Whether you are a seasoned real estate player or a starting entrepreneur in the field, you already know that the hard work – when it comes to commercial property – begins after you won the listing. It is time to live up to the expectations: sell to the highest bidder in the shortest amount of time. But this is just one part of the problem; the other part is that you need to keep everybody involved happy, including yourself and your team and make everything you can to win a client that will further recommend you to his network.
Everything nowadays is about marketing – both offline and online – and a commercial real estate marketing plan is of utmost importance if you want to deliver the results you promised. Real estate pro marketing can however be tricky, especially in our day and time, especially when it comes to commercial properties – which don’t come cheap. So let’s quickly run through a few steps, tips and means you can think about in order to create a commercial real estate marketing plan that generates the desired outcome.
1. Make Your Listing Stand Out of the Pack
The first rule of marketing is to match the product with its target audience. It is fundamental to understand which of the property’s features will appeal most to which category of buyers. Audience targeting is not an exact science, but you can begin by listing every highlight of the property that makes it special: location, other buildings in the vicinity, facilities, access routes, landscape etc. There are probably hundreds of similar properties on the market, but yours should take the cake for at least one or two distinctive features.
The next step is to match those features to the clients looking for them: high-ranked business men in search for a skyline view? A busy corporation needing all roads, intersections and access points possible to achieve mobility and efficiency? Your marketing package cover page should depict the most important highlight to the most important niche you target.
2. Make Your Listing Visible and Track Its Success
You are probably already using LoopNet and other popular listing websites, but you should think things further. Make a separate page for this particular commercial property on your company’s website and integrate analytics and SEO tools with it. Such metrics will help you better understand who is seeing the property’s page, what interests them the most, how they found your property, who links to your page and who shares your information via social media. This way you can tailor and tweak your marketing package to become relevant to your potential clients.
3. Always Tell a Story
Business storytelling is not something a bored but smart marketer invented a year ago – it is a rising trend that nowadays can make or break not only a marketing campaign but a company. You can stay ahead of your competition and land the deal of your life if you manage to tell a compelling story about the property. This is not about the rock solid facts we rely on in real estate, but about emotions and empathy and reaching your audience so they begin making you offers.
Every property has a story, whether it was built on a particular interesting piece of land or it represents an opportunity only a savvy investor can sense.
Besides a brilliant design, a high level of readability and a compelling set of advantages listed for everybody to see, your marketing plan should also focus on branding the property. It is not just a warehouse waiting for a new owner, is THE warehouse where THE owner can have his dreams came true.
4. Get Them Hooked
Have you read any good novels lately? How would you describe a terrific reading experience? The story got me hooked. The characters made me love them with every page. The dialogue was smart, witty and deep. The suspense made me read all night without going to sleep.
This is what you want from your marketing plan. This is how you want your clients to react when faced with your offer. But don’t mistake literature with real estate. While readers can’t wait to embrace the great unknown and be surprised, investors know exactly what they want and what don’t want. Many know about listings before properties get listed. Some are interested in the location / type of property; others in number of tenants and their financial status; others want to buy cheap, sell big and make some profit in between two deals. You need to give them exactly what they want and make sure they quickly access the hooks you offer. You may need to consider the following elements:
- Top-notch package cover with close-up or aerial photo of the property – keep in mind that you advertise for the property not for your own company, so designers should focus on showing how great the place is.
- Property’s highlights – pinpoint the essentials, but let people discover the details as they “read” forward.
- Photos, maps, virtual tours, videos, gifs – for hardcopy brochures, maps, photos and aerials are the way to go, but if you play in the online field of marketing, everything that has a visual component should be used, including live streams from inside the place or beautifully shot videos telling the story of the place and insisting on its special features.
- Hooks – include thorough area descriptions and highlight some important landmarks in the neighborhood (mark restaurants and even share their online reviews, pinpoint laundry services, car services, hotels nearby, places to have a coffee on the go for commuting employees, available catering firms in the area, service providers and so on). Match the available perks with the target customers and insist on those that will compel investors to sign the checks.
5. Use Marketing Tools like Pros
What is the difference between selling a luxury car and a commercial property? Being stuck in a thinking pattern and doing what everybody else in real estate does won’t take you much further. Cold calls and email marketing, sending newsletters and participating to brokers’ meetings they all work, granted, but other things work even better and even faster.
Real estate is a visual art if you know how to exploit it, so instead of sending the ever-boring email, delve into Instagram and Pinterest and work with marketers that can tell you how to use new features and perks of such social platforms to showcase your property.
Video is all the rage right now in marketing, either we talk about the good old “Seeing is believing” YouTube or live streams – available now with Facebook as well. Learn from others’ mistakes and success stories and adapt some smart marketing campaigns to what you sell.
Take amazing pictures of the property, but show them differently than the others – infographics, boards, SnapChat Stories, Tumblr, you name it. Tell the story in video, written blog posts and even soundtracks. Don’t be afraid of the real marketing world, even if some things are tested and found true for decades in real estate.
When it comes to creating a commercial real estate marketing plan, remember that you need to think big to sell big and taking a look around you and understanding what others do in different fields may prove useful to you as well.
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