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Advertising and Marketing Commercial Real Estate
When you first get the opportunity to quote or list a commercial property, it is the marketing of the property that will be high on the agenda for the client. So just how will the message get to the target audience of buyers who could purchase the property? Providing that the target market for your property is not special and narrow, the marketing program will follow some key strategies and elements. Here are some comments for you to consider.

1. Internet Listing: As all of us will know, the internet is the most effective way of promoting the commercial real estate property. Its impact as a commercial real estate marketing tool is strengthening each and every year. It has overtaken the need for more traditional newspaper media advertising. The key issues that need consideration in placing a property on the internet are:

Placement on your office website

The use of the right keywords that attract the enquiry

Placement on the generic listing websites that are property industry specific to commercial

The higher position ranking of the particular property above the list of others on the market in the area

Having a suitable and effective method of channeling enquiry back to you from the internet advert

Having an online downloadable brochure that satisfies the first level of enquiry

Creating an online database for all enquiry as it comes to you

The use of an online video to display the property is becoming more common

The use of an SMS alert and dispatch from the website to enquiring parties is an immediate way to get details to prospects.

2. Website Ranking: The use of a website for commercial property promotion is not a static and once off issue. The website that you use must be regularly updated with fresh industry specific information and listings. That process will attract the search engines and encourage them to rank you higher than your competition in the same market or location. The advantage here for you is that most agents and brokers do not know how to do this or do not have the commitment to do it. Whilst the issue is deep and complex, you can easily get website help from technical people who specialize in search engine optimization. The summary of some of the main issues that you can look at are:

Embedding the right Keywords in your website and in your listings online that your prospects and clients would use in search engine enquiry

The use of the correct website domain names relevant to the property type or area location that attracts enquiry to you.

Creation of industry specific updated free information on your website that incorporates the keywords that customers and clients use in the search engines.

The use of reciprocal links to other websites that show that you are well regarded by the other websites and that they trust you sufficiently to link back to you.

The use of well constructed page descriptions for every page in your website so that the search engines know what you are about and what properties you sell or lease.

Title tags must be well selected for your website to optimize enquiry.

Home page content on your website must be well constructed to attract the search engines to you

Meta tag descriptions for each page of your website need to be well planned and loaded or embedded so that the search engines see your site more than your competition.

It is also advisable to use other interactive web related tools such as industry specific blogs and social interaction sites that direct traffic back to you and your site and elevate your rankings with Google.

3. Signage: In most marketing circumstances the sign board strategy and placement on the property is still highly effective and ranks second only to the internet as the most cost efficient way to get the message to the people in the precinct in which the property is located. If the property is on a main road or transport corridor then the signboard is even more important. The size of the board, its message, and its location are a key component of the sign strategy. A great sign will help your campaign significantly so do not randomly deal with the issue; think about its clear message, its best location and its most effective and allowable size to convey the correct image that you need for the campaign. It pays to visit the property and inspect the alternatives before you place the order for the sign.

4. Database/Email: Many people use their database as a tool to not only make sales but to also attract listings. Essentially the agency with the biggest and best database is likely to attract and convert the greater number of clients to list with them. It is not uncommon for some agents to generically and confidentially display their database in the listing presentation so that the clients can see the advantage of listing with them over another agent. In most of the agencies that we have dealt with, a good database will be in excess of 3,000 to 5,000 contacts and they will be categorized into property types and enquiry types. The database also becomes a serious part of your future goodwill if you are to sell the real estate office.

5. Media (Paper/Radio/TV): There is a balance of media that you choose to promote a property. It is a matter of identifying the right balance that will reach the target audience. Importantly you need to show the client that you can reach and attract the target audience in this way.

6. Flyers: All good commercial properties need a great brochure or flyer. This can be done in two ways. Firstly you should have a hard copy of the brochure that can be sent via mail or handed to enquiring parties. This can also be conveniently reverted to a PDF document to email to people as required. Importantly, the layout of flyers should be approved by the client prior to usage. It pays to have a selection of some of your better examples from previous property promotions to help the client with decisions in this regard. 7. Direct mail: It is interesting to note that direct mail is becoming more effective as a contact medium. This is because most agencies revert to the email system for property promotion convenience. When a prospect gets a letter today it is more likely to be read than previously. Using the direct mail strategy should also be incorporating a follow-up telephone call system.

8. Direct email: The use of the database will allow you to send many emails to the appropriate prospects. In all cases you need to comply with spam legislation so that you are sending emails only to the people who expect them. Highly active commercial real estate offices will send out weekly emails to the database. This will incorporate recent listings and featured properties.

9. Brochure Drop: A brochure drop of property flyers should occur to the properties in the precinct. This includes both tenants and owners. In all cases those tenants and owners that are closest to the subject property should all be followed up from the brochure drop with a direct telephone call to check their interest in the new campaign. Those agents that undertake follow-up telephone calls make significantly more money and listings from the process.

10. Adjoining neighbours and nearby occupiers and owners: In every commercial property promotion the adjoining neighbours and nearby tenants will have an interest in what you are doing. This requires you to get into the area and walk around meeting the necessary neighborhood people. It is likely that some of these contacts will generate further market awareness and potential conversion to a property purchase. At a later time, these local people may also be a source of other listings given their impressions with your current campaigns.

John Highman is a prominent commercial real estate speaker and coach that helps you improve your commercial real estate market and close more sales and leasing deals. He is a successful real estate agent that has specialised in commercial, industrial, and retail real estate of all types for over 30 years. Whether you specialise in real estate sales, leasing, or investment, John has the tools that can help you succeed in your market.

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