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Using Property Features to Market Your Commercial Property Comprehensively

When it comes to selling or leasing a commercial property, the features of the property will have a lot to do with designing the marketing campaign and building upon the factors of attraction to pull in more prospective tenants or buyers.  Those factors of attraction are to be used strategically and the marketing process.

As part of establishing the listing and marketing timeline, you should completely inspect the property beforehand so that you can build on the strengths and weaknesses of the asset directly and appropriately.  Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the asset, and then determine where the property sits in the market today from a quality and pricing perspective.  How relevant will this listing be to the target market that you define?

Look for the strengths

The strengths of the property should be merged into the promotional campaign and may even feature in the advertising layout as dot points.  In that way you can attract and improve on the levels of enquiry.  Any weaknesses in the property should be removed prior to the commencement of the campaign.

Look at the property from the perspective of a buyer or a tenant.  The visual aspects of the property will be of the greatest impact to the momentum of the inspection.  Are there any factors that should be addressed to help the property visually?  The client may need to spend some money to solve the weaknesses in the presentation of the property prior to the commencement of the marketing campaign.  The dollars spent by the property owner in preparing the property can be compounded when it comes to the final price or rent negotiation.

Look for the features

The features of the property will help you understand the target market; you can then build your marketing campaign and strategy to attract the target market effectively and directly.  From that target market you can also define the current levels of enquiry coming to your office and what those buyers or tenants may be looking for.

Here are some of the more common factors to understand and control in your listing and marketing processes:

  1. The location of the property will have a lot to do with the levels and the volume of enquiry.  Inspect the property completely and thoroughly in preparing for the listing to go to the market.  After completing the inspection, review the local area for competing listings, evidence of prices and rents, and the most successful methods of selling or leasing as the case may be.  Look for the matters of change, opportunity, and threat that could derail your marketing efforts.
  2. The marketing campaign for any property listing is most effective in the first few weeks of momentum.  Choose the right media channels and promotional strategies to attract the highest levels of enquiry.  If you are already tracking enquiries on other listings, you should know what is working when it comes to promotional activity and inspection conversions.
  3. Every quality property should be listed exclusively.  Your priority should be to achieve that.  The marketing campaign for every exclusive listing should be heavily tracked and monitored.  Each week the results of the marketing to date should be reported to the client and adjusted appropriately to optimise further enquiry.  I go back to the point that the first few weeks of the campaign are the most important.  A listing today can become very stale and stagnant on the market in a short period of time.  If you are not getting the enquiry that you need, it is the time to seriously look at the marketing strategy and make adjustments where necessary.
  4. Help the client understand the conditions of the property market today.  Take them around the local area to see other listings and the results of successful transactions.  Most clients will take some time to accept the prevailing market conditions and understand how they will impact the listing activity.  It is your job to help them see that and accept that.
  5. When you clearly define the target market for the client and for yourself, you can comprehensively direct the marketing campaign to achieve the best levels of enquiry.  Have a pro forma checklist relating to the definition of the target market and how you will tap into that group of tenants or buyers.  From that pro forma checklist, you can show the client exactly how you will direct the marketing process and optimise enquiry.

The marketing of any commercial, industrial or retail property does not need to be a complex process although it should be professionally explored and implemented.  Top agents know how to help the client see the factors of promotional strategy and timing; those factors will help significantly when it comes to achieving a positive result with the listing process.  Develop a strategy or a checklist to help you improve every client interaction and marketing activity.

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Getting Better Marketing Results for Commercial Real Estate Clients

To a large degree, the marketing results that you get today in promoting commercial real estate will help you with negotiations and client conditioning.  The property market is forever changing.

Seasonal inquiry will reflect in both the time on market for the listing, and pricing strategies.  The impact of seasonal marketing should also help you with the correct decisions when it comes to the method of sale.

In receiving the inquiry from your marketing campaign, you will soon know whether you are achieving the necessary volume of inquiry and the type of inquiry.  Don’t let a marketing campaign continue for too long without appropriate assessment and marketing or media changes.

You only have a short period of time where you can generate the necessary inbound inquiries to achieve inspections.  Here are some further thoughts when it comes to assessing the campaign for your quality listing:

  • If the volume of inquiry is too low, it will be necessary to recommend modifying and increasing the marketing package to capture more people.
  • If the type of inquiry is incorrect as to its demographics, you will need to adjust the marketing so that it reaches the right people more successfully.

At the end of the first week of the campaign, you should have seen significant results and obtained buyer feedback which will allow you to understand if you are reaching your marketing objectives and targets.  Depending upon the outcome from inquiries, you will make the adjustments as mentioned earlier.

It is important not to allow the marketing campaign to proceed without monitoring and without adjustment.  In most cases, the optimized promotion of a property will be for a period of six to eight weeks at the very start of the campaign.  Beyond that time the property listing will soon become stale and unattractive.  If the property has not sold during that initial promotional period, it is better practice to remove the property from public promotion for one or two months and then start again using a different strategy or method of sale.

It is standard practice with commercial property to seek vendor paid advertising with any quality listing.  This then gives the agent some guarantee that the client is serious about selling the property; it also helps the agent when it comes to controlling inquiry, creating inspections, and negotiating directly with the client.

It is essential to seek payment from the client for the advertising campaign prior to its commencement.  Many a client has delayed or avoided payment at a later time when it comes to marketing funds.  Don’t start to advertise until such time as the promotional money has been paid by the client and is held in the bank account.

As a basic strategy, keep in contact with the client on almost a daily basis from the start of the campaign to keep them fully appraised of promotional activity.

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Advanced Formula for Leadership in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Today

In commercial real estate, market leadership is a very important issue, and particularly so if you specialise in a property type within a location.  If you are like most agents you will have plenty of other competitive agents to work around and market against.  Through all of that ‘competitive noise’ your services must stand out as real and relevant to the market place.  That’s what the top agents of the market do.

When it comes to pitching and winning a listing, most of the clients that we serve want the best agent for the job; the marketing of any listing for sale or lease is not an experiment and the clients know that.  It is at that point where the ‘leadership equation’ becomes important.  Having spent many years in the property industry, I have seen and got to know many more agents than most people.  It is a fact that the truly great agents are few in number, whilst most other agents ‘ride the rollercoaster’ of the property market through many ups and downs.  Resilience is a good skill for an agent to have, but systemised action is far more important.

To develop true ‘market leadership’ an agent needs a ‘formula’ to work to that allows for factors of the market place, the property type, the location, and the current levels of enquiry.

Here are some facts and strategies that can help you reach your targets in the local area when it comes to listings and clients:

  1. Time – Be very conscious of your time and who you let take a ‘slice of it’ each day.  You cannot invent time so you must manage your own business day to get the best results from it; all your appointments, prospecting, marketing, client contact, negotiating and paperwork must fit into the working day.  Some things will be more important than others, and there will be plenty of daily pressures that can potentially shift your focus; be prepared for some real discipline in diary control and day management.
  2. Professional Services and Practice – If you want to be the best agent locally for the property type, then your marketing, property knowledge, and negotiation skills should be of the highest standards.  A top quality agent with a dominant market share stands out ‘head and shoulders’ above others due to a recognisable difference in listing quality and listing success rate.  To achieve that status, your can practice and refine your skills, improve your weaknesses and build on your strengths.  Practice is something that most agents forget about as soon as the market or the listings get a bit busy.  The opportunity is wide open for those agents that keep on practicing and improving their skills.
  3. Database – Your real estate database is the basis of creating personal new business and helping with commission growth.  It takes time to grow a good database and the daily updates are ongoing.  If you are struggling with new business now, it is time to look at your systems; the database should be at the centre of all of them.  Integrate and lift your prospecting efforts into your database.  Set the standards of daily prospecting that you should work to and start taking action.
  4. Marketing – Many agents would use only the most basic of marketing skills when it comes to property listings, and they do little beyond that when it comes to spreading the word about a new listing.  Today we have some very advanced marketing tools and systems at our disposal.  Every quality property and exclusive listing should be comprehensively marketed to produce the best outcome for the client and for the brokerage.  Pitch and sell your commercial real estate services on the basis of exclusive listings supported by a comprehensive marketing tools and systems.  In that way you will consistently create better results in sales and leasing activity, together with a shorter time on market.

Leadership in the commercial real estate market place is a strategic choice for top agents and top brokers.  You can build your systems using some of the skills above and others to take charge of the marketplace and become a real leader when it comes to property sales, leasing, and development.  Success comes to those who work hard to a plan and a process.

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Creating More Customer Inquiry In Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

One very important part of the commercial real estate process is to do everything possible to get the telephone to ring with fresh and valuable property enquiry.  Quality properties create more customer enquiry, as an agent you should be focusing on identifying and creating good quality listings within your brokerage.

It is a fact that a few good listing campaigns comprehensively marketed into your local area will create many leads and opportunities into the future.  That being said, it is necessary to track and measure the entire enquiry coming to you across all of the listings; you will see the strengths and weaknesses of every campaign.  That is where your database will be valuable and integral to tracking the marketing processes you adopt.

When you track and measure the inbound enquiry coming to you or your office, you can understand the factors of marketing that are working in today’s property conditions.  Some methods of sale and methods of lease are far more effective than others when it comes to the local area and the property type.

Here are some ideas to help you with strengthening the customer enquiry for your brokerage:

  1. Refresh the listing – During the average promotional campaign you will find that the levels of enquiry will improve when you refresh the listing and or adjust the price and the marketing campaign.  On that basis every listing should be reviewed every 14 days for both refreshing and rewording.  Condition your clients to accept price adjustments on a monthly basis.
  2. Attract inbound enquiry – You will see that particular methods of marketing are far more effective than others in your town or city; adopt the marketing methods that work and drop those that are low in converting enquiry.
  3. How did they reach you? – Find out how a person has reached you and what triggered that connection.  It could be a particular listing or your market share that attracts the enquiry.  Over the longer term you should see a lift in personal profile and inbound enquiry based on that.
  4. Use professional photographs – Every exclusive listing should be enhanced with quality photographs.  There is a cost to the process and that cost should be vendor paid.  You can see and reap the benefits of quality photographs in your property marketing campaigns.
  5. Use 3 different advertising formats – When promoting a single property, have 3 different versions of advertising that can be placed on different industry portals and brokerage websites.  Different advertising copy and different layouts will be valuable in broadening the enquiries that you get from the target market.
  6. Use success letters – When you have listed or sold a local property, use the success letter process to spread the word to local businesses and property owners.  The success letter process is most effective when you cover the properties in the immediate vicinity of the subject listing.
  7. Write Property Editorials – Whilst newspapers have limited promotional value today in property marketing (given the impact of the internet), the newspapers still need good quality editorial to support and drive readership.  With every exclusive listing write and submit editorials to the local newspapers. Support the editorials with high quality photographs.

So there are plenty of things to do here with building customer interaction.  Effort should be applied to exclusively listed properties where you can see results and enquiry growth potential.

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Mastering the Commercial Real Estate Listing Presentation

In commercial real estate brokerage the listing presentation is likely to be the best and only opportunity you will have to impress the client with your professional real estate services.  Most listing presentations today are highly competitive involving a number of agents.

Any high quality property is likely to be offered to the market only after the client has completed a series of competitive agency presentations.  It directly follows that every agent or broker should be well skilled in explaining the listing strategy and marketing process that they can bring to the listing.

The marketing package presented to the client should be creative and competitive first and foremost.  Whilst all of this may seem logical, many agents struggle with creativity and direct marketing; they thereby do not stand out as the ‘agent of choice’.

In a competitive listing situation the client needs to understand which agent offers the best marketing solutions, and just how they will attract the target market.  How does your presentation rank in comparison to other agents?

To improve your chances as an agent in winning the listing, here are valuable some tips to help the process.

  1. Meet the client at the property so that you can review on site issues and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the property.  The strengths can be merged into the campaign and the weaknesses can be dealt with as the case may be.
  2. Show the client how you will move prospective buyers or tenants through the property and explain the strategy of the process.  This simple strategy shows the client that you really understand how to feature the property.
  3. If the property is of some quality, establish a display board within the premises where photographs and marketing material can be placed to refer to as part of the inspection process.  The area in which the board is placed should be well lit and strategic for featuring the best parts of the property.
  4. If the property is large, arrange for a portfolio of professionally taken photographs to be used in any property discussion or on site presentation.  You can also carry the photographs in your laptop or smart phone for ease of access.
  5. Show the client how you will use your marketing material to feature and help the inspection process.  You should have some samples of brochures and flyers from other successful campaigns to explain the opportunity.
  6. Put together some local business information to help a prospective buyer or tenant see the benefit of locating in the area.  Statistics on business growth, business types, transport and local infrastructure will be of use.

So the message here is precise.  If you want to win a property listing, make sure that you are fully prepared for the presentation to be made to the client.  Make your message clear and unique; stand out as the agent of choice to show how you can reach the target market of buyers or tenants.  Prove that you have done so in other similar situations.  Confidence and local property market information will help you do that.

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The 7 Factors in Seller Paid Marketing in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate you need seller paid marketing funds to spread the word about the property and its upcoming sale.  Without that marketing approach, it can be very hard to get the message around the industry about the pending sale and the suitability of the property to the target audience.

If the client will not contribute towards property promotion, you have to ask yourself whether the listing is worth having.  Think about all those other exclusive listings that you have where the clients have already spent good money on marketing.  Shouldn’t you spend more time on those listings?

Some agents will decline an exclusive listing without vendor paid funds and I tend to agree with the practice.  If you have a motivated client then you have something to work with and promote.  Marketing funds helps reach out to the right buyers of the listing.

Here are some principles behind the process of vendor or seller paid marketing:

  1. Get the advertising money upfront before you spend time and effort in the campaign.  Don’t start the campaign without funds in bank.  Many a client has stalled on paying marketing funds later on, especially when buyers are hard to find or if inspections are slow to create.
  2. When it comes to advertising on the industry portals or websites, ensure that the client is prepared to pay for premium placement or elite type listings online.  Given that there are plenty of local listings on the market at any point in time, your quality property has to stand out above others.
  3. Your brokerage is likely to have a website for the promotion of listings in addition to the industry portals.  Develop a ‘premium strategy’ for quality listings where they feature on your home page for a number of days.  The client should pay for this extra service on your website.
  4. Every exclusive listing should be promoted in your email newsletter.  Those newsletters should be going out to the market every 7 or 14 days and should be property type or zone specific.  You can charge a special rate for this despatch.  If you have a large database, you could charge $150 per email database send.  To sell the concept to your clients show them the size of your database and its relevance to the listing.  Show them the shortlist of people you have already identified as potential buyers.
  5. Let’s assume you have an exclusive listing; that listing should be the subject of 3 or 4 different types of advertisements all separately worded to minimise repetition.  You can also use a selection of professional photographs to attract the eye of the reader.
  6. To help sell the concept of seller paid marketing funds, tell the client exactly how you will be personally contacting directly the property owners and the business proprietors locally.  Most agents won’t leave the desk to promote a property locally.  That is an amazing opportunity for those that do.  Physically take your quality exclusive listing to the surrounding property owners and business leaders.
  7. Communicate continually.  When the client has spent good money on marketing, it is up to you to tell the client every 2 or 3 days how things are going in promoting the listing.  Give them plenty of feedback on website hits, email click throughs, and direct call enquiries.  If you take an inspection at the property, tell the client what you found in the inspection.

You could say that this is not ‘rocket science’ and that most agents should do these things.  The fact of the matter is that most agents do not market a listing specifically.  Those that do however reap the benefits of better inbound enquiries and commission opportunities.

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Congratulate and Involve Your New Commercial Real Estate Clients

When it comes to gaining new clients and listings within commercial real estate brokerage, every new client should receive a direct telephone call from the sales manager or the principal of the brokerage as soon as the listing is signed up.  In this way the client will understand the value that you place on them when it comes to providing professional service, feedback, and growing the client relationship for the long term.

In simple terms as the team leader of the business you can congratulate the client for using the services of your agency and to encourage them to connect if any problems develop.  This then allows for the differences in agent performance and gives real control when it comes to client service.  The team leader can monitor the client relationship so that the clients business is preserved and encouraged in a positive way.

Spending more time on the client relationship at the ‘front end’ reaps the rewards later when it comes to client conditioning and any negotiation that may be required when it comes to any sale or leasing situation.

Here are some ideas to help you connect with the client professionally at the start of and throughout the property marketing campaign:

  1. As soon as the listing has been agreed to and signed, the sales manager or agency principal should make the phone call direct to the client thanking them for the business and encouraging ongoing communication if required.
  2. Depending on the size of your team and your business it can be valuable for the team leader to meet the client in the first week of the property campaign.  The face to face connection is valuable when and if things become difficult in moving the property to a sale or a lease.
  3. At least once a month the team leader can communicate again with the client as part of the maintaining the connection process.  Some listings will stay on the books for a very long time for any number of reasons and on that basis this connection will help preserve the focus of the client and to encourage them to remain positive in the protracted marketing or negotiation process.
  4. Providing the client has given you an exclusive listing for the property then the levels of service to be provided should include regular reporting of campaign and negotiation progress by the telephone, in emails, and by summary at the end of each week.

Within larger agencies the client experience will vary from agent to agent for any number of reasons; make sure you know the agents that are not good with client service and communication and take steps to intervene where necessary.

The team leader can be a ‘standard’ to hold the client experience at a level of control and allow positive feedback.  If the individual agent ‘under performs’ then the team leader will soon know about it and take steps to fix it.

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Structured Buyer Management in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

When you work in commercial real estate brokerage you need plenty of quality listings, and then a buyer management system to support and encourage offers and sale contracts.  If you choose the right listings, enquiries should come your way; every enquiry is an opportunity for the future and that is why the process should be well managed.

As a special note here, exclusive listings help you control buyers; open listings by contrast give you little control over the property, the client, and the buyer enquiry.  So your primary focus should always be to attract and convert exclusive listings that you control as an agent or broker; if the listings are of quality, then you should have a good ongoing source of enquiry.  That is where your database becomes really important, but more on that later.

Here are some buyer management ideas:

  1. Buyers are sometimes ‘liars’ (or selective information providers), and on that basis should be fully qualified before you do too much with them.  Understand exactly who they are (including contact detail), what they want by way of property, how they have found you, and question deeply their ability to act on a property purchase.  All of this has to happen before you do anything else.  Expect the buyer to limit or manipulate the information they give you; careful questioning should solve that problem and get to the real facts.
  2. Have they seen other property locally?  If they are working with other agents and are considering other property to purchase it is best to know about it up front.  That is why ‘exclusive listings’ are so important; you control the listing stock and so any inspections are yours to create and control.
  3. What do they know about the local property market?  That information is part of the qualification process.  See what they know about competing properties, prices, and methods of property purchase (see what purchase method suits them the best).
  4. Are they a ‘hot buyer’?  By ‘hot buyer’ I mean someone that has the ability to act and is motivated in some way to take immediate action.  Find out what time frames they have to satisfy the property need as well as the critical ‘must have’ factors in property location, improvements, and property type.  If they are ready to act on a purchase then they should rise to the top of the enquiry list, and a full review of your available listings should occur.
  5. Don’t show them too many properties at any one time; 3 or 4 are usually enough in any one property sitting.   Too many properties inspected at one time will usually frustrate the buyer decision and deal momentum.

When you understand these things you can put some urgency into the property selection, inspection, and purchase process.  That’s how you work with buyers of commercial property today.

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How to Make Your Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Website an Absolute Winner

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:

  1. Access to industry portals (vendor paid marketing funds for priority placement).  This is a cost related decision with every property campaign.
  2. 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’).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. A professional email newsletter that is sent to your database on a regular basis to share information about property updates and local listing activity.
  6. 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.

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Advanced Information Marketing Secrets for Commercial Real Estate Agents

In commercial real estate today, agents are and should be responsible for marketing themselves.  That requirement is in addition to the general brokerage marketing process.  At a personal level ‘information marketing’ can be a valuable strategy for individual agents to develop and use.  You can build it into your personal sales plan.

So what is ‘information marketing’?  It is the provision and use of ‘quality information’ to attract prospects and people online.  When correctly implemented, that ‘attraction factor’ can help real estate agents get substantially more online profile as an ‘expert’ in a property type and or location.  The strategy works well in commercial real estate and will help you attract more property enquiries locally, and people to use your real estate services.

Here are some of the big issues to help you get started in ‘information marketing’ as a real estate agent or broker:

  1. Focus your information and efforts on your local area and your property type.  Everything that you do in the marketing process should be centred firmly in your market ‘niche’ and location.  To achieve this, decide what area of your town or city is your ‘territory’ of focus.  Within that area, what property type(s) will be your special field of endeavor?  All of your local marketing efforts should be built around those answers.  For example, you may focus on ‘industrial warehouse leasing’ or ‘shopping centre sales’.  Choose on market segment and drill down into it.  Define your market ‘niche’ and work within it as part of your marketing processes.
  2. Start a real estate blog on one of the blogging platforms (Blogger, or WordPress) and focus your blogs on your property type and location.  Everything that you post to your blog should stay within those niche factors; that will help the search engines see you as an agent and the relevance of information that you provide.  Topic consistency is the key to the process.
  3. All of your blogs should be written about the location and the property type.  The blogs should be ‘informational’ and not ‘advertorial’; in other words your blogs should be helpful and useful.  When you provide valuable local property market information, you start to build trust with your readers.
  4. On your blog site, link an auto responder and database service to your blog articles so interested people can register for more information about your property type, and town or city.  You can now see why fresh ‘information’ is so important to making this marketing process work.   Lots of agents advertise prolifically, but not many actually help people with local property information in a convenient way such as an online blog.
  5. Integrate your blogs and articles to your social media platforms.  Whilst most social media platforms concentrate on being ‘social’, most agents only achieve and focus on that level of interaction (which can be self centered and of little interest to others).  Take a step further in personal marketing by being ‘helpful’ with local property market information and articles from your blog; provide the links accordingly across all of your social media channels.

 

All of the above strategies are simple and yet advanced.  They can be implemented to a substantial and successful level by any agent in real estate.  They are very suitable for commercial real estate agents and brokers.  If you are struggling with being ‘seen’ as a broker in your local town or city, now might be a good time to start the online marketing process.  Use local information marketing to achieve that.