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.
Initech is relocating its corporate headquarters two miles from your property.
This is expected to bring 1,500 new residents to your area.
With housing supply tightening, this will have a positive effect on rents and occupancy for your property.
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:
- Debt Cycles
- Lending Practices
- Interest Rates
- 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
- Demographic shifts
- Workplace Trends
- Workplace efficiency examples
- Workplace efficiency studies
- Notable TIs