Marketing is so broad, so general, and so generic that there are too many things to discuss in just one article! Instead, I’ll give you a broad breakdown on the basic survival needs of your commercial real estate business.
1) Brand yourself. People like to over complicate the issue of “branding” with buzz words and psychological jargon. Essentially, branding is the act of getting people to (1) know you, (2) like you, and (3) recognize you. It’s important that you make a decision on what message your company wants to give its clients well before you begin creating marketing pieces and collateral.
2) Specialize…For Real. If you say, “I specialize in sales and leasing.” YOU SPECIALIZE IN NOTHING! If you have “Sales and Leasing Specialist” on your business cards, I insist you burn them. When considering who your target market will be, “everyone” is not a good answer. The purpose of marketing is to identify exactly who wants your services and advertise to those people. The most successful people in commercial real estate choose from the following: office, medical office, retail, industrial, land, multi-family, or investments. For even more targeted marketing, pick a subcategory within the main category like: North Las Vegas, Henderson, NE Las Vegas, NW Las Vegas, Downtown, SE Las Vegas, SW Las Vegas, Central Las Vegas. When you focus on industrial properties in North Las Vegas, you’ve cut your travel time and cost by a huge margin, and it’s easier to get to know everyone within that small market.
3) Good, Cheap, Fast. Pick Two. This is an amazing rule of thumb since there is no way a business can be everything to everybody. It’s not likely you can deliver the best services, dedicate tons of time to lease/sell every building, and have the lowest commissions in town. Instead, prioritize which one or two of these would contribute the most to your success.
Example (Good): Agents that decide that they’re going to be “the best” specialize in a subcategory. When you’re the leading expert in retail space located in Downtown Las Vegas, clients are willing to pay a premium for your extensive knowledge. Agents who dedicated themselves to this philosophy will make quarterly visits to every downtown retail store, have a black book of all contact info, and can “smell the dirt move,” meaning this agent is so in tune with their target market that they are on top of every move in and out of their territory. Your diligent knowledge will pay off since clients will pay good money for a quality expert.
Example (Cheap): Are you in a competitive market where clients are looking for the biggest bang for their buck? Consider creating a streamlined process where a listing comes in, follows an automated process and largely sits untouched for weeks at a time. This will give you time to find more clients to balance out your income. Clients that are looking for “cheap” usually aren’t as concerned with fast turnaround or hand holding, so it’s OK to use an automated process. Lower Commission Checks x Lots of Clients = Same Amount of Money as the Average Commission!
Example (Fast): For commercial real estate agents this means spending a lot of time on a few projects in order to get them sold/leased quickly. Agents with this main philosophy will likely take on few projects, but spend 8 hours a day finding potential buyers/tenants. Travel to nearby older buildings to advertise the new one that you’re leasing, or advertise your lower rates to people in overpriced buildings. The faster those vacant offices fill up, the faster commission checks come in!
4) Consistency. The biggest and most common mistake I see commercial real estate agents make is a total lack of consistency in their marketing materials. Your website should look like your flyers, business cards, company brochure, postcards, and email blasts. And all of these things should be based on the color and fonts of your logo. When all your materials match (yes that means they have to look the same) you will achieve brand recognition – people will recognize you.