If you’ve been in the commercial real estate business for a while, chances are good that you’ve got a large network of repeat clients and referrals keeping you busy. So busy, perhaps, that you may not even remember the last time you actively had to prospect for new deals. You’ve put in years of hard work, and all of it is finally paying off.
But even though you may not need to drum up new business the way you used to when you were starting out, you still need to stay connected to your network on a consistent basis. Are you prospecting? Maybe not with the same hunger as in your early years. But are you talking to more people than ever? Definitely.
As your network has grown, you may have realized that you’re spending even more time on the phone than before. There are simply more people to get back to, more referrals to follow up on, and more longtime clients to stay in touch with.
Jon Silberman of NAI Partners in Houston has over 20 years of commercial real estate experience. Today, he gets more than 75% of his business from repeat clients and referrals. And still—as he told Tanner McGraw in a Common Area interview—he commits to making at least 20 phone calls every day. That’s about an hour or more of serious prospecting day in and day out.
To stay connected like Jon, you’ve got to have a system that keeps you organized and keeps you focused on that next phone call, email, or meeting. That’s where Apto comes in.
“I’ve always been a CRM guy,” Jon says. “You can’t possibly effectively manage a big enough base of prospects without an organized system.”
Apto’s CRM system is designed to grow as you grow, whether you’re a young broker building up a book of business or a seasoned broker streamlining daily phone calls, tasks and follow-ups for a network that’s taken years to build. Here’s how Apto can make life simpler and your business more rewarding:
Keep up with your network on the go. Apto keeps your data neatly organized in the cloud, so you can pull it up whenever you’re on the go—whether you bump into an old client and need to remember the details of their deal, or whether you’re at a networking event and need to remember to follow up with the person who just handed you their card.
Stay connected to past clients. If you’ve built up a large network over the years, chances are good that a lot of your current business comes from past clients. But that’s a lot of people to keep up with! Apto’s call lists make it simple to stay connected by reminding you who’s due for a follow-up when. This keeps you top of mind and keeps repeat business flowing your way.
Follow up on repeat opportunities and word of mouth leads. Even if you’re not actively prospecting, you still get opportunities—often from past clients or word of mouth referrals—that you need to stay on top of. Unfortunately, deals that should be a sure thing can still be lost if you forget to follow up. (That’s something that happens to a lot of busy brokers, though few will admit it.) Apto helps by keeping you focused on the next step and reminding you to take action when the time’s right.
If you’re a veteran broker, you may not be prospecting the way that you used to, but you’re still generating opportunities. The only difference is that they now often come from existing clients and word of mouth referrals. Keeping up with those opportunities now is perhaps even more important than drumming up new business was when you were starting out: you’ve worked hard to build those connections, and they’re your most valuable source of business. Don’t let them fade away. Be sure you have a system that keeps you connected and reminds you to follow up regularly.
And once you do that, do as Jon Silberman does: pick up the phone and do a little prospecting. Even though it may not feel as necessary as it once was, it’s still important. Although your pipeline may be healthy now, regular prospecting ensures it stays that way long into the future.