9 email templates for reconnecting with commercial real estate contacts

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To ensure your relationships don’t grow cold, you need to regularly follow up with your commercial real estate (CRE) colleagues. But what if you don’t have a reason to reach out or don’t have any new information to share?

 

There are plenty of ways you can successfully reconnect with contacts and strengthen your relationships. Here are nine prompts for reconnecting, complete with reconnect email sample templates that you can build on to suit your unique CRE relationships.

 

1. “Are you aware?”

The easiest way to warm up CRE relationships is by sending interesting industry headlines to your contacts. Set up Google alerts based on relevant keywords to get a weekly roundup of newsworthy stories in a particular industry.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. Saw this headline this week and thought you’d be interested, considering your work and unique perspectives in that space. Hope you’re doing great.”

 

2. “This new research proves what you always knew/predicted.”

If your colleague has expressed support for a contrarian method, opinion, hypothesis, or expectation, keep an eye on major publications for any statistics that prove them right.

 

Despite what you may think, this tactic doesn’t involve a lot of research on your part. Once or twice a year, the biggest consultants and researchers publish major works to expose trends that all alternative assets dealmakers should know about. Set a reminder on your calendar to review publications such as these:

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. You’ll be happy to know that Bain & Company just published research that shows your LP screening method approach is the most effective. You should definitely consider writing your own piece about it — the industry could learn a lot from your experience and expertise.”

 

3. “Your rival is making moves.”

Dealmakers may not always admit it, but one topic of constant interest is what other acquiring firms are doing. The only problem is that dealmakers are too busy to scour news stories about their competitors.

 

Needless to say, finding this information is the perfect favor to do for a fellow CRE dealmaker, lender, or other transaction service provider.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

here from [name of past transaction or project]. I saw that Taylor Brown’s group won the Plymouth deal. I’m sorry things didn’t go the way you’d hoped, especially after all the time and hard work you put into your pitch, but I’m confident the right opportunity is just around the corner. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Rooting for you!”

 

4. “How did it turn out?”

What projects or issues — work-related or otherwise — was your contact concerned about when you last worked together? Revisit it to show that you care now, just like you cared then.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. My kid’s school just announced that it’s spelling bee season again. I remember your youngster went to Regionals last year. Any ambitions for the Nationals in Washington, D.C. this year?”

 

5. “Happy birthday!” (Or any other celebration)

Any celebration — such as birthdays, work anniversaries, promotions, or yearly holidays — give investment professionals a low-pressure, uncontested reason to reach out and celebrate with their colleagues.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. Wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Attached is a gift card to [store, restaurant, etc.] to help you celebrate your special day. Have a great one!”

 

6. “Are you watching the event this year?”

Ping past colleagues about any changes, trends, and developments in shared personal hobbies, like winter sports, a movie franchise, or a beloved musician or comedian.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. As a fellow hockey fan, I thought I’d share this interesting announcement on the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey roster. Are you tuning in this year? I’m looking forward to it.”

 

7. “Your area is bustling this week.”

Stay abreast of small-time news stories that are local and relevant to your CRE colleagues to show that you care.

 

For example, a buy-side vice president may check in on a Dallas-based real asset broker after strong storm systems move through tornado alley. Or a Phoenix business development (BD) deal sourcing professional may ask his CRE group’s tax advisor how the fall foliage is in the advisor’s hometown of New Jersey.

 

Just as you can set up alerts for industry news, you can do the same with regional headlines within your contact’s area.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. I saw a new ax-throwing place opened on the north side of [colleague’s town]. Maybe we should ditch golf and hit it up next time I’m in town.”

 

8. “Do you know someone who could help with this?”

Tap your contact’s network for your benefit, and offer to introduce them to one of your service providers or private company operators as well.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. As you may remember, we primarily do storage, and we just closed a light assembly/flex deal. This new move lets us expand without style drift. The problem is that our property management network is still storage heavy. Do you have a trusted management company that might want to put its name in the hat?
P.S. This conversation reminds me: I may have found a real asset tax lawyer you’d want to talk with. Let me know if you’d like me to connect you with her.”

 

9. “What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

From restaurant recommendations to tech upgrades, past colleagues are often honored to provide advice.

 

Reconnect email template:

“Hi _____,

Alex here from [name of past transaction or project]. I have a principal I’m considering making partner this year. I know you recently clarified your own succession plan and learned a lot in the process. Would you mind if I ask you a few questions about it?”

 

Capture the data from your reconnect emails

Sidestep the common pitfall of reaching out to an old contact when another team member has just recently emailed them for the same reason. To avoid stepping on one another’s toes (and coming across as a disconnected, disorganized group), adopt a customer relationship management (CRM) system that automatically grabs the information generated by these emails.

 

Capture who was involved in the message, what the purpose was, whether it was received or opened, and what actions the recipient took. These are all helpful pieces of information that — over time — become organizational knowledge that helps you assess the health of your firm’s relationships in the market.

 

However, don’t waste valuable time on implementing a generic CRM, as these systems neglect the private capital diosyncrasies. For example, general-purpose CRM solutions approach every deal as if your group is the seller, when in reality, on the buy side. Generic CRMs also neglect to incorporate property, transaction, and workflow information, forcing you to adopt multiple disparate tools and eventually piecing together a clunky, less secure system.

 

Before shopping around, sign up to see a demo of DealCloud, the only purpose-built CRM that includes property, transaction, and task information management in tandem with core relationship management. The details from every reconnect email you send will be securely stored and applied to transaction-specific scenarios. The result is a more informed, efficient team and stronger, more authentic relationships.

 

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Author:

Katlyn Kohler

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