LOREN KEIM - Real Estate's Next Level









Handling Sign Calls

Commercial property signs are one of the best sources of buyer and tenant leads.  When possible, I’ve used “Available” signs to attract both buyers and tenants.  Some property owners request the sign to read “For Lease” or “For Lease Only” so the tenants aren’t concerned about a property sale.  However, generic commercial signs with your company’s logo and the words “available” can attract a broader base of callers.  Keep in mind that all property advertising is to attract potential buyers and tenants.  These buyers or tenants may not want this particular property, but as you become skilled at switching buyers and tenants between properties, you’re more likely to sell and lease your listings.

Buyers or tenants calling on a particular property are often surprised by the asking price.  They obviously already know and like the location of the property, so the likely objections are either the asking price or the size of the space.  In either case, your goal is to find out what price range the caller is comfortable with, or what size the caller requires.


Caller: “What is the asking price for the property on 5th and Broad?”

Agent:  “Let me pull up the details on that property on my computer.  I’ll have it in a second.  Are you looking to purchase or lease a property?”

Caller:  “I’d like to buy.”

Agent:  “Is that the general location you’d like?”

Caller:  “I’d like to stay close to I-78.  I need access to the highway.”

Agent:  “I have that property on my screen now.  They’re currently asking $600,000.  How much were you looking to spend?”

Caller:  “Wow.  That’s high.  I’m not looking for anything over $350,000.”

Agent:  “No problem.  What type of building and what size are you looking to purchase?”

Caller:  “Well, I need at least 2500 square feet.”

Agent:  “And you’d like something free standing, like the property on Broad?”

Client:   “That’s not necessary.  I just need some visibility.”

Agent:  “Okay.  I remember a similar property that was for sale in the area.  I don’t think it had a sign on it, because the owner didn’t want anyone to know he’s selling.  Can I look that one up for you and call you back with the information?”

Caller:  “That would be fine.”

Agent:  “Great.  What’s your phone number?”


An alternate approach to sign calls is to try to determine if the caller has written down several properties.  Buyers or tenants looking for properties tend to drive through areas, and may write down the agency names and numbers on several properties for lease or sale.   Rather than allow the prospect to call several other agents, who may pick them up as a potential client, you can research the same information for them.


Agent:  “While you were driving around, did you see any other properties that interested you?  They don’t have to be listed by my firm.”

Client:   “I noticed a few.”

Agent:  “That’s great.  I can actually look them up for you now in our database.  I can pull up all the information and let you know those prices as well.  It’s a bit easier than you calling through different agencies for information.”

Caller:  “I didn’t realize you could do that.”

Agent:  “Definitely.  Actually, we have a great software program at our company as well that helps us to find the perfect property.  Each morning, the program searches all the new properties that came on the market in the last 24 hours by every agency in the system.  It then emails you a copy of each of the new listings as they come on the market.  This way, you know about properties before the big commercial sign even hits the lawn.  The best listings sell quickly, often before a sign goes up.”

Caller:  “That sounds great.”

Agent:  “Well, let me pull up information on the other properties you drove by, and then we’ll talk about your needs and try to get you into our Automatic Property Search program.”


Incidentally, most agents have access to automatic search programs.  Different MLS systems offer the service.  Loopnet and other websites offer similar services.  What differentiates you from the competition is that you’re using it as a tool to convince buyers and tenants to work with you.

*  All Scripts and Information are Copyright 2007 Loren Keim and Keim Enterprises, Inc.