When I began my commercial real estate job search I knew it was going to be a process. As it turns out it definitely was and then some. The search was great training for when I entered the industry especially when relating it to cold calling. My number one takeaway was a promise to myself that I would always answer the phone or at least call back as soon as possible, no matter who it was.
While setting up interviews and second meetings I was surprised at the lack of response I received. Part of this was a test of my tenacity I’m sure, an interviewing technique. But most of it was people too busy to bother returning what they deemed to be less important phone calls. The lack of response was not just in returning phone calls but following up with me when they said they would. Coming from a background in sales I had the right to be unimpressed. Through it all I stayed on them and at the end when offers were in I remembered who was responsive which played a big part in my ultimate decision.
Fast forward to the present, I have completed three years in the industry. I’ve got my desk phone forwarded 100 percent of the time to my cell phone and if I’m not with a client you will get ahold of me. Of course I do miss a call or two but I return them right away even to those people whom you know are leading you down a dead end path. If you try and help or advise all calls you receive you will grow a network of people who remember that and it may not be today or ever that they become a client but they have friends with needs as well. If you give someone something they are compelled to give back, in this case I give time or information which garners gratitude.
There are many people out there today that are hard to get ahold of. I call brokers daily for information on their properties. One thing I have found is if you are bad at answering and or returning phone calls everyone knows it and they find ways to work around you. Maybe this is what you want but in the end this method will hurt you. When an option is available you won’t get the call the other guy will. At the end of the wave your future work will suffer from the clients that feel they were ignored. Taking care of each and every client builds relationships that last a career. Good punctual communication is the first step.
Phone calls are important. The connection made over the phone spawns relationships. After all of our cold calling and persistence, don’t the clients deserve to hear back from us? Answer your next call or return a missed one, it may just lead to your next deal. It is easier said than done and I try my best to stay ahead and follow the model, if you catch me slipping just keep calling and forward me this article!
Will Dillard is a Broker Associate for Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services in the Great Southwest submarket. 2006 N. Highway 360 Grand Prairie, TX 75050 Ph: 972-337-9332
July 29, 2015