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:
- 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.
- 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.
(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)
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.
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.
In commercial real estate brokerage you need a ‘selling system’. That is a system that will apply to sales, leasing and or property management. It doesn’t matter what part of the industry that you work in, the selling of specialised services should apply. You are the best person to do that.
It can be said that not enough ‘selling’ goes on these days. All too often you see a broker or agent wasting time on ‘dead ends’ and unqualified prospects. The ‘selling’ process involves all of the following:
- Finding new clients to serve
- Promoting new listings in the local area
- Talking to new people every day
- Marketing a property to inquiring parties as part of an inspection
- Advertising online and in the newspapers etc.
So how can you do all of this with reasonable focus? You should have a system that controls your day and your focus. Stay on track in all respects as an agent or broker. Don’t divert your thinking or focus. Do the things that really matter to the clients and deals that you have underway.
You can split the ‘sales’ process up into these segments; in doing that you can improve your action and skills for each segment. Just how good are you at these things below?
- Researching new clients and properties to work on or for
- Prospecting consistently in your area and town or city for sellers, buyers, tenants, and landlords
- Identifying the requirements of people so you know if ongoing contact or perhaps a meeting is required
- Meeting creation for listings and presentations with clients
- Listing strategies that take into account the current market conditions
- Qualifying the right people to work with or take to listings as part of an inspection process
- Negotiation strategies for any stage of the property process and client situation
- Documentation processes and legalities
- Servicing the property, the client, and the deal
Every segment supports and leads to the next. If you have a weakness in any segment then you have a problem to address as a real estate agent. That is where training and role playing in your team can help. A career in commercial real estate involves ongoing and regular personal improvement. Prepare your selling system accordingly and stick to the plan.