I like to think that every property taken to the market for sale or lease is handled with a direct and deliberate strategy; that is my rule and process, and that is why I will not take on open listings. As busy as we can be in commercial real estate brokerage, the promotional strategies that we adopt are unique.
Every listing deserves the ‘deliberate’ approach to marketing and engagement with potential buyers or tenants. When you focus on the quality side of our business, you can achieve more results over time.
When you look at your average working week, where are the priorities? There should be only three or four things that you do every day, and those things should take precedence in your business activities. Sure, other things will have to be done, but the four main things will always take precedent.
Marketing Rules for Enquiry Attraction
So, the marketing process can be refined back to simple rules. Here are some of those rules that I like to work to:
Set a clear target market that applies to the listing. Where can you tap into that target market? How can you tune the marketing campaign to reach that group of targeted people? When you know those answers you can drill down on the campaign timing and media channels to be used. There are always different and better ways for us to do things. The clients that we serve like to hear fresh ideas and strategies; that is how you win more listings over time.
Use some different approaches to your promotional processes. The owner of the property can likely share some stories with you about the property and the location that would be valuable in your editorials and articles about the listings. A story makes a property more interesting. Historic properties are also valuable to helping you build a local profile that is different and perhaps specialized.
Build a matrix of marketing that can change and adjust every few weeks. It takes about three weeks for the first level of marketing to be assessed; from that assessment, you can modify adverts, media choices, and photography. Every website advert for each listing can be slightly different in layout or property facts. That then builds the attraction factor for better property inquiry.
Knowing the value of inbound inquiry, look at your listing groups so you can feed inquiry across the locations and the property types in positive ways. One inquiry can be directed to several properties and inspections. Do more with your inquiries. Track your inquiries so you know what is working for you with inbound property inquiry.
Take every property to the market with deliberate promotional strategies. Build some momentum with your listing activity and target marketing.
In commercial real estate brokerage today every exclusive listing should be part of a staged marketing campaign. In other words, the listing and the advertising should be shaped and released strategically.
In a staged marketing campaign, you can create significant market suspense and better inquiry. Avoid being ordinary when it comes to commercial real estate marketing and advertising. Stage every exclusive campaign so that you can pull in more inquiry over the duration of the promotion.
Strategy is Everything in Marketing
So there is a strategy here. Every advert builds towards the next promotional message; every advert leads to the next advert releasing more information and enticing the tenant or buyer to make an inquiry. Here are some ideas to help you do that with commercial real estate listings:
A typical marketing campaign for an exclusive listing will be structured over a period of two or three months. Over the nominated time the advert should feature alternative copy and a good selection of professional photographs. Every 30 days the advertising copy should change as would the digital images. In that way you are attracting different levels of inquiry, and hopefully better interest. You are making people think about the listing and the advantages of inspecting the property.
A timed campaign such as that for an auction or expressions of interest, will have a shorter campaign duration of around 4 to 6 weeks. The same strategic process applies in that the advert should be staged and shaped for different times within the campaign. You have a beginning, a main promotion, and then a summary reminder to the property listing or release. You see this process quite often with project sales and leasing. The same rules apply with investment property promotions or vacant properties for owner occupation.
You can consider the different target markets that apply to the particular property listing. When you have identified the different target markets, you can specifically design adverts for special release. Those efforts can be released into the media channels and newspapers serving the chosen target markets.
You can mix and match your advertising through different media outlets and types. Consider using preliminary adverts to be followed by the major adverts, and then to be followed up by smaller summary advertising at the end of the campaign.
The first two weeks of a property release are quite important to make sure that you have the promotional strategy correctly balance during that time. The first two weeks of every campaign are the real foundation and will be critical to the momentum of promotion from that point onward. The advertising should be carefully crafted to create maximum levels of interest and inbound telephone calls. Use facts and figures together with a good balance of written content and digital images to do just that.
Always track your advertising results through levels of inquiry, inbound calls, hits or clicks on the Internet, website referrals, website hits, and property inspections. In that way you can understand where the results are converting through the different elements of your marketing campaign. When you know what works, you can repeat the process.
You can create variations in the marketing campaign so that the inquiry rate can be optimized and shaped over time. Soon you will know how to best approach the promotion of a particular property type in your local area.
We all know and expect that to get anywhere in a sales related career you have to work hard. Commercial real estate brokerage is like that. Yes, you do have to work hard, however if you have a systematic approach to what you do, things will improve dramatically and in a better way. In simple terms you can set some rules to the brokerage process.
Here are some specific facts to help you get your career under control and hence improve your results:
One listing leads to another – If you list quality properties, you will find that the marketing process of one listing will let you talk to many people locally. You will also have some good enquiry coming towards you. Carefully capture and nurture the leads and information that you get from all marketing campaigns. Build your database and client base from all your marketing campaigns.
Directed marketing – When you win a listing it is the start of the marketing process. Quite a few decisions need to be made about target market and promotional strategies. Maximum effort can be applied to an exclusive listing; however you do need vendor paid funds to attract volumes of attention in the campaign. With most property types you will need about 1% of the value of the property to be applied to the marketing campaign. Spend the money wisely and directly on promotional efforts that are well considered.
Marketing variations – Any one good quality property should be marketed in a few different formats; that includes advertising layout and content. That then allows you to promote the same property more effectively on different websites and industry portals. Some brokerages have a professional copywriter overseeing and helping with advertising copy. Whilst it is an expense to every campaign, it can be justified and the rewards are many. Add the specialised service of a professional copywriter to your vendor paid marketing budgets.
Refreshing listings – Every 14 days of a marketing campaign, refresh the listing with different photographs and promotional copy. Include as part of that a modification of price or rent if those factors are published in the campaign. To do this you will need a client that is conditioned to market conditions and inspection results. The message here is that a change to marketing will help with enquiries coming back in.
Feedback – When you conduct an inspection or get an enquiry from a qualified prospect, record the results in client feedback form. At the end of each week you can use the form as a way of updating the client and also conditioning them to the facts of the market. The good thing here is that the comments given are from other people and not you. You are just the ‘messenger’. When handled correctly you can position the client and the property for a shorter time on market and an effective deal negotiation when it starts.
From these things you can see that the property marketing process is one of considerable planning and process. Every listing should be positioned for real momentum and enquiry opportunity.
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