The commercial real estate industry is highly competitive.
In order for CRE teams to stay ahead of the pack, they need to consistently be generating new leads that eventually convert to deals.
Increasingly, we’re seeing teams, agents, investors, service providers and others turn to sophisticated commercial real estate software as a way of uncovering the most lucrative deals.
In this article, we take a look at the top real estate lead generation software programs being utilized by today’s pros.
Real Estate Lead Generation Software
Most commercial real estate professionals make a living through commissions earned on deals that close.
That means they need to be out prospecting for new deals on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Some deals are made through word-of-mouth introductions, client referrals, and more traditional marketing approaches like direct mailers.
While traditional marketing approaches still have value, CRE teams get the most bang for their buck when they invest in targeted, proactive lead generation.
Commercial real estate lead generation software enables agents, investors, service providers and others to identify, organize, and nurture leads in a thoughtful manner.
There are many CRE lead generation tools on the market today, but those listed below are among the tried and true lead generation programs used by today’s top CRE teams.
Best Lead Generation Software for Teams, Brokerages and Companies
Most of today’s CRE lead generation programs are designed to be utilized by a single user. However, in commercial real estate, unlike residential real estate, people are often working together in teams.
For example, a debt broker may be looking for owners interested in refinancing and is particularly interested in connecting with an owner who has invested in a substantial student housing portfolio near a local university.
The debt broker could cold call this owner, but cold calling is nowhere near as effective as approaching an owner where a warm lead already exists.
Because that debt broker uses a lead generation software designed for team interaction, he can see that someone else on his team has actually sold that owner a property in the past.
He and his teammate can now collaborate as to the best way to approach that owner regarding the refinancing of their portfolio.
Here are a few of the best lead generation software programs for teams, brokerages and companies:
BoomTown! is a real estate lead generation service that offers IDX lead generation websites, ad management, and an integrated CRM system that can easily be utilized by larger teams.
Other features include a reporting dashboard, pipeline management tools, and the ability to tag and segment contacts.
BoomTown offers several pricing structures based on agency size, so smaller teams can opt for packages starting as low as $750, whereas larger agencies may look to subscriptions that cost closer to $2,000 per month, but offer multiple licenses for team members.
As the subscription becomes more advanced, so do the product offerings.
For example, the BoomTown “Advance” option is designed for CRE teams, brokerages and companies with 11 or more agents and allows users to track multiple team offices and websites at once.
Consider the case of a real estate broker that specializes in selling boutique hotels.
That broker may have a strong grasp of who the potential investors are in that market, but those who invest in boutique hotels often purchase properties well outside of their geography.
BoomTown would allow that broker to connect with his team members in other parts of the country to help identify other, more distant investors who would still be interested in purchasing the boutique hotel he’s trying to sell in his market.
The more interest he can drum up in the property, locally or not, the more likely he is to create a bidding war situation that results in a higher sales price.
And as all brokers know, a higher sales price = a higher commission!
Reonomy for Teams
Reonomy is a commercial real estate lead generation platform serving a variety of CRE professionals and teams in markets across the country.
The platform can be used to search properties, discover prospects, access in-depth CRE data, and get directly in touch with property owners.
Reonomy For Teams, specifically, allows for shared information amongst team members throughout that process.
With Reonomy For Teams, an account Admin can see how other team members are utilizing the platform to better streamline their account sharing permissions and ensure each “seat” on the license is being fully optimized.
Reonomy For Teams helps strengthen communication amongst team members as they are prospecting for new leads, and eliminates the potential of doubling up on research and outreach.
For instance, team members can add labels to leads and create alerts if there’s new information related to a property or owner.
Someone might label all “warm leads” using an orange tab, and then someone else on the team can follow up and see which properties have been identified as “warm leads” every month.
Another example: a commercial roofing contractor has used Reonomy to identify any commercial property with a building area greater than 50,000 square feet located within a 25-mile radius of their office.
These are the company’s primary targets.
The Admin has flagged these properties and can now send team members an alert if any of these properties sell – which could be an indication that the new owner is interested in doing some property improvements, including roof work.
The team can also filter this list by most recent sales date to see if any of the owners have recently purchased the property.
Another helpful feature on Reonomy for Teams is the “Notes” section.
This tab allows team members to put in any information they may know about a specific property or owner.
For instance, a mortgage broker may have tried to connect with an owner multiple times over the past two years with no luck…
The broker can make a note of that in the Notes section for other team members to see.
These notes are especially beneficial for larger teams, where staff turnover may be more common. In the event a team member leaves the company, the other team members still have access to these valuable insights.
Best Lead Generation Software for Agents
There are many products on the market tailored to real estate agents.
There are fewer that have been designed specifically with commercial real estate agents and their brokerage companies in mind.
Here are a few lead generation software platforms that can prove beneficial for agents looking to source new CRE deals.
Real Capital Analytics
Real Capital Analytics provides robust data to commercial real estate agents interested in staying on top of market trends and changing market conditions.
This allows agents to expand their reach and show off their industry expertise.
Specifically, RCA can help agents spot new players entering their market – this helps them build new relationships and uncover any potential competition.
For example, RCA’s database can help brokerage teams monitor recent transactions.
In doing so, a brokerage team may realize that a new investor has begun scooping up properties in their area.
The brokerage team can then arrange a meeting with that investor to learn more about the investor’s priorities, with the end goal of being able to bring that investor deals in the future.
Zillow Premier Agent
Most people think of Zillow as a resource for finding residential real estate deals, but often, there are smaller multifamily, commercial, and mixed-use properties featured on Zillow’s website.
Land deals often make their way to Zillow, as well, and could be opportunities for new ground-up development.
This is where Zillow’s Premier Agent function comes into play.
ZPA is an advertising tool that lets agents buy placements on Zillow listings, giving exclusive access to leads from those listings.
Those leads are then entered into a no-frills CRM system, which is all some agents need. ZPA is a low-cost alternative to some of the other more robust CRE lead generation tools on the market today.
Best Lead Generation Software for Investors
Some investors rely on brokers to bring them deals. Others try to source deals themselves.
Most investors think to use lead generation software to find CRE assets to purchase, but lead generation software can also be used for investors looking to sell properties.
Here are a few of the best lead generation software tools for CRE investors.
ProspectNow uses a predictive algorithm that helps investors identify properties that are likely to be listed for sale within the next year.
Understanding which properties might come to market gives investors a jumpstart—they can approach an owner prior to that owner listing the property for sale.
This is a great way for investors to find off-market commercial real estate deals.
ProspectNow also provides information about MLS expired listings. This information can lead investors to properties that, for one reason or another, did not drum up significant interest from other investors.
This could be an opportunity for an investor to negotiate with the seller prior to the listing being re-posted on MLS.
InfoUSA is different than the other lead generation tools featured here today in that it targets business owners as opposed to property owners.
This business owner information is highly valuable though, at least for investors.
Someone in a medical office complex, for example, might want to know who the top doctors are in the area so they can reach out to those doctors and ask them if they’d be interested in expanding or relocating to the new medical office complex.
Similarly, an investor looking to sell a warehouse might want to reach out to shipping or logistics companies to gauge their interest in purchasing the property and then owner-occupying it.
In this case, the investor might want to look for companies that have been in business for at least five or ten years; this is an indication that the company is no longer in the start-up phase and may be ready to invest in their own real estate.
Best Lead Generation Software for Service Providers
Many of the lead generation software programs for service providers are industry specific.
There are some, however, that can be used by service providers in any commercial real estate market niche.
PropertyShark is a great lead generation software for service providers.
The company provides robust commercial real estate property data that is useful for insurance agents, appraisers, contractors and more.
Users can search for properties and then uncover valuable owner information.
Property data also includes building information, such as the building value, zoning, sales history, liens and more.
BidClerk is the first of two industry-specific lead generation software programs we’ll be featuring today.
BidClerk is a trusted source of leads for those in the construction industry.
Users can search for opportunities by location, by type of job, and can access company contact information in order to reach out to the building owner (or their architect, engineer, and other representatives) directly.
LendingWise is a lead generation software specific to mortgage brokers, loan originators, appraisers and others involved in helping arrange debt.
Specifically, LendingWise works with hard money and private money lenders interested in streamlining their prospecting efforts, underwriting, and qualification processes.
LendingWise helps connect debt brokers with capital partners, and then layers in a robust CRM tool to ensure timely, accurate follow-up on leads.