Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Online Marketing Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

man writing in diary
You can go online to market yourself as a top agent

In commercial real estate agency today, the online marketing process is critical to generating inquiries and growing your prospect list.  Most buyers and tenants will be looking at the internet first to get a lead on a property that they may want to inspect.  If your good quality listings are not placed on the appropriate websites and featured in the correct way, the inquiries you get back in will be restricted.

Not that long ago most property buyers and tenants were calling a real estate agent or looking at a newspaper when they needed to find a property to suit their needs.  

With the rise of online access devices and mobile telephones the process has changed in a major way; most inquiries today will come from the listing that you put on the internet.  That assumes you list and promote the property well online; there are systems and strategies to the process.

Every agent and salesperson should have a very good ‘online’ profile.  We are now seeing a big difference in agent market share and the internet is a large reason for that.

So you have some choices here.  You can do either of the following:

  • You can list a property and promote it on your website and the industry portals, or
  • You can promote the property with a mixture of those websites, plus you can bring in social media, blogs, and articles.

The latter will give you far more exposure to buyers and tenants.  From greater exposure you can get more inbound inquiries.  You have to control the listing.

So let’s go back a step and say that the agent that controls the listing controls the market and the deal.  Far too many agents do not have a good selection of quality exclusive listings and must work with buyers and tenants.  They have fewer listings if any at all to promote and quote.

The message here is that when you have the listing, the market comes to you.  It is far harder to work the other way around.  Many agents do things the ‘hard way’; they get some buyers and tenants, and then they chase around the market looking for listings.  In most cases they have to work with other agents that have the listings.  Wouldn't it be better to control the listing stock?

So let’s say that you have now got some good listings.  Those good listings should be exclusively controlled and directly marketed as part of that process.  You can then look at your internet marketing processes to build inbound inquiries.  Here are some to help you:

  1. Research the keywords that apply to your property type and local area.  Do a keyword search on the major search engines.  Use a ‘keyword search tool’ for this.  From the list of words that you create, feed the best ones into your property adverts.
  2. Create 3 versions of the advert so you can use each at the same time in different online locations and see what format or detail works better than the others.
  3. List the property on your website
  4. List the property on the industry portal.  Use a ‘featured placement’ advert (vendor pays the cost).
  5. Check the ‘hits’ that you get from online adverts for all properties and on different days of the week.
  6. Refresh the advert weekly with different content words and layout.
  7. Use professional photographs as part of online marketing
  8. Integrate your listing into your social media platforms
  9. Write an editorial and place it on your website as well as publishing it in newspapers.
  10. Write a blog about local property market trends and activities.
  11. Write and publish articles about your property specialty in article submission sites.
  12. Link your marketing efforts with your email based newsletter.

There will always be more things that you can do here.  The online marketing process has changed in a major way for commercial real estate agents.

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