Posts Tagged ‘commercial real estate advice’

Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Lessons from a Commercial Airlines Pilot

October 20th, 2014 No comments

Commercial airline pilots don’t “wing it” on take-offs….Why should you?

For example, the take-off is one of the most critical elements of a flight and even with thousands of hours in the cockpit, professional pilots use a checklist, each and every time they execute their take-off. The reason is simple; the procedure is proven, efficient and most importantly it works. This eliminates most human error and provides consistent take-offs that get the plane & its passengers safely in the air. UntitledMuch like the pilot’s checklist, prospecting for commercial real estate opportunities is the beginning of our flight with a prospective client. Yet, most CRE professionals “wing it”; applying hit and miss efforts & techniques that result in…you guessed it – hit and miss results! It doesn’t have to be this way. To get consistent results from your prospecting, try replicating what pilots do and create a checklist to follow each and every time. Here is what your checklist should look like.

There are three components to a prospecting call:  1) Pre-Call Preparation 2) The Call and 3) Post Call

Pre-Call Preparation

1) Identify who you are going to call.
2) Classify your prospect as an A, B or C prospect to represent how often you plan on contacting them (for example A clients touch 12 program (monthly); B clients touch 4 (quarterly) C clients touch 2 ( 2 x per year).
3) Validate contact information (i.e. phone number, email address, physical address) and lastly confirm the person you are going to call is the correct person.
4) Research the account. What do we know about the business; the decision maker; their physical location(s); their industry. Tools such as google, hoovers, annual reports, co-star, social sites such as LinkedIn etc. are quite useful here.
5) Schedule the call. Set a specific prospecting time on your calendar for making this call (i.e. Monday’s calls include the following prospects).
6) Update your CRM with the information you acquire during the pre-call phase.
7) Determine your pitch, marketing strategy and practice it! (Know exactly what you are going to say)
8) Send your prospect letter to the prospects telling them that you will be calling and delivering your value proposition.
9) Time permitting, send presence materials.

The Call
1) Review your file, notes & marketing strategy.

2) Deliver the call including the four critical elements.
- Introduction that establishes credibility and professionalism.
- Involve the prospect in the call; in other words, why you are specifically calling them.
- Deliver data or compelling information that creates interest and credibility.
- Close with a value proposition on why they should meet with you and ASK FOR A MEETING.

3) Take notes during the call of important information obtained

4) If you get voice mail, leave a message including the previous elements and a commitment to call back in a few days

Post Call

1) If you get the meeting great:
- Send an email confirmation to be sure your prospect will show up
- Prepare and practice your winning presentation

2) If you get rejected, remember that the rejection may have been to your message; not you, so:
- Reschedule a follow up call in accordance with your designated touch program (A, B, C clients) and try a different marketing message/value proposition
- Precede the next call with more presence materials to enhance your credibility

3) If you get voice mail: – Schedule your follow up call to the prospect. This should be for the next day, or within the same week at the very least.

4) Update your CRM with information obtained from the call

If you create & follow a checklist, you can’t help but be better prepared for your calls; more consistent in making them; and most importantly more successful in getting the meetings.

Good Prospecting,

Paul Reitz | CRE Coach | The Massimo Group


5 Responses When a Prospect Says “No Interest”

October 6th, 2014 2 comments

Last week, I outlined my experience with the general commercial real estate professional community giving up too soon in their prospecting efforts. It is common for most brokers, mortgage brokers and even those pursuing property management assignments to stop calling on a prospect after only three tries. Furthermore, I shared statistics that suggest it takes 7 attempts for a prospect to even reply, and 7 rejections from a single prospect before they will say yes. In other words, most of your peers (hopefully not you) are not even trying to win business!

Sadly, not only is there a general lack of effort in getting in front of a prospect; but when your peers (again, hopefully not you) finally get a prospect on the phone and the prospect says they are not interested, many callers will say thank you and hang up. That’s right – the prospect answered the phone – yet you (I mean your peers) let them off the hook!

Let me repeat that. You feverishly attempt to get in front of a prospect, and when you finally do, you articulate the most alluring value proposition ever created and somehow you allow that prospect to simply blow you off. I don’t think so. You need to go down with a fight. No bullets left in the gun, no arrows left in your quiver, no electrical charges left in your tazer or laser zaps left in your death ray. OK, you get the point. Here are five approaches you can take when a prospect informs you that they have no interest.

1.  Ask your prospect why not. Seems simple enough, but if they truly do not have an interest, versus simply blowing you off, they should be able to articulate it. And this will provide you invaluable information for future questions or future calls.

2. Ask your prospect when they would have an interest. It could simply be a matter of time. Either they picked up the phone at a bad time, or your prospect simply has no need for your services.

3. Ask your prospect what they are interest in. In other words – cross sell. Regardless of your focus, you can cross sell so many different services from brokerage, to financing, to management to appraisals to consulting, etc. The list goes on and on. Even if you do not have these services internally, you can align yourself with external sources. The point here is that you need to be resourceful to the prospect.

4. Ask your prospect if they know of anyone who may be interested in the benefits your service provides. Owners know owners, tenants know tenants and investors know investors. For example, “Mrs. Tenant, may I ask if you are aware of any other business owners or tenants in your network that may be interested in how I saved another tenant in your building over $200,000 in rental costs?”

5. Ask your prospect when the benefit of your services may be a priority to them. Note, this is the much more assertive version of #2 and #4 combined. It’s not for everyone. For example: “May I ask when achieving a x% cap rate on your building may be a priority to you?”

Getting in front of a prospect takes effort. It is your responsibility to ensure that these leads are given your fullest attention and strongest presentation. When you call a prospect on the phone and they tell you they don’t have an interest, don’t let them off the hook, instead use all your resources and qualify what their version of “no interest” really means. Their answers will be the key to you getting a meeting.


You’re Giving Up Too Soon When Prospecting

September 29th, 2014 No comments

This month I have been traveling the country and presenting strategies on prospecting. This week I hosted a national webinar on the same subject. During these sessions, we addressed the meaning of prospecting (asking for the business), the objective of initial prospecting efforts (getting the meeting) and approaches of prospecting (letters, calls, meetings – never emails).

One question I always ask my audience is frequency of prospecting; that is how many times they may call a prospect before giving up. More times than not the answer is 3. 3! Really? The underlying reason is the adopted mindset of “3 strikes and you’re out!”

Last time I checked commercial real estate was not played on a diamond-shaped field. There was no one pitching you balls to hit, although the idea of prospects calling you directly is where you should strive to be. If you must use baseball as an analogy, consider this:

Babe Ruth is known as the Home Run King (The magical 714, before the great Hank Aaron, and the presumed medically-enhanced Barry Bonds).
Babe Ruth also held the record holder for most strike-outs (now held by Reggie Jackson, who also in #13 on the most homeruns list of all time).
Ironically Babe Ruth’s jersey number was “3″.

How many home runs would Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds or even Reggie Jackson have hit if instead of “3″, the rule was “7 strikes and you’re out!”

Seriously, how many more home runs would Babe Ruth had hit if he had 4 more chances to swing his bat every time he got up? One could easily project double. How many more times would he have struck out? Given the hypothetical “7 strikes and you’re out”, he would have actually struck out a lot less.

Now consider these facts on prospecting:

- It takes an average of 7 attempts to simply make a contact with a prospect.
- It takes an average of 7 no’s from a prospect before they say yes.

Those that make more quality, targeted calls, make more money than those that do not.

Professional persistence pays off. Drop the baseball mindset. By putting these limits on your efforts, you are putting limits on your success.


3 Reasons Why You Are an Obstacle to Your Own CRE Success

September 22nd, 2014 No comments

By definition, most people working in the commercial real estate industry are “average” producers. Thus, chances are you are average. Hopefully not, but you understand the logic. So why are you average? What’s holding you back? There could be a myriad of reasons: underutilized strategies or tactics, poor teammates, poor work environment, but mostly, you are average because of you. Here are 3 possible reasons: 

1) You don’t believe in you.

You must be confident in your abilities to serve your clients better than anyone else. I mean, deep down in your gut confident. If you are not, then hopefully you will know the reasons why (lack of experience, resources, direction, etc.) and therefore you can address and remove these constricting thoughts from your physique.

As the founder of the Massimo Group, the greatest commercial real estate consulting and coaching organization in the world,I know we can help anyone, regardless of their level of success or experience, in propelling their personal business and income to new heights. We can always grow, that is a given for everyone, but this belief allows us to pursue and win more high-quality opportunities.

2) You don’t invest in your greatest asset – you.

Owners and managers of commercial real estate, brokerage, finance, property management firms repeatedly share with us that their team members would rather buy a new set of golf clubs than spend a day at a symposium or personally invest in a new technology. More so, the average commercial real estate professional looks at everything as an expense and not, as you should, an investment. No investment = no professional growth, personally or financially.

Yes, we are a coaching organization, and according to #1 I believe everyone should have a coach. There is a reason that vast majority of top producers have coaches and it’s not because “they can afford to”, it’s because they realize they CAN’T afford NOT to. I have 3 coaches. Every time I retain one we make far more money than the investment in coaching. Regardless of how you do it – reading, training, designations or coaching – you must invest in yourself.

3) You act as if you have a job.

Most commercial real estate producers are independent contractors. By this mere distinction, if this is you, you own your own business. Let me repeat that – You are the CEO of Your Name, Inc. As such, you must have a sales program, a marketing program, an HR program, and operations division. Stop looking to your company’s owner or manager for all the answers. Leverage their resources and strong brand, but don’t act like a dependent; you’re not one.

It’s a silly routine, but every morning I look in the mirror and say to myself, out loud, “It’s time to get hired”. Like you, I eat what I kill. I have learned to surround myself with hunters and gatherers, but ultimately it is up to me to produce.


I don’t share any of my personal experience with you to impress you. It’s far from impressive. I still feel, as good as our company is, we are in our infantile stage. However, I do want to impress upon you that you, and only you, have the power to decide how tomorrow and the rest of your career are going to proceed. I ask you to recognize that average isn’t you.


What Market Leaders Do and How They Do It

August 25th, 2014 No comments

Massimo clients earn 4x the average CRE Professional. How do you compare? Where do you compare against industry best practices? Challenge yourself to find out with R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014

“Great program. Systematic stepwise approach to place all facets of the CRE business in perspective while providing a system to make the necessary changes for improvement and to have the metrics to monitor and measure the efficacy of your actions. The professionalism of The Massimo Group sets a standard for the Commercial Real Estate industry.”
                                                                       ~ Stan Kitrell, Kitrell & Armstrong

R.A.M.P. UP© is 30-day program consisting of a series of exercises, organized into 5 modules – Role, Area, Monetary, Presence, Utility & Processes – that you take at your own pace. For each section of R.A.M.P. UP© completed you receive a “rating” that allows you to see how you stack up and allows you to identify the areas of your business that will have the greatest impact on your income.

At the end of R.A.M.P. UP© your CRE career will be in better shape than when you started, and you will be on your way to joining the Massimo member community that, on average, earns 4x the typical commercial real estate broker.

For more information on R.A.M.P. UP© and to learn how you can win one of 6 R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014 prizes, Click Here.

The program starts on September 15. Sign up before September 7 to receive $100 off R.A.M.P. UP© 2014! (regularly $249.00).

Don’t let 2015 be another average year! Sign up for RAMP UP today!


Step 1 to Making 2015 Your Best Year Ever

August 21st, 2014 No comments

The Massimo Group announces R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014.  This national event will provide the commercial real estate community with access to the Massimo Group’s proprietary, personalized, revenue-identification platform. R.A.M.P. UP© is a 30 day, self-paced event that includes live webinars, on-line programs, over 400 proven revenue driving strategies, bonus exercises and the opportunity to win one of six Massimo Group coaching programs!

R.A.M.P. UP© is designed specifically for:

  • Commercial Real Estate Brokers
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Property Managers
  • Brokerage Owners and Managers

The program has been successfully implemented by 1,000s of professionals in over 5 different countries.  We are so confident that after completing this program you will be in a better position to maximize your revenue that we will guarantee your satisfaction.

R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014 starts September 15.  If you want to finish the year strong and make 2015 your best year ever, take the first step and sign up for R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014 today!


Your F-Factors to Managing Your Week

August 11th, 2014 No comments

The continued feedback from my previous blog on how several new to business professionals stated they worked “up to” 40 hours a week continues to be tremendous.  So much so that I thought I would share with you how I look at my week, and how I allocate my time. Admittedly on some weeks, I am in my office for 60 to 70 hours. Most weeks, however, I spend 50- 60 hours “working”. Like many of our readers, I really don’t consider what I do as “work” as I love what we are doing at the Massimo Group.

Every week boils down to one’s personal “F-Factor” and how we choose to allocate our time among 5 buckets. F-Factors are (in no particular order) Family, Friends, Faith, Financial and Fun. Yes, like most, I always put my family first, but most weeks I allocate much more time to the Financial elements that support my Family. My Fun factor can be allocated to both vacations and work-related initiatives. I believe the Faith and Friends are critical, and these are self-explanatory. The allocation of these five “F-Factors” will have a direct impact on how much time you “work” in a given week.

As far as how you spend your time at work (The Financial Factor) – may I recommend you visit my short video on time management.

Finally, to assist with your Financial Factor we have created 2 new programs to make 2015 your best year ever. Our plan is to announce those next week, but this week I am personally allocating a lot more time to my Fun Factor!

Keep your F-Factors in mind as you plan and progress through your week – and always be moving forward.


Reaction from “The 40 Hour Work Week”

August 5th, 2014 No comments

Last week, I wrote a short blog regarding the responses we received from our free mid-year review and how several new to business professionals stated they worked “up to” 40 hours a week.  I shared my opinion that for those just starting out, who are less likely to have a spouse, children and heavy financial responsibilities, the 40 hour work week is great if you have a salary, but that’s not something we generally find in our industry as a path to success.

I must have hit a nerve because the response was tremendous. Many shared with me that they work 50-60 hours a week and that any thought of a 40 hour work week should be reserved to those that have an “employee mindset.” Commercial real estate success is rarely achieved with this mindset. Others reflected that, although 40 hours is unrealistic, the pace of keeping 50-60 hour weeks is not as rewarding as it was when they were younger. Still, others felt the long hours were rewarding both financially and intrinsically, because they love what they do.

Finally, many suggested we not forget the most important factors in life. I have heard different variations of what this is, but I have my own “F Factor”.  I will address this next week.  Until then, make the most of your work week, no matter how long, or short, it is.


The 40 Hour Work Week in Commercial Real Estate?

July 29th, 2014 No comments

I recently reviewed some of the 1,000’s of the free mid-year reviews that your peers had downloaded from our website.  A surprising select number of submissions indicated that they worked up to 40 hours a week.  I know what you are thinking.  Who in our industry, with the exception of a segment of the ultra-successful, works 40 hours a week?  Here is the surprising part.  Of those submitted reviews that indicated they worked “up to” 40 hours a week, most were newer to the business.  Unsurprisingly, their financial results were “lower than expected.”

Certainly, a far greater number of responders, including the 100’s of our coaching clients, all indicated they worked between 50 and 60 hours a week.  Is this good?  It is entirely based on your personal priorities.  I applaud those that work “up to” 40 hours a week; especially those with families.

However for those just starting out, who are less likely to have a spouse, children and heavy financial responsibilities, the 40 hour work week is great if you have a salary, but that’s not something we generally find in our industry as a path to success.

Tim Ferris wrote an international best-selling book that sold millions of copies titled The 4 Hour Work Week. I read it, and have even applied some of the principles he shared.  However, his book was focused on selling goods on the internet; working on the beach, lying in a hammock.   When I get to that point, I too may start working “up to 40 hours a week” but it most likely won’t be from a hammock.


Plan Worked, We Failed

July 22nd, 2014 No comments

Last week I wrote about our plan to fail. I shared with you how I was participating in a 50 and over lacrosse World Championship in Denver this past week, but that our team had not done any preparation. We simply arrived thinking what won us the National Championship back in January would carry us forward to the World Championship.  Of the 11 teams in our age group, I believe we finished 7th with a record of 2 and 3 over the 4-day tournament.

Worse part was that if we had prepared, and played liked we did back in January, I truly believe we would have been in contention for a medal.  But as I reiterated last week, you cannot wing in to win it.

So, why did we fail, besides the lack of planning?

1.  We just showed up, assuming we had done this before, why do anything different?
2.  No one on the team really understood their roles and we didn’t take the time to define them.
3.  We were not prepared for the environment. There’s a lot less oxygen in Denver!
4.  We did not have a true leader. Having too many cooks in the kitchen leads to chaos.
5.  We underestimated our competition.

Losing isn’t fun. It particularly hits me very hard, even in something as trivial as a lacrosse game. But knowing why you lost, especially in the competitive world of commercial real estate, is one of the most valuable lessons you can win.