Saturday, May 11, 2013

Marketing Ideas for Commercial Real Estate Agents Today

commercial real estate agent reading newspaper
Define your marketing strategies.

The single most important principle behind commercial real estate marketing is to obtain enquiry from the target market in a timely way.  This is quite a specific process and does require strategic thinking.  The days of ‘generic marketing’ are well gone.

Every exclusive listing on your agency books should be subjected to a well-structured marketing campaign with a target market focus.  The marketing of open listings is far less important and is therefore a random process. 

The exclusive listing process will help you in controlling the property, the inspections, and the clients.  This control ability doesn't occur with open listings.  If you are involved with a negotiation on open listing, expect that the client could be talking with other agents at the same time that you are attempting to close on an offer.  Levels of client trust and cooperation is less with open listings.

An exclusive listing should be supported by vendor paid advertising.  That is the rule and not the exception.  It is interesting to note that some agents will take on an exclusive listing without appropriate or sufficient vendor paid advertising funds.  This can be quite counter-productive and limit your ability to attract the required audience and hence create inspections.

A committed client to the exclusive listing process will usually spend reasonable promotional money to help convert the marketing effort to inspections.  Marketing is not an experiment; it is a very specific process.  With a commercial property in the average price range of up to $5m, it is not unusual to spend approximately 1% of the expected sale price in the advertising budget.  The agent’s sales pitch and listing process needs to support this logic and requirement.

Here are some rules that apply to the advertising and marketing process with quality commercial and retail properties today:
1.       A property listing should be considered for the best time of year to commence the promotion.  Consider the best time and the length of time required to reach the target audience for the property type and location.
2.       Assess the other competing properties in the market today that may have an impact on your listing.  Identify the differences in those listings and the reasons that they may still be on the market.
3.       Determine the best method of sale to use when it comes to the target market and the prevailing economic conditions.  If the property is unique and special, or if it is in a higher price range, the method of sale may need to be time based.  That will normally be using an expressions of interest, tender, or auction.
4.       Any property that is placed on the market at a fixed price is likely to be slower to sell.  Many property owners will inflate the asking price with the intention of dropping to a lower figure when an offer is made.  This can create buyer frustrations or hesitation, and stifle the enquiry for the listing.  Make sure that your client is suitably primed for the prevailing market conditions and has priced their listing accordingly.
5.       Address any weaknesses in the property before the marketing campaign has commenced.  This will usually be an added expense to the seller of the property in preparation for the property promotion.  You don't need any hurdles or weaknesses to address when taking new people through the property as part of an inspection.

These five factors show how important it is to be prepared for the advertising and marketing process.  Use the best alternatives of marketing to match the property and the prevailing market conditions.  Make each advertising campaign special and unique to the features of the property.  Encourage more enquiry through each media channel used.

You can get more tips like this for commercial real estate agents in our newsletter right here.