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Craft a compelling pitch: Mastering cold calls in commercial real estate

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Prospecting methods vary from company to company. Everyone has a different approach to getting in the door when making cold calls. Reaching out to prospects, property owners and businesses can certainly be a grind, and not going in with a clear plan can further amplify things. 

Instead, make headway with prospects by preparing a compelling pitch. Building rapport is especially important in commercial real estate because the sales cycle is so long. Be prepared for it to take several calls to get in the door.


How to prepare a compelling commercial real estate pitch


1. Spend time with the right decision-makers. Sales is not about pitching to everyone at all times and seeing what sticks, but rather about focusing your energy the right way on the companies most likely to work with you.

For instance, when I was in commercial real estate, I loved working with stacking plans. I knew what was going on in a particular building and area and found a solid reason for making the cold call. I would leave up to three voice messages in two weeks. If I still didn’t hear back from the CFO, controller or person in charge, I would call again in a few months.

2. Pay attention to changing decision-makers. I’ve always found that when decision-makers change, it would be the absolute best time to ask for a first meeting. Why? Because decision-makers new to their role in a big organization usually want to learn and stay on top of what’s going on in the industry.

3. Clearly define the decision makers. For example, are you speaking with a business owner or the CFO? Your approach will change accordingly.

4. Use cold-calling scripts — they play a significant role in getting in the door. The purpose of the cold call is to get a first meeting. Enough interest should be generated for prospects to agree to this next step.


Cold-calling scripts for those in office leasing


Here’s a basic cold-calling script you can start with:

“Hello, my name is [your name], from [company name]. I wanted to reach out because I recently completed a transaction in your office tower at [recent sale address].”

Next, follow these prompts.

Establish rapport and credibility

“[Your company name] specializes in helping companies like [their company name], find the right office space to meet their needs, whether it’s expanding, relocating or just finding the right fit.” 

To engage or not engage

“Are you currently satisfied with your space or are you open to seeing what’s on the market for a better fit? Sometimes people just want to know about what’s going on in their area, and I’m happy to share that information with you.”

Always provide value

“I’m happy to go over a wide range of office spaces in [area of interest], with options that cater to the budget and size you had in mind.” 

Call to action (CTA)

“Would you be open to a meeting on [two date and time options] to explore potential options that might interest you? Our goal is to find the ideal space for you, [their name].”

The close

“Thank you for the chat, [their name]. I look forward to the opportunity to further this discussion on [meeting date and time]. Have a great day!”


Personalizing is key


Personalizing the script according to the appropriate industry and location, as well as what the prospect says, is key for moving the sales call along. The idea is to eventually turn cold calls into warm conversations, as they allow prospects to relax and not feel “pitched to” — and this takes time.


Commercial real estate: Based on long-term rapport


Cold calling in commercial real estate is primarily based on building rapport over the long haul. These calls are your first step in building that rapport. Treat them as an ice-breaker. Know where to spend your time and energy. Take notes and learn from every call.

Remember that the sales cycle is so long that the expectations on the call should remain realistic. A deal will not be closed upon the first few calls. Industries like recruiting or office furniture have a quick sales cycle and are much easier to measure the number of calls it takes to get in the door and schedule a meeting right to the close of sale. Commercial real estate is unlike this, with its slow and steady approach to sales. 

But, finding points of interest with prospects will go a long way. Learn about them, care about them and stay in touch with them for best results and referrals over time. When you stick to this, repeat business is also more likely!


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