Commercial real estate websites today are increasingly important as most people considering selling, buying, or renting are going online to research properties before or as part of the process. Every commercial real estate brokerage should have a high quality website for that very reason. A brokerage website once created should be optimized for your property market location, the properties that you sell or lease, and the people that can need your services.
Many brokers and agents only use the industry portals for property promotion and marketing. Not only is that choice quite expensive, it can be and is usually short sighted. Industry portals do offer some advantages in attracting enquiries; however you are limited to their usage policies and their high prices. A ‘standard’ listing package on the portals can be lost in a ‘sea of other listings’.
If you want your property to have a reasonable chance of being seen by buyers and tenants, have you ever noticed how you must list your properties in the online portals with some form of ‘priority placement’? That ‘priority’ process costs real money and is set and controlled by the portals.
In many respects you will limit your online advertising results if ‘priority portal placement’ cannot be covered in a promotional campaign. Only vendor paid marketing campaigns can absorb the high costs of a listing having a ‘portal priority placement’; if the vendor declines the cost then you will most likely have a marketing campaign achieving less inbound inquiries.
To increase your online marketing capability with property listings, you should at least have a selection if not all of the following active and operational:
- Access to industry portals (vendor paid marketing funds for priority placement). This is a cost related decision with every property campaign.
- A well designed website for your brokerage and your listings that is optimized for search engine exposure, location, and property type. If your brokerage specializes in multiple property types you may consider installing special landing pages inside your main website. Those landing pages should be optimized for the property type (that will help your search engine ‘visibility’).
- A series of blogs linking back to your website. The blogs should be property niche specific and can be run by individual agents as part of their personal marketing efforts. The blogs can be linked to and from your newsletter and also your social media platforms.
- Google analytics tracking and measuring the results and configuration of your website and blogs. Certain property types and listings will create more ‘online’ interest. Google Analytics will help you understand those things.
- A professional email newsletter that is sent to your database on a regular basis to share information about property updates and local listing activity.
- An online database and auto responder service that simplifies client contact and capture from all your blogs and websites.
From this process and these issues you can build your online profile for your brokerage and agency. In doing that, understand that the process does not stop and requires constant upgrading and a ‘refresh’ of strategies.