• Conversation Starters

    What does it take to get you to stop and listen—really listen—to a coworker, a friend or even a family member? What about a stranger? Being a good listener takes effort, and our minds are often preoccupied with the to-do lists and distractions of today’s world.

    For us to turn our attention to something, it has to be interesting, relevant and timely. For property owners and tenants, this could be a number of things based on their current position. The job of a broker is to craft messages that are macro enough to address the market but micro enough to strike a chord with your prospects. 

    Anatomy of a conversation starter

    Conversation starters have to work for your client, not you. Make sure your messages meet these criteria:

      • Be interesting—fast. You only have a few seconds to capture your prospect’s attention.
      • Be contextually relevant. Deliver macro trends and/or phenomena with local implications, or scalable region trends or developments
      • Add value. Whatever you share should be news to your client. It can be either completely new or an interesting take on information they already know.
      • Invoke action. Use information in a way that forces a decision on your prospect. Make it so the need to take action is necessary.

    The good news is that there’s a very manageable number of conversation starters that will interest your clients and prospects regardless of their property needs or location. Just keep this formula in mind.

    Event | Universal Impact | Opportunity | Benefit/Action

    Here's an example of how you can use that formula to get the attention of a prospect—and hopefully schedule a meeting.

    Conversation starters best practices - EVENT    


    Initech is relocating its corporate headquarters two miles from your property.

    Conversation starters best practices - IMPACT    


    This is expected to bring 1,500 new residents to your area.


    Conversation starters best practices - OPPORTUNITY    


    With housing supply tightening, this will have a positive effect on rents and occupancy for your property.

    Conversation starters best practices - ACTION    


    Would next Tuesday be a good time to meet and discuss how you can maximize this event?


    Categories for common conversations

    Top-performing brokers have a list of potential conversation starters on hand for their prospecting efforts. They can generally be broken down into these categories:

    • Economy
      • Debt Cycles
      • Lending Practices
      • Interest Rates
      • Jobs
    • Legislation / Policy
      • Economic development
      • Zoning changes
      • Tax changes
    • Market Disruption
      • New development
      • New competitor
      • Competitor activity
      • Infrastructure changes that may impact traffic count, accessibility, etc.
    • Market Events
      • Comparable sales
      • Comparable rents
      • Big employer moving in/out
      • Mass closings/layoffs
    • Market Trends
      • Pricing
      • Rents
      • Vacancies
      • Velocity
      • Volume
      • Demographic shifts
    • Workplace Trends
      • Workplace efficiency examples
      • Workplace efficiency studies
      • Notable TIs