Five Great Tips For Doing More Commercial Business From Bret Hunsaker
Bret Hunsaker lives for new business. A 25-year commercial real estate pro active in the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®, Bret was named by the 3,000-member group 2010 REALTOR® of the year. What got him there was his talent and skill in acquiring new business, in national marketing and relationship building. The NAR Commercial Intelligence Briefing podcast sat down with Bret and got him to share some of his wisdom on how to do more commercial business.
- Master, but don’t overemphasize social media: While it is “hotter than battery acid” and Bret says it’s something you have to know and understand, it belongs as part of your overall strategy — not as a replacement. “It’s only a part,” says Bret. The traditional networking methods are in no way obsolete. “You still have to get out there, cold call, canvas, direct mail.”
- Go back to existing clients in tough markets: The thing to remember is that rough times are felt by all. When you stay in touch with your existing clients even if the deals aren’t flowing, when the gloom lifts, those same people will be calling you. “During the trying times, the best people to go back to are your existing clients. Go back to them. If you step up to clients who know you, and do the right things, you’re going to see the calls coming into your office when the upturn happens.”
- Always listen. With prospective clients, Bret counsels listening very closely in an initial meeting. “The number one thing in any new prospect meeting is to listen. Because in 15-20 minutes, you’ll know the most important thing to them — and it may not be their business. Whatever it is, you should follow up on it. It could be their family. It could be a trip they’re taking. It could be a soccer tournament — whatever it is, build a relationship by listening to what is important to them and following up on what you hear.”
- Look closely at the trade organizations your clients are members of. Hunsaker, like all REALTORS, knows the value of a strong trade association. It brings professionals together to promote ethical opportunities. The thing for commercial real estate pros to remember is while they may not be eligible to join a client’s trade association, they can still be a source for commercial real estate knowledge. “I make sure clients tell me what organizations they’re members of. You can be a speaker, contribute to their websites, be a source for them on CRE. if you cant join as a member, you can be a guest. Put yourself in a position to be of value with your expertise.”
- Hit Your FDO Goals. What Bret calls FDOs are the Food and Drink Opportunities – those chances to sit down face to face for coffee, lunch, golf — you name it. Counsels Bret: “If you’re in sales and you’re not having personal interaction, you’re probably not doing it right. I count up a maximum of 780 FDOs in a year. If youre doing under 200 of those in a year, you’re probably not a salesperson. If you’re doing over 600, you might have to check into the Betty Ford Clinic!” Bret says to aim for somewhere in that range. “I plan it out two weeks in advance to make sure the scheduled is filled. You have to plan, be thoughtful and put yourself out in front of other people.”
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About Wayne Grohl
Wayne enjoys shelter, food and commercial real estate.