Everyone has a different opinion on what marketing materials are absolutely necessary for your commercial real estate business.  As a commercial real estate marketing expert, I have provided my list of top 5 materials you need to survive.

1) Business Card. The great sales agents of yester-year only needed this to sell/lease a property.  This is the one material you cannot live without.  You business card symbolizes what your business means to you – If you printed your own cards with your ink-jet printer onto a pop-out template you may as well say “I don’t care about my business.”  VistaPrint.com offers 250 cards for $20.  There’s no excuse for poor business cards.

Tip: Don’t put style over function.  Many commercial property owners over 50 will not appreciate your light gray, 5-point font.  Make sure all your text is easy to read, black, 12-point font.

2) Corporate Brochure. How many of you are living without this right now?  A lot, I bet!  Now-a-days clients expect a leave-behind material that clearly states your specialty, area of expertise, and services provided.  Your contact information should be clearly visible, and don’t skimp on the detail!  Clients want to know (1) how much experience you have, (2) what makes you different from everyone else, (3) a list of all your services, and (4) high-profile clients you’ve worked with in the past. (See Templates)

3) Listing Brochure Template. All your listing flyers should look the same.  You should have the same color scheme, header, and footer on every listing brochure you produce.  I do not subscribe to the “leave them wanting” theory when placing content on your brochures.  I believe every sales agent knows their client’s needs and if a property fits within those needs, you will receive a follow-up.  If you leave out information (I.E. price) in hopes that you can talk someone into the property even if it doesn’t fit the client’s needs, you may be wasting both your time and that agent’s time.  There are exceptions, so choose your own strategy on a case-by-case basis. (See Templates)

4) Sales Package (OM) Template. You can’t treat your million-dollar listings like your $50k listings.  You need a separate template to fit the needs of your premiere clients.  Also, don’t cheap out on printing!  VistaPrint.com offers 50 full color, 8.5×11, double sided flyers, with full bleed (ink goes all the way to the edge) for $50.  These listings will likely bring in thousands of dollars and may lead to other high-profile clients so there’s no excuse for being cheap. (See Templates)

5) Signage. The bane of all real estate agents.  In my experience, I’ve found the best combination is to get one company to print your signs and another to install the signs.  If one sign company does both your printing and installation it’s more difficult to leave if you become unhappy with their service.  For brand recognition, all your signage should have the same basic design even if it’s printed many sizes.

Don’t forget that consistency is key.  All of your marketing materials should have the same look to promote brand recognition.  If all your materials look completely different, the money you spend on marketing may as well be thrown away.  “Carnival campaigns” (all materials look like they’re from different businesses) will leave potential clients confused and unable to remember you.