You can win more local property business if you are a ‘target marketer’ for a location. The clients that we serve in commercial real estate like to have the best agent with the best market coverage working for them in every way possible. Random actions and the generic approach to the real estate business no longer works. A top agent needs to be specialised and targeted in the actions and marketing efforts.
A good agent has to have some special processes of driving the real estate listings out into the property market and to the tenants or buyers as the case may be; not just relying on advertising online and in the newspapers to do that. Only the ‘open’ listings of the market dictate a generic approach to marketing and client contact.
Think about your property listings now. Split your listings into the two groups of ‘open’ and ‘exclusive’. Your ‘exclusive’ listings should take priority in just about everything that you do as a broker or agent. Review your marketing efforts and your client contact processes between the two listing types. Are you connecting your listings to the right ‘target audience’? Can you improve those connections?
Marketing Strategies that Really Matter
Let’s get to the facts of how and why targeted property promotions really work. Put your exclusive listings into the process. Here are the most important skills of a target marketer in our industry today:
- Providing the deep and relevant facts – with every listing, take the time to explain to the client exactly how their property sits in the local area by way of price, marketing, and potential enquiry. Do a SWOT analysis so that the client can fully appreciate how you can help them resolve their property challenge in a timely and meaningful way.
- Understanding how to reach the right audience – every listing will have a target audience of tenants or buyers as the case may be. Show the client exactly how you will connect with that audience in a deep and meaningful way. Put yourself into the connection process so that you are the real point of difference when it comes to finding the right people to inspect and negotiate on the listing.
- Creating momentum with property listings – take every listing and create momentum across enquiries, inspections, and negotiations. Soon the people in the local property market will understand that you are the agent of choice when it comes to creating churn and activity with a listing.
- Understanding how to inspect a property to show all the features comprehensively and thoroughly – with all of your exclusive listings, develop a special inspection process to feature the property in both layout and improvements. Create an inspection strategy and explain to the client exactly how that will work in encouraging offers from the right people.
- Building and segmenting a database for comprehensive property enquiry – your database can and should be at the centre of your real estate business. Each and every day you should be creating conversations with the VIP clients within the database, and adding new people to the list. It is a special skill to be refined and developed over time. If you are looking for new clients and new listings now, then review your database activities and your client list. How regularly are you connecting with those people in a relevant way? The top agents of the market know how to drive enquiry and interest from their database and their client list. Put your client list at the centre of your business so that you can find the right listing activity and the right buyers or tenants at the time of change and opportunity.
So the message here is that you can be a target marketer covering the specialized segments of the commercial property industry. In your town or city, review the best segments of the industry and the property types that will offer you the ongoing opportunity that you are looking for.
Look at how the property market is changing in your location and position yourself into the zone as the industry specialist. Market yourself accordingly in comprehensive ways. Let the local business owners and property investors see that you are the industry specialist that they will need when the next property challenge evolves. Help them remember you through deliberate and direct marketing activities.
The marketing process in commercial real estate brokerage should never be ‘generic’ with perhaps one exception and that is in the promotion of ‘open’ listings. ‘Open’ listings generally waste everyone’s time, and will usually only sell or lease through some factor of ‘luck’. You can’t base your commercial real estate brokerage business on ‘luck’.
How Are Listings for You?
Some agents and brokers will claim that they must list ‘openly’ because ‘that is the way the market is for them’ and the only way they can get new listings. Whilst I accept that fact initially for those agents that are very new to the industry, I will say that the best agents avoid ‘open listings’. They grow their profile and market share consistently over time so that the new clients and prospects locally will come to them to list properties for sale and lease. That is when it is really easy to demand ‘exclusivity’.
If the client really wants the best agent then they must accept the terms of engagement that the agent is offering. They are then your terms! Are you ready to package your professionalism and sell it?
Are You the Expert?
If you have a comprehensive and specialised personal brand as a local property ‘expert’, then it stands to reason that people will want to list their property with you rather than some other ‘random’ agent or groups of agents. Take a serious look at your personal marketing processes.
Taking this point further, your market share and listing conversions of an exclusive nature will largely depend on your ability to establish your brand as the ‘go to agent’ for your location and property speciality. You can and should invest more time in building your real estate image and speciality.
Here are some rules to help you do that:
- Your Listings – Understanding the point that I made earlier about ‘exclusivity’, make the marketing process very special and deep with all of those high quality listings that you are bringing in. It is difficult for other property owners and investors to ignore the activities of any agent with the best properties and the best marketing ideas.
- Other Agent Listings – If you are stuck for current listing stock, use other agent’s listings in a location to talk to local property owners and tenants nearby to any listing. Some simple questions and conversations will help you find the next listing in the same street or perhaps a business owner looking to relocate.
- High end marketing campaigns – Get some traction with your marketing by seeking and converting vendor paid funds. If your advertising efforts on any quality property are of a higher professional level than that of your competitors, you should be attracting the new business leads and enquiries very easily.
- The personal approach – You are the marketer of your business. You sell your services well then people will choose the agent that they trust and believe has the better business and market coverage. Is that you?
Simple marketing rules like these help you consolidate market share and listings as an agent or broker in commercial real estate. Follow the rules and grow your real estate business.
You can get more commercial real estate brokerage marketing tips in our ‘Snapshot’ eCourse right here.
Every quality listing in commercial real estate brokerage should be the subject of a comprehensive and specific marketing plan. When the elements of the property are matched to the levels of enquiry, the prevailing property market conditions, and the client, the marketing plan is likely to produce the better results from the selected target market.
Most high quality listings today are the subject of a competitive tender involving a number of brokerages and agents. You may only have a short period of time or one brief opportunity where you can present your promotional ideas and marketing strategies to your client.
Your presentation, the listing pitch and the marketing plan will need to be of exceptional quality and relevance to attract the interest of the client and convert the listing. It is very likely that the best agent will win the listing based on recommendations, commitment, and confidence.
The Best Way to Set Out Your Marketing Ideas
Here are the elements of a property marketing plan in commercial real estate brokerage. These ideas will help you prepare your professional marketing plan:
- The title page – give the property and identity through the use of a title. That title should be specific to the property and where possible incorporate the history of the property. It is quite likely that the local property owners and business proprietors recognise the property in a particular way. That image or recognition can be incorporated into your marketing plan.
- Use professional property photographs – the front of your proposal or marketing plan should feature a professional photograph. That strategy should continue through the document. Most clients will be drawn to the proposal that features the asset in a creative and professional way. Through your marketing submission, you can add a number of professional photographs taken at different times of day, of different parts of the property, and use photographs that enhance the strengths of the asset to the target market.
- An executive summary – at the front of the document, make sure that you are using an executive summary to pull in all the features of the asset and the intended marketing campaign. The executive summary should be no more than one page in length and feature a number of dot points as part of the layout. You want the executive summary to attract the interest of the client and refer them further into the document for greater detail.
- A table of contents – simplify your marketing proposal with a table of contents so that the client can refer to the correct parts of the document as part of the review.
- A preference for simplicity – keep your marketing document simple and informative. Avoid bulky submissions that complicate the marketing process. Help your clients see the promotional strategy to be used with the target market. The best way to do that is through the use of a Gantt chart displaying the different marketing strategies and the timing process to be applied.
- Property analysis and recommendations – show the client that you really understand the property and its position in the prevailing market conditions. Summarise the property as you see it today and provide details of comparable property market activity in the location. From that information you can make specific recommendations towards a target market, the enquiries, and the inspections.
- The marketing plan – from the target market, you can specifically apply strategy to the marketing plan when it comes to the choice of the right media, the timing, and the expenditure. Help the client see exactly how you will be spending the money and why that is so. Show the client that you are in control of the property marketing process and the feedback to be encouraged.
- Implementation and control – make it easy for the client to formulate a decision and move ahead with their marketing challenge. If there are any problems within the property that need resolving prior to promotion, provide specific solutions and ideas to help that occur. Make it easy for the client to see the best way forward with their property challenge based on the attributes of the asset and the local property market.
Taking all of these things into account, you can make your marketing proposal stand out as specific and special with any good quality commercial real estate listing. Make it easy for the client to select your services as the agent of choice in resolving their property challenge.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.