All too often you see very poor commercial real estate broker websites and an obvious disregard for upgrading them to the requirements of today’s on-line marketing. Perhaps the problem is due to the brokerage not fully grasping the technicalities or the skills; either way a poor real estate website has a damaging effect on market share and in attracting listings.
A website for a commercial real estate business is almost like the front ‘door’ of a traditional office. Every day the ‘door’ needs to be open and the entrance way prepared for the best impression. Everything on the site needs to look good and function well.
A website for a broker or agent should be constructed with a few key facts in mind. Consider these questions:
How should your branding material be integrated into your site?
What is the main message that the site should convey?
Where is your market and how should that be integrated into your main website?
How will you collect names and email addresses from your website and what will happen beyond that point?
How can you adjust your website quickly and effectively?
How will you optimise your site for the search engines and also for visitors?
It is a fact that most brokers and agents know very little about website construction and internet marketing; you can include search engine optimisation in those assumptions. That is where most problems and challenges start. The critical part of property marketing for the real estate business is a very big ‘grey area’.
This problem area should be handled with great care and focus by the brokerage. A poor website will damage business and listing opportunities significantly. When in any doubt, seek specialist help from ‘those that know’.
Here are some of the common issues with websites for real estate brokers:
Lack of regular updates relative to the market and industry will make your website very ‘ordinary’. Don’t just load listings into a website. Provide information about your town, city, industry, and property speciality. Do this on a regular basis. That will help your search engine profile.
Failing to install a ‘blog’ structure into your website will restrict search engine interest. Blogs are one of the easiest ways to attract search engines; that being said you do need to regularly load information into them.
Old listings and redundant contact detail will frustrate visitors to the site. If you are going to have a website, make sure that it is up to date in all ways. Make it easy to change and load information.
Integrate social media channels into your website. Set up your business channels for social media interaction.
Use professionally taken photographs with all of your listings. It will send the best message possible regards your listings and professional services.
List your website with the search engines using the key words that are applicable to your industry, location, property type, and services. Research those keywords so you choose the right ones.
This simple list is just the start of the process. From here onwards you should adopt a ‘learning’ and ‘improvement’ process with your site. Send the best message possible about your professional real estate services by having a top quality internet presence.
Leasing is a lucrative part of the commercial real estate brokerage market. There are always vacant premises to lease and landlords to serve. The leasing agent with the largest database of tenants will usually make more in commission income than those agents that do not have a good database.
It should always be remembered that a good lease opportunity today that is converted to a successful transaction will quite likely move towards a sale opportunity in the future. It stands to reason that your personal leasing services and specialisation will help you with growing market share in a number of different ways. When you get to know a number of landlords, you build the levels of trust and the key relationships that are required for sales opportunity.
The fees for leasing a vacant property or tenancy will reflect the size and the quality of the premises. On that basis you should concentrate your leasing efforts on the better properties and the larger tenancies. In that way you will achieve better inbound enquiries and inspection conversions. Low quality listings are just as much work if not more than the better quality properties.
In considering the commission and fee opportunities from a landlord or a property, understand the following factors:
Lease rent review fees
Lease renewal opportunities
Assignment and subletting requirements
Vacancy management and leasing
Tenant mix advice
Lease renegotiation as part of a refurbishment
Franchise leasing opportunities
Tenant advocacy work
So there are a good number of ways for leasing brokers to attract fee opportunities from professional leasing services. Local area specialisation and leasing knowledge will help you achieve the momentum required. I go back to the point that the size of your database will be critical to the market activity and commissions that you generate. As a leasing specialist, you do need to know a lot of tenants and a good number of high quality landlords. That is where your database will help you greatly. Every day it needs to be nurtured and grown through ongoing contact.
So let’s look at some strategies and that you can implement in your professional leasing services. Here are some of the important things to understand and implement. You can add to this list other factors relating to location and property type:
Review the history of the area as it relates to business change and opportunity. There will be certain properties and locations that are more popular than others. Understand the locations that will create the best levels of interest when it comes to property occupancy.
Check out the market rentals that apply to your property type. Give due regard to the variables across suburbs, towns, and cities. Those market rentals will vary greatly and have a lot to do with property condition, ease of access, services, and improvements.
Lease incentives will vary subject to the factors of supply and demand for lettable space. Watch the number of new property developments coming into the area that could change the balance of occupancy. They will also have an impact on incentive size and availability.
With this basic information, you can focus your efforts when it comes to property leasing opportunities. Every day you should take further steps into building strong tenant and landlord relationships.
In the commercial real estate brokerage today, the classic sales letter will always create opportunity for an agent or broker if the process is put in place successfully and consistently. It is necessary to understand the logic behind the process, the timing of the letters, and the requirement to do it regularly.
It is a fact that the e-mail prospecting process has taken over a large section of the real estate industry. For this very reason, the traditional sales letter sent through the Post Office System will create a major point of difference in marketing when it comes to the prospecting activities of an agent or a broker.
If you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to your marketing efforts, merge the sales letter process into your personal marketing efforts. Here are some rules to help you:
The sending of letters needs to occur regularly. Send your letters to groups of prospects on a monthly or bimonthly process. Given that each letter is specifically written for the target market of property owners or tenants, it is quite easy to group your prospects into segments. At different times of the month you can send your letters to selected segments.
So a key factor here is to write letters specifically to the targets within each group. You can are groups for landlords, tenants, business owners, investors, and developers. Specific letters are used in each case.
As a general rule, and wherever possible, take the time to follow-up each letter with a telephone call. If you know the telephone number of the person concerned, make the call. Many letters will help you convert more meetings.
It is preferable that the letter process is simple and select. Three or four paragraphs on a single page will get the message across. Sign your letters individually and ensure that they are personally addressed to the people concerned. Enclose your business card with every letter. You are marketing yourself and your contact details; that is what the letter and the message must do.
Given that this is a prospecting process, the letter is designed to connect with the person you are sending it to, so that you can get more meetings and opportunities. On that basis the message and the letter needs to be simply designed. Do not fill the envelope with bulky marketing material that will confuse the central message. Marketing letters are best left to a different approach and a generic mail system.
Make it easy for people to contact you as part of the mail out. Some people will call you as a direct result of getting the letters regularly. That is why you enclose your business card as part of the process. It is quite likely that the receiver of the correspondence will keep your business card for future reference.
So the direct mail process is a real and important part of the commercial real estate brokers marketing system. Make it an important part of your regular marketing efforts.
When it comes to preparing for the sale of a commercial property, it pays for you as the real estate agent to work to a plan and overall strategy. This is even more important when it comes to working with many exclusive listings at the same time. When you overlook a small factor of detail in any campaign, it can have a major effect when it comes to attracting property enquiry and inspections. Here below are some tips from our Newsletter.
Every property type should have a specialised sale check-list that relates to all the issues in preparation for marketing. Within that list you can add the locational factors there are important to your town or city from a marketing perspective. When you prepare for the sale of the property, you create more enquiry and on that basis valuable negotiations.
So the main focus here is to attract the interest of the buyers to the property. Preparation is the key. Understanding the property, the local market, and the client will help you in the preparation process.
Here are some ideas to help you with the sale preparation process.
Plan the marketing campaign using the best promotional tools that suit the property and the market conditions. Every exclusive listing should require special consideration and treatment. Understand the best processes of marketing that will attract the right levels of enquiry from potential buyers. Get personally involved in your marketing campaign at a local level. Take the details of your property listing to all the nearby businesses and property owners. That should occur at a personal level through door knocking and direct telephone calls.
Understanding the target market and the ways that they can respond to the campaign. If you are dealing with a special segment of the market, get involved with their publications and business groups. Don’t simply rely on the advertising process to create the required levels of interest.
Check out the competing properties in the local area so that you understand the factors of price and overlapping marketing. You may need to adjust your property promotions to compensate for these other listings.
Understand the client’s pressures and priorities when it comes to selling their property. There may be special considerations involving the tenants, property access, presentation, and maintenance. Walk through the property with the client as part of the sale preparation process. Document any issues that need to be actioned or controlled prior to the commencement of the marketing.
Build a list of qualified prospects from your database. There will be people to talk to and take to the property from your existing contact list. In many respects this can help you with the necessary feedback and marketing adjustments at the early stages of the campaign.
Get some property inspections going early in your campaign. Use your short list of contacts from your database as part of this process.
Focus on the first four weeks of the campaign to create the best levels of interest and activity.
So there are plenty of things to do here when it comes to aligning the property to the current market conditions as you attempt a sales strategy and campaign. When you get more listings coming in and you are generating plenty of enquiries, the sales checklist process will help you stay on track and therefore not overlook the critical stages of promotion.