Commercial Real Estate Marketing to Sell or Lease Your Property
Whether you need to sell or lease property, a comprehensive commercial real estate marketing plan is essential. A successful plan today needs to include both time-honored avenues—a marketing package, cold calling, direct mail, signage and networking—as well as newer marketing tools such as Email blasts, online listings and social media. Using a combination of methods will ensure that your property is sold or leased to the right buyer or tenant in the least amount of time.
Creating a Targeted Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan
Not every property is meant for every buyer or tenant. With this in mind, a marketing plan must be designed to zero in on those that could be serious prospects. You and your commercial real estate broker will need to answer some questions such as:
- Who are the individuals or companies that your property could be sold or leased to?
- What would make your property attractive to this segment of the market?
- Who is your competition and how can you differentiate your property from theirs?
Once these questions are answered you can begin to create a plan that will attract your targeted market.
Traditional Marketing Techniques
Marketing Package. Whether it’s called a marketing package, a brochure or a sales sheet, the key is to customize the content for the property. Important features should be described in detail. High-resolution photographs, aerial shots and maps of the area can all help “show” the property on paper.
Cold Calling. Once the target market is established, a diligent broker will cold call a detailed database of potential prospects that may be interested in your property. This marketing method requires more time and effort, but the results are often effective.
Direct Mail. Despite the convenience of Email, many brokers still elect to use direct mail. Postcards, flyers, letters and handwritten notes sent to a specific group offer a level of personal attention that Email blasts cannot match. For example, if you’re marketing a small office building, then sending a direct mail campaign to owners of like properties in the area may be worthwhile.
Signage. A sign, banner or window graphic can attract attention for a property that has high visibility and traffic counts. For Sale signs may be old school, but they’re still around because they work.
Networking. Another long-established marketing technique is word-of-mouth. In particular, networking functions allow brokers to market properties among colleagues. There are professional associations, chambers of commerce, Meetup groups and other opportunities for a broker to distribute a marketing package or talk about your property.
Modern Marketing Tools
In addition to the tried-and-true methods, the Internet has generated many new ways of marketing a property. According to a joint study conducted by LoopNet and Google, 80 percent of surveyed tenants and investors say they use the Internet for information about commercial real estate.
Therefore, your property must have an online presence. A broker who works with a commercial real estate company can include the listing on the company’s website. Then, with just a click, interested buyers or tenants can read information, view pictures and quickly get in touch with the listing broker.
In addition, there are several listing websites for commercial property such as CoStar, LoopNet and Xceligent to name just a few. All of these online channels can connect to the more detailed listing on your broker’s company website.
While a personal letter has its place in a marketing plan, don’t underestimate the value of a targeted Email campaign. How does a broker ensure that emails are not deleted before they’re even read? The subject line must offer information about your property to entice prospects. A scenic view, easy access to highways or recent renovations—any one of these can be highlighted. Then, the Email’s content should provide information about the property as well as a link to the website listing.
Finally, there is social media, which has become a powerful tool for commercial real estate marketing. Chances are prospects you want to reach are already using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and more. Every other marketing technique pushes out a message. Social media, on the other hand, pulls in prospects through Likes, Shares, Tweets, Follows and Friends. A broker can actively market your property on a personal social media page as well as on a company page.
With a comprehensive commercial real estate marketing plan that combines established and innovative tools, a broker will be able to sell your property for the highest price or lease your space more quickly.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. As with any financial or legal matter, consult your tax advisor and legal counsel.