9 Elements of Highly Effective Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plans

9 Elements of Highly Effective Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plans

After you win a listing for a commercial property the real work begins. You now need to deliver on your promise of selling the property for the highest price possible in the least amount of time. To keep your client happy, you also need to make the process stress-free for all parties involved. Want some insight into how top-performing brokers execute this process with ease? In this post we discuss important elements of successful commercial real estate marketing plans.

The Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan

In a moment we’ll discuss traditional and non-traditional marketing channels that brokers can use to effectively market and ultimately sell a listing. But first, to help you get started, we’ve also created a detailed plan of attack that you can use both for client proposals as well as with your own internal team. Feel free to download our commercial real estate marketing plan template as you follow along.

Distinctive Marketing Package

The first priority after winning a new listing is to build a high quality and distinctive marketing package. The longer you wait to build the marketing package, the longer you wait to market the property and ultimately collect a commission check. But, by all means, don’t rush this process just to get something out the door. A generic, one-size-fits-all marketing package might save you some time up front, but it certainly won’t help you stand out from the crowd.

The key to building a great marketing package is to custom tailor it for each property. Your goal should be to tell each listing’s story and engage qualified buyers to find out more. This means you should think about what sets your property apart and highlight the features that make it distinctive. Is it an office building with beautiful scenic skyline views?  If so, highlight this attribute with a high resolution photo on the marketing package cover page.

On the other hand, if you have a warehouse listing located next to a garbage dump, you probably don’t want to use a panoramic photo of the property near the beginning of the package. Instead, an aerial showing favorable highway access might be more appropriate. The important point is that each package needs to be shaped around each property’s unique characteristics.

If you’re using financial modeling software like PropertyMetrics, you can easily export your analysis to Excel and copy/paste into your Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign marketing package templates.  This way, you’ll have full control over the colors and fonts that match your brand, and you’ll also be able to customize the elements and ordering of the package to better tell your listing’s story.

Property Website

The fastest way to make your listing details accessible is to build out a listing page online.  This can be on your company website, your personal website/blog, or a simple single property website. This reason it’s beneficial to use your own real estate website is that it gives you a dedicated place to refer to on all of the other online channels below, such as LoopNet or your email campaigns.

If you’re using your own personal or company real estate website you’ll also have the added benefit of Google Analytics, which allows you to track how many people are viewing your listing, where those people are coming from, how long they spend browsing your listing, and many other helpful metrics. Additionally, you can even require registration to view the full details, which will help you build your own internal marketing database.

Online Listing Websites

By far the most popular listing website for commercial property is LoopNet, but there are also several other niche listing services such as CCIM, CityFeet, TotalCommercial, and many more. The residential MLS also includes a commercial real estate section, which shouldn’t be discounted.

The important point to remember about listing websites is that you want to strike a balance between too much information and too little information. Make sure at a minimum you include a great property description highlighting its unique characteristics, a correct address, and some high quality photos. Your goal should be to give the potential buyers enough information to quickly decide whether they want more information or not.

Email Marketing

Marketing your listings to your own internally created database of principals and other brokers can be highly effective.  Many commercial real estate listings are discovered and ultimately sold this way, and these so called “Email Blasts” are a common practice in the commercial real estate industry.

Aside from your own internal database, there are also several third-party services that you can use to email your listings out.  For example CCIM has an internal email list that allows members to exchange properties and other information. Spending time planning and executing a quality email marketing campaign can be an effective way to generate interest in your listing quickly.

Broker Meetings

In many cities it is common for local companies or associations to host a networking function that allows brokers to market their properties. These events typically occur over breakfast or cocktails and allow you to pass around marketing collateral and/or stand up and give a quick presentation. In addition to the marketing, these events can also be a great way to stay connected and in tune with the local market.

Cold Calling

One of the biggest benefits of having a highly detailed database of potential buyers is that you can segment out a smaller, targeted group of potential buyers that might be interested in your specific listing. While this approach takes more effort than a blanket email blast, it can often be more effective because it’s highly targeted.

Of course, you also get the added benefit of connecting with and marketing yourself to prospective buyers in a more personal way, who will then be more likely to remember you when it’s time to sell their own properties.

Direct Mail

While the cost of sending postcards and flyers is significantly more expensive than email, it can also be more effective when targeted to a specific group of qualified buyers. For example, if you’re marketing a small grocery-anchored shopping center, it might make sense to send a direct mail campaign to owners of other shopping centers within a 100-mile radius.

Display Advertising

If your listing has high visibility and traffic counts, putting up a sign is a very smart move. Some brokers report that up to 20% of their inbound calls are generated by well-located for sale signs. Other forms of display advertising are admittedly becoming less and less effective with the rise of online distribution channels, but it can still be useful in some situations. For example, if you have a really high end property and need to gain visibility quickly, running a promotional campaign in local, regional, or even national publications can go a long way towards achieving this goal.

Online Ads

A newer and much less used marketing channel for commercial property is online ads. After setting up a dedicated website address for your listing, creating a Google Adwords campaign to drive targeted traffic to your page can be highly effective. You can target certain search phrases such as “shopping centers for sale in Orlando, FL” and even restrict who sees your ad by geography.

Once you get the hang of Adwords, you can also experiment with other search engines like Bing or Yahoo. Additionally, you can test the waters with LinkedIn and Facebook ads, which allow you to create highly targeted campaigns.

Stand Out From the Crowd

By creating and executing an effective commercial real estate marketing plan, you’ll maximize your chances of selling quickly for the best possible price. Additionally, by keeping yourself organized with a detailed plan of attack, you’ll set yourself apart from other brokers and stand out in the eyes of your prospects and clients. Do you have any other effective commercial real estate marketing strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

Author:

BY 

For: Property Metrics

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    What Is Email Marketing? Definition, Tips, Best Practices, Benefits, and Examples

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    What is email marketing
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        How to be Better at Marketing Than Your Competitors

        How to be Better at Marketing Than Your Competitors

        Business competition can be fierce, especially when businesses are competing to acquire the same customers. When you understand your competitors, you can come up with strategies to make your products or services stand out more. It’s all about being better at marketing than your competitors. Here are ways to pull ahead of the competition.

        Competitor Research

        If you want to outperform your competitors, you should study them. Know what they’re doing. Learn how your competitors connect with your audience. Then, create or refine your strategy accordingly.

        What should you look for in your competition?

        You should know how they are interacting with their customers. Look at their customer support and sources of advertising. Then, capitalize on their strengths and weakness.

        Also, take a look to see how your competitors position themselves. Do they appeal to a particular gender, age group or niche market? Another area of interest is how they do their pricing. This information will help you know what’s working and what’s not.

        Competitors on Social Media

        No matter the kind of business you have, you cannot underestimate the power of social media. It’s estimated that more than 2.41 billion people use Facebook every month. If you want your business to succeed, you need to get an edge over your competition.

        But just knowing who they are is not enough. If using social media is appropriate for you, then you should come up with a strategy that will engage with your social media followers. To increase your odds of success, figure out the type of content that works for your competitors.

        What kind of material are they sharing? Check whether they are using images and videos on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Use this information to determine whether you should focus on writing blog posts or visual content. And don’t just see the type of content they share. Look even further to see which types of content are being engaged with by their audience. Are they publishing videos that have a high engagement? Great! Consider doing the same. Are they publishing memes that get virtually no engagement? If so, you may not want to use memes.

        Another strategy for beating your competitors’ social media marketing is tracking their hashtags. The idea is to know their activity. If you’re in an industry with low barriers to entry, then competition will be high. Also, if none of your local competitors are very involved on social media, you may not be able to find any hashtags they are using. However, you can look for similar businesses in large markets. They may not be your “competition” but they are targeting the same type of people you want to target. So, use their types of content and hashtags as inspiration.

        Of course, you should make a point to know who’s is mentioning you online. If you want to build a brand following, it’s a good idea to set up alerts and notifications.

        Keyword Research

        If you’re not sure what the most relevant keywords are in your niche, analyze your competitors’ websites. This information will give you an idea of the keywords people search for in your niche. You don’t have to focus all your energy on your competition, but you want to stay current with the keywords.

        When researching your keyword phrases, target a specific location or country. Pick the keywords you can most easily rank well for. You should pay close attention to the search volumes and historical trends. To get a detailed view of the competitor, you can use various tools like SEMrush or the Google Keyword Planner. Read our blog post titled 7 Tools to Use for Keyword Research for more options to choose from.

        Before you create content for your website, come up with keywords relevant to your business. Put yourself in the shoes of the target audience and think of the phrases or words you would use to find your business. Make sure you export all of the keywords. These are the search queries the target audience will enter when looking for your products or services.

        If you fail to target the right keywords, even the best content will not generate traffic. This is why keyword research is such an important part of SEO. However, just picking the keywords won’t generate traffic. Keyword analysis will show the phrases that bring success for your competitors. At the end of the day, you need a collection of keywords that will bring success.

        If other big brands are targeting a specific keyword, take a closer look whether it brings high ROI. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, eliminate the keywords that are not relevant to products or services. Evaluate each page closely to find the number of inbound links. A strong link profile shows that you’re up against the stiff competition. Be sure to exclude all irrelevant keywords to rank high on the search engines.

        Are you enjoying this post? If so, be sure to subscribe for occasional email updates from our team!

        Website Optimization

        Website optimization requires continuous monitoring, fine-tuning and maintenance. Take a close look at your competitor’s website. Analyze the text, design and functionality.

        Also, check whether the website loads quickly or what you can do to increase the overall quality of the site. Assess the content and site navigation of the competitors and then compare it with yours. How does it stack up? This information will give you a better understanding of what needs to be optimized.

        Take the top five competitors in the industry and analyze the methods they employ to optimize their website. This doesn’t mean you should copy your competitors outright. Your goal is to note the weak points in your website and identify strategies you can implement, based on research, to boost your site’s effectiveness.

        SEO Competition

        The main goal of SEO is to rank at the top of search engines, to reap the rewards of free search engine traffic. If you’re running a website but you’re not sure how it’s performing on sites like Google, you should look at your competition. Your top SEO competitors are the businesses that rank on the first page of Google for your target keyword phrases.

        You may have multiple competitors, even outside your niche, to contend with. For example, we provide “search engine optimization services.” Depending on your location, and how to phrase the keyword, you might find a local auto repair shop. Although our services are completely unrelated to auto repair, the keyword is somewhat similar, and this can cause extra competition for us.

        The easiest way to boost your SEO is choosing the right keywords. Other ways include mobile-friendliness, social signals, links, page speed, etc. Concentrate on on-page and off-page SEO. When your website appears at the top of Google, it will get more clicks. See what your competitors are doing with their SEO. Figure out what’s working well for them, and what you can do to outperform them.

        Final Thoughts

        Competition helps you do better in every aspect of your business. To increase your odds of success, you should monitor what the big players are doing to stay on top of the game. If you need help with your digital marketing strategy, let us know.

        Author:

        JOSHUA LYONS

        Joshua Lyons is a marketing professional based in Pensacola, Florida. Since finishing his bachelors degree in 2009, at the University of West Florida, where he studied public relations and marketing, he has actively developed his marketing career. Josh has honed his skill set with a specific emphasis on internet marketing. He currently works with five commercial real estate offices across the southeast and has other non-commercial real estate clients as well. He is particularly interested in helping businesses and professionals who are either trying to establish a new marketing presence or are trying to enhance their poorly performing marketing presence. He figures out what isn’t working, and fixes it. He also finds untapped online marketing opportunities and helps his clients make the most of those opportunities. To talk to Josh about your own marketing, you can email him at Josh@JJLyonsMarketing.com or call him at 850-760-0232. You can also follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaJLyons or visit his website at JJLyonsMarketing.com.

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        The Key to New Leads

        The Key to New Leads Every Month

        There’s a rampant problem in the real estate industry right now…  

        According to the NAR 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 89% of home buyers and 85% of home sellers said they would at least “probably use their agent again” or “recommend them to others.” And yet, few followed through: only 12% of home buyers and 23% of home sellers used an agent they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home.

        Moreover, the typical seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home. A full one-third of them have even recommended their agent three or more times! But has your business doubled or tripled? If your clients are making all these referrals, why aren’t people reaching out to you left and right? 

        Why are we losing all this sphere-of-influence business?

        The simple answer is because we’re not doing a good enough job of showing our value. Many agents think that providing a good service once is all they need to earn repeat and referral business, but the truth is, it’s not even close to enough. Massive companies likeCoca-Cola still spend massive sums on advertising… even though its product is so well known that an entire region of the U.S. uses the moniker “Coke” to refer to soda in general!

        Let’s think about this in terms of real estate. The latest studies tell us it might take up to ten years before a client is ready to buy or sell their home again… can you really say that you’re staying in contact with your past clients consistently over that time?

        And for referrals: a Consumer Insights Survey by Google said that 2 in 3 real estate searchers researched prospective agents online prior to working with them… when your client referred you to their friend or family member, and that person looked you up online, was what they found good enough to convince them to reach out? Statistically speaking, probably not.

        While we certainly don’t need a marketing engine on par with the big brands like Coca-Cola, we do need to consistently and constantly demonstrate our character and competence. This is called “omnipresent marketing,” and it’s a fancy way of saying “staying top of mind.” 

        This campaign is an easy, practically done-for-you way to stay top of mind with your database. Executed successfully, it will keep you in touch with your sphere and give them the tools they need to refer you. 

        5-Step Marketing Campaign: How to Use the “Monthly Value Program”

        In simplest terms, theMonthly Value Program campaign works like this: You choose a topic that would be interesting and engaging for your network. You create pieces of value around that topic, and get it in front of your network through a variety of channels: 

        • Publish useful real estate info using a blog or website

        • Send the info to people you know (and have an email address for)

        • Share a 1-minute video (post on FB and promote for $1 a Day)

        • Post info on social media (FB, Instagram, LinkedIn Pinterest, etc.)

        • Individual messaging follow-up using messaging apps (like FB Messenger)

        The campaign process ends up looking something like this:

        The key to successfully executing this campaign is to  implement it consistently throughout the month. 

        Check out the example of our March Calendar below: 

        Example Theme for March 

        Each month, you should  create campaigns around a theme that would pique the interest of anyone thinking about real estate. 

        We provide these monthly campaigns as part of our Marketing Club Membership, and our theme for March covered Home Design Trends. 

        More specifically, it talks about the home design trends in the new decade that will keep your home at the top of its market (even if you’re not planning to sell anytime soon). 

        Sellers who make tasteful updates can generate increased buyer interest and, in some cases, a premium selling price. And buyers should consider which features of a home will need updating immediately (or in the near future) so they can factor renovation costs into their overall budget.. 

        Example of one of the social media images included in the campaign collateral 

        Check out an excerpt of the March Blog Post below: 

         
         

        2. IN: Cozy / OUT: Cold

        Designers are moving away from cool grays, industrial finishes, and stark modernism. In 2020, there’s a big emphasis on creating warm and cozy spaces through color, texture, and shape.

        Gray has dominated the color palette for the past decade. This year, expect to see a move toward warmer neutrals, earth tones, and nature-inspired shades of blue and green. Warm metals, like gold and brass, will also continue to trend. And hardwood floors are heating up, as cool gray and whitewashed finishes fade in popularity. Expect to see a rise in classic choices like walnut, mahogany, and oak in richer and darker tones.

        Furniture will also get cozier—and curvier—in 2020. From rounded sofas and curved-back chairs to oval dining tables, softened-angles are dominating the furniture scene right now. And designers expect softly-textured fabrics—like velvet, shearling, and mohair—to be big this year, as homeowners strive to add a touch of “hygge” (the Danish concept of calming comfort).

        Want to warm up your home decor? Try one of the top paint colors for 2020: Benjamin Moore’s First Light (soft pink), Sherwin Williams’s Naval (rich blue), or Behr’s Back to Nature (light green).

         

        Example Social Media Image/Post

        Example Facebook image & post

        Is your home’s interior ready for a refresh? Check out my latest blog post, where I share five design trends to bring your home into the new decade.

        Then call or message me to schedule a complimentary consultation. I can help you determine which updates and upgrades will add the most VALUE to your home—and share my recommendations for stores and service providers to help you get started. 

        And if you’re ready for a REALLY fresh start, maybe a new home is what you need. I can help with that, too! 😉

        → [insert link to blog post]

        Advanced Tips 

        Be Flexible. 

        One of the most powerful aspects of these campaigns is their flexibility. Using the collateral we suggested earlier, you can do almost anything you can imagine to reach your customers where they are! 

        For Marketing Club members, we provide a list of variations you can take with the various campaign components, making it easier for you to find the best one that works with your own database. 

        Stay Consistent. 

        Set up your Calendar to remind you each month when a new campaign is available. Then set up reminders on each of the day’s you’re supposed to implement part of the campaign. This will prevent you from forgetting and falling behind, and it will also remind you to stay consistent! 

        The more consistent you are with following through on the implementation, the better and more positive results you’ll get! 

        Use Video. 

        Don’t be afraid to add some videos when implementing the campaign! Videos are great for Facebook and Instagram, and even short videos can be fun and informative to add to emails or text messages when reaching out to your database. 

        Try and record a quick 60-second recap of your blog post each month to add to Instagram or Facebook (with a link to your blog). 

        Author:
        https://thepaperlessagent.com/

        Sarah Dibiasi

         

        Where to Get the March Marketing Campaign (Plus new campaigns, every month!) 

        You can get the featured campaign and more by joining our Marketing Club! 

        Each month we release a new marketing campaign to members of our Marketing Club. We call it our “Monthly Value Program” or “MVP”. 

        Each MVP contains all the marketing you need for the month done for you, including:

        • Blog Post on a topic of relevance to anyone interested in real estate
        • A professionally-designed, customizable Report on the same topic
          • Powerpoint version
          • Keynote version
          • PDF version
        • LinkedIn Post, which is a condensed version of the blog post
          • Also has instructions for publishing a post to LinkedIn
        • Marketing Calendar of activities to ensure you implement the campaign fully
        • Social Media Image for you to use on Facebook or in your blog post
          • 2 Facebook post examples, a video prompt, and 2 different image options
        • An Instagram Image
        • Pinterest Image
        • LinkedIn Image
        • Support File, which contains
          • The Cover Email Template
          • The Phone Script
          • The copy for the Social Media Posts

        The Marketing Club is $67/month, but for a limited time we’re offering a two week FREE trial!

        Try the Club out for two weeks, and you’ll get the entire March campaign that we went over in this blog, including: 

        • Support file with all the information you’ll need to help you implement the March campaign
        • Training library FULL of real estate technology training, resources, and templates
        •  Website for your blog post
        • Access to Members-Only training every 1st and 3rd Wednesday
        • Priority support
        • So. much. more. 

        3 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Utilize Digital Marketing to Improve Sales

        3 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Utilize Digital Marketing to Improve Sales

        It’s no secret that, when it comes to the real estate market, competition is the name of the game. So, in an age when prospective buyers can see inside the living room of a home for sale 2,000 miles away, adapting your online marketing strategy to highlight your services and secure a sale should be at the top of your priority list.

        An extension of your sales skill set, digital marketing will see you refine your strategy in line with this century’s digital shift, helping you hone your craft to the benefit of your sales figures. From optimizing your onsite content to targeting your audience through email campaigns, in this article, we’ll offer a range of actionable tips to help boost your sales ratings and future-proof your career this year and beyond.

        Invest in email marketing

        According to Smart Insights, a successful email campaign should expect to achieve a click-through rate of between 10% and 15% and, according to the email benchmark compilation from IBM, those sent from businesses within the real estate sector currently have an average click-through rate of 10.2%. While this is encouraging in theory, for those of you just starting to integrate email campaigns into your digital marketing strategy, competition is fierce and you may not be able to expect these sorts of figures immediately.

        Email campaigns are a valuable marketing tool used to connect with new leads and nurture existing ones, but it’s not quite as simple as sitting down and creating your first campaign, then sending it out to your subscribers. An effective campaign will make use of well-researched audience segmentation and personalized content that engages the recipient providing them with the vital trigger needed to contact you in an offline capacity..

        Focus on user experience

        How likely would you be to close down a website upon discovering that it doesn’t load quickly enough? We’d guess pretty likely. With so many elements on a real estate website being used all at once—from photos and videos to contact links and maps—these sites can, in many cases, be incredibly slow to load on both desktop and mobile platforms. Understandably, this can cause users to bounce straight off your site and click the next search result in pursuit of a more satisfying experience.

        With this in mind, it’s crucial you consider how well-optimized your website is for the user. This should be done by thinking about how easy it is to navigate (through filters and category pages), how fast your pages load (on desktop, mobile and tablet) and how relevant and engaging your content is (does it compel the user to get in touch with you?). By focusing your online strategy on your user’s experience as opposed to your inevitable sales intentions, you’re more likely to create a natural, engaged customer base built on trust, helping you guide users through your sales funnel with ease.

        Consider your content

        In the real estate sector, more so than in many other industries, communication is key. As such, when it comes to communicating with potential clientele via your digital marketing strategy, content really is king. Be it the written word or video and imagery, you need to focus on creating high-quality content that captures leads by communicating a powerful and distinct brand voice.

        To do this, you need to pay equal attention to search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX). Professional content creation specialists are equipped to support you in this quest, creating custom content that targets high-value search queries as well as including relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) that prompt sales leads.

        Digital marketing is a broad term and, within the saturated real estate market, it certainly comes with its own nuances. While, naturally, your end goal will be to generate more relevant sales opportunities, an initial focus on user experience to establish an online presence that ultimately helps you build an engaged following should remain at the top of your priority list. By fine-tuning how your brand is portrayed online, you’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes to guiding leads through your sales funnel—remembering all the while that digital marketing is a marathon, not a sprint and patience in this industry is a virtue. 

        About the Author: Tori Atkinson is the lead content creator for Paragraft, providing custom content writing services for ambitious brands looking to find and nurture their brand voice.