In commercial real estate, there is no point in listing a property unless you know what you are going to do with it. You need a marketing plan from the very start, and that plan should feature early in your client conversations and property presentation. Show your confidence so that the client can see that you are listing the property with a purpose. Put some strategy into your ideas and conversation.
Confidence in Property Presentations
So how direct and confident are you in your property
presentations now? While we are all different in how we approach
the listing process, your style and character can and should feature positively
in your listing process. Here are some
ideas to help you with that:
Client motivation and targets – Ensure that you question the client comprehensively and that you know the property in all respects before you go too far in the listing process. There will be strengths, weaknesses, issues, and facts to identify at the earliest stages of client and property engagement.
Set the target market – Be clear and precise about your property market and what it is doing. Your client wants to see that you understand things and how the client’s property fits into the local area and or the competition of other properties. Again, put some strategies in your comments on this. Lead the conversation with facts and strategies.
Define the inspection process and method – Tell the client how you will be taking people through their property and what you will be focusing on as part of that process. Build some stories around the features of the property and show how you see those features helping you with the inspecting people.
Give reasons for the best method of sale or lease – Don’t just put a property on the market for sale or lease. Show the client how you can vary the intensity of marketing and enquiry through choosing the best methods of sale or lease. Have some evidence to support the recommendations that you are making.
Set timelines to your listing approach and marketing process – It generally takes time to list and sell or lease a commercial property. You can simplify the whole process for the client by using a visual timeline that you can then show the client as part of your listing activity. That ‘visual’ approach can be the ‘roadmap’ to display your marketing efforts and listing strategy.
Schedule your marketing plan to a strategy – Just about every agent will use the ‘generic’ approach to marketing with most of their listings. They simply get a property into their listing books and then they promote in some basic way. They don’t overly consider timing, media choices, and intensity. You can change all that and show your client how important it is in the business approach you are taking to resolve their property challenge. Be different and relevant to your marketing recommendations; have a plan that is proven and logical. It is wise to have a solid ‘game plan’ when it comes to marketing any exclusively listed property. Notice the focus word here is with ‘exclusivity’.
So, these are specific ways you can list a property with a
real ‘purpose’; you are putting the client at the centre of your real estate
business. You can build a real support, and
directness to your professional property services. That will help the client see that you are
the ‘agent of choice’ when it comes to listing and marketing their property and
solving their property challenge. That
is how you will win more listings over time.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Here are some ideas to help you stand out as a ‘go to agent’ for your location:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.