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Systems to Follow in Commercial Real Estate Marketing

Your ability to set up a clear marketing system will directly impact your results and enquiries in commercial real estate brokerage.  If you want to pull in the interest of buyers or tenants, then the marketing system should be specific and direct.

Don’t fall for the ‘general’ approach to property promotion.  Put your full efforts into your real estate business; talk to people and build promotional momentum in the target audiences.

As you grow your listing base and market share, you should have more exclusive listings under your control.  There is a limit as to the number of listings that you can handle at any point in time.  Property types and size of property will dictate the ‘limit’.

 

Know your Limits

Some property promotions can take a lot of your focus so know what you must do to attract the people to your property listings, and then seek the listing terms of engagement and marketing that you need.

Here are some ideas to help you develop your system of property promotion or marketing.  Add to the list as you see necessary:

  1. Inspect the property before you do anything else. Understanding the property and its location will give you more leverage in the client conversations around marketing and marketing costs.  Take plenty of photographs in and around the property as you do the inspection; those photographs will help condition the client in the marketing conversation.
  2. Develop an inspection strategy and use your photographs to illustrate the processes of inspection to be used. If the client can see that you do know the property and how to hold the inspection with buyers or tenants, then the listing and marketing conversion in a lot easier.
  3. Define a target audience and talk about where they come from, how you will reach out to them, and why that target audience will listen to you. Help the client see that you can engage with the target audience with great effect and in a timely way.
  4. Draft you adverts and then have another person review the layout, content, and correctness. Some brokerages today have a specialised person undertake that process for all advertising.  In drafting the adverts, remember the property features and the ‘keywords’ that are likely to attract more property enquiry.
  5. The ideal release of the marketing campaign should be part of a strategy and a timed process. Use a Gantt chart to show the client how you will approach the listing, inspection, and negotiation processes.  The visual approach helps when want to enlist the thinking and decision facilities of the client or prospect.  Gantt charts do that quite well.
  6. Mix your online and offline marketing effectively. It is a known fact that newspaper advertising is becoming less effective and is highly costly, so a balance of media choices should be given to the client when listing for their marketing consideration and reflection.
  7. Go direct where possible when promoting a listing. The direct approach helps with finding businesses and investors looking to move and or grow their property portfolio.  Every listing is a good reason to talk to many people.  You could say that ‘exclusivity’ is part of that process.
  8. Review all your activities weekly so you can see where things are happening and how small adjustments can happen to your business approach with prospects. A successful year in commercial real estate brokerage is a combination of many different strategies deployed to a plan and a system.

 

So, all these things will help you develop your approach to property marketing with your better-quality listings.  Take the steps forward to engage with your property market, prospects, clients, and business owners every day.

Your systems will help you achieve good results in your business.  Don’t wait for the enquiries to come to you; go out and find the enquiries.

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A Simple System for Commercial Real Estate Marketing

When you have a property to take to the market you will have a number of options to consider as you reach out to the target market.  You can promote the property selectively and directly to the right people, or you could undertake a public campaign to the general market.  So a good degree of strategy is required to find the right buyer or tenant as the case may be.  Understand the listing and the client before you get started in designing your marketing campaign.

 

Drill Down on the Property Facts

 

You are the professional person to establish the promotional strategy, and then make the marketing campaign work.  You can do things generically, or you can drill down into the real facts of the market and the property; your choices here are critical to the end result.  Your marketing choices are really important to the resultant ‘time on market’ and price or rent achieved.  When you help the client understand those facts, the conversion of vendor paid marketing funds is a lot easier.

 

A property marketing campaign is a bit like a sales drive, and that process will be supported by the many promotional tools that we have today both online and offline.  Sometimes you can use gimmicks to attract the attention of the buyers and tenants in your target market, but the end resultant inquiry will usually be driven by the facts of the property zone and the listing itself.  It is a personal selling process.

 

Professional Systems in Commercial Marketing

 

You are the professional to take a property listing forward, so convert the listing exclusively for a good period of time, and then match the promotional campaign through a deliberate mix of advertising strategies including geographical concentration, marketing message, and target marketing.  Here are some ideas to help you do that:

 

  1. Understand the client first – What does the client want to achieve, and what must they achieve in the marketing of their property? You should understand those facts.
  2. Inspect the asset – When you comprehensively understand the asset, you can penetrate the targeted segments of buyers and tenants. Don’t do things generally.  Promote with focus and significance.
  3. Resolve problems and challenges – Every property will have issues; some of those issues will be real hurdles in the marketing and promotional process. Resolve those property problems before you go to market.
  4. Comparable properties – Check out the competition and the other listings in the location. See if there is any conflict with other properties in the region and adjust your marketing efforts to encourage inquiry given all of those other properties still on the market.
  5. Marketing alternatives – Understand the promotional tools at your disposal for the property and then make the right choices to get the property out into the location or target market of buyers or tenants.
  6. Focus the budget and the campaign – Achieve target market coverage. You can cross sell and promote all of your listings, providing you really understand the strengths of each of the listings; cross selling is a great concept in commercial real estate brokerage. When you work the target market comprehensively, there is a reasonable chance of gaining inquiry inertia and better results with all of your properties listed.

 

Take these marketing ideas, and apply them to your clients and commercial listings.  Upsell your services where possible and cross sell your listings where the inquiry allows; do more with less, that’s the rule.  There are good commissions to be converted in commercial real estate today; there are plenty of business owners and investors looking for a property resolve.

 

A blanket approach to your listing territory and your property segments will help you to get to know the right people in the right way.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

 

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How to Deliver High End Marketing Solutions for Exclusive Listings in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

The quality and focus of your marketing campaigns in commercial real estate will attract volumes of clients and prospects over time, providing you build quality and target marketing into your promotional processes.  Build your brand through your current marketing processes with all of your listings.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

So the rule here is typically that ‘a quality focus in promotional activity generally attracts quality new business in local property’.  The best clients and investors locally like to work with the agents that have a market domination of the location and the property type.

Compare the competitors

Compare your marketing solutions to those used by your competitors:

  • Can you claim to be more relevant and real as an agent in your property activities?
  • Do your advertising efforts stand out as the best for the property type or the location?
  • Will people remember you at the right time?

Review and research your market position when it comes to your brokerage and your personal profile.  Examine where you are now in the order and ranking of local agents.  Drive a better profile.

Here are some ideas to help you stand out as a ‘go to agent’ for your location:

  1. Property and target market match – Always match your property to a target market before the campaign of promotion commences. Help the client understand the target market that you are chasing and why that is the case.
  2. Local area coverage and regional coverage – When you promote your listings, devote different strategies to the local area, versus the broader region. Vendor paid marketing funds should allow you to specialize your property coverage and penetration.
  3. Online marketing versus traditional marketing – You will need to mix and match your marketing to the online and offline media outlets and channels. Think about everything from the traditional signboard through to website coverage, and the industry portals.  Your exclusive listings should get special attention in that process.  Use the email marketing system as well as the more traditional approaches to listing distribution.
  4. Brochures and photographs – Some people like to review the local papers and or get a brochure in the mail, so photos and brochures are valuable in property marketing. Use them in directly marketing the listings that you have.  The direct marketing process has merit as long as you are taking the time to follow through with telephone calls and direct contact.  If you have spent the money in mail outs, then make the calls to see what others think of the listing and the brochure.
  5. Editorials – When you have a good quality listing coming to the market, get an editorial ready for release, and promote that editorial to the local papers and media outlets. If the property has a good history or local relevance, an editorial is a good strategy to use promotionally.
  6. Database – Use your database in your client and prospect discussions. Create a shortlist of people from your database to inspect a property as soon as it is released to the market for sale or lease.  It is hard for a client to overlook a relevant database of local contact.
  7. Feedback – Seek comments from the people that you take to your listed properties and hold inspections with. Allow their comments to shape your clients thinking and their perceptions of the property as it is being marketed.  This is called ‘third party conditioning’ and it is a valuable strategy in shaping a property for better listing and or negotiation outcomes.
  8. Reset and refresh your listing advertisements – Don’t let an advert for property remain unchanged for too long. Refresh your listing stock promotions with different promotional copy and feature points every 3 weeks or so.

These simple and yet direct strategies are valuable in delivering high quality property promotions.  They allow ‘high end’ coverage, and will attract better levels of inquiry.  Refine and revisit all of your commercial property promotions accordingly, with a real bias towards your exclusively listed assets.

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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.

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Advertising and Marketing Plans that Work Well in Commercial Real Estate Agency

There are two types of marketing plans in commercial real estate.  There is the one that applies to ‘open listings’, and then there is the one that applies to ‘exclusive listings’.  There is a radical difference between the two.

An ‘open listing’ is a process of luck, so get away from listing in this way whenever you can.  You have no control over your client, the property, or the parties to the deal.  I would go so far as to say that you cannot trust a client in an open listing situation; they are likely to be talking to other agents constantly and comparing your offers or inspection results.  If you want to dominate your market as an agent, get away from ‘open’ listings as soon as you can.

Only an exclusive listing process will give you the best solution for promoting and marketing a quality commercial, industrial or retail property.  The time and effort required in matching a property to its target market requires the commitment of the client to one agent for a reasonable period of time; usually 4 months.  The selected agent can then dedicate the right focus into finding the best people to talk to and setting the momentum to inspections and offers.

Here are some marketing tips to help you in establishing a quality promotional campaign with an exclusive listing:

  1. From the full inspection of the property you will understand the best target market that you should be tapping into with the marketing.  Give the client a complete understanding of what that market is looking for and how you can work with that.
  2. Determine the features of the property that can help you with the momentum in promotion.  Build a story and a pitch for all your advertising using the property features.  Select the 5 property features that are of the greatest interest to the target market.  Use those as dot points in all you advertising.  When you change from advert to advert in different publications, create different messages.  This is most important on the internet so the search engines give your advert broader appeal.
  3. Use keywords for your advertising based on the internet search terms.  You can get this information from a ‘keyword’ search on the major search engines.
  4. Build a headline and sub headline for the property using words that sell.  You can see good examples of that with magazines and other property adverts.  The history of the property may be relevant to the local area and on that basis can be used in the marketing to real effect.
  5. Match your marketing recommendations to the target market so the client can really see that you understand how to solve their property problem.  Be very specific at a personal level to help the client see how you will take the property to the market.
  6. Always give your client 3 alternatives of marketing so they have a set of promotional choices to consider.

Successful marketing campaigns in commercial real estate agency are built from specific focus and speciality.  The ‘generic’ promotional process in property today does not work.

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Time Management in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

In commercial real estate agency it is very much the case that the day will take over your diary unless you take control.  People will impose on your time and things then will go absolutely nowhere.

If you are like me, you will hate people wasting your time.  In our industry time is money and we need to remember that.  In an average day lots of people will want a slice of your time.  How about this list for starters?

  • Existing clients with their listings
  • New clients wanting to list their property
  • Team leaders wanting to talk about the weeks results
  • The boss (for all sorts of reasons)
  • Tenants looking for property
  • Buyers wanting to inspect your listings
  • Telephone enquiries
  • Administrative people needing help getting your marketing campaigns underway

So, all of this says that we need to set some solid rules that will not be broken or changed.   We must control our time as it is the main thing that we can control in commercial real estate agency.

Systems can set you free to get on with your business.  When business runs smoothly then you find the clients and the listings that you need.

Every system in commercial real estate is essentially made up of subsets or systems for key things.  Each part of the process can be refined and improved.  I have had systems for all of the following:

  1. Prospecting systems so I can keep focused on the right properties and clients that will need my services one day.  Every good commercial agent should have a pipeline of some type.
  2. Presentation processes so that every property that I pitch for is a deliberate pitch that is well controlled to a solid approach that I know works.   Confidence here is the key.
  3. Listing systems for each property type such as office, industrial, and retail property.  I would also have systems for sales, leasing, and property management.  Retail shopping centres are quite different and feature with their own systems that are unique to retail.
  4. Inspecting a property is quite special and having a process for that is wise.  A checklist to help you ask the right questions and look at the right things in the property will always be of benefit.  The inspection system should take into account the property type and the location; that is why you need checklists for this.
  5. Marketing processes for the listings that we work on should not be generic or ordinary.  The fact of the matter is that each property should be uniquely promoted to a plan; this assumes that it is an exclusive listing and you have vendor paid marketing funds paid in advance.
  6. Negotiations and communications with clients should be documented.  It is common that things will get delayed or changed when you are negotiating with a client on a sale or a lease.  When you have the supporting documentation and notes, nothing can go wrong.

If you are finding that things are out of control and you are struggling as an agent, take a look at your systems in commercial and retail real estate agency.  Build some processes and controls that help you move forward.

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Every Little Bit Helps in Commercial Real Estate Marketing

In commercial real estate sales or leasing, every little bit helps when it comes to marketing the property to the target market and local area.  A correctly constructed marketing campaign should be 75% focused on the local area and 25% focused on the greater region and beyond.  Here are some tips on marketing from our Newsletter for agents.

In just about all property marketing efforts, we find that most enquiries will come from local business owners and local property investors.  This is the reason for the bias to local marketing.  Sure you may have some properties that are an exception to the rule but almost always it is the local enquiry that really matters

So all of this being said, the advertising effort for any property and listing should be comprehensive and across a number of marketing tools and systems.  The days of ‘generic’ advertising and promotion are well gone.

So let’s differentiate marketing between ‘open listings’ and ‘exclusive listings’.

  • In the ‘open listing’ situation you have no control on the property or the client.  For this reason advertising is largely a matter of convenience.  You put a sign on the property and an advert on the internet.  Any enquiries that you get you can process in an ordinary way.  Importantly you should not waste much of your time on any ‘open listing’.    If the client will not trust you with an ‘exclusive’ agency, then understand that your focus should be elsewhere on your better listings.
  • ‘Exclusive listings’ are better for the client and for you.  If the client is genuine in the sale or lease process, ‘exclusive’ listings allow you to get deeply into promoting the property to the local area.  The communication between you and the client is a lot stronger and more relevant to getting results from the marketing campaign.  Every ‘exclusive’ listing should include a reasonable amount of vendor paid marketing funds.

When you are to promote a property to the local area, a campaign should be structured on the target market, and personally driven by you as the agent or salesperson.  When you get too many listings, the ‘personal’ side of property promotion gets a lot more difficult.  The number of ‘exclusive’ listings that you can take on at any one time is about 15 listings.  Beyond that number, you need a personal assistant to help you with the required systems and processes.  Remember that the client wants to talk with you and not your assistant.

To put high value and relevance into your property promotion, take every listing personally into the area and the business community.  Use every listing as a reason to talk to business owners and property investors.  In this way you will get better results from all your marketing campaigns.

You can get more free tips like this in our Newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

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Marketing Tips and Systems for Commercial Real Estate Agents

In today’s property market, we have marketing systems to support our personal branding and our property listings.  These are two distinctly different challenges when it comes to marketing.  The properties will come and go from the market, however your personal brand needs to consolidate and grow.

So let’s look at some different aspects of marketing and the challenges to be handled.

When it comes to property marketing, you will be competing against other properties, the market trends, and other agents.  Through all of this, you need to attract the right level of enquiry and then qualify that enquiry for potential conversion.  Given that the property market currently is rather challenging, every marketing effort must be specific, direct, and effective. 

The ultimate goal of every marketing campaign should be to establish enquiry from the target market.  When you get enquiry, you can create inspections.  Over time the enquiry that you create will allow you to improve your database of qualified prospects; those qualified prospects can go into your database for regular ongoing contact.  That is exactly what top agents do and how they create better transactions from the market over time.

To correctly market a property today, you need sufficient funds and a dedicated marketing campaign.  Vendor paid marketing should be the rule and not the exception.  That being said, you should also ask for an exclusive listing to allow you to spend the necessary time in marketing the property for the clients that you serve.

The property market today requires real effort on the part of the agent.  That effort can only come through exclusive listings.  Those exclusive listings also allow us to build our market share and database of qualified prospects.

Here are some factors to incorporate into a property marketing plan:

  1. Determine the features relative to the subject listing.  Those features and improvements will dictate the target audience.  The advertising that you create should be directed at the target audience with a consistent message relative to the property.
  2. You will need to determine those three or four factors that create the interest relative to the property today.  Those three or four factors will need to feature in each and every advertising or media channel used.  Consistency is the key when it comes to property marketing.  Every advertisement should send the right message consistently, given that the same person may see the property in a number of different media channels.  Eventually the right message could very well encourage the person to lift the telephone and make an enquiry.
  3. Understand the differences between the different types of marketing today, and use the ones that are most successful for your property type and local area.  In most cases, newspaper advertising is becoming less relevant to the commercial property industry.  Direct marketing and internet marketing are taking over as the tools of choice when it comes to creating property enquiry.
  4. Research the keywords that are used on the search engines relative to your property location and property type.  Those keywords can be easily researched and then incorporated into your property advertising and marketing.  That will therefore allow each advertisement to be tuned to the requirements of property enquiry today.
  5. As part of the property marketing effort, use plenty of professionally taken photographs in the advertising and in the brochures.  You can always see when those professional photographs are used.  The placement of the property on the Internet will also be enhanced by quality professional photographs.  Most commercial salespeople and agents do not have the knowledge and experience to take photographs from the right angle or the time of day.  You only have one chance to market the property, and on that basis the photographs need to help you in every way possible.  The cost of getting the photography done is minimal when you consider the value of the property and the potential sale price or rental.

When it comes to marketing any commercial property today, create a plan relative to the client, the area, and the property.  Drive that plan in a way that encourages enquiry.  It is the enquiry that you want and that will help you with conversions.