Whether you’re a commercial broker, lender originator, solar installer, or any other type of commercial real estate professional, the journey to success begins with effective lead generation.
The more engaged leads you have, the better—plain and simple. Below, are some tips as to how CRE professionals of all types can use their marketing and other resources to bring in the most engaged, targeted leads possible.
Commercial Real Estate Lead Generation
In the commercial real estate industry, your creative efforts need to start well before any interaction actually takes place with a prospect. In fact, in many cases, it’s more important for you to be creative in the ways you find, reach out, and catch the eye of your leads, as opposed to the creativity you show once you’re in touch.
Without impressing them from the start, you will never even be in touch. This is where your lead generation efforts come into play.
How to Generate Commercial Real Estate Leads
With the right lead generation strategies in place, you can set yourself up for short and long-term success.
In this article, we will explore the best resources and tactics to use to assure that you have a steady influx of high-value on and off-market commercial real estate leads coming your way. Those tactics include:
- Reonomy Off-Market Search →
- Commercial Real Estate Marketing →
- Commercial Real Estate Lead Generation Websites →
You can search off-market properties by running a property search on Reonomy. This can be done in many ways, with a bevy of search filters.
Regardless of who is searching, virtually every Reonomy property search begins with location and property type filters. Beyond that, however, for every CRE professional type, there are a different set of filters to then take advantage of.
For example, sales brokers and investors searching for properties will focus more heavily on sales and ownership filters. Mortgage brokers and lender originators will focus mostly on debt filters in their search. Commercial building service providers will focus more closely on building and lot-level filters.
Whatever the case, searching off-market properties on Reonomy is a very customizable process, and can be done with varying levels of granularity.
Let’s look, in more detail, at how you can generate commercial real estate leads by running different types of property searches on Reonomy, and how you can turn an in-depth search into a list of high-value leads.
When searching for real estate leads online, a property’s location is obviously an essential detail. With Reonomy, you can search for properties within a specific state, county, zip code, neighborhood, or individual street. You can also search for an exact address if need be.
You can use Reonomy’s geographical filters to generate a list of properties and owners in a specific location.
Many commercial real estate professionals, regardless of their exact trade, specialize in specific asset classes. When searching off-market properties on Reonomy, you can narrow down your results by exact property types. So, on top of searching within a confined location, you can all properties of a single asset class within that location.
Property type filters can be used to generate lists of properties of a certain asset type.
You can also search for commercial leads based on specific transactional history characteristics. By searching for properties based on their previous and most recent sales prices and sales dates, you can identify properties with certain needs, or certain transaction probabilities.
Sales history searches can be used to generate lists of properties that have or have not been sold within a given timeframe, or that were sold within a certain price range.
Searching for properties based on their debt history allows you to understand the past and current mortgages on a property, as well as who the lenders are on those loans. This helps narrow potential leads down by very granular mortgage-related characteristics.
Mortgage history searches can be used to identify properties in distress, as well as generate lists of properties in need of a mortgage or refinancing.
All of the aforementioned property search filters can be used to generate results that you can then turn into a leads list.
By combining different Reonomy search filters and then exporting your list of results, you can build a list of leads that are all within a certain location, of a specific commercial property type, with specific financial characteristics and transactional history, based on your specific needs as a professional.
Debt brokers can export lists of properties likely to refinance in the near future. Investors can build lists of properties likely to sell in the near future. Service providers can build a list of properties with new buildings or renovations. The lead list options are aplenty.
Commercial Real Estate Marketing
Marketing can also be a prime commercial lead generation tactic, especially for brokers of any kind, investors, and service providers.
An effective commercial real estate marketing strategy is one that generates both inbound and outbound leads of high value on a consistent basis.
Depending on your team size, it is best to sharpen your focus and invest in a combination of three or four inbound and outbound marketing approaches, to avoid overwhelming yourself; and thus maximizing your lead-generation.
Inbound leads are those generated from your website. Inbound leads may originate from an organic search, social media, or from directly visiting your website. Outbound leads are those that you chase down and reach out to in anyway (through ads, phone calls, and so on).
There are several benefits to using inbound marketing including, higher conversion rates, lower costs, and easier ability to track ROI. You can generate inbound real estate leads through a number of tried and tested inbound marketing methods, including content marketing, search engine-optimization, and social media marketing.
To build a structure for inbound success, you need to create marketing collateral that fuels consistent and long-term lead generation, and therefore, repeatable success.
The best way to do so is through your website, by creating curated content for your target audience. Based on their needs, and based on what you can provide for them, you should create content that provides informational value, while also informing them of your offerings.
Instead of just having a website, for example, a lender entity may build a site specifically for prospective commercial owners of specific asset types. They can give them advice, supply them with market insights, and generally provide context as to why their lending services are more beneficial than others.
A service provider might want to build content that displays their previous successes with photos, while also focusing on SEO keywords specific to their region and asset type specialization.
All in all, it is about providing the value of knowledge to readers, while also teaching them about the potential value of your services.
It’s also important to intertwine your website and content with your social media channels.
Social media marketing is twofold. It’s a way to promote your web content across extra mediums. It’s also a way to stay connected and personally involved in your market, in your industry, and with potential prospects.
Here, you can generate inbound leads through content shares and referrals.
You can also take advantage of paid ads on Facebook and LinkedIn for more immediate lead generation. Facebook offers a variety of ad types, as well as multiple targeting features. Here, see 43 examples of real estate advertising on Facebook. While many of the examples are residential, they still serve as examples of what creative CRE social ads look like.
LinkedIn’s self-service ad platform allows you to target professionals based on their industry and role, and can be used in many ways as well.
By running targeted social media ad campaigns and sharing curated content, Facebook and LinkedIn can be consistent sources of commercial real estate leads.
If you are new to the world of commercial real estate marketing, or you are experiencing a downturn in business, outbound marketing efforts can help you find prospects and new business quickly and efficiently. As conversion rates are modest, hitting roughly 2%-5%, you will find yourself investing a great deal of time in your outbound real estate marketing outreach, so it’s important to rely on the right resources.
If you are persistent in your outbound marketing ventures, you are likely to find success in a matter of days or weeks, compared to the long-term gains often found with inbound lead generation.
One way to generate outbound leads is through tailored email marketing campaigns.
Using Reonomy, you can search for properties using the filters mentioned above, to then find target properties that you feel are worthy potential leads. From there, you can dig further into those properties and their owners to build customized email campaigns based on your and their needs.
Email marketing is an effective lead generation tool because it allows you to be personal, while proving your knowledge of the market, and proving your knowledge of your contact’s portfolio. With an email, you can make your value known fairly quickly.
Based on open-rates, click-through rates, and responses, it is easy to build lists of engaged leads after running an email campaign.
Another marketing practice that generates outbound leads is that of real estate marketing postcards. Postcards are a form of direct mail marketing that give commercial real estate professionals the opportunity to prove their expertise in the market and be creative with messaging.
As a lead generation tool, real estate marketing postcards can be used to build brand awareness in a given market, to then drive people to inquire about your services by visiting your website, calling, or emailing you in return.
Outbound real estate lead generation often involves real estate cold calling.
As marketing moves into the digital realm, cold calling’s marketing star has faded into the background. However, real estate cold calling can still be a successful way to generate new business.
Success with real estate cold calling is dependent on your level of persistence. The more prospects you call, the more business you will generate. Luckily, there are several ways to make your real estate cold calling strategy more effective.
Before you pick up the phone, ensure you have a script sketched out. You should approach your real estate cold calling with a script that is useful, informative, and relevant to your prospect. Researching your prospect before you make your call will help you to personalize your call to your prospect – creating trust and rapport.
Tailor your conversation to the needs of your prospect by asking them questions about their commercial real estate needs and goals. This approach will engage their interest and help you to quickly form a deeper relationship.
Timing is also an important factor in real estate cold calling. Timing your call appropriately will ensure that you get in touch with the key decision maker and avoid any gatekeepers, who may block your way. The best times to reach out are usually in the morning, from 8am-9pm, and lunchtime hours.
Commercial Real Estate Lead Generation Websites
Aside from using Reonomy as an all-in-one prospecting and lead generation tool, you can also boost your commercial lead generation by utilizing other online websites, like public record sites, listings platforms, and CRMs for lead management.
While public records online search platforms can sometimes be a bit outdated and clunky, the information provided is still useful in the commercial lead generation process.
Public property, ownership, sales, and mortgage records can be found on a local-basis, as long as you already have at least some information on a commercial property or its owner, as that information is often required to run a search.
To validate lead-related data points, or to dig further into certain properties and portfolios, public property records can strengthen your commercial lead generation efforts quite a bit.
Online listings platforms like LoopNet, Catylist, CREXi, Showcase, or CityFeet can be used to find commercial property for sale listings, which can be used to build lead lists of potential property sellers and/or buyers.
CRMs are also a great resource for real estate lead generation websites. Many commercial real estate professionals rely on customer relationship management software (CRMs), such as Salesforce CRM, to help them generate leads and boost the lead-generation process.
You can utilize a CRM to organize and automate your commercial real estate lead generation, follow-up processes, and enhance your overall pipeline management.
Mastering Commercial Lead Generation
Commercial real estate lead generation is mastered by combining your know-how with the right software and marketing strategies. By utilizing tech platforms like Reonomy alongside a variety of marketing efforts, you can quickly build up a stream of targeted leads for your business, today, and for the days, months, and years to come.