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Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Lessons from My Kids’ College Searches

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I am of the age where my oldest is now deciding on what school she wants to attend, and my youngest is starting to receive letters from colleges asking him to please consider their school when creating his potential college candidates.

Mind you, my son is just a sophomore. Colleges understand that their prospecting efforts are the beginning of a long-term decision – sound familiar?

Lately I find myself going to the mailbox everyday to see what additional information my daughter receives from colleges she has been accepted to; as well as what material is being sent to my son in hopes of peaking his interest in various colleges (although college is not a top-of-mind issue for my 15-year-old son). From all of these materials I have found several high-impact prospecting approaches that I think we can all learn from.

My daughter only applied to a limited number of schools, and thankfully (so far) she hasn’t received a rejection letter. There are a few more letters/emails to come, and we both understand that rejection is inevitable. As in prospecting, we can learn a lot from rejection.

Those schools that have accepted her are kin to those prospects that have agreed to meet with you. The final decision has not been made to work with one another, but there is mutual interest of continuing the conversation. These schools are sending beautiful brochures with social proof of others who have attended these schools and succeeded. They are sending specific details of what the next steps will be, and what to expect if she was to move forward. All three of these steps are exactly what you should be doing to help your prospects agree to engage you.

My son won’t start thinking about college until a year from now, at which time we will go on tours and help him with research. Which schools we tour, however, will no doubt be influenced by the mailings he is receiving now. We will add them to a folder for when he is ready to decide. This is similar to your prospecting efforts for those who are not yet in need of your services, but you want to be top-of-mind to when they are.

To assist my son in his college selections, the schools that have mailed him have offered a free content piece to help him start thinking about college. For example, the last 3 colleges to write him offered a “free report” on subjects such as “The 10 Questions Most Admissions Don’t Want You to Ask”, “5 Keys to Getting Into Your Dream College” and “College Admissions Secrets Exposed!” Of course, all they need is his email address to access these reports – which (if given) reflects an initial level of interest, and allows them to continue their prospecting efforts. What high-impact, applicable content pieces are you offering to your prospects?

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