Lead Generation for Commercial Real Estate Brokers

As a CRE broker, your mission is to assist people in selling, leasing, buying, and investing in commercial real estate. But even if you’re highly skilled in this domain, you still have to master one additional technique in order to be truly successful: lead generation.

This clever marketing strategy helps you find new customers, build interest in your business, and then convert them into leads for sales. A lead is basically someone who’s already familiar with what you do and has shown interest in your business in some way.

Many believe that cold calling or door knocking are some of the best ways for a CRE broker to generate new leads. But the truth is, these days you have many more sophisticated options to choose from. Granted, they might require a bit of finesse and some personal touches on your part, but the success rate in lead generation is much higher and prospects are much more likely to stick around afterwards. Take a look at a few fantastic techniques which have the potential to generate valuable leads for commercial real estate brokers:

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an extremely powerful tool that, if used correctly, has the potential to generate hundreds of leads which can turn into customers later. If you already have a website—we really hope you do—then building a landing page with a single-focused objective can be the next step towards building leads. Great content marketing needs to offer something for the audience without asking for too much in return.

Thus, you need to provide something useful or entertaining for your customer for which they are willing to provide their contact details. If you’re wondering about what you can offer them, think about what useful tips, checklists, infographics, e-books, or videos you can offer them that discuss industry trends or other hot topics. Holding contests or giveaways with prizes or even free samples are other great options that have the capacity to drive leads.

Be sure to post your listings on an Internet Listing Service. ILSs aggregate and centralize listings from many brokerages, creating a one-stop-shop for customers looking to lease or purchase commercial real estate.

Social Media & Online Advertising

In this day and age, an online presence is a necessity. When you hand over your business card to someone, the first thing they are likely to do is check your online portfolio, which includes everything from business pages to social profiles. The good news is, you can turn this to your advantage and celebrate your career milestones, business wins, and showcase your achievements publicly to reach a wider audience. This is an organic way of lead generation that builds an audience that’s interested in your specialty. 

Online advertising is another fantastic tool that can drive traffic to your website or your business’ social pages. With a clever marketing strategy, great content, and paid online adverts, you can turn these website hits into long-term followers and future customers. 

Referrals & Reviews

Advertising yourself and your services is definitely a good strategy for lead generation but getting glowing public reviews from other people are an even better way to build your reputation. They are basically free ads from a real person! The positive commentary from a former client can boost your credibility as a professional and get your name out there. Referrals from your peers are similarly great, but for this, you’ll first need an existing network of associates, which brings us to our next point.


If you want to build connections within the industry, you might want to consider participating in various events and conferences to boost your presence within the business community. Exchanging business cards, discussing industry trends, and building relationships can lead to lucrative partnerships later on. So join your local chamber of commerce, your Rotary club or any other type of association or group which promotes professional growth within the commercial real estate field and network away!

Include CRE Investors

Besides targeting individuals who might be in need of your services someday, you should also focus on building relationships with professionals in the industry, to make sure that certain, recurring business opportunities will come your way. Reaching out to local CRE investors can be extremely beneficial for your own business venture and can lead to a lucrative partnership that will offer many advantages to both of you in the long run. Ideally, it would be best to set up a meeting and discuss the possibility of a potential partnership in person.

You can also get acquainted with commercial real estate investors at various events and conferences that are being held on a regular basis. However, if the possibility of meeting face-to-face is inaccessible to you, the least you could do is to put together and send over some highly-targeted marketing presentation that might spark their interest.

Become an Expert

In order to stand out from the crowd of CRE brokers and generate relevant leads, you should think about developing a niche and becoming the go-to person for a certain category of commercial real estate. This way, you can distance yourself from your competitors, let your passion and knowledge for a certain type of asset class shine through in your online presence and become the person your peers will recommend to potential customers.

Patrick McGregor

Patrick McGregor

Patrick McGregor is a senior writer covering the real estate industry and overall economic trends in the United States for several Yardi product publications. He also holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Patrick was previously a commercial real estate analyst at Yardi Matrix for five years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Bisnow, GlobeSt, The Real Deal, Business Insider, The Denver Post, The Motley Fool, and more.