In commercial real estate brokerage, the advertising and marketing process is a big part of enquiry generation. The advertising process can be running at the same time that an agent is directly promoting a listing to the businesses and investors in the local area.
A good listing and particularly an exclusive listing should be directly marketed; since you control the listing, there is no other better way to create enquiry. Things get a little bit ‘skewed’ however when an agent doesn’t have many people in their database to talk to about property listings as they come in. Your database, its size and segmentation, and its growth are critical parts of commercial real estate enquiry generation and listing conversion.
Understand the relationships and important issues at play here. Direct marketing and general advertising are both very important tools to be used with any good quality listing. When you connect with local people about your listings you will find other local information and leads that you can work with into the future.
Exclusivity Really Matters
Take every exclusive listing and promote it directly and locally. Then take the same listing and use seller paid marketing funds to comprehensively promote the property through advertising both online and offline. Good agents convert advertising money from the clients that they service. That is how they create more enquiry at a higher level than those agents that just list properties online and hope that something will come from the property listing. The ‘list and hope’ method of marketing has no place in commercial real estate brokerage.
Exclusivity sits at the center of all of these things. There is huge value in the exclusive listing process. Are you up to the challenge of converting seller paid marketing monies? Top agents convert marketing money. That’s a fact not to be overlooked.
A Story of the Property Market
A young and perhaps relatively ‘new’ agent recently raised a point with me recently that exclusive listings are just not done in his city; he claimed that fact based on his experience and because ‘that’s the way things are’. I then had to correct him and say that ‘he was very wrong’ and was quite likely not rotating and working in the best levels of the market with good listings and clients.
High quality listings are never marketed ‘openly’. Any quality property is given exclusively to the best agent that can pull in the property enquiry. An ‘ordinary agent’ listing average properties is never likely to know that or change their listing results.
If any agent is not converting ‘exclusively’, then it is not the market that is at fault, it is the agent. Agents in that situation should look at their value and business strategy. It is likely that they are not regarded as the best agents locally for the market segment and property type.
Seller Marketing Funds
So let’s say that you have converted seller marketing money. Here are some specific rules to the process of directing such a campaign to convert better outcomes:
- Full Marketing Campaign – Spread your advertising spend across a period of time where you can focus your promotional momentum. Typically a marketing campaign should be over an 8 week period.
- Client approval – Have your client sign off and approve of the campaign and the advertising formats before you do anything. In that way any debate and disagreements about the core marketing message can be removed from the promotional efforts.
- Primary targets and Secondary targets – From local investigations you should have a very good idea of who your targets are for the property and where they are located. Split those targeted property segments into primary and secondary. Spend most of your money in the primary segment of prospects.
- Get your money up front – If your seller has promised and committed marketing dollars to your advertising campaign, get that money upfront before you spend any time and effort in the campaign.
- Online and Offline balance – Understand just where your buyers for the property are located. From that information, drill down on a balance of promotional spending that attracts the people looking to purchase currently and into the future. Understand and choose the right media channels that will help you get the message out there locally.
- Feedback from enquiries and inspections – Help your client understand just what is happening from the advertising spend. Tell them about the number of enquiries coming in and what the comments are from the inspections undertaken. If anything you should be able to condition your client from the comments received from your inspections.
- Track enquiries on all similar properties – Sometimes one property will attract more or less enquiries than others by type and location. Look for the variations in property enquiry and shape your marketing campaigns for the best results. Give the client plenty of reasons to move on your promotional recommendations.
So there are plenty of good things that you can do here with your advertising spend funded by the sellers of your listing (your clients). Get the clients involved from the very start and keep them fully appraised of just how the promotions and marketing effort is working with their property. That is what top agents do all the time.