Customer validation for CRE brokers

It is widely believed that real estate is a “relationship business.” While I am a believer that relationships are the cornerstone of success in any business endeavor, it is shortsighted to subscribe to the notion that if you simply “cultivate” relationships, you will reach a level of success that is the admiration of your peers. Sure, commercial real estate decision makers are not constantly thinking about their next move, and it takes some wooing to get their attention, but in order to truly identify where a relationship can start, one must qualify leads like any other salesperson.

My esteemed colleague Brooks Murphy bestowed on me the idea of the six boxes of love. The concept is quite simple: is there an opportunity right now to help a company with it’s real estate decision? This should be the first thing any broker should ask herself when qualifying a prospective client. Too often I find myself looking for reasons to keep a prospect in my hit list, only to have wasted valuable time in justifying my pursuit. The six boxes of love are loosely as follows:

1) Is the potential commission large enough to justify your time spent pursuing and executing the deal?

2) Does the company need to make a real estate decision within the next 18 months?

3) Do you have the resources and market knowledge to provide top notch service?

4) Are they going to hire a broker?

5) If they hire a broker, will it be on an exclusive basis?

6) Will you be protected by the landlord or your client if they decide to renew their lease?

If the answer is no for any of the boxes of love, take it off the list. Rinse, repeat.

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