When it comes to selling and leasing commercial property, the direct marketing approach has distinct advantages. That being said, the direct marketing approach does have more requirements of time and effort on the part of the commercial agent.
Every property that is listed for sale or for lease should be exposed to a variety of marketing campaigns and initiatives using the following categories as a guideline:
The local property business proprietors that may need to relocate will always be opportunity. Keep in close contact with this business segment.
Property investors requiring alternative properties with a different tenancy mix and cash flows will always seize opportunity where they can afford it.
Identify the property investors that seek to diversify their portfolio in different locations and in different property types. Even in difficult times, these investors had do exist and are waiting for the right circumstances or bargains come along.
Contact all the local tenants that may seek to relocate through expansion, contraction, rental, or property acquisition.
Businesses located in the immediate proximity of the actual listing may be requiring further premises close to their existing operations.
Within your database you will have people who were previously qualified from other earlier campaigns and listings. They should be contacted again.
All of your current property listings should be cross promoted to the suitable qualified prospects that you take to inspections.
So these categories are all direct marketing tools. They require specific effort and a systemized process on the part of the agent. When the property market slows or becomes tougher, these issues above become more important than ever before. They can be used in addition to any ordinary generic marketing that you usually implement. That being said, you should only do these things based on the quality of the listing, the quality of the client, and an exclusive listing.
The intelligence-gathering efforts that will help you build opportunity in the market should include analysing your commercial real estate marketplace. The property sales and leasing market is always changing. Seeing those changes early and adjusting your efforts or focus will always be the best strategy:You can then make choices on which you will focus:
What are my market segments? How do the segments differ?
Does local property needs differ in sales and leasing?
Are some property segments destined for obsolescence because of changes in the market?
Which segments within my niche are prosperous and under growth? Are any of them recession-proof? Recession-sensitive? Which are doing poorly? Why? You should always be in tune with financial and business publications, their data, information and value.
Which segments of my niche are most price-sensitive and competitive? In this case you should identify the other agents that you are up against and how they impact your activities and listings.
Which are most profitable property types for you to list and work on?
What trade journals or publications in my market niche are the best for marketing, the most comprehensive, and the most objective for commercial sales and leasing?
Subscribe to every relevant publication and read the papers daily. It is remarkable how much local property information you will get from the local paper.
What can I learn from our own competitors and peers that can help me serve the needs of my niche? Your prospects may have uses for commercial real estate sales and leasing that you never previously thought of.
Are any of my real estate competitors exhibiting any behaviour in the property market that seems strange or unusual? If so, what are the true reasons behind it?
What must I do to become a recognized expert within my commercial real estate niche? What should an expert cover and offer to the local property owners and investors
Do you understand the differences between sales, leasing, and property management? Can you cross sell your services in each discipline?
Are there any certification mechanisms or awards for which I can qualify? Associations I need to join? Groups in which I might need to assume a leadership role?
Having this intelligence information on your commercial real estate market can be likened to knowing the rules of the game. When you know the basics, you are ready to gather scouting reports on other teams in the “ big league”.
We need the truth when gathering market intelligence. Whenever we have accurate intelligence on our competitors, we can leverage our own strengths and weaknesses against theirs and apply the most concentrated, effective pressure we can muster.
When you list a commercial property for sale or lease on an exclusive basis, it is important to offer real marketing solutions to the client. The time and the effort that you dedicate to the marketing process will help you lift the rate of enquiry and generate more inspections.
It should be said that any listings on an open list basis should not receive the same amount of marketing treatment from the commercial agent. Open listings are just a process of random marketing when and if you think you may have a buyer or tenant as the case may be. Open listings are something you get when the property owner really does not trust you, or is not fully committed to your agency; either way they should not get much of your precious time.
So lets go back to the marketing solutions that you can provide. As a general rule each listing should be looked at with a focus on a specific target market and how you can tap into it. When you know what the target market is, you can design a great marketing campaign. All of this takes effort, and that’s why an exclusive listing process is a preferred method of property listing.
Here are some ideas to help with marketing commercial property:
Take a walk through the property with the client as part of the familiarisation process with the listing. As you do this, consider the best ways to take prospects through the property and how you will explain the features and improvements to them. It may be necessary for you to have some form of property information brochure to comprehensively detail aspects of the building, site, or improvements. Look at the property from the aspect of a buyer or tenant and tell the property owner what you see.
At the start of every marketing campaign, the property should be comprehensively and personally marketed into the local area. This means getting some brochures prepared that fully detail the listed property information, and then taking them to all the neighbouring businesses and property owners. From this process you will soon pick up on a lot of market intelligence that you can use in many different ways. Every good property listing is an excuse to get further market intelligence from the local area. Personal contact is a key to the process.
The traditional signboard on the listed property remains one of the most effective marketing tools you can use. The signboard should be the first thing that is undertaken in the marketing campaign. If you can get a signboard that is specially designed to incorporate details of the property, then this will give you added benefit and more enquiry.
The process of listing the property on the Internet is an essential part of the property marketing campaign. That being said, there are specific things that you should be doing personally to build your Internet profile with regard to your property type speciality and local area. You can write blogs and post them on the Internet in a blogging site where you can talk about your experiences with quality property and what people are looking for in todays market. If you do this regularly, the Internet will soon see your name and associate it with the local area and particular types of property. That will help your personal rankings in the search engines; regularity in the process is really important.
As a general rule, vendor paid marketing is the normal approach with exclusive listings. In this market there is no other way to comprehensively promote each and every quality property. To help with selling this concept to the property owner, it is wise to have three alternative marketing packages separately costed. In this way the client can make a choice; invariably they usually choose the middle priced package.
To market a commercial or retail property today, the expertise and capabilities of the agency and the salesperson are really quite important. Marketing a property today is not an experiment with inexperienced people. Any genuine client will accept your recommendations and allow you to promote the property well.
When it comes to the marketing of commercial property today, there is a need to attract the right type of enquiry from the local area. This is where the expertise of the commercial real estate agent becomes fundamentally important to the overall marketing strategy.
The commercial salesperson or agent should have a significant database covering people in the local area who have been well qualified regards their interests in commercial property. So the process of marketing needs to capture the correct people for the relative listing. This is where many agents come unstuck. Where it may have been acceptable to list a property on the Internet and then wait for the enquiry to come in, today we must focus on the targeted market or direct marketing approach.
To attract the right enquiry the direct marketing approach can be a variation of the following:
Produce flyers of the exclusive listings that you have on your books then take those flyers to other businesses in the local area. This process will allow you to gather local market intelligence through talking to people.
Always get a signboard on each of the properties that you have listed. The number of signboards that you have on local property will help the perception of market domination.
Every marketing campaign on each exclusive listing will give you the chance to put more people into your database.
Use the internet comprehensively so the listed properties go onto a number of sites that are well recognised for qualit property in your area.
Circulate facts about each property listing via email to your selected qualified people in your database.
The local newspaper will have some benefit for spreading the word about any property listed but there will be shorter retention time on the value of the newspaper advertising. The internet ranks far higher when it comes to the long life equation of marketing value.
The marketing of commercial and retail property today is more specialised and requires more effort. This is where an experienced salesperson with the right database is far more relevant for the property owner than a ‘newbie’. In a market like this it is easy for an experienced salesperson to win a listing based on the value that they bring the client; gone are the days where you have to discount your commissions. Sell your services from a position of value and relevance to the property challenges that the client has.
When you work in commercial real estate sales and leasing, the amount of market knowledge that you can gain in the local area will give you a significant advantage in any listing situation. The property market knowledge that you need is relating to current transactions both in selling and leasing. They are interrelated and will have bearing on each other.
Get to the Sources
The best sources of market intelligence come from:
The local news media
Other property listings and the time that they take to sell or lease
Signboards placed on properties denoting market share and coverage
Sales and leasing outcomes
Zoning and demographic changes in the local property market
Buyer and tenant activity by property type
Feedback from Sellers and landlords
Feedback from parties as they inspect properties
Competitors activities with the listing property
Time on market
Methods of sale and success rates
The best salespeople in the industry are not only good sales, but also very good at leasing property. It is the leasing knowledge that makes them exceptionally good at packaging a sales deal at the right time and in the right way.
So the best sources of market intelligence come from the actual deals being made and current listings, as you talk to plenty of people. That says that the salespeople, agents, and property valuers working on commercial property should be sharing information regards property deals. In only that way can the true impression of market price and market rental be maintained.
All of this information allows you to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the market as they apply to each property type. That can then be a significant advantage as you create the marketing campaigns for each property promotion. It also helps the client to commit to your services based on experience and proven evidence.