How Technology Can Help You Expand Beyond Referral Business

March 21, 2019
The transactional and property data harnessed in the newest prospecting tools provide contractors a comprehensive understanding of an asset, as well as the accurate ownership information needed for successful outreach.

by Sam Viskovich

When I left New Zealand in 2017, my knowledge of contractor marketing was fairly nominal. The world of contractor marketing as I knew it was contractors spreading the word to friends and family at barbecues, networking locally or going door-to-door to win new business. Two years later, as vice president of marketing at Reonomy, a commercial real estate data platform, it’s safe to say that’s no longer the case.

Since joining Reonomy, I’ve had countless opportunities to work with a range of service providers on a daily basis to learn more about how they promote their business. While referrals and word-of-mouth still play a huge part in their marketing strategies, I’m always pleasantly surprised at the proactive tactics a tool like Reonomy fosters. From sourcing new leads to personalized outreach to potential prospects, technology helps contractors of all backgrounds think beyond just referrals to land new business.

Generate Leads with Better Data
First and foremost, platforms like Reonomy are prospecting tools designed for lead generation. The transactional and property data harnessed in these tools provide contractors a comprehensive understanding of an asset, as well as the accurate ownership information needed for successful outreach. From the contractors I’ve interacted with, this is the backbone of their business.

If you want to expand your marketing strategy, consider data-powered lead generation. A reliable data source allows you to easily find asset information that’s relevant to you and stock your pipeline of new leads to contact and connect with. With tools like Reonomy, not only can you locate new properties for consideration, you can evaluate assets at the individual level to uncover nuanced building and ownership details. This eliminates any guesswork and serves up a 360-degree view of a property before ever seeing it in person.

For instance, say you’re a roofer who specializes in asphalt roof repairs after major storms. Before a storm even reaches your target area, you can search for properties with older roofs by leveraging search filters around last renovation date and year built. Then, you can confirm roof materials by using the Reonomy’s integration with Google Earth, all within a few clicks.

More importantly, these platforms arm you with correct ownership and portfolio information, as well as contact details. So, you can reach out to property owners and begin building relationships long before a storm hits. That way, they’ll know who to call for repairs when the time comes. In all, the power of data is invaluable for contractor prospecting and replaces manual sourcing strategies with something much savvier.

Personalize Your Cold Calling Scripts
As I mentioned above, the contacts you source from a commercial real estate platform serve as the foundation of your contracting leads list. But what about actual outreach? With the right technology, you can elevate your cold calling scripts with the relevant details uncovered in prospecting. By customizing your pitch with individual property and ownership details, you can present immediate, significant value to property owners over the phone.

For contractors, specifically, tools like Reonomy allow you to harness the same property-specific information sourced earlier to bolster your conversations with prospects. Details like the date of a building’s last renovation, its total building area and the total number of units can be leveraged when speaking with decision-makers.

So, if we circle back to the roofer example we used above, you could theoretically transform a pitch from “I see you own a property with an older roof, did you experience any damage in the storm?” to “I see you own three duplexes in the storm’s path that haven’t been renovated since 1999. Maybe it’s time for an update.” The more specific your talk track is, the more likely the property owner will see the value in it quickly and interact positively.

Launch Creative Marketing Methods
Finally, technology can help fuel more creative and customized outbound marketing methods. Rather than relying solely on cold calling, you can utilize the contact information sourced earlier to nurture contracting prospects.

Through my conversations with our customers, two of the most popular and viable techniques most contractors turn to are email and direct mail marketing. From sourcing accurate email and mailing addresses in the platform, these professionals are empowered to send marketing materials directly to a prospect’s inbox or home address, keeping their brand top-of-mind so, when the time comes to take action, owners know who to turn to.

Like with cold-calling, personalization should absolutely be incorporated into your email or direct-mail strategy. The same building, ownership and transactional details you unearth in your search can be leveraged to connect with your prospect on a deeper level. While a bit more difficult to scale, this personalization pays off; Canon reports simply adding a person’s name and other personal details can increase response rates by up to 500 percent. Adding in property or portfolio-specific details, like square footage or the year of the property’s last renovation, proves to decision-makers you’ve done your homework to understand their unique needs, giving them all the more reason to reach out and work with you.

Referrals and word-of-mouth are excellent to promote a company, but they’re not the only way to win new contracting business. A commercial real estate data platform helps transform your promotional strategy, empowering you to stock your lead pipeline, personalize your cold calling scripts and launch creative outbound marketing tactics, all to expand your customer base.

Sam Viskovich is vice president of marketing at Reonomy, a commercial real estate data platform.