There are plenty of blog posts out there with tips to cold call, network, persuade, etc. In other words, there are plenty of prospecting tactics, but sometimes it’s helpful to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just two people making a connection in occasionally random ways.
We recently solicited your most surprising prospecting stories, and are pleased to share four experiences.
Here are the craziest, funniest, most random broker prospecting stories we could find, filled with crazy characters, mysterious LLCs, celebrities, and an introduction in Antarctica.
The Pantsless Prospect
"A few months into my commercial real estate career, a friend and I went door knocking/prospecting through an agricultural area near our office. We were both nervous and excited. These nurseries often had guard dogs that were not the friendly, cuddly kind. We went to this one nursery at around 4:30 pm, and as we drove in we noticed there was no one around.
We got out of our car, called out "Hellooooo," honked our horn, and looked around. Finally we noticed a golf cart coming up to us with an older gentleman behind the wheel. When he reached us, we said hello, introduced ourselves, and nervously started giving the gentleman our 'script.'
He interrupted us and said it wasn't a good time for him. I commented that there was no one there and we wouldn't take long, but he still he insisted it wasn't a good time. We were talking to him from the front of the cart and hadn't noticed anything amiss, but he then clarified: "It’s not a good time because I am naked." We had not noticed because he did have a shirt, just no pants on. He was driving around his property with only a shirt and boots on him.
We still didn't give up — we asked then when would it be a good time to come back, but he wasn't having it. He told us to go away, to call him some other time."
Mando de Armas, Commercial Realtor
Keller Williams Commercial, Miami FL
The Mystery LLC
"A few years ago I was attempting to locate and contact the owner of a sizable office building located in Albuquerque. The building was owned by an LLC, which was owned by another LLC. The contact address was a small town in New Mexico. No telephone, and letters were not returned. We used our proprietary and expensive database to search for a relational contact and came up with a residential address in Boca Raton as well as an address in the Hamptons, so we sent letters to both addresses via FedEx.
A couple of weeks passed and I received a very cryptic email asking me to clarify my interest in the Albuquerque property. This started a series of emails with no signature, phone number or other contact info. The extended email conversation eventually did produce a name and some basic company information. It turns out that the Principal was from a small New Mexico town but eventually moved to New York City. He had done quite well financially and invited me to visit him in Manhattan, which I did. We never did anything with the Albuquerque property but did work with him on two other multi state projects."
Tim House, Managing Director
SVN | Team Southwest
The Coldest Introduction
"My wife and I have a life goal of running a marathon on each continent. Based in Denver, I exclusively broker self-storage commercial real estate nationwide. In January 2016, my wife and I were with a tour group in Antarctica to run a marathon there. We were paired up with a random third person to sleep in our tent on the frozen ground. In that small tent, and around midnight when we couldn’t sleep because the sun was still out, I discovered the stranger sharing our tent worked in self storage and was based in NYC. We’ve been in touch ever since!"
Thomas Parsons, Associate
National Self Storage Group
The Celebrity Client
"The Napa Register did a detailed story on me that appeared in the local newspaper. They interviewed a number of my clients — one called me 'Superglue.'
I received a telephone call a few days later — in a Texas drawl he asked for “Dr. Superglue.” I said: "You got him."
The client was television star Fess Parker — we worked with him for the next several years."
Dr. Donald W. Wise
Turnbull Capital Group
Do you have any prospecting stories like this? Leave your best in the comments!