effort spent at a task. They prospect, control inventory and leverage their time--- and so must you!
The Pareto Principal (which is also
known as The 80/20 Rule or the Law of the Vital Few) was named after the Italian
economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed at the turn of the 19th
century that 80% of
The Pareto Principle states that 20% of actions accounts for 80% of the outcomes in any phenomena. The value of this principle to you and your commercial real estate business is this- your focus should be on the 20% of the actions that really matter. This does not mean that the other 80% can be ignored entirely. It simply means that you must choose to put most of your attention on the top 20% of all activities that will yield you the most results in your business.
Most commercial sales agents misallocate their time to the 80% lowest yielding activities in their business, instead of focusing more closely on the productive 20%. Conversely, the most successful commercial sales agents, The Vital Few, focus on the top 20% and delegate the other 80% of lower yielding activities to others on their team.
Some argue that the 80/20 rule should really be the 90/10 rule (10% of causes result in 90% of outcomes) or the 80/10/10 rule, in which case, 10% of causes yield 80% of outcomes and the remaining 10% of causes yield no measureable outcomes whatsoever. The percentages are purely conceptual and may be different as long as the total equals 100%.
Think about the validity of the 80/20 rule to the following applications:
This concept also applies to negative results:
Try to avoid the misallocation of your resources to the unproductive 80% in your business. Some examples of this type of resource misallocation are:
Warning: Do not assume that you can rid yourself of the unproductive 80%. The 80% gets redistributed as the size of the population changes. Instead, use this information as a tool to spot inefficiency and to better manage resources within your business.
The Pareto Principal teaches us to allocate scarce resources (capital, labor and time) in the pursuit of the most effective use of those resources. Streamline your actions to obtain the maximum results for the amount of resources invested into your endeavors and watch your business grow!
Have you ever stopped to consider the value of your time in a scenario where you accomplish everything by yourself with no outside assistance? This would mean that closing a real estate deal would have the same time value as buying a roll of stamps. In other words, the highest and most productive use of your time has the exact same value as the least productive use of your time.
Using the Pareto Principal where 20% of your efforts create 80% of your income, the True Value of your time is the value of your time when you are at your most productive. You must increase the TOTAL value of your time by using leverage and delegating certain activities to hired staff that do not require your special talents so that you can focus on the top 20% of the money making activities in your business.
Example: Let’s suppose that you make $350,000 per year, work 50 weeks per year and 40 hours each week adding up to a total of 2,000 hours worked per year. Your unleveraged time is worth $175/hour ($350,000 income/2,000 work hours). However, just 20% of your time was spent on activities that generated 80% of your income. Using the 80/20 rule, you are only at your peak productivity for 400 hours/year and have misallocated 1,600 hour to activities that only produced 20% of your income. Therefore, the true value of your time is when you are at your peak productivity or in this example $700/hour ($350,000 x 80% of your income= $280,000/400 hours=$700/hour). Your non-productive time is worth only $44/hour ($350,000 x 20% of your income=$70,000/1,600=$44/hour).
What this means is that you should hire someone to manage and complete the tasks that are a misallocation of your talents (the least productive of use of your time). You can hire them in a fulltime position, pay them up to $44/hour and still expect to come out ahead on the arrangement as long as you discipline yourself to focus on your top 20% and let your employee complete those tasks that are a misallocation of your time.
Reminder: There are many different people in this world that you can hire at many different pay rates. Make sure that your new hire(s) is fairly compensated so you can minimize employee turnover. You goal is to hire competent people and keep them for many years. Don’t just hire people to fill an immediate need without thought to the future. Carefully screen your prospective employees for the skill sets necessary and willingness to perform the job.
Caution: The cost of a bad hire could set you back months in achieving your financial goals. Do not take the hiring process lightly. Do not hire people just because they need a job. If you decide to hire family members or friends, think about the consequences on your relationship if things to go badly. Take it from the Author—hamburgers and hotdogs might not be the only thing getting roasted at the family BBQ after you fire a family member who was not pulling their weight in the business.
Your goal after delegating your low yielding tasks to your staff is to focus exclusively on the highest yielding activities in your business (prospecting, deal making, etc). Imagine what your income would be if instead of spending 400 hours a year on your most productive tasks, you spent 1,000 hours a year maximizing those opportunities. To use the numbers from our previous example, your income would increase from $350,000 to $656,250 per year after paying out $87,500 in salaries. Yes, you are going to make a lot more money.
It is only fair to mention that you will never completely achieve your goal of exclusively focusing on the top 20% of productive tasks. As your business grows, so will the demands on your time. You will always be evaluating what the most productive activities are and delegating the rest to hired staff. Some agents have hired professional drivers to chauffeur them to and from the office so they can maximize their productive time. Others have hired off-shore virtual assistants to do database entry and upkeep. What tasks could you delegate right now to become more productive in your own business?
Your time is very valuable. Do not squander it on unproductive meetings, unqualified buyers & Tenants, web browsing, unmotivated sellers, substandard software or just hanging around the water cooler.
In order to master the three fundamentals of a successful commercial real estate business, you must understand these concepts and make them part of your core business focus.
1) Prospecting: Prospecting is the life blood of a successful commercial real estate career. You MUST prospect on a daily basis by telephone and send direct mail to your farm weekly. It doesn’t matter what else is happening in your business—prospect first and handle problems later.
Your prospecting goal is to getting a face-to-face meeting with every qualified person that to speak to on the telephone. Build and foster long term personal (but within the bounds of professional) relationships with your clients because people like doing business with people that they know.
2) Controlling Inventory: Commercial real estate is a business of control. You either have control or you have nothing. Your goal is to be your clients’ exclusive representation as a listing agent, buyer’s representative or tenant representative. This is called controlling the inventory and the concept extends beyond properties to include people that you represent (both buyers and tenants).
The purpose of getting control is not to generate offers on listings or drive all over town with your clients but to close transactions—always work toward this end goal. Make sure that your clients’ are motivated, qualified and their expectations are properly managed. Agents that Control the Inventory get paid when their exclusively represented clients (sellers, buyers & Tenants) close deals.
3) Leverage: Hire employees to help leverage your time and increase productivity (don’t be afraid to explore the possibility of hiring off-shore labor to maintain your database if you are on a budget). The Pareto Principle states that 20% of actions account for 80% of the outcomes in any phenomena. This does not mean that the other 80% can be ignored entirely. Successful agents focus primarily on the 20% of actions that maximize results, such as prospecting and deal making. Assign hired staff deal with the other 80% of actions that yield minimal results. Using leverage effectively allows you to grow your business. As an agent’s business grows so should their level of staffing. Remember, each hire should be based on true need and not ego.
4) Control Your Focus: What you focus on you get. Ask yourself this question at least 3 times a day: I am working on my top 20% or have I gotten myself sidetracked? If you are caught up in a diversion, shift your focus back to your top 20%. If you are like most people, you will catch yourself drifting a few times a day.
How did the Pharaohs build their pyramids? Nobody is sure how it was done exactly, but we can safely assume that the Pharaohs who ruled Egypt did not carve or carry any of the stone blocks used in the construction of the pyramids up the ramps! This is a fantastic metaphor for the use of a workforce to achieve leverage in your real estate business. You can accomplish much more by instructing and directing a workforce of others than you can do on your own.
There are typically five stages of leveraged growth in commercial real estate. While it is not necessary for every agent to grow their business to stage five (or beyond), most commercial agents are comfortable at stage two or three. However, without the proper amount of leverage in your business it is practically impossible to maintain a high income and balance in your personal life.
When you add staff their job responsibilities should include everything that can be delegated that is not part of your top 20% of productive activities (remember that your key activities are prospecting and deal making). This allows you to leverage your time. Pay everyone on your staff a competitive salary with bonuses to keep them motivated to help you achieve your goals. Your first hire should always be an assistant and do remember that you get what you pay for. Junior agents should be paid a small salary and be commissioned to start. As their skill set develops their position should evolve to be 100% commissioned.
You will have to make a commitment to train your workforce. Train and retain the first two members of your team and then they will train all future new hires. Have your staff document their job duties and the steps to accomplish those tasks so those skills can be passed to the next generation.
The key concept behind leverage is not to work harder or work less, but to work smarter and focus on your top 20% (but working less is always a nice perk too!)
Stage One: Sole Practitioner with No Leverage
Gross Fees: $50,000 - $300,000
Prospecting comes before anything else. Database maintenance should always be done after you have prospected for the day.
Stage Two: One Staff Member
Gross Fees: $300,000-$700,000
Database: Assistant maintains and checks new availabilities against the Buyer and Tenant Needs
Stage Three: Two Staff Members
Gross Fees: $700,000-$1,700,000
Database: Team maintains
Note: One variation of this model would to have a junior agent handling Buyer & Tenant Representation.
Stage Four: Three Staff Members
Gross Fees: $1,700,000-$3,000,000
Database: Team maintains
Stage Five: Five Staff Members
Gross Fees: $3,000,000-PLUS
Database: Team maintains
The foundation of all the business models illustrated above is the agent’s database. Consider your database to be your very own gold mine that, if maintained properly, will yield you a tremendous personal fortune. Successful agents all have databases that contain property data, corresponding ownership, tenant data, available space, For Sale and lease information. Their data is unique and not solely dependent on third party data providers. Every change of ownership is verified against multiple sources including the Buyer, Seller and brokers. Newly lease space is verified with the tenant, landlord (what a great way to pickup new business) and brokers. Depending on their target market, they track ownership, properties for sale, Buyers, transfers of ownership (Sales), rents, tenants, leases, new construction and properties taken out-of-service. They know who they have talked to, met with and who is receiving marketing materials. Without this critical information, effective prospecting is not possible. If you cannot effectively prospect, you cannot maximize new business opportunities. If you are not maximizing new business opportunities your income will decrease.
A successful database is scalable to an agent’s business, meaning that as the agent’s business grows, so their technology must grow with them. Networking capabilities, ease of use and functionality are extremely important functions of an agent’s database. The top performers in commercial real estate invest in technology that works for them and not against them.
RealHound® is the ONLY Commercial Real Estate software that is specifically designed for commercial real estate. RealHound® greatly enhances your ability to Prospect, which in turn leads to new business opportunities (listings, buyer & tenant rep). It is also the only software that gives you the advantage of leverage by making the daily processes in commercial real estate simpler which saves you time and makes your team more productive. It automatically matches buyers with sellers and tenants with available space. You can search the Internet for listings and import newly discovered property data into your database with a click of a button! It manages your contacts, properties, listings, escrows timelines, property photos, documents, projects, buyers and tenants. It can be scaled in order to meet the needs of a growing business, keeps you organized, can communicate data over the Internet and it is extremely EASY to use.
The agent business plan is a critical component to maximizing your revenues for the year. It is nothing more than a document containing goals and milestones for your personal real estate business. Without clearly defining your business goals you run the risk of getting distracted and falling short of your desired outcomes.
The key elements of a successful agent business plan are:
Simplicity: One or two pages max
Revenue Goals: How much do you want to make and how many deals do you need to do it?
Why Statement: Why MUST you accomplish this plan?
Target Market/focus: Define your target market and personal focus (top 20%)
Transaction Velocity: Does the deal velocity in your market support your revenue goals? Judging from prior years, is it possible to make your revenue goal?
Staff, Equipment & technology: Do you have the proper resources to pull it off?
Prospecting: How much daily telephone time will you commit to reach your revenue goal? How many new prospects will you meet with per week? How many and how often will you send out mailers?
Budget: What is your budget?
Review the top goals in your business plan daily and your entire business plan monthly. Make adjustments to your approach until you achieve your desired results.
It seems that I am always asked how RealHound® can best be used to really beat the competition and gain market share. My reply is always the same—use Ants. Now you’re probably thinking that I couldn’t possibly be referring to the little insect, but I am. You will not literally dump a box of ants on to your competition’s doorstep to drive them out, but you will use your study of the insect to accomplish the same thing.
Ants are amazing creatures. There are species of ants in South America that can clear an entire forest when they are hunting. By sheer numbers they can take down larger more powerful prey. When they have a collective goal, they are fearless. All creatures big and small flee from them.
So too will your competition flee from you. Your market is your forest and your potential clients are your prey. Cover your market exactly as described in this book and you will drive your competitors from your business forest.
A couple of years ago when the real estate market was edging its peak, my local newspaper ran an article predicting the market would continue to climb. I remember the article quoting a major commercial brokerage firm proclaiming that the traditional real estate market cycle was dead and that there was not going to be a “bust“ to this market’s “boom”. Time has obviously proven that statement wrong. The real estate market cycle is here to stay; it is as unavoidable as the law of gravity. If what goes up must come down, the question is how can you avoid becoming the next victim of a market downturn?
Even during a market downturn, the fundamental truth about commercial real estate is that the demand will never completely dissipate. Sure, the players and economics may change, but the real estate itself must always be owned, managed and leased by someone – which in turn creates demand for your expert services. In a downturn, your client could be a doctor one day or a bank that foreclosed on a property the next. Always market your services to the people who can say “yes” to your fee.
All market cycles have identifiable characteristics that are easy to spot if you know what to look for. For example, in an up market excess demand for commercial real estate services can be satisfied by amateurs but in a market downturn that demand shifts quickly to a dependence on the expert real estate advisor. The expert always gets busier and makes the most money in a down market. And the amateurs… well, let’s just say that they get an education paid for by the market cycle scholarship fund!
We are now on the verge of the largest transfer of wealth in modern history where the prepared commercial real estate practitioner stands to directly benefit. Let me emphasize that preparedness is the key. Do you have the skill sets needed to be an expert advisor to your clients in their time of need? Have you incorporated the latest real estate technologies into your business? If not, you must make an immediate change to your business plan while you still have time.
An expert advisor understands the mechanics behind commercial real estate and the forces at work in the marketplace. If you do not know the difference between a CAP rate and an interest rate (yes, it is a trick question), I recommend that you attend several classes offered by:
Toll Free: 800-621-7027
Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS ®
Both organizations have a spectacular reputation in the industry and offer professional designations that will distinguish you from your competition. When it comes to technology, you must use an integrated CRM (Contact Relationship Management) and property database software system in your daily business. I am sure you know the one that I would recommend!
1) The most successful commercial real estate agents all execute the fundamentals of the business very well by getting the maximum results out of the efforts spent on a task. They prospect, control inventory, leverage their time and focus to achieve peak productivity.
2) The foundation of your business is your database. Consider your database to be your very own gold mine that, if maintained properly, will yield you a tremendous personal fortune.
3) Leverage is the key to growing your business each and every year. You are now familiar with the Pareto Principal, the principle that states that a mere 20% of your actions accounts for 80% of your results. Commercial sales people consistently misallocate their time to the 80% lowest yielding activities in their business. The most successful sales people focus on just their top 20% and delegate the other 80% of their low yielding activities to hired staff.
4) Using the Pareto Principal, 20% of your efforts create 80% of your income; you can estimate the True Value of your time as the value of your time when you are at your most productive. You must increase the TOTAL value of your time by using leverage and delegating those activities that do not require your special talents to hired staff so you can focus on the top 20% of money making activities.
5) Without the proper amount of leverage in your business it is practically impossible to maintain a high income and still achieve balance in your personal life. The key concept behind leverage is not to work harder, but to work smarter and focus on your top 20% high yield activities.
6) Always prepare an annual business plan to keep you focus on your business outcomes for the year and review it regularly.
7) Use Ants to beat your competition!
8) Don’t be a victim of a down market cycle! Be Prepared.
As a real estate professional, the data that you have accumulated about the real estate market is your stock and trade. If you do not track information about the marketplace, your value proposition to your clients is greatly diminished. A key component to accomplishing this ginvolves collecting, verifying and warehousing all property related market data that impacts your business and having it at your fingertips when you need it. If you sell apartments and industrial buildings then collect data about those property types in your trade area. If you lease retail space, collect information on retail properties, owners, leases and tenants. Tenant reps will focus on companies and their lease data. Property information is a commodity these days. Most of the information you need to build your database can be found using online public databases, purchased from a third party, uncoverd with a quick property visit or a phone call.
There are only two ways to warehouse all of your data- the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to use the companion software, RealHound®. The hard way is to use anything else. When you choose to use RealHound® your data is stored in the most advanced database that you can buy for commercial real estate. It organizes your market data so you can retrieve it quickly and logically. It has a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) component that helps you develop and maintain client relationships by tying their contact records directly to the real estate that they are related to. It will also match buyer & tenant needs to available properties/space in your database or on the Internet. This powerful tool will save you a tremendous amount of time and can make you a ton of money.
The key to any database is to keep the information current. Even if you have already created a database that has information that is relevant to your specialty in commercial real estate (such as ownership, tenants, phone numbers, property data, property photos, sales comparables, properties “For Sale”, rental data, and lease data) and have also created a farm area/target market, you should still review this chapter to learn new ideas that will increase the effectiveness of your database upkeep.
As a successful real estate practitioner, you will need to track information related to your specialty which could include: owners, tenants, leases, properties for sale, buyers, transfers of ownership (sales), rents, new construction and properties taken out-of-service. Most of your (or your team’s) database efforts will be spent keeping this information current and recording the conversations that you have with your prospects in their respective contact records. Consider your database to be your very own goldmine that, if maintained properly, will yield you a tremendous personal fortune.
Your goal for creating a database is to have at least 700 properties with corresponding ownership, owner phone numbers, owner addresses and property photographs. Leasing specialists and tenant representatives will add lease and tenant contacts to their database. In addition to the 700 properties mentioned above tenant representatives should have at least 500 tenants with phone numbers and addresses in their database. You will use 3rd party data services, public records, interviews with other brokers and your own personal research to complete and maintain your database.
Title companies are a good source of basic property and ownership data. Contact your local title representative for more details. Public records are another excellent source of free data. (RealHound.com ® is currently exploring the possibility of having this sort of data mining ability automatically integrated into the program, so stay tuned for further details!)
There are a number of subscription services in every metropolitan area that will sell you property data. Use your favorite internet search engine to locate relevant data providers in your area.
Caution: It is occupational suicide to exclusively use a single third party data source as your database because that makes you no better than the guy down the street who is doing the exact same thing. There are a few agents in every market that try to prospect from a single third party database without having built their own personal database. Traditionally, these agents do poorly in the business and don’t last through a full market cycle.
RealHound® has a very powerful import mechanism, but most subscription data contains errors and/or have license restrictions that limit your ability to use their data. Therefore, we do not recommend that you import data directly into RealHound® from those sources but rather manually enter and maintain your own data.
Rental data can be obtained from vendors such as Realfacts® in select markets, but you should augmented the information obtained from them with a personal phone call to their respective property owners and/or their property managers because an owner rental survey is a great reason to call prospects in your market.
Input your information into a new database. Data can be imported or input manually into RealHound. Anything that can put into an Excel spreadsheet can be imported into the program by mapping the data fields or by using the Easy Import Wizard. If you choose to key in your data by hand, we recommend that you start inputting your data on the Property Overview screen.
With RealHound® you have the possibility of storing an unlimited number of properties and contacts in your database. A farm is a subset of properties or contacts in your database that you are continually prospecting for business. Your farm could be determined by such factors as geographic area, property size, tenant type or property type.
If you are operating as an individual agent with over 1,200 properties or contacts in your farm, you will not be as effective in personally contacting all of the prospects in your target market and you will have to slim down the size of your targeted group.
Conversely if you have a large multi-agent team, your team will be able to effectively handle a larger volume of prospects based upon the number of members on the team. As a general rule you should have at least 700 properties in your farm with a minimum of 500 individual owners or tenants per agent on your team. Your goal is to contact every prospect in your farm area at least once a quarter to secure a face-to-face meeting. Owners with properties (or Tenants) that are outside of your farm but are in your property database can be targeted with direct mail.
Identify a target market to become your farm. Your target market, your farm, will become a group of properties or tenants that you will continuously prospect for business and become an expert on. Some criteria that you can use to select your target market are: property size, geographic location, property type, tenant type, city or county. When you have selected your farm save it as a Property Group and give it a name that is easily recognizable to you, or simply call it “my farm”. If you are working as a tenant rep you will also need to save your tenant contacts as a Contact Group.
In the past researching owner and tenant contact data was laborious, time consuming work. In many cases the information that you were able to glean about a property owner was only partially complete or no longer current. Finding accurate contact information for each prospect in your database is critical to your success, but that doesn’t mean that it should take you all day to find. That’s why we created BullsEye and Smart-Links and integrated them into the program.
BullsEye searches ten different pay-per-use databases across the Internet to find information missing from your contacts, and it is fast! It is an affordable pay-per-use service that is available to all of our users. We have secured prepaid bulk pricing with the largest information providers in the country and pass their services along to you at a nominal cost. The benefit to you is that you can now find a prospect’s published and, in many cases, unpublished telephone number for as low as 75 cents right from a contact’s record. That’s less than a call to directory assistance!
To use BullsEye, go to a contact record that needs to be researched. Simply select the BullsEye icon on the menu bar for the missing data. Click the accept data button to save the information in your contact’s record (if the search results are blank, there is no charge). It’s that simple.
Reminder: Some people do not want to be contacted by phone, fax or email and it may be unlawful for you to do so. It is your responsibility to determine the legality of your actions, so please use RealHound® in accordance with all Federal, State and local laws.
Smart-Links are preset connections from your RealHound® database to some of the more useful websites on the Internet. When you use a Smart-link, information about a contact or property is automatically sent to the corresponding website and information is retrieved without manually entering data on the website.
RealHound®’s most popular Smart-Links are to ZoomInfo® and 411.com. The 411.com Smart-Link is represented by a red “4” icon next to the contact name on the Companies & Contacts tab. To use this Smart-Link, select a contact record and press the red “4” icon. 411.com will automatically lookup a contact’s phone number from the internet free of charge. ZoomInfo® can be found under the Smart-link menu. A ZoomInfo® Internet report pulls available information on the selected contact that includes company information, related articles that the contact is quoted in, address, education and phone numbers. Narrow down your results by selecting a state or other qualifier on the ZoomInfo® webpage.
Smart-Links can also be completely customized to send information from your RealHound® database to your favorite websites with a click of a button. One use for a customized Smart-Link would be to send property information from your database to your county assessor’s website. You can create your own Smart-Links under the File Menu> Administration> Settings…> Custom Add-Ins tab.
Once you have input your property data into RealHound® you will need to photograph each property in your farm. Not only does having property photos in your database give you a tremendous advantage when you are on the telephone with property owners or tenant, it also gives you the ability to quickly generate reports with photographs and distribute those reports on a moment’s notice instead of driving all over town to take pictures.
TIP: Even if you are a seasoned pro in commercial real estate there is still tremendous value in “driving the real estate” in your farm area. Buildings and neighborhoods change over time. If a building has fallen into disrepair the owner might be in trouble and may need to sell. Tenants might want to relocate from a tired shopping center. You should be on top of the situation to seize such an opportunity. Try to drive to each building in your farm at least once every three years.
The best way to accomplish photographing your entire property database is with a digital camera, laptop computer, Microsoft Streets and Trips (the newest version sold with a GPS receiver) and a driving buddy. Start by exporting your property addresses from RealHound® into an Excel spreadsheet and import that spreadsheet into Microsoft Streets and Trips on your laptop. Map the properties and select optimized route. Plug in the GPS and drive to each property. The passenger navigates and the driver safely keeps their eyes on the road.
Reminder: Using your car’s navigational system to guide you to a large number of properties is probably not the best use of your time (Yes, someone did ask the question). It takes a considerably longer amount of time to key each property into your car’s navigational system than it does to use your laptop to map out all the properties at once.
Take at least four digital photos of each property using the medium quality setting on your camera. This should give sufficient resolution and detail without maxing out your camera’s memory media. The first shot of every building should be of the property address or monument sign. This will give you a reference point to discern one property from another when you download your photos to your computer. Other things that you should consider photographing include: the view from the front sidewalk, HVAC system, parking lot, amenities, property directory, tenant signage, and different building angles.
Make sure that at least one photo is good enough to be used on a marketing brochure or on a postcard. This will save you time in the future when you are trying to complete a report; you will not need to run across town to take a picture. Don’t forget to take notes about each property that you photograph. When you get back to the office, download your photos to your computer. Next, locate your photos on your computer and put each property’s photos into individual folders. Name each folder with the corresponding property’s street address (EXAMPLE: 123 N Camelback Rd). Import your pictures and record your notes into RealHound®. The Photo import button is located under the picture frame on the Property Overview tab on the Property section. The program will automatically organize and optimize your photos.
The two main classifications of properties that are “For Sale” are FSBO (for sale by owner) and Exclusively listed. Internet listing services, your competitors’ websites and your local newspaper are great sources for finding properties that are “For Sale”. Check these resources often for changes that affect your market. Input the offering data on the Property Overview screen in the offering section and change the “For Sale:” dropdown box to Yes. Type “FSBO” in the status field if the property is For Sale by Owner or type “Listed”, if the property is Listed (this field is customizable to fit the way you work). Double click or go to the “Offering” tab if you need to enter more information about the offering. Do this for every property that is For Sale in your farm. Update this information on a weekly basis.
Reminder: You may also import newly listed properties from the Internet from within the program.
As you talk to property owners in your target market, it will not be uncommon for you to run across owners who tell you that they will sell only if the price is right. These owners are price motivated and are difficult to convert to listings. If they will not list their property with you, you should still consider their property for sale. Change the “For Sale” dropdown box to Yes and type “FSBO” into the status field. Enter in the Listing Price, CAP and as much relevant data as you can in the offering section on the property overview screen as you can. FSBO’s are notorious for selling their properties at below market prices. Tracking this type of data will let you quickly find owners who will consider an offer if you are working as a Buyer’s Representative or when using the Buyer needs portion of RealHound®.
Warning: Working with property owners that are price motivated and refuse to exclusively list their properties can be hazardous to your wallet! If you bring a property owner a offer, make sure that you have a signed commission agreement from your both your buyer and the property owner. Many times the buyer will make sure that the seller pays the commission for fear of being left on the hook for your fee. Even with a commission agreement you still might have to fight for your fee.
If leasing or tenant representation are part of your business plan, you must collect and store tenant information and lease data in your database. Some people will take a shortcut and exclusively rely on third party data providers for this valuable information. (If you are one of these people, please step into my common sense corner for a moment. If you were the leasing broker in a transaction and you were asked to provide the lease details to a company that was going to make the information available to everybody on the planet, how accurate would your reporting be? The same holds true for the landlords. Do you think they want every broker in town chasing their tenants at renewal time?)
Tenants can be easily located at any building address through the internet. Google Maps™ will list the majority of the tenants at a given location by property address.
One of the best ways to drum up tenant representation opportunities and get valuable lease data is to go and physically “knock on doors”. Pick an office building or a shopping center and go to each suite. Ask to talk with the business owner and always have something to offer such as a competitive lease analysis, lease audit or market survey. Make sure that you talk to them about their business goals and expansion plans.
Reviewing a tenant’s lease can help both you and the tenant. Is the tenant being charged correctly for
common area maintenance (
Reminder: Do not plan on meeting and greeting tenants while you are photographing your properties for your database. If you did this, you would never finish this essential activity of getting your database photos!
You can import REA 8, 9.x, Act 6, Act 2005-2007 and any type of data that you can view using Excel. From the File menu, select the Import/Export… option and Import…. Select the import option that best accomplishes your goal.
Data can be easily imported into the program without complicated field mapping using the Easy Import Wizard. The Easy Import Wizard works by copying data from one Excel spreadsheet and pasting that data into the correct columns in another Excel spreadsheet that is created by the Easy Import Wizard. After all of the data has been pasted into the newly created spreadsheet, the Easy Import Wizard will automatically bring the data into the program.
Warning: Always backup your original database before you attempt to import any new data into it. There is always a chance that you will corrupt your original database with any new data import, in which case, you will be thankful that you took the time to backup. From the File menu, select Backup Agent…
Using the Import Wizard
1) From the File menu, select the Import/Export… option and Import… option.
2) From the Import Agreement window.
a) Click the Backup Now button to make a backup of your current database. If you happen to adulterate your current database with your newly imported data, you will be very thankful that you took the time to backup.
b) Read the Notice and, if you agree to the terms contained therein, select the “Agree to only import data that I am properly licensed to import or that I own” radio button.
c) Confirm your agreement to the terms in the Notice by typing Yes in the box provided.
d) Click on the Next button to continue.
3) Click the Easy Import Wizard button to start the Import Wizard.
4) From the Import Wizard Screen select the type of data that you wish to import. If you want to import property data, select the Properties and Contacts radio button. If your spreadsheet contains strictly contact data, select the Contacts Only radio button.
5) Enter a name for the spreadsheet that you will paste your data into.
6) Click the Create Excel File button to create the new spreadsheet.
If you selected a file name that already exists you will get a message similar to this screenshot. Select Yes ONLY if you are sure you want to ERASE the original file and replace it with a new file with the same name.
7) Open the spreadsheet that contains the data you wish to import into the program. The new Excel file you just created in Step 6 and the data file you wish to pull data from will now both be open.
If you are importing Property data, start pasting your data in the cell marked “Enter Data Here”. It is extremely important that you have the correct Property Type listed for each property being imported. Only those properties that have valid RealHound® Property Types will import correctly. Use Excel’s Find and Replace functions to change invalid types. Valid types include: Apartment, Office, Industrial, Retail, Land, Storage, Hotel, Casino, Condo, Mobile Home and Single-Family.
If you are only importing Contact data, don’t forget to clear the contents from Cell A2 and start pasting your data in the columns for contact data.
In the following example we will import Property and Owner Contact information. Select the first column of data (be mindful not to copy the field header), hold down the Ctrl key and press the C key. This will copy the selected data to your clipboard. In our example we will select the Company field.
In the spreadsheet created by the Easy Import Wizard, find the equivalent field name (in this case, it is Owner Company) and select the cell immediately below the name. With the receiving cell selected, press and hold the Ctrl key while pressing the V key. This will paste the contents of the clipboard in that column starting at the selected cell.
Alternatively, you could right click on the receiving cell then select Paste.
8) Continue to copy the data from the original data file and pasting it into the appropriate columns in the new data file created by the Easy Import Wizard. If your data source has "123 N Anywhere St", you would simply paste it into the Property Address Full field. If your data source has two "123" and "N Anywhere St" address fields, you would paste the data into the Property Address Street Number and Property Address Street fields.
9) After all of the property and contact data has been pasted into the new spreadsheet, Save the changes and Close Excel completely.
10) Return to the open Import Wizard window. Click the Import Excel File button to start the import process.
11) From the Import Status window, select the options that best meet your import goals. Once you have selected your import options click the Start button.
From this point forward don’t touch your computer, allow it to finish and it will automatically return to the RealHound® database screen. A data import is one of the most computer resource intensive processes that you can ever do and it can take a long time depending on the number of records. If Windows Task Manager states that the program is “Not Responding” this is perfectly normal. Just let it run.
12) After the import completes, click the Tune-Up Database button from the main login screen or your newly imported data will not show correctly in your database.
A truly unique feature of the program is the data management suite called Data Doctor. Data Doctor allows you to globally change the data in your database and perform duplicate checking on your data. There are over 75 data management and cleansing features in this section of the program.
Warning: Always, Always, ALWAYS backup your original database before you attempt to use any feature in Data Doctor. There is significant chance that you will corrupt your entire database using Data Doctor, in which case, you will be thankful that you took the time to backup.
Data Doctor is not for everyone and was specifically designed for your database administrator and IT professionals.
Using Data Doctor
1) From the File menu, select Administration and then Data Doctor…
2) Find and run the data management feature that you wish to use.
Partial Data Doctor feature list
Transfer and update field values
Phone description update
Set default records
Duplicate checking with merge and delete functions
Data Clean up & optimization
Switch data between fields
Execute SQL Statements
Advance field splitting
Direct edit of Contact table
Clean & Update Contact data
Direct edit of Property table
File Sucker (photos & File)
Clean & Update property data
Direct edit of unit mix table
Standardize documents folders
Direct edit of sales table
Direct edit of activity table
1) As a real estate practitioner, the data that you have on the real estate market is your stock and trade. Without local market knowledge, your value proposition to your clients is greatly diminished. You must distinguish yourself from your competition. To accomplish this you must collect and verify all property related market data that impacts your business. You or your team should do your own data input, research and data verification. Maintain professional relationships with your peers so they are willing to share information about their transactions with you. Prospecting from an accurate well maintained property and contact database will make you a lot of money.
2) It is occupational suicide to exclusively use a third party data source as your database because you have no control over the information. There are a few agents in every market that try to prospect from these online databases without having built their own personal database. Traditionally, these agents do poorly in the business and don’t last through a full market cycle.
3) Identify a target market to become your farm. You should have at least 700 properties in your farm with a minimum of 500 corresponding owners per agent on your team. Tenant representatives should have at least 500 tenants. Your goal is to contact every prospect in your farm at least once per quarter. Owners and tenants that are outside of your farm but are still in your database can be targeted with direct mail.
4) Save your farm properties as a property Group and give it a name such as “my farm”. Tenant representatives can save their prospects as a contact Group. Alternatively, if you have linked all of your tenants to the properties that they have leased under the “Leases” tab, you should save the properties in a property Group.
Saving your farm as a Group will save you time when you are prospecting and need to query your prospects at a moment’s notice.
RealHound® is divided into three main sections: Property, Today and Contact sections. The Contact section is where you will spend most of your time in the program. Each of these main sections is broken down further into other related components.
Reminder: First time users of RealHound® may find the multiple Sections with numerous tabs and a seeming sea of endless fields slightly intimidating. However, you have the ability to hide tabs and fields so you can customize the look of the program. As your confidence grows, you can turn on or off areas of the program that you may or may not want to use. To take advantage of this feature go to: File>User Interface… to turn on or off program Tabs or File>Administration>Settings…>Field Visibility to hide fields in the database.
The first tab in the Contact section is the Companies & Contacts tab. The Contact Screen displays a contact’s primary information, history of property ownership, related contacts, group membership, leases and history of activities relating to the contact. Everything that is mission critical to successful communication with your clients is displayed on this one tab. You can also send emails, generate letters and schedule activities with your contacts without leaving this screen. The Companies & Contacts tab’s screen is broken down into the following components:
Contact information: The top half of the screen contains information about your Contact. Always try to enter in as much relevant data as possible. You never know when you will need to reach your client at some obscure location that they gave you the telephone number to months ago.
TIP: If you are just getting started with RealHound® and you think you might be missing some of your contact records, click the ALL button on top of the screen on the menu bar.
You should enter in each contact record’s contact Type field. The field should explain the major role that the contact plays in your market (some examples are: Owner, Tenant, Owner/user, Investor, Lender, Manager, Developer, Appraiser, etc).
Lookup box: Located on the top right-hand side of the screen, the Lookup box is a quick way to find contacts in your database. Our lookup box is patterned after the lookup box commonly found on your favorite internet search engines. Type in all or part of a contact’s name or company name and press the Enter key. The program will pull up every matching record. You can also locate a contact by typing in a portion of their phone number, address, or fax number. The Lookup box is intelligent, meaning that it will automatically search for variants of the name you type in the lookup field. For example, if you type in “Richard” it will pull up all Richards and Ricks. “Bill” will yield William and Billy, etc.
Below the Lookup box is the “What:” drop down list. Use this feature to Narrow Down your search results within the currently selected records, exclusively search the Contact or Company fields, etc. When you have completed your search, return the “What:” drop down to the ALL. This will refresh your search criteria to all records for your next search.
TIP: To quickly jump your cursor to the Lookup box from anywhere in the program and set the lookup to ALL, press the Ctrl + J keys. To set the lookup to just last name press the Ctrl + L keys.
Contact Groups: This is a useful feature that allows you to group contacts together by some relevant relationship. For example: you could create a group named “Retail Brokers” and designate every active broker in your database as a member of this group.
Some other useful contact groupings include:
TIP: There are two types of groups that you can use in RealHound®, Property Groups and Contact Groups. You should NOT group your Farm by owners using a Contact Group because property ownership perpetually changes. Instead, you should use a Property Group, because, while the ownership will change, the property is not going anywhere and will always be in your farm. Property Groups are most effective for grouping properties with a similar location and/or physical characteristics. Another convenient use for groups is to save a particular list of contacts or properties that you will need to work with at some future point in time such as rent comparables or tenant types.
Related Contacts radio button: This feature allows you to link related contacts to one another for quick reference and easy access. To go to a related contact’s record, just double click on the grey box next to the contact’s name.
Entering related contacts is easy. Next to the asterisk, Click on the Contact Search button, enter the new related contact in the search box and click the Select button. Once you have selected the related contact, the contact’s name and company will appear in the list. Next, in the box below the related contact’s name and company, select the relationship to the main contact or type in the relationship. If the particular relationship is not on the list, RealHound® will automatically create a link between the two contacts and prompt you for the return relationship. For example: If the contact record that you are working with has an assistant, you will enter in the assistant’s name and define their relationship as “Employee” or “Assistant”. RealHound® will ask you to define the return relationship and you will enter in “Employer” or “Boss”. To query the related contacts, click the Goto button next to the Related Contacts radio button and RealHound® will look up those records for you. Click the Goto button if you want to send all of the related contacts a letter or email.
Company radio button: This feature allows you to automatically view all of the contact records that are related to your current contact record by company name. Contacts that share the EXACT company name will automatically link to your current contact record just by selecting the Company radio button. To query the related contacts in the same company, click the Goto button next to the Company radio button and RealHound® will look up those records for you. You would click the Goto button if you wanted to send all of the related contacts in the same company a letter or email.
History/Task/Other Radio Buttons: Select “History” or “Other” and the information displayed in the box below these settings changes. With “Other” selected the program displays more contact fields and other customizable fields. When “History” is selected, every note, logged call, email, letter, scanned or attached document is displayed in date order. To filter activities go to the “Show Type:” drop down box and select the type of activity that you only want the program to display.
Tip: To customize fields in your database select the File Menu>Administration>Settings…> Custom Fields tab
Related Properties: Displays all properties, leases, sales and linked properties that are related to the selected contact. This feature is discussed in detail in another section of this book.
At the bottom of the Companies and Contacts screen, there are a series of buttons that function as follows:
New Contact: Creates a new contact record. Note that you CANNOT create a new contact record from the Edit menu.
Copy Contact: Creates a new contact record and populates the record with the same company name, address and phone numbers as the currently selected contact.
Drop Contact: Drops the current contact from the list of contacts displayed and advances you to the next contact record.
Task: Allows you to schedule a Call, Meeting or To Do task with the current contact at some future point in time. Scheduled activities will appear on your calendar.
Note: Creates a new note into the contact history record.
Call: Creates note about a call you made to or received from the selected contact in the contact history record.
Cold Call: This button is covered in detail in another section.
Attach: Allows you to attach different types of files to the contact record such as a marketing package, MS Word document or PDF file. These files are stored in the contact’s document folder.
Documents: An innovative way to store and view any electronic file associated with the current contact record. Files can be cut, copied, dragged or pasted into the folder that pops up when you click the Documents button. You will never lose an electronic file again!!
Mail/Email Merge: You can create & modify templates or create mail merges and email merges for your selected contacts. Follow the simple onscreen steps.
New Doc : This function gives you the ability to use custom templates to generate different types of correspondence to the selected contact. This is where you would access your favorite fax cover sheet, letter formats, LOI’s and memos that have been created as templates. The program will perform a mail merge with the selected contact’s information, generate the appropriate document and save the file in the Contact’s Documents folder.
Email: To create a new email, double click on a contact’s email address or click the email icon.
Tip: To move backward and forward on the historical list of contacts that have been viewed, click the Back or Next buttons.
History tab: This tab is an expanded view of the History box which is located on the Companies & Contacts tab. From this tab you can edit notes, activity and visibility. You can also view and attach links to the notes.
Buyers & Tenant Needs tab: This tab is where you will input every property or space requirement that an individual contact tells you that they are searching for in the market. This tab allows you to search for a matching “For Sale” property or “For Lease” space in your database and can help you make a lot of money.
If your client tells you that they are looking for either a strip center for under $5,000,000 or an apartment building for under $50,000/unit, you will enter both pieces of information by using two different saved requirements, but both will be entered on this tab. To enter a new “Needs” entry, type a name in the blank description box and click once outside the box to activate the remaining portion of the screen.
TIP: When entering in Buyer needs you should always enter in the following items: Price Range, Down Payment Range, Expiration date, Deal Probability, and whether the buyer is in a 1031 Exchange (if he is, you should include his nomination date).
The Deal Probability field is your own personal assessment of the contact’s motivation. This field will help you remember which people in your database are truly motivated when you are reviewing their Buyer/Tenant Needs in the future. Deal Probability is expressed as a percentage and should always be used.
Details should be kept to the Comments box or you will narrow the search results by having too many limiting parameters. In other words, you could skip over properties that your client might want to buy! Click the Show Matched button automatically find available properties. Don’t forget to click the search Internet button!
The difference between entering a Buyer need and a Tenant need is very subtle. You must be conscience of selecting the correct “Need Type” so the proper property availabilities can be searched and matched to the recorded needs.
Tenant needs (For Lease Need Type) should have an expiration date, Deal Probability, Available SF and rate information. Details should be kept to the Comments box.
Caution: Only use the Type and Sub-type fields if you have been diligently entering in this information on your available spaces or you will severely limit the number of matches that you will get on available spaces.
Cold Calls & Call Lists tab: The Cold Calls tab (see later Chapter for full details) is an extremely useful tool that allows you to narrow a list of contacts that you wish to call by filtering out those contacts for which you do not have phone numbers, you have previously called, are on a do not call list or have left a message for in the past. The program will then generate your call list using Intellicall, a sophisticated algorithm that greatly increases the probabilities that you will contact prospects who are in need of your services. Using this feature makes it virtually impossible for you to skip a call to prospects in your database.
Marketing tab: The Marketing screen contains a list of marketing materials sent to, properties shown and offers written by the selected contact.
List tab: This tab allows you to view your selected contacts in a summary view and add or drop contact records from your active list. It is very useful for selecting contact groups and adding them to your list of active contacts. In addition, you can easily export your contact records to MS Excel (for use in direct mail or broadcast emails), as well as Email All contacts and create Labels. You can also access and create mail merge templates by clicking on the “Documents/Email” button at the bottom of this tab.
Sort your contact list using the Quick Sort dropdown box on the lower right portion of the screen.
1) Lookup box- Located on the top right-hand side of the Companies & Contacts screen, the Lookup box is a quick way to find contacts in your database. Our lookup box is patterned after the lookup box commonly found on popular internet search engines. Type in all or part of a contact’s name or company name and press the “Enter” key. The program will pull up every matching record. You can also locate a contact by typing in a portion of their phone number, address, or fax number. The Lookup box is intelligent, meaning that it will automatically search for variants of the name you type in the lookup field. For example, if you type in “Richard” it will pull up all Richards and Ricks. Below the Lookup box is the “What:” drop down list. Use this feature to “narrow down” your search to currently selected records, exclusively search “contact” fields or “company” fields. Go to the List tab to see your search results in a list format.
When you have completed your search return the “What:” drop down to the ALL. This will refresh your search criteria to all records for your next search.
TIP: Type the word Owners into the lookup box to view secondary property owners
2) List screen- Click on the List tab located to the right of the Company/Contact tab. At the top of the List screen you will see blank boxes under “Company”, “Contact Name”, “City”, “State” “Postal Code”, “Phone” and “Contact Type”. Enter the information that you want to search for in the appropriate box and click the Lookup button to start your search. The results of your search will populate in the list. Double click on any contact in the list to go to that contact’s record. If you want to view all of the Contact records on the list, simply click on the Companies & Contacts tab and you can click through the records at your leisure.
3) Filter by field: Right click in any field that you want to search in the Contact record. A menu box pops up and gives you the following search options for the selected field:
a) Filter For: Entering data in this field will filter selected records for an exact match to the data entered in the field. If you wanted to filter for all records that had the text “LLC” in the selected field you would enter in “*LLC*”. The asterisks tell the program to include any text strings before or after “LLC” will be included in the Filter results (ie- Simpson Housing LLC, John Doe, Member). Filtering is not the same as a Search. When a Filter is on, the rest of the records are hidden from view. If you would like to create a search from your filter click the Apply Filter button. When you have completed the filter, right click in the field that you were working with and select Remove Filter/Sort to unhide the rest of the records.
b) Filter by Selection: Selecting this option will filter for records that have the exact matching text in the same field. All of the other records will be hidden until you remove the Filter/Sort.
c) Filter Excluding Selection: Selecting this option will hide all records that have the exact matching text in the field. These records will be hidden until you remove the Filter/Sort.
d) Remove Filter/Sort: Selecting this option removes the filter on the selected field.
Here is a practical example of the use of the Filter by field option. There was a RealHound® user who put an “X” in a certain user text field of every record that had an incorrect phone number. He was distraught when he could not figure out how to find those records that he had marked with an “X”. When he called our customer support department, he was told to scroll through his contacts until he found one of the contacts that had an “X” and then to do a Filter by Selection. Instantly, all of the records marked with an “X” showed up. Customer Support then walked him through the process to create a group for his contacts with wrong numbers making it easier to find that group of records in the future.
Smart-Links is bound to become one of your favorite features of the program. It will take information from your current contact or property record (depending on which section of the program you are in) and searches the internet for useful information on that property or contact using some of the more popular websites. This means that with one mouse click you can quickly get: the weather forecast in a contact’s city, Internet maps with aerial photography overlays, phone numbers, demographics, residential home valuations and everything else that your favorite search engines can tell you; juicy tidbits that I’m sure you will absolutely love.
Smart-Links are located on the main menu bar on the top of the screen next to the Help drop-down menu. Go to a Contact or Property record and try it out.
RealHound® is a database program designed to store your Contact, Property and Activity information. Buttons and controls in RealHound® do certain things, just like in an automobile. If you learn these quick tips, it will make operating the program much easier.
1) To exit out of a field without making changes, press the ESCAPE key. This is very useful if you get an error while changing data.
2) As soon as you move off a field your data is saved. There is no need to click the SAVE icon.
3) To close a screen, press the X on the top right hand side.
4) To copy any list from RealHound® into Excel, use your mouse to click on the record selector (the arrow to the left of the row) of the first row in the list you would like to copy, then hold down the SHIFT key and click on the last row. While still holding down SHIFT, right click on the last row and select COPY. Switch to Excel and select Edit-> Paste from the main menu or use the Ctrl+V keys.
5) To move from one record to another use the buttons that resemble VCR buttons on the bottom left hand side of the screen.
6) To move forward from one field to another using the keyboard, press the TAB key.
7) To move backward from one field to another press both SHIFT and TAB at the same time.
8) To quickly search in a field right-click on it and enter what you are searching for into the FILTER, then press ENTER. Use the * as a wildcard for finding anything that may come before or after what you requested. Such as, ‘*Smith’ in the Contact Name field would find anyone who’s last name ends with ‘Smith’.
The Today Section is where you will access your task list, calendar and search contact histories. In addition, you can manage your projects, marketing campaigns and buyer & tenant needs on a large scale.
Tip: If you do not like the color scheme of your RealHound® screen, change them! Go to the File menu> User Interface… . Screen Colors and themes will be on the upper right hand side of the screen.
Tasks tab: Allows you to view a list of your tasks by task type and user.
Calendar tab: View individual or team tasks on a calendar. You can customize your view of the calendar by performing a click-and-hold on the mini calendar and dragging the mouse pointer across the mini-calendar highlighting the number of days that you wish to view. You can move tasks to new time slots or to another day by performing a click-and-hold just to the left of the task on your calendar and moving the task to the desired time slot or day. The Calendar features work the same way as the Task list.
Search History tab: This very useful tab shows you contact activities by Sales Status and/or Call Result. You can also narrow your search by entering a date range or find key words in the database. Print the results of your search by pressing the Report button. If you want to know which of your clients you created a proposal for in November or met with in the first week of December, you will be able to find that information easily by using this tab.
Project Status tab: This tab shows you a summary of all property related projects. New projects are entered in the Property section on the Projects tab of the property involved. Once you have entered in a new project on a specific property record, you will be able to access and manage that project from this tab. Projects are very useful for managing property related activities that involve multiple steps, such as closing timeline, development timeline, putting together a marketing package, listing proposal or some other multi-stage process.
Marketing Campaigns: The Marketing Campaigns tab is where you will create and edit marketing campaigns for your property based marketing. This feature will greatly reduce the amount of time and effort required to generate marketing reports on your listings. If you are not providing your clients marketing reports on their listings your business is in real trouble. The program truly takes the pain out of the reporting process, saving you and your staff hours of time. Marketing campaigns are discussed in a later chapter.
DealFinder: This tab gives you the ability to find and manage buyers in your database who are looking to purchase properties that match certain criteria that you have already specified under the Buyer & Tenant Needs tab (in the Contacts section of the program). This feature is extremely useful when you are trying to locate a buyer for a For Sale property that is not currently entered into your database or if you want to manage a list of clients in a 1031 tax deferred exchange. Example: You go to a meeting and another broker pitches a deal that requires $2,000,000 down. You search DealFinder for buyers that have at least $2,000,000 and then run the deal past the buyers that qualify. Yes, this feature can make you a lot of money!
Within this tab is the Matched Properties window. By selecting a buyer on the screen above the window and pressing the Show Matched button, properties in your database with the For Sale status of “Yes” that meet the selected buyer’s criteria will be displayed in the Matched Properties window. Don’t forget to search and match off of the Internet listings.
The Matched Properties window shows you matching properties that have had their For Sale status changed to “Yes” in the Property section. DealFinder is discussed in greater detail in a later chapter.
Tenant Wizard: This tab gives you the ability to find and manage Tenant needs in your database for contacts who are looking to lease space that match certain criteria that you have already specified for them under the Buyer & Tenant Needs tab (in the Contacts section of the program). The Tenant Wizard feature is extremely useful when you are trying to locate a tenant for an available space but that space has not been entered into your database or if you want to manage a list of tenants looking for space. Example: You get to a flyer from another broker marketing 20,000 SF of office space. You then search the Tenant Wizard feature for tenants that have at need for 20,000 SF of office and then run the deal past all of your clients that qualify. Yes, this is another feature that can make you a lot of money!
Within this tab is the Matched Available Spaces window. By selecting a tenant on the screen above this window and pressing the Match Available Spaces button, available spaces for lease in the database that match that tenant’s specific requirements will be displayed.
Recent Changes: This tab displays all of the contacts and properties that have been recently modified. This feature is useful for monitoring changes made to the database.
The Property section of the program is where all of your property data is stored including property pictures, sales, offering information, available spaces, leases and rental history. Most users will never use all of the features in this section, but for those of you that are true “data hounds” you will not be disappointed. All RealHound® users should acquaint themselves with at least the Overview, Unit Types, Leases, Available/For Lease, Offering/For Sale and Sales tabs.
Displayed screen sections, data fields and tabs will change based on the type of property that has been entered into the database. This means that a retail broker does not see apartment data fields and unit mix information on a shopping center’s property record.
The Overview tab: The Overview tab was designed to give you all the essential information about a property on one screen. In addition to the basic information about the property, it shows: Ownership, Offering (For Sale) details, Last Sale data and property photos. You will find that you rarely need to go to any other tab in this section. When entering a new property record you should always enter the property name (if you do not know the property name, use the street address as the name. For example: 3135 South Front St), property type and address.
The Overview tab has several fundamental components.
Make sure that you ALWAYS select the correct “Property Type:” because different property types have different screen views to accommodate information specific to each property type.
After the offering information has been entered you should ALWAYS click the Match Buyers button and the program will search your database for contact records that have matching Buyer Needs. If a matching need is found, the corresponding contact records will be automatically queried for you. This is another feature that will grow the size of your wallet!
Owner/Principal: Shows the current owner of the property. The ownership link between a property and its corresponding owner contact record is established in this section. The owner that appears in the Owner section of this tab is the owner that the property is linked to in the Contacts section of the program. To complete the link between a Contact (owner) and property you must click the Refresh button on the Companies & Contacts tab. You can add additional owners under the Owners tab.
Radio buttons: Allows you to select different views in the Activity box below. These buttons are different for each property type.
Lookup box: Type in a property name, address, zip code, city, sub-market, property type, property sub-type, property actual use, tenancy, owner company, owner contact, sub-region and the program will display all the properties that meet your specified criteria. Alternatively, you can lookup a property from anywhere in the program by pressing the Ctrl + P keys.
Property Photo Display box: Displays the default property photo. You can store as many photos as you like in the program without slowing it down. Beneath the photo display box is a series of icons that have various functions which are explained in the illustration below.
Most Recent Sale: Shows you summary information about the last sale of the property. In most cases this is really all the information that you need; however, you can enter in even more details under the Sales tab. You should ALWAYS enter a new sale by pressing the New Sale button, because the program will save you some work by clearing out the Offering information and will fill in certain sales fields automatically.
At the bottom of the property Overview tab, there are a series of buttons that function as follows:
New Property: Creates a new property record. You CANNOT create a new Property record from the Edit menu.
Copy Property: Creates a new property record with the same basic property information as the currently selected property.
Drop Property: Drops the current property from the list of displayed properties and advances you to the next property record.
Task: Allows you to schedule a Call, Meeting or To Do task with a contact record at some future point in time and links the activities to the property record. Scheduled activities will appear on your calendar. (NOTE- The Task, Note and Call buttons will only display if the History radio button is selected.)
Note: Creates a new note in the property history record.
Call: Creates a note about a call you received or placed to a selected contact in the contact and property history record.
Attach: Allows you to attach different types of files to the contact record such as a marketing package, MS Word document or PDF file to the contact record history. Files are stored in the property’s document folder.
Documents: An innovative way to store and view any electronic file associated with the current property record. Files can be cut, copied, dragged or pasted into the folder that pops up when you click the Documents button. You will never lose an electronic file again!!
AutoCompare: The AutoCompare feature automatically compares the currently selected property to the other similar properties in the database that have recently Sold, are currently For Sale and are potential rent comparables. This feature will also estimate the current property’s value based on Sales and current Offering information that has been entered into the database.
Availability/For Lease tab: This tab is where all of the information on the available/vacant space is recorded for a particular property. From this screen you can create a Stacking Chart or Lease vs. Buy analysis.
As you enter in vacant space, click the Match Tenants button and the program will automatically query the contacts in your database that have a matching tenant needs. If you lease space, this feature is going to make you a lot of money!
To use the Available Spaces/Lease Comparables List feature, query the properties with spaces in your database that you wish to run the comparables list on. With your properties selected, click the Available/Leases button on the property List tab. Once the spaces have been selected and ranked, select your desired report to be run from the Report button at the top of the screen.
Leases tab: All of your property leases are stored on this tab. Make sure you record the lease expiration date, purchase option date and renewal option dates on this screen if that information is available to you. The program will use these dates to manage your future call lists, saving you a lot of time and effort in the future.
List tab: This tab allows you to view your selected properties in a summary view and add or drop property records from your active list. It is very useful for selecting property groups and adding them to your list of active properties. In addition, you can easily export your property records to Excel, Goto both the linked Owner of the property and Tenants’ contact records with a push of a button.
1) Lookup box: Located on the top right-hand side of the Property Overview screen, the Lookup box is a quick way to find properties and owners in your database. Type in all or part of an owner’s name, owner company name, property name, address, city, submarket, subregion, type, sub-type, actual use and tenancy type then press the Enter key. The program will pull up every matching record. When you have completed your search select the ALL button to return to viewing all of your property records. Don’t forget that the List tab will display the search results in a summary format.
TIP: To jump the cursor to the Property Lookup Box anywhere in the program, press Ctrl + P keys.
2) Search button: Click the Search button on the upper middle part of the menu bar to bring up the Search screen. The search screen is where complicated or multi-step searches can be performed. **Remember, EVERY field is searchable!**
Example: You want to find every apartment building in your database that is 60 units or larger but less than 501 units in the City of Scottsdale. On the Search screen select the Advanced tab and follow the labeled steps 1 through 4 on that screen. To complete this search:
a) Select the “UNITS” field, “Is Greater or Equal” radio button, type “60” in the “Select a value” field and click the Add Criteria button.
b) Select the “UNITS” field, “Is Less or Equal” radio button, type “500” in the “Select a value” field and click the Add Criteria button.
c) Select the “CITY” field, “Equals”
radio button, type or select “
d) Click the Show Properties radio button and New Search radio button in the middle left side of the Search Screen.
e) Click the Search button. RealHound® will now display your results. Finally, click the Goto Properties button to query your properties on the Property section of the program and close the Search screen.
3) Filter By Fields: Right click in any field that you want to filter (AKA “search”) in the database. A menu box pops up and gives you the following filter options for the selected data field:
a) Filter For: Entering data in this field will filter the selected records for an exact match to the data entered in the field. If you wanted to filter for all records that had the text “LLC” somewhere in the selected field you would enter in “*LLC*”. The asterisks tell the program to include any text strings before or after “LLC” and will be included in the Filter results (ie- Simpson Housing LLC, John Doe, Member). If you wanted to filter for all records that had JUST the text “LLC” in the selected field you would enter in “LLC”.
Filtering is not exactly the same thing as a Search. When a Filter is on, the rest of the records are hidden from view. When you have completed the filter, right click in the field that you were working with and select Remove Filter/Sort to unhide the rest of the records. If you would like to create a Search from a filter, go to the Overview tab and click the Apply Filter button.
b) Filter by Selection: Selecting this option will filter for records that have the exact matching text in the same field that is currently selected. All of the other records will be hidden until you select Remove Filter/Sort.
c) Filter Excluding Selection: Selecting this option will HIDE all records that have the exact matching text in the same field that is currently selected. These records will remain hidden until you select Remove Filter/Sort.
d) Remove Filter/Sort: Selecting this option removes the filter on the selected field.
Here is another practical example of
the use of the Filter by field option.
Let’s suppose that you need to find every building on “
4) List tab: Click on the List tab located to the
far right of the Overview tab. Click the
ALL button on the top left side of
the screen. At the top of the List
screen you will see blank boxes under “Property Name”, “Address”, “City”, “
The mapping capabilities of the program are so powerful that they are considered the most extensive on the market. Using MapPoint 2006, you can map all of the properties in a city, draw a shape around the section of town that interests you and the program will select only those properties within the designated area, dropping unwanted properties from your search. When you return to the Property section of RealHound®, only those properties located within the shape will be queried (selected) in the program.
Then click a button and visually fly around your property with a Bird’s eye view using a number of different internet mapping tools and, finally, get a street level view of your property without even leaving your office!
Next, generate and map a list of properties that are For Sale or Available for Lease and email the map to a Client so they can “fly” around the properties using the Bird’s eye view.
Properties must be geocoded before several mapping functions in the program, such as the radius search, will work properly. A geocode is just a fancy way of saying that the property has latitude and longitude coordinates associated with its record. You can tell if a property has a geocode by looking at the Tract section of the Details tab in the Property section of the program.
There are currently three ways to geocode your properties; using Microsoft Map Point 2006, Yahoo Maps, or entering the coordinates yourself by hand. If you use Map Point 2006 or Yahoo to automatically geocode the properties in your database, each property must have a valid mailing address.
MapPoint 2006 and Yahoo Maps: Select the properties that you wish to geocode or select the ALL button. Click the MAP/Aerial button at the top of the screen. Select the radio button next to the geocode option that you wish to use and click the Start button.
Reminder: You need to have Microsoft MapPoint 2006 installed on your computer to utilize some of the program’s mapping capabilities. MapPoint 2006 was included in the higher-end MS Office Packages. If you did not purchase MapPoint 2006 with your computer, please consider purchasing the program online from EBAY.com for about $75. It is well worth the investment.
Geocode By Hand: This is the least appealing of the three options because of the tedious nature of the work. However, if you do not have a property address, you will have to manually enter the geocode for the property in the Detail tab. In order to get the coordinates you will need to drive to the property with a GPS unit and record the latitude and longitude.
The radius search feature requires a geocode on each property. Properties without geocodes will not be queried and, subsequently, will not be displayed in your search results.
Select the Subject property that you wish to do a radius search around by displaying that property on the Property section Overview tab. Click the Search button and select either the Multi-Unit, Commercial or Advanced tab. At the top of the search window the current Subject property is listed.
For our example, we will use the easy Commercial search tab.
1) Enter any other search criteria (such as building square footage) that might be of interest.
2) Select the Show Properties radio button from the middle left-hand side on the window.
3) Select the New Search radio button on the middle of the window.
4) Enter the mile radius around the Subject property that you want to include in the search.
5) Click the Search button.
The results of your search are displayed in the box below the Search button. Click the Goto Properties button when you have the results that you want.
TIP: Use the Radius search to find all of the property owners surrounding a new listing and call them to see if they would like to buy the property. As you know, a high percentage of all property sales are made to neighboring property owners.
RealHound® lets you map properties in MapPoint 2006 by drawing a shape around those properties and having only those properties within the shape be displayed in RealHound® when you close MapPoint 2006. This feature is extremely useful if you want to query properties in a geographic location that is not readily definable using other search tools. For example, if you wanted to lookup all of the properties that are between four streets this will be the easiest way to accomplish the task.
Let’s say that you want to query all
1) Search and select all of the buildings
2) Press the Map/Aerial button
3) From the Mapping/Options window select the radio button next to Map and geocode my selected properties/contacts using Micosoft MapPoint
4) From the Mapping/Options window click the Start button. RealHound® will send all of your selected properties to MapPoint 2006 and open a new window.
5) Maneuver and zoom the Property Map window to the geographic area that you are interested in. Select the drawing tool that you prefer.
6) Draw a complete polygon around the properties that you want in your search. Click the Remove Properties Not in Shape button.
7) Close the Property Map window by clicking on the red X on the upper right side of the screen.
8) The Property Map window will close and only those properties located within the polygon will be selected in RealHound®.
There is a mapping arms race happening on the Internet these days and you are the direct beneficiary to the conflict. Gone are the weak looking Mapquest maps and welcome to the days of full detailed aerials and street level views of your properties delivered right through your web browser. The best part of this all is that these powerful mapping tools don’t cost you a dime and they are integrated right into RealHound®.
When you click the Map/Aerial button, all queried (selected) properties will get sent out to the Internet and mapped using the mapping service of your choice (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and MapQuest)
Microsoft®’s Virtual Earth™: This option produces very nice Road maps, Aerials and Bird’s eye views. Properties are represented on the map as numbered red dots and a corresponding legend is created at the bottom of the web page. You can also send your map to a Client as an Html email and they will be able to view your mapped properties complete with Bird’s eye views!
1) Click the Map/Aerial button. From the Mapping Options screen, select Map and show an Aerial of my selected properties with Microsoft Live Map radio button and click Start button. A map will be created in your web browser.
2) You can select Road maps, Aerial or Bird’s eye views.
3) To send this Map to a Client click the Page button inside of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and select Send Page by E-mail… . Select HTML and your email will open. Enter your Client’s email address and send your email.
4) At the bottom of the page displayed in the browser window a legend with all of the mapped properties is displayed. Use the scroll bar to view the property list.
5) To see a Bird’s Eye view of the property, select the See this location in bird’s eye view button.
6) Next, select the magnification- the large building icon represents a closer zoom, the small building icon represents a view from a greater distance. You can also select the direction that you can view the building.
7) Microsoft’s Bird’s Eye view.
Google™ Maps: Not to be out done by their competition in Seattle, Google™ has Road Maps, Aerial and Street View mapping. A property is represented on the map as a green arrow with a text box. Only one property can be mapped at a time. You can send your map to a Client as an Html email and they will be able to view your mapped property complete with street views!
1) Select the property to be mapped in RealHound®. Click the Map/Aerial button and select From the Mapping Option window the radio button next to Map and Show an Aerial of my current property/contact using Google hybrid Maps.
Next, click the Start button at the bottom of the window. Your Internet browser will now display the mapped property.
2) On the displayed web page, choose the type of map you wish to view-- Street View, Traffic, Map, Satellite or Terrain. Try the Street View if it is available in your area.
3) Click on the golden man to active the Street Viewer
4) To see the Street view in full screen mode click on the Full Screen Option.
Yahoo™ & MapQuest™: These features work in much the same way as the above.
Reminder: The type of Internet mapping services and quality of the maps offered by the mapping companies will vary by location.
1) The Contact Section’s Companies & Contacts tab displays a contact’s primary information, history of property ownership, Leasehold interest, related contacts, group membership and history of activities relating to the contact. In addition, you can send emails, generate letters and schedule activities with your contacts from within this screen.
2) Always enter in Buyer & Tenant Needs for each qualified contact that you speak with. Buyer & Tenant Needs are used to match Buyers with Sellers and Tenants with available space in other areas of the program.
You should always enter in the
following items into Buyers Needs:
You should always enter in the following items into Tenant Needs: Lease Rate, Available SF, Expiration date and Deal Probability. Extra details should be stored in the comments box.
3) The Today Section is where you can access your task list, calendar, Search history, enter Marketing campaigns and manage projects.
4) The Property section of the program is where all of your property data is stored including pictures, property related documents, Sales, Availability/For Lease, Leases and rental history. Most users will never use all of the features in this section, but for those of you that are true “data hounds” you will not be disappointed. All RealHound® users should acquaint themselves with the Overview, Unit Types, Square Footage, Lease, Offerings and Sales tabs.
5) Use DealFinder to find and manage Buyer needs in your database or automatically match Buyers with properties that are for sale.
Use Tenant Wizard to find and manage Tenant needs in your database or automatically match Tenant needs to available space.
These features are going to make you a lot of money!
Let’s face it; if you are not talking to every property owner or tenant in your farm at least once a quarter, you are not effectively covering your market. If you are not covering your market, you are leaving the door wide open for your competition to make a very nice living from commissions that you left on the table. So it is up to you to cover your farm so well that your competition does not like going to work in the mornings and agonizes over their career choice.
Now, I know that some of you consider your competition to be friends. But I know of no broker who will just let you have a $150,000 fee if they think they can earn it first. I advocate a healthy respect for your competition within the bounds of fair dealings, but you should not let yourself be naïve enough to step into the brokerage arena with the belief that you will necessarily be treated the same way. Always carry the strongest shield and the sharpest sword if you want to prevail in this business. Which brings me back to my point-- the most effective way to cover your farm is by using the telephone and sending direct mail.
Most people are afraid of the telephone; after all, it is the leading cause of neck cramps and lock jaw in our society today. If you are afraid of calling someone that you do not know, stop and think for a moment about how harmless this piece of equipment really is. The telephone does not bite, transfer any communicable diseases from the person on the other end and will not inflict any physical pain on your body. They cannot judge you for your taste in neckties or criticize you for eating too many onions on your burger at lunch. So what’s your hang-up? If you are honest with yourself, fear of rejection is more than likely the problem. But don’t worry; you are not alone, because most everyone has this exact same fear.
You need a strategy to overcome fear and anxiety to become one of the truly great commercial sales agents. Did you notice that I said overcome and not eliminate your fear. Managing and controlling telephone anxiety is the best that most of us will be able to achieve. And after all, you have a lot of money to make and you cannot afford to let something so small get in your way!
Simply put, cold calling is the most effective way of generating new business in commercial real estate. If you really want to put your career on the fast track, get on the telephone. If you want to make more money, get on the telephone. If you want to win more sales awards, get on the telephone. If you want to get yourself out of a sales slump, get on the telephone. If you don’t want to worry about paying your monthly bills, get on the telephone. If you want your competitors to find a new line of work, get on the telephone. Are you seeing a pattern developing here??
The simple reasons for calling property owners and tenants on a regular basis are to:
· Establish (or re-establish) and maintain a relationship
· Gather information about a property or prospect’s intentions
· Market properties or spaces (your listings or other broker’s listings)
· Distribute information
· Market your services
Your goal for every phone call is to secure a personal meeting with the property owner or tenant, because people like doing business with people they know. Your objective should be to meet every property owner and major tenant in your farm. If a meeting is not possible, gather information about their property or future business expansion plans and ask the prospect if you can help them with any of their real estate needs. Some questions that you may want to customize and ask on the phone are:
1) Are you interested in purchasing any real estate or leasing any space in the next twelve months?
2) What direction do you think the real estate market is headed this year?
3) Do you anticipate any changes to your business?
4) How is your property (or business) doing? (vacancy, rent increases, management, tenants, expenses, concessions, leasing, staffing, sales)?
5) Are you having any challenges with your property, space or location?
6) Are your
7) Do you have time to show me your property? I can meet you at the property the next time that you are in town.
8) Do you mind if I stop by and give you my business card? What days are you at the property?
Again, your goal for each phone call is to obtain a face-to-face meeting with the property owner or tenant. You must meet him to establish and build rapport. Your goal is NOT to list the building over the telephone or send him half baked offers-- because that destroys your credibility. Nor is it your goal to supply a prospect enough information that he can find a new space or market his property without you. You are not the Library of Congress or the Red Cross, so don’t give away your trade secrets.
If you notice that you are doing all of the talking during a cold call it is time for you to say goodbye (that is, of course, after you ask for a meeting). When you are on a call always remember that you were born with two ears and one mouth and that you should use them proportionately. If you are doing all of the talking that means that you are not asking enough quality question. People like to talk about themselves so make sure your prospect is the one doing the talking and that you are attentively listening for your opportunity to ask for a face-to-face meeting.
If a property owner or tenant refuses to meet with you, but wants you to do a lot of work for him (a valuation, lease analysis, detail rent surveys, sales reports, etc), do yourself a big favor—move on. Don’t waste your efforts on someone who does not respect or value your time. Chances are they never will meet with you and their list of demands will only grow longer.
Here is a secret to ridding yourself of your telephone anxiety. Give yourself permission to botch phone calls. Yes, you heard me… it is OK to stink at cold calling as long as you make your calls every single day because in time your cold calling skills will improve. If you cannot give yourself permission to stink on the phone, then I give you permission because I know that you will get better with each cold call you make. Think about it. Everything that you are good at today you were once not good at: riding a bicycle, driving a car, reading, using a computer, public speaking, underwriting deals, filling out leases, etc. You only became proficient at these activities by doing them repeatedly and by learning new techniques from other people. It is no different when you are learning how to effectively cold call.
Another way to get rid of your anxiety is to practice different call scenarios with a partner for at least 20 minutes each day. Practice overcoming the objections that are typically raised by your prospects on your real calls. If your State allows you to legally record your telephone calls, playback your actual recorded phone calls in your cold call practice sessions. Dissect the call into things that were done proficiently and areas that could use some work. Roll play calls with your partner to figure out how to get the calls to have a positive ending.
The following is what is known as the stacked calling method. Each of your phone conversations with a prospect stacks on top of each other to build a relationship with that prospect over a period of time. The key to this method is entering accurate call notes and maintaining a historical record of those notes in your database.
When you call someone for the very first time, introduce yourself, your service, the purpose of your call and ask their permission to talk to them about their property (or their business plans if you are calling tenants)
“Hi, John?” Let them reply. “This
is Tom Smith with Smith & Associates.
I am calling to introduce myself to you.
I am an office broker here in town.” Let them reply. “I am wondering if I can talk to you about
your building on
“Hi, John?” Let them reply. “This
is Tom Smith with Smith & Associates.
I am calling to introduce myself to you.
I am an office broker here in town.” Let them reply. “I am just finishing up an owner market
survey and I am wondering if I can talk to you about your building on
TIP: If you are calling on larger buildings and you call the owner to do a rent survey they will refer you to their manager just to get rid of you. So, always do an owner survey and ask them about their opinions of the market, the direction that they think that it is headed, if they are keeping up with what is for sale and sold, etc.
EXAMPLE 3: “Hi, John?” Let them reply. “This is Tom Smith with Smith & Associates. I am calling to introduce myself to you. I specialize in tenant representation here in town.” Let them reply. “I am helping a number of business owners and I am wondering if I can talk to you about your business expansion plans for a few moments.” If they say no, ask them for a better time to reach them.
Always record a brief synopsis of your conversation with a property owner in their contact record. If they mention that they like golf or something else that you can use to develop rapport in a later conversation, make a note of it. With each call always remember to ask for a meeting before you hang-up.
Here is the real beauty of this
system. Every time that you speak with
that owner after your initial phone call with him, you will always refer back
to the last phone conversation that you had to re-establish rapport. If he was planning to take a trip to
“Hi, John?” Let them reply. “This
is Tom Smith with Smith & Associates.
I am an office broker here in town and we spoke a few months ago about
your property on
With the stacked method each new cold call builds on the previous conversation creating rapport. It is important to stay in regular contact with your property owners so you don’t lose the benefit of the accumulated conversations. Remember, the goal is to meet your prospect face-to-face. A good rule-of-thumb is to meet with them every 18 months.
TIP: If your prospect lives out-of-state and does not come to town very often then you must go and see him. Commercial real estate Professionals don’t waste their time traveling to see just one prospect; they schedule two or three meetings to optimize their time and get the most bang for their dollars. You should take your show on the road at least once a quarter.
OK, if you are thinking that you do not want to spring for the airline ticket and rental car, let me assure you that I have beat many agents to the listing punch line by making the extra effort to meet with a prospect that lives out-of-state. Fly Southwest Airlines and save a buck. Who knows, you might see me on the plane. (I will be the guy who looks sleep deprived, standing in the “A” line with a tiny black laptop wearing a Tommy Bahamma shirt. Yes, I have been stopped four times now!)
Recover From a Cold Call Gone Wrong
If you are human like the rest of us, you will never be perfect on the telephone 100% of the time. You will occasionally put your foot in your mouth and really botch some calls— everyone does. Here is the good news about cold calling… the people that you call on the telephone are not usually going to remember in 90 days if the last call that you had with them was good or bad. So don’t worry about being perfect on the telephone. What you should worry about is keeping a positive attitude after having an abysmal call or you will spread that negative energy to every call made thereafter.
TIP: On the off chance that someone does recognize you as that person who sounded like a dope on the phone 90 days ago (which they never do but for the sake of argument, let’s say that it happens to you), take the following steps:
1) Remain calm and collected,
2) Insist that they must have been talking to your competition.
3) And close for a face-to-face meeting!
To clear the negative energy after a bad call, immediately hang-up the telephone and say out loud “…and the horse you rode in on!”. While this might seem childish, it really does works. The wilder and crazier your hang-up technique is, the better you will feel. No, wild and crazy does not mean that it is acceptable to throw the telephone across the room.
Brokerage is business that is all about your recovery. Did you get the job done the very next time that you could prove yourself? That’s the only thing that people in this business will remember. Now get out there botch some calls and get a little crazy!
Forget cold calling for a minute, because we’re going to make it easy for you to talk to prospects in your market by telephone. RealHound.com® has developed a number of tools that will help ease your pain. If you have followed the instructions in Chapter Three, talking to prospects in your target market will be a snap.
To properly prepare for a cold call you must first have some market data on hand in order to have a meaningful conversation. Most owners like to talk about rents, sales, new laws & city ordinances, construction trends, industry news, local business news, sports, local weather and market trends. It is also helpful if you know something about your prospect before you speak with them.
Read What Your Prospects Read: Subscribe to periodicals that cater to your market. A must read for all real estate practitioners is your local newspaper, the Wall Street Journal and your local business journal. Scan through these periodicals and read only the relevant articles. It should only take approximately 30 minutes each day when you are doing this correctly.
CAUTION: If you are dedicating prime work hours each day to reading newspapers and you are not cold calling at least two hours each day—you have missed the point. The point is and always will be this-- consistently prospect for at least two hours by telephone every work day.
Conduct a Market Survey: Survey at least ten properties that are similar in location, age and amenities. Call each of the ten property owners and ask them for their assistance with your survey, and in return for their help tell them that you will share the results of the survey. During your conversation with the property owner, continually ask open ended questions and gather as much information about the property as you can. If the owner wants to talk, let him do so without interrupting.
When you are closing the conversation thank him for taking your call, tell him that you have a few more owners to speak with, and that you would like to give him a copy of the market survey when you have it completed. Odds are that he will want to have a copy. Always try to personally deliver the market survey and meet the property owner. Record newly acquired rental data into your database.
Remember, sometimes you are going to have to talk to a property manager or leasing agent to get the type of data that will be of value to other prospects in your farm area.
There are several tools built into the program that are designed to help you build rapport with your prospects. Knowing what direction to take a telephone conversation before you even dial can make the difference between having a great conversation or one that ends in failure.
smallTALK!: On the right hand side of the contact screen will see an button for smallTALK!. This exciting feature will give you some suggestions of things to talk about on the telephone with a prospect. Click on the smallTALK! button to retrieve information about local news, weather, professional and college sports scores all tailored to your currently selected contact. Make sure that you key in your contact’s city, Interests (under the Other radio button) and attended university on their contact record to get the maximum benefit of this feature.
ZoomInfo Smart-links: The ZommInfo and Smart-Links are located on the Smart-links menu of the program. By selecting Zoominfo from the menu, the program will send contact information to ZoomInfo’s website which automatically generates a report regarding your contact. This is very helpful for looking up phone numbers and discerning the line of business that your prospect is in. It can also help you to uncover details on your prospect such as the college that they attended, professional picture and articles that they have been quoted in or have published.
Once the contact or company list pulls up in your web browser, you can narrow down the search results using the refine search results box on the left side of the webpage.
Create a market survey using the Radius Search to find properties around a subject property or the MapPoint 2006 geographic search functions for finding properties in an area by drawing on a map. A detailed explanation of each of these search functions is covered under the Mapping section in the previous chapter.
Step 1: Query the properties to be surveyed using the Radius Search or MapPoint 2006. To drop a property from the list of properties, go to the Overview tab, advance to the offending property and click the Drop Property button (Poof! It’s gone).
Step 2: Once a survey group of properties has been selected, call all of the related property managers, leasing agents and owners to gather and update rental data in your database.
Step 3: For leased investments key in the rate information for each property in the Asking Rates and Available Square Footages section on the Facilities/Rates tab.
Step 4: For Apartments and Storage property types select the Unit Types tab and enter in the rental data. Follow the directions on the right side of the screen.
Step 5: You can run different reports on this particular selection of properties by clicking the Report button on the top of the menu bar. Make sure the correct radio button is selected. For leased investments select the Commercial radio button. For Apartments and storage select the Multi-Unit radio button.
Step 6: Select the professional report and click the Preview button.
RealHound® is the ONLY commercial real estate contact management program that is specifically designed to be used for cold calling—PERIOD. It is impossible to skip over or forget to call a prospect when you are using this system to track your calls. Everyone gets called—no exceptions.
Here is where the fun really
begins. You have completed your market
survey, entered in property data, have researched prospect phone numbers,
entered property photos and you have
also entered the last sale information and space available for lease on each property in your market. If you are like most of our users, you only have these tasks partially completed. So let’s just consider your database to be a work in progress.
Your Farm area (list of properties) should already be setup as a property group if you sell investment real estate or specialize in leasing. Because your focus is on current property ownership, a property group will allow you to efficiently contact new owners that own properties in your farm area after your database has been updated with recent property sales.
If your forte is tenant representation you should have the major tenants in your farm saved as a contact group.
Caution: You will never get the database to be 100% perfect all of the time because the real estate market is dynamic and is constantly changing. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to get so absorbed in the upkeep of your database that it becomes an excuse not to prospect and grow your business.
If you are a single user with no help, budget your time between money making activities and database upkeep. Update your database only during hours that you cannot make phone calls.
Always run your call lists through the Cold Calls tab, because the program will automatically generate and manage your call list based on your defined parameters. Call frequency, national DNC, phone number availability are just some of the factors that the program uses to determine who should be called and in what order.
The key to cold calling is to JUST DO IT. After the fourth or fifth call you will get into a rhythm and your anxiety will start to fade away. That’s why it is important for you not to be disturbed while you are making your daily calls.
Generate Your Call List
Step 1: From the Contacts section of the program select the Cold Calls & Call Lists tab. Select the Call owners of properties in a property group? radio button. From the drop box, select your farm area that was saved as a property group.
Reminder: You could also choose to call your currently queried contacts, a contact group, tenants with leases expiring between a certain date range and tenants with options to purchase or renew within certain date ranges.
Step 2: On the same screen, narrow down the contacts on your list. Answer the questions and fill out the blank fields. When you are done click the Create List button.
a) “Remove contacts who have been reached in the last [x] days”. Remember, that the goal is to contact prospects every 90 days, so you should enter 90 in the first field.
b) “Remove contacts who have been left a message in the last [x] days”. If you have recently called a prospect, did not reach them but left them a message-- you probably don’t want to call them for a few days. Enter in 3 or 5 in this field.
c) “Remove contacts who’s next call date is more than [x] days from today” SKIP THIS AND LEAVE THE BOX BLANK.
d) “Include contacts marked as ‘Do Not Call’?” This is a personal preference but select NO.
Caution: Some people do not want to be contacted by phone, fax or email and it may be unlawful for you to do so. Please use RealHound® in accordance with all Federal, State and local laws. However, if you do choose to use this software in an unlawful manner and get sent to prison, please take our friendly advice-- never shower with a man named Bubba and always sleep on the top bunk!
e) “Include contacts without a phone number?” This is a personal preference, select NO because you can always query (search) contacts without a phone number.
f) Click the Create List button.
Step 3: On the same screen, you can review the total contacts selected and that number of contacts that were dropped from the call list.
Step 4: On the same screen, check the box next to Use IntelliCall and click the Goto Contacts button.
IntelliCall will automatically arrange the call list by placing those contacts that are statistically more likely to do business with you at the top of the call list and those that are least likely at the bottom of the list.
Reminder: The total number of properties or leases in your database will not necessarily equal the total number of contacts because some contacts will own more than one property or have more than one lease. If you have ten properties in your farm and one owner who owned three properties out of that property group, there will only be eight unique property owners queried.
Step 5: After the Goto Contacts button has been clicked, the program will take you to the Companies & Contact tab and display the first contact record on the newly generated call list.
Step 6: Call the first prospect or if you do not want to call the currently displayed prospect, click the Drop Contact button on the lower left hand side of the screen and the record will be removed from the call list.
After the call has been made, click the Cold Call button at the bottom of the screen and the Save to History pop-up screen appears. Select the Call Result drop down box and select the appropriate result: Busy, Disconnected, Wrong Number, Left Message, No Answer, and Reached.
Caution: It is absolutely critical that you select the proper “Call Result” because other areas of the program will use this data to track and calculate your call effectiveness.
Step 4: Enter in your call comments in the box. If you want to check spelling, click the ABC button.
When you are done click the Save & Drop button and the program will close the “Save to History” pop-up window, remove the contact from the call list and automatically advance to the next contact record.
Alternatively, you could click the Follow-up Task button to schedule an event or a to-do with the current contact.
TIP: If a prospect wants to meet with you, do it as soon as possible. The longer you delay, you increase the probabilities that your competition will find this prospect and will swoop-in on your business. Before you meet with a prospect it is always a good idea to drive any related property to refresh your memory.
Reminder: Liberate your Task list! If you reached a prospect and he is on your normal quarterly calling schedule, you do NOT have to schedule a new task to remind yourself to call him in the future. RealHound® manages your call lists for you. The only thing you need to do is click the Cold Call button and select the proper call result after EACH call.
It is not practical to schedule future cold call dates with your prospects simply because you want to remember to call them every 90 days. If you did, your task list would quickly become overwhelming and unmanageable. It is equally impractical to schedule reminders to call prospects with whom you want to follow-up with on a more frequent basis (other than your usual 90 day call schedule because you think they might be getting close to making a real estate decision). A Contact Group is the simplest way to track prospects that you need to call frequently but that you do not have a formal appointment to call.
You should only schedule a follow-up phone call as a future Task if and only if, you MUST call a prospect on a specific date. This keeps your task list free from clutter and prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by 800 future tasks. Use contact groups to track large numbers of non-date specific follow-up telephone calls that need to be made more frequently than the normal three month (90 day) prospecting schedule.
Use this system to track prospects using Contact Groups
Create three contact groups with the following names: Weekly, Bi-Weekly, and Monthly. You will add contacts to the appropriate group as you are making your cold calls.
What do the group names mean?
Weekly: Contacts that you believe warrant a phone call every week. Contacts in this group will be called weekly, typically on a Monday or Friday.
Bi-Weekly: Contacts that you believe warrant a phone call every two weeks. Contacts in this group will be called every two weeks, typically in the middle and at the end of the month.
Monthly: Contacts that you believe warrant a phone call every month. Contacts in this group will be called monthly, typically at the end of the month.
As the appropriate time of the month rolls around, just pick your contact group(s) and make your calls. Using this system, you would call the Weekly group every week. Around the 14th of the month, you would call the Bi-Weekly and Weekly contact groups. At the end of the month, the Bi-Weekly, Weekly and Monthly contact groups would be called.
This system works well because real estate is a cyclical business meaning you tend to do the same activities every month. So it is very easy to remember to call the appropriate contact group.
TIP: Create a contact group named Wrong Numbers. As you are making your cold calls and come across a wrong number just add that contact to the Wrong Numbers group. This is a quick and easy way to recall the contact records that require phone number research.
Nothing is more helpful than having organized information at your fingertips while you are on the telephone. When you can talk to a prospect about his properties, discuss other properties that are For Sale, have Sold and what the surrounding rents are near his buildings during a normal phone conversation with him you establish credibility and sound like a commercial real estate expert. Who cares that you clicked a few buttons and all of the information just popped-up. You get the credit while your database does all of the work. So, let’s get you familiar with the Related Properties section on the Companies & Contacts tab.
On the Companies & Contacts tab in the lower right-hand portion of the screen is the Related Properties section. You have several ways to view the information in the list box. By selecting the appropriate radio button next to:
Own Summary- The box will display a one line property summary that shows all of the currently selected contact’s owned properties. Use the scroll bar to move up and down the list box.
Own Detail- The list box will display a list of properties owned with a summary of Property which includes details such as property address, listing information, square footage, units, year built and last sale data. This setting gives you the “need to know” basics on the real estate owned by a contact without having to click over to the Property section of the program.
Lessee- The list displays all of the leases that the contact is connected to as a tenant. Other details such as the property address, square feet, lease expiration date, renewal date, option date, lease rate and total lease consideration are all displayed.
Sold- The list will display the selected contact’s history of sold properties.
All Related- The list will display properties that the selected contact is related to and the relationship (Owner, Manager, Listing Agent, etc). This is a useful feature when you are trying to figure out what properties a property manager or a real estate broker is related to.
Next let’s explore the Compare button on the Related
Properties section. This button activates
the Auto Compare feature, which instantly gives you access to Rental,
To use the Auto Compare feature
1) Select Own Detail radio button. Click once on the gray box next to a property’s name and the box will highlight in black.
Click the Compare button and the “Auto Compare” screen pops-up. The subject property will be listed in the bar at the top of the window.
2) Enter your search criteria and click the Search button. Your objective is to narrow your search criteria to only query other properties that are similar to the property which is the subject of your comparison.
First select a range of Units or Square Feet that is about 20% lower and 20% greater than the Subject property. If the subject property is an apartment building you will probably want to search by units. If the Subject is a strip center you will more than likely want to search by Square Feet. Rarely would you search by both Units and Square Feet. Example: For a 50 unit apartment building you would enter Units= 40 to 60. Enter 16,000 to 24,000 square feet for a 20,000 square foot strip center.
Note: Your properties MUST be geocoded for the radius search to work (see Mapping).
3) Select the appropriate radio button to see comparable Sales, Offerings and Properties (rental comps are available for apartments & storage only) that meet the existing search criteria. A list of matching properties will appear in the list below the radio buttons.
Tip: Adjust your search criteria to narrow or broaden your search results. After you change the search parameters click the Search button to view your search results.
4) At the top of the Auto Compare window, the program will display a summary of the sale Comparables, Offerings (For Sale properties), Rent Comparables (apartments & Storage only) and will compare each category to the Subject property.
Reminder: The Auto Compare search function will function to save you from repetitive input by remembering the parameters that you entered into it from a previous search and will adapt those settings to the current Subject property.
5) You can map the properties in the list by pressing the Map button or query the properties in the “Show Detail” list by pressing the Goto Selected button.
Easily check your cold calling effectiveness and generate a cold call report from within the program.
After you have completed your daily cold calls you should always review your call statistics. Your goal is to beat the numbers from the prior week. If you make it into a game you will improve your call results over time. Consider it a personal challenge never to end the week without calling at least one more prospect this week than you did the prior week.
Track 1st Meetings and 2nd Meetings
To track 1st Meetings and 2nd Meetings you must set the “Sales Type” drop down box to 1st Meeting when you are scheduling a new Task with a contact on the Companies & Contacts tab.
So what exactly is a 1st Meeting and a 2nd Meeting?
When you meet a prospect for the very first time it is considered a 1st Meeting. At that meeting you should try to uncover the prospect’s needs and ask for the opportunity to solve the need. If their need is to sell their property, you would prepare a proposal for the sale of the property. If they want to sublet their space, you would prepare a proposal to lease the space. It is considered a 2nd Meeting when you have the follow-up meeting to present your proposal that solves the prospect’s problem. You can have numerous 2nd meetings (or arm twisting sessions as I like to call them) with your client until you get their business. My personal record was 4 and, fortunately, I did sell the property.
1) Daily prospecting is the key to making a lot of money in commercial real estate. Devote two hours of everyday to prospecting on the telephone. Do nothing else during this scheduled time and do not allow any interruptions. Record your call results for each prospect reached in their respective contact record. Your goal with each phone call is to meet the prospect because people do business with people they know.
2) Cold Calling is a specialized activity and there is no other software program on the market that can effectively manage the process like RealHound®. If you are migrating to RealHound® from another software program, congratulations cold calling just got easier for you!
3) When you are on a call always remember that your Creator gave you two ears and one mouth with the intention that you would use them proportionately. The best calls that you will ever have with a prospect are the ones where you just listen and let them talk.
4) Here is the good news about cold calling… the people that you call on the telephone are not going to remember if the last call that you had with them was good or bad. So the only thing that really matters is that you are on the phone daily.
5) You will never get the data in RealHound® to be 100% perfect all of the time, because the real estate market is dynamic and is constantly changing. If you are a single user with no help, budget your time between money making activities and database upkeep. Whatever you do, do not get so absorbed in the upkeep of RealHound® that you use it as an excuse not to prospect and grow your business.
6) The key to cold calling is just to do it. Pick-up the phone and call your prospects. For the most part, you will find that people are very nice and you just never know what you might learn from the person at the other end of the line.
Always try to beat the number of calls that you made the previous week. Make a game out of it like “Dial-for-dollars”. You just never know when you will hit the jackpot!
Direct mail is a highly effective way of prospecting in commercial real estate. There is a system to direct mail that you must master and practice regularly in order to maximize your direct mail results. When done correctly you can expect a 350% or more return on your investment in direct mail.
Direct mail can work independently from cold calling, but when done in conjunction with each other, they create a powerful lead generating machine that will make you very successful. Most commercial real estate agents favor direct mail over cold calling because they are too scared to pick-up the phone, even though direct mail alone is not as effective in a competitive market. You must combine cold calling and use direct mail to have maximum impact in your market. This two-prong approach has been demonstrated to maximize lead generation and your income.
RealHound® is the only commercial real estate software that lets you track each phase of your marketing and tie it directly to your contacts and property. If you have listings, you can easily generate push button marketing reports for your Clients and even review a history of who responded to your marketing saving you hours of work every week.
The difference between cold calling and the use of direct mail can be compared to the difference between a Queen and Pawns in the game of chess. Pawns are numerous but weak and a Queen is strong but scarce.
Direct mail is the Pawn of your prospecting game. Your Pawns are weak but numerous and you just never know when they will capture some business for you. They cover the game board by sheer numbers and help you establish your brand. They are not too effective in bringing in a tremendous amount of leads but they do pay for themselves and create brand awareness in the marketplace.
Cold calling is the Queen of your prospecting game. Your Queen is quick and nimble and can go where she is needed in an instant. She is very effective in bringing in new business but does not cover the entire game board. Your Queen will always capture business away from your competitors Pawns if you have good timing and call a prospect during the investigative phase. In other words, a well timed telephone call to a property owner or tenant will always generate more business than a random mailer.
Direct mail and cold calling work best when done in conjunction with one another. You could not possibly call everybody in your farm every single week, but you can send mail to them weekly. Your mailers are a gentle reminder that you are active in the marketplace and are willing to help prospects with their needs. Mailers fill the gap between your quarterly phone calls. Your quarterly cold calls are at random (that is, you never know when you will reach a prospect); your mailers are not because they go out in predetermined intervals and always show up in your prospects’ mailbox.
And now I’d like to share some of the secrets of a successful direct mail campaign. All too often commercial agents will send two or three mailers to their farm per year and get poor results. They then grumble to themselves that the mailing was not worth the money and effort. The truth of the matter is that their campaign lacked consistency; or rather the only thing consistent about their mailing campaign was their inconsistency.
A successful mailing campaign has these five critical elements: regular contact intervals, accessibility of the message, simplicity of design, a call to action and a take-away.
The most critical element
The most important element to direct mail is regular contact intervals. All too often people will send two or three mailers to their farm and get no or very few results. By maintaining regular contact with your farm, you will start to generate a significant amount of inbound telephone calls from prospects requiring your services. It takes approximately four to six months of consistently mailing to your farm to get decent results from the mailing campaign. At the beginning of your mailing campaign, you should send out one mailer a week for the first four weeks. From that point on, send at least one mailer every two weeks for the rest of your commercial sales career. You will still obtain some results if you send only a monthly mailer to your farm, but I don’t recommend this approach. Ideally, you should mail to your farm every week.
Direct mail works on the principle of probability and response rate. It is highly probable that someone in your farm is interested in buying, selling or leasing real estate right now. The big question is will they call you first? The response rate in a competitive market is approximately ¼ to ½ percent per mailing. Sending out mailers is purely a numbers game-- the more you send out, the greater the number of responses you’ll receive.
Caution: If you fail to send mailers to your farm for more than 6 weeks, you run the risk of having to start your marketing campaign all over again with the initial weekly mailers. What that means to you is that you will have to wait another four to six months for your mailers to become fully effective again.
The second critical element
The second critical element in a successful direct mail campaign is the accessibility of the message. When your message arrives in your prospects’ mailbox, it is competing against at least 10 other pieces of mail for their attention. Typically, people will look for a bulk mail stamp or some other indication on an envelope to determine if a mailer is junk mail. If it does not pass their initial “sniff test” it is immediately discarded as junk mail. For this reason, you should not send you marketing materials in envelopes or with a bulk mail stamp.
A postcard is the best choice for direct mail because your message is immediately received when the postcard viewed plus it is the most inexpensive form of mail that can be sent. When your prospect receives a postcard they will look at the front and, if it is designed well, turn it over and read the back. Your message is received and the mailer has achieved some level of success.
Tip: If you must send advertising materials to your farm in a standard envelope try to make the envelope look different from every other piece of junk mail in the prospects’ mailbox. You might try using these techniques to get your envelope opened:
The third critical element
The third critical element is that the mailer should be simply designed. The front should not be cluttered; the recipient must clearly understand the subject matter of the postcard easily. The following are some headlines that work well:
· Just Sold
· Just Listed
· For Lease
· Just Leased
· Are you thinking about selling?
· Do you need some growing room?
· Do you need another location?
An uncluttered design on the front of the postcard and a good property photograph will get them to turn over the postcard to get more details. The back of the card should have the following elements:
· 4 to 6 word small headline
· A short 25 to 30 word write-up (tell the story!)
· A tagline (Don’t sell your property without talking to me first.)
· Your name
· Contact information with email
· Company logo
· Your professional photo
The back of your postcard should be neat, uncluttered and professional.
The fourth & fifth critical elements
It is essential that your mailers ALWAYS have a call-to-action and a take-away on them. A call-to-action asks the prospect to do something such as pick-up the telephone and call you. A take-away is something that a prospect gets if they do contact you. Giving a prospect something for free is the most compelling reason of all for them to contact you. The following are good examples of successful call-to-actions with a take-away:
Call for a free property valuation, Call for a free sales survey, Call for a free market survey, Call for a free rent survey & Call for a free lease analysis
Reminder: Everybody loves to get something for free, so give it to them. Oh, there is just one tiny catch-- they have to agree to meet with you to get it. If a prospect refuses to meet with you, but wants you to do a lot of work for them, there is a good chance that they are just wasting your time. Guard your time wisely. It is the most valuable commodity that you have and once expended, can never be reclaimed.
Tip: If a property owner calls to take you up on your offer for a free valuation or sales survey, this is what we call in the business a very large clue. It would be a good assumption that that owner is thinking about selling their property sometime soon. Go meet them as soon as possible and stick to them like glue.
Caution: If a prospect has called you off of a mailer there is a strong possibility that they also contacted your competition. Do not be afraid to ask them if they have talked to or plan on talking to anyone else. Never assume that you are not competing for their business.
Make sure your mailing campaign incorporates all five ingredients to ensure that you are sending the right message to your prospects. A successful mailing campaign has all five of these critical elements:
1) Regular contact intervals
2) Accessibility of the message
3) Simplicity of design
4) Call to action
5) A Take-away
Direct mail is a highly effective way of prospecting in commercial real estate, but you must master the system and practice it regularly in order to maximize your direct mail results.
Email Blast Marketing
Email is probably the most abused type of advertizing in the history of the modern world because it is the next best thing to free.
Warning: If you want to get both your company’s and your personal email address blacklisted, have a strong desire to pay stiff fines or face criminal charge; continue to send regular email blasts from your office account. Always, always, ALWAYS use a 3rd party email blast service to send email blasts and stay on the right side of the law!
Most people are numb to email marketing and will ignore messages that aren’t new listings or recent sales activity. Not to mention that spam filters will kill about 40% or more of your emails before they hit your prospects’ inbox.
If you insist on sending email blasts, make sure that it is through a third party email blast service so you comply with all Federal, State and Local laws. This includes the laws in the State in which the email was received.
Reminder: Spend the money to set yourself apart from your competition—send direct mail or spend the extra buck on a professional email blast. Besides, unlike spam filters, your neighborhood postman won’t screen your prospects’ mail for them!
RealHound® tracks all of your marketing through the Marketing Campaigns tab. This feature is ideal for tracking and managing all marketing associated with your listings. If you were to send out a Just Listed postcard to a group of building owners or tenants, you would enter it into marketing campaigns. RealHound® would automatically update each contact record to show that you sent them a postcard and would also update who responded. If you got a call off of a sign that was posted on a property, it would be tracked and tallied with the rest of the property marketing.
This feature is ideal for multiphase marketing campaigns such as those involved in the marketing of a property or space. To communicate your marketing efforts to your client, simply click a button to print out a marketing report and send it to them.
The listing marketing report is a staple in your arsenal of essential brokerage services. Ideally, marketing reports should contain the different marketing stages, results and the names of people who had an interest in the listing. Your marketing report should be sent to your client weekly and also be made available in "real time" for your client to view over the internet. With the proper software technology, it should take no more than 5 minutes to generate a weekly professional looking "paper" report and no time whatsoever for your clients to view "real time" reports directly on the Internet. Marketing reports should be used to win new business, manage an owner/landlord's expectations, substantiate who you marketed a listing to and demonstrate to your clients that you are "working the deal". Always remember, that the fastest way to lose a listing at renewal time is by being inconsistent with your reporting methodologies or, even worse, by not providing your client with a marketing report at all.
Your listing proposal should contain a marketing section, and within that section, you should have the first two pages of your most successful marketing campaigns displayed as an exhibit. This will show that you actively market your listings and are not just an order taker. During your listing presentation, emphasize the fact that your competition does not provide this level of service and that most brokers invent their marketing reports. In fact, when pressed to do a marketing report other brokers will guess at the response rates. This type of sloppy work should be a harbinger of "ill things to come" with your competition's work product if your prospective client does decided to hire the other guy.
What do you do when your Client (Owner or Landlord) is unrealistic about pricing? You have tried to market the property their way and now it is time for your client to get a dose of reality. You could just "tell" them that their price and/or terms are unrealistic (like every other broker) or you could "show" them ALL of the comments from real people in the marketplace that have looked at the property and passed on the deal. The listing marketing report is the ideal tool to manage your client's expectations because it is a written record of factual conversations with real people about their property. If your client is truly motivated he will need to adjust the offering to make a deal and the right feedback will help get them to that point.
Maybe you are about to lose a listing to your competition or even worse, one of your clients is waiting until after your listing agreement expires to do a deal on the side with someone that they "know". A marketing report will be able to quickly substantiate who you have shown the property to in the event of a commission dispute.
Reminder: You should always keep a record of who you have sent marketing materials to and who has responded to your advertising. RealHound®’s Marketing Campaigns greatly simplifies this process.
Marketing reports should be consistently used for every listing to report marketing effectiveness, help win new business, manage an owner or landlord’s expectations and substantiate who you marketed the property to during your listing period.
Create a Marketing Report
Let’s say that you just listed a property and you want to keep track of your marketing and all corresponding results. Maybe you would like to market your listings using the following six different stages: Signage, direct mail, newspaper advertising, Internet listing services, a broker mailer and an email blast. But every broker has a different approach to marketing and the program is customizable to your style of marketing, all you have to do is follow these easy steps:
1) Go to the Today section and select the Marketing Campaigns tab.
2) Next to the grey box with the asterisk (*), click the Property Lookup icon. Find your subject property on the list, highlight the property’s name and click the Select button. Enter in a brief but descriptive name (A property name or space followed by the listing expiration) for your new marketing campaign in the description field or enter in the listing expiration date.
3) Go to the “Stages for this Marketing Campaign” box. Enter in a Description and an order for each of the six phases of our marketing. To continue with our example, we will enter all six stages of marketing: Property signage, Email Blast, Just Listed Postcard, Internet Listing Service, Newspaper Ad and Broker Mailer.
Each stage must be properly filled out with the proper stage number entered and Marketing Type selected.
4) Enter the order in the Stage # field. Select your first activity, Property Signage, and complete the information in the blank fields. You should always enter in the Start Date (your start date is the day that you actually sent out a mailer or the first day you ran an ad), Description, Comment and select the correct Marketing Type in the drop down field. The Complete Date is the day that you stopped a particular stage of marketing and is not critical to your advertising report. Enter the appropriate information for each stage of marketing.
Sample Stage Descriptions:
Postcards (Just Listed, Reduced, etc.)
Mailer to 3rd Party list (3,500 Contacts)
Confidentially Agreements (Signed)
Best & Final
Once you have entered your initial marketing stages, you have the option to save them as a template, so you don’t have to enter them again for future listings. Click the Save Template button to save your newly created Marketing Stages template. The Apply Template button, will load the previously saved marketing stages template into your Marketing Stages window.
Here is what the marketing report now looks like…
5) Marketing stages are either passive or active. If you send a mailer to a list of contacts in your database it is considered active marketing. If you have an active marketing stage, you will link contacts from your database to that the marketing stage. In other words, if you send postcards to contacts in your database you will link those contacts to the marketing stage. Mailers, email blasts and fax blasts are all examples of active marketing.
Contacts now need to be added to the Postcard stage.
a) Query the contacts that you want to mail postcards in the Contact section of RealHound®
b) With your contacts selected in the Contact section, return to the Marketing Campaign tab
c) Locate your listing campaign and select the Postcard Marketing stage
d) Click the Add Selected Contacts button.
Alternatively, you could attach all of the contacts in a Contact Group to a marketing stage by selecting the contact group and clicking the Add Contact Group button.
Remember to add contacts to active Marketing stages as you are doing or complete the stages.
6) Passive marketing stages are marketing events that bring contacts to you. Newspaper, Website postings, Internet listings, Offers, Property Tours and signage are all considered passive marketing because the contact comes to you. If you have a passive marketing stage, you will link contacts from your database to that the marketing stage. In other words, if you receive a sign call, send out a marketing package, conduct a property tour, receive an offer or receive an inquiry from an internet ad you must attach a contact to the appropriate marketing stage.
Let’s say that someone called you regarding one of your listings because they saw a sign posted on the property. You talked to them for a while and then sent the caller more information. You need to link the caller to the Property Signage marketing stage so that the marketing report going to your client is accurate.
a) In the Contact Section on the Companies & Contacts tab, select your contact activity type, in this case it is a Call.
b) On the Save to History pop-up window, select the marketing stage from the Campaign/Stage drop down.
c) On the same window, select an Activity that best describes the result of your conversation or action taken.
d) On the same window, enter your call comments in the Comments box at the bottom of the screen.
e) Click the Save button to close the window and return to the contact screen.
Here is what the marketing report now looks like…
Notice what happens to the Contact Detail when the same contact who called you prompted by the property signage, now tours the property and makes an offer….
Reminder: If someone calls prompted by your advertising and they are not a contact in your database-- you should always enter them into your database. You just never know when you will need their name and number in the future.
7) To create a marketing report from the Marketing Campaigns tab, select a Marketing Campaign and click the Report button.
8) Once you have completely finished with this Marketing Campaign and no longer need to work with it (for example, when you sell the building or lease the space) change the completed status from No to Yes. The marketing campaign will disappear from the list. I highly suggest that you never delete a marketing campaign.
You will always want to maintain a record of what marketing materials you have sent to the contacts in your database as well as who responded to your marketing. This includes the marketing pieces that advertise your services.
Let’s say that you are sending out your quarterly newsletter. You want to send it to everyone in your farm. Follow these easy steps:
1) From the Marketing Campaign tab, create a new campaign but leave the property name blank. Add a description, such as “Newsletter 2nd Quarter, 2008”.
2) Create your Marketing Stage and attach your Contacts to that stage or you can add contacts as they contact you.
You can search for contacts that responded to your marketing and print a marketing report on the Marketing Campaign tab.
3) Once you have completely finished with this particular marketing campaign and no longer need to work with it, change the completed status from No to Yes. The marketing campaign will disappear from the list.
Review a Contact’s Marketing History
A contact’s marketing history can be viewed from their individual contact record by clicking on the Marketing tab.
1) Direct mail and cold calling work best when done together. You could not possibly call everybody in your farm every single week, but you can send mail to them weekly. Your mailers are a gentle reminder that you are active in the marketplace and are willing to help a property owner with their needs. Mailers fill the gap between your quarterly phone calls.
2) Make sure your mailing campaign incorporates all five ingredients to ensure that you are sending the right message to your prospects. A successful mailing campaign has all five of these critical elements:
a) Regular contact intervals
b) Accessibility of the message
c) Simplicity of design
d) Call to action
e) A Take-away.
3) Direct mail is a highly effective way of prospecting in commercial real estate. You must master and practice regularly the system of marketing to maximize your direct mail results.
4) The most important element of direct mail is the frequency of contact. All too often people will send two or three mailers to their farm and get no or very few results. But by maintaining regular contact intervals with your prospects, you will start to generate a significant amount of inbound phone calls from property owners requiring your service. Ideally, you should mail to your farm weekly.
5) RealHound®’s Marketing Campaign feature is ideal for tracking single and multiphase marketing campaigns such as what is involved in sending out a newsletter or marketing a listing.
The best way to lose a listing at renewal time is by not giving your client weekly marketing updates during the listing term. Traditionally, listing marketing reports required a tremendous amount of time, labor and effort to create, but with RealHound® you just click a button. Marketing reports should also be used to win new business, manage an owner or landlord’s expectations and substantiate who you marketed the property to during your listing period.
Everyone knows that money does not grow on trees. If it did, everybody would have it and nobody would want to work. So we have come up with a way to make your work easier…DealFinder, Tenant Wizard and space/property auto matching.
These features are going to put a lot of money in your pocket. You like money? Of course you do! So the next time somebody in your office makes fun of RealHound®’s® quirky name, just smile, nod and tell them that you have gone to the dogs. After all, there is nothing wrong with being the Top Dog in commercial real estate. So, you better start practicing your howl right now.
Everyone at some point in time has had
a prospect who only wants a building in a very specific location. You know the type…”I want a 1990’s or newer
constructed office building in east
This can be avoided by always setting up individual Buyer & Tenant Needs and by using DealFinder and Tenant Wizard.
DealFinder and Tenant Wizard were designed to take the pain out of matching Buyer & Tenant needs with available properties while managing lists of both buyers and Tenants. You can now effectively manage hundreds of Buyer & Tenant Needs and maintain even the most complex requirements. The program automatically matches needs against available inventory in your property database. When a match is found, the program will display the matching records. As you show the matching properties or space to individual contacts, a history of shown properties can be stored in a contact’s record.
Consistently tracking Buyer and Tenant Needs is a vital component to your success in commercial real estate. Once you have a well maintained database of active buyers & tenants and a track record of successful deals, you are well on your way to becoming the market leader. With each new sale and lease transaction your reputation for getting the job done grows in the marketplace. Eventually, new clients will seek you out for your expertise.
TIP: Maintaining your database in this fashion will allow you to quickly find buyers and Tenants for your own listings. The quicker you find a buyer… the quicker you will cash a check.
Invariably, there is always someone out there who has built their business on just listing properties (or space) and could care less about maintaining a database of Buyers and Tenants. If you don’t think Buyers and Tenants are important, try closing a deal without one!
The simple truth is that if you are not showing properties to people in the marketplace then someone else in your market is and you are leaving money on the table for your competition. If you’re selling institutional grade properties, I acknowledge that you think your business model is different and that you know who all the buyers are in the marketplace. I also acknowledge that when a property closes for a price that you never thought possible with a buyer that you never heard of it is just a market anomaly!
Caution: 80% of all potential Buyers and Tenants will just waste your time. Make sure that every prospect is qualified, have the money and is properly motivated before you invest more than 5 minutes of your time on them. You must qualify your prospects by asking them the right questions upfront. Always, Always, ALWAYS enter the Deal Probability on the Buyer & Tenant Needs tab for each Need that you record and a Need expiration date.
At least 30% of your income should come from representing buyers and/or tenants in the marketplace. Clients that you represent are oftentimes loyal when they want to sell their deals or renew their leases and will give you a call before they do decide to sell.
DealFinder gives you the ability to find and manage buyers in your database who want to purchase properties that match certain criteria that you have already specified for them under the Buyer & Tenant Needs tab (in the Contacts section of the program).
This feature is extremely useful when you are trying to locate a buyer for a property that is For Sale but you have not entered that property into your database, manage a list of clients in a 1031 tax deferred exchange and mange a general list of buyers. Example: You go to a meeting and another broker pitches a deal that requires $2,000,000 down. After the meeting, you search DealFinder for buyers that have at least $2,000,000 and a deal probability of 65% or greater. Next, you run the deal past those buyers that qualify. Yes, this feature can make you a lot of money!
DealFinder is located in the Today Section of the program on the DealFinder tab. Lets continue with the above example and search for buyers that have at least $2,000,000 and a deal probability of 65% or greater.
1) Enter in the Down Payment and deal Probability into the blank fields. Click the Search button.
2) All of the contacts with matching Buyer Needs will be queried in the Buyers window.
3) Select a Buyer to show their property need in greater detail. You may also edit the Buyer Need from this window.
4) On this tab is the Matched Properties window. By selecting a buyer on the screen above the window and pressing the Show Matched button (don’t forget to click the Search Internet button to find online listed properties), properties in your database with their For Sale status marked as Yes that meet the selected buyer’s criteria will be displayed in the Matched Properties window.
The Matched Properties window shows you a list of properties that match the selected Buyer Need. Click the Goto Properties button to query the list of properties in the Property section. Print the property list (run an availability report) and send it to your Client!
Tenant Wizard gives you the ability to find and manage multiple Tenant needs in your database for contacts who are looking to lease space that match certain criteria that you have already specified for them under the Buyer & Tenant Needs tab (in the Contacts section of the program). The Tenant Wizard feature is extremely useful when you are trying to locate a tenant for an available space but that space has not been entered into your database or if you want to manage a list of tenants looking for space. Example: You receive a flyer from another broker marketing 20,000 SF of office space. You would search the Tenant Wizard feature for tenants that have at need for 20,000 SF of office and then run the deal past all of your prospects that qualify. Yes, this is another feature that can make you a lot of money!
Using Tenant Wizard
Tenant Wizard is located in the Today section of the program on the Tenant Wizard tab. Lets continue with the above example and search for Tenants that have a need for at least 20,000 SF of office space and a Deal Probability of 65% or greater.
1) Enter in the Square Feet Available and Deal Probability into the blank fields. Click the Search button.
2) All of the contacts with matching Tenant Needs will be queried in the Tenants window.
3) Select a contact to show their Tenant Need in greater detail. You may also edit the Tenant Need from this window.
4) On this tab is the Matched Available Spaces window. By selecting a Tenant need on the screen above the window and pressing the Match Available Spaces button (don’t forget to click the search Internet button!), properties in your database with spaces available for lease that meet the selected Tenant’s criteria will be displayed in the Matched Available Spaces window.
Matching spaces will appear in the Available Spaces window.
As you show properties to your clients, you need to effectively enter into their contact records a history of those properties that you have shown them.
The following method works for an individual contact or a large number of contacts.
Record properties shown (presented) into a contact’s history
1) In the Property section, select the property or properties that need to be presented to a contact or contacts. Make sure that you have NOT selected your entire Property database by mistake.
2) On the Contact section of the program, select all of the contacts that you are going to present the property or properties to. Once again, make sure that you have NOT selected your entire Contact database by mistake.
3) In the Contact section of the program, go to the Companies & Contacts tab of the first contact that you are going to present the properties to. Click the Note button to bring up the Save to History pop-up box.
4) From the Save to History pop-up box:
a. Select Presented from the Sales Type drop down box.
b. Check the box next to All Selected Properties if you want all of the queried (selected) properties on the Property section OR select the Property Lookup icon next the Property field to select a SINGLE property.
c. Check the box next to All Selected Contacts if you want this activity attached to all of the currently selected contacts OR leave the box blank to attach the activity to the CURRENT contact record.
d. Enter your comments in the Comments box.
e. Click the Save button when finished.
5) The Program will make a note for each property in each contacts history and Marketing tab.