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    1. Conversation Starters

      What does it take to get you to stop and listen—really listen—to a coworker, a friend or even a family member? What about a stranger? Being a good listener takes effort, and our minds are often preoccupied with the to-do lists and distractions of today’s world.

      For us to turn our attention to something, it has to be interesting, relevant and timely. For property owners and tenants, this could be a number of things based on their current position. The job of a broker is to craft messages that are macro enough to address the market but micro enough to strike a chord with your prospects. 

      Anatomy of a conversation starter

      Conversation starters have to work for your client, not you. Make sure your messages meet these criteria:

        • Be interesting—fast. You only have a few seconds to capture your prospect’s attention.
        • Be contextually relevant. Deliver macro trends and/or phenomena with local implications, or scalable region trends or developments
        • Add value. Whatever you share should be news to your client. It can be either completely new or an interesting take on information they already know.
        • Invoke action. Use information in a way that forces a decision on your prospect. Make it so the need to take action is necessary.

      The good news is that there’s a very manageable number of conversation starters that will interest your clients and prospects regardless of their property needs or location. Just keep this formula in mind.

      Event | Universal Impact | Opportunity | Benefit/Action

      Here's an example of how you can use that formula to get the attention of a prospect—and hopefully schedule a meeting.

      Conversation starters best practices - EVENT    

      EVENT

      Initech is relocating its corporate headquarters two miles from your property.

             
      Conversation starters best practices - IMPACT    

      IMPACT

      This is expected to bring 1,500 new residents to your area.

       

             
      Conversation starters best practices - OPPORTUNITY    

       OPPORTUNITY

      With housing supply tightening, this will have a positive effect on rents and occupancy for your property.

             
      Conversation starters best practices - ACTION    

       ACTION

      Would next Tuesday be a good time to meet and discuss how you can maximize this event?

       

      Categories for common conversations

      Top-performing brokers have a list of potential conversation starters on hand for their prospecting efforts. They can generally be broken down into these categories:

      • Economy
        • Debt Cycles
        • Lending Practices
        • Interest Rates
        • Jobs
      • Legislation / Policy
        • Economic development
        • Zoning changes
        • Tax changes
      • Market Disruption
        • New development
        • New competitor
        • Competitor activity
        • Infrastructure changes that may impact traffic count, accessibility, etc.
      • Market Events
        • Comparable sales
        • Comparable rents
        • Big employer moving in/out
        • Mass closings/layoffs
      • Market Trends
        • Pricing
        • Rents
        • Vacancies
        • Velocity
        • Volume
        • Demographic shifts
      • Workplace Trends
        • Workplace efficiency examples
        • Workplace efficiency studies
        • Notable TIs 
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