Do you have a listing or two that seems impossible to unload? Every attempt you’ve made seems to fall onto a deaf marketplace?  Don’t worry, it happens to everyone at some point. Here are a few ways you can unload that problem listing a bit faster.

1) Online Directories – Duh, right? Make sure all your online listings are up- to-date and maybe add in a few directories that you don’t normally use. If you’re to the point of “When will this end?” perhaps adding it to all the main directories will help it move off your plate: LoopNet, Property Line, CoStar, Xceligent, Catylist, and Craig’s List. If it’s a small, office rental you may want to also look at some additional directories like Regus and Instant Offices to get your space leased.

2) Take better photos – Usually that retail space will lease just fine with your cell phone photos. Sometimes it needs some additional help. Hiring a professional photographer (not a student) would be ideal, however if you can’t afford the price tag, consider these photography tips.

Photography Tips: If the property has seen better days (like in 1953) consider a night time shoot.  Retail building signs will light up nicely and darken out all the missing paint and cosmetic issues.  Also, either an early morning sunrise or sunset shot will have such a pretty sky that it will distract from the building.  Always use the flash when taking interior photos, especially if the rooms are empty.

3) Add more information – You can purchase demographic ring studies for only $15 per study from EASI. Adding basic demographic data, traffic counts and trend reports may help potential consumers better understand the property and its location. This is especially important when dealing in areas that are perceived as “bad neighborhoods” but are actually “up-and-coming”.

4) Email directly to potential consumers – If you don’t have your own list of brokers and agents, consider Catylist or Property Line to send your property information to their network.  Both options start at $99 per email. Your audience can be narrowed down to brokers, agents, and/or directly to potential investors or renters. If you have your own list, consider emailing a photo of your property, bullet points of features and PDF brochure.

5) Press release – This can be a bit time consuming to setup your press release strategy (here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up your PR strategy), but when it comes to problem listings, if you have a PR list handy it could save you some grief.  Send your PR list a photo of the property along with the pricing and some feature highlights.  The bigger the property the more likely you’ll get some traction.  However, if you’re trying to pitch a small retail space, perhaps pitch the story like “What’s happening in Downtown Charlottesville?” and highlight your building as thriving with only 1-2 spots still vacant.

6) Local advertisements – While there are success stories when purchasing ad space in the newspaper, magazines, or other local ads, be aware that these options can be expensive and usually provide very few leads.  One way to track your leads from these ads is to use a Google Voice phone number.  Your phone will show the Google number and you can track how many calls came from the ad. This will be helpful when deciding on doing another ad or continuing ads for other properties.

7) Direct mailers – I’ve found that separating your mailers by profession gets a better response than sending a generic “property for lease” postcard to everyone.  With InfoUsa you can pull, for instance, insurance agents within 3 miles of your vacant office space.  Then you can mail them a letter like this…

Dear <NAME>,

I wanted to write you to let you know of a space available in <SHOPPING CENTER> on <STREET> and <STREET>. This space would be perfect for an independent insurance agency! It’s next to a major grocery store with tons of foot traffic, close to high-end shopping, and restaurants, and best of all, there’s no other insurance agencies near this location! You would be the only insurance agency within 3 city blocks. That’s a big deal when considering people that purchase for convenience.


Call or email me if you’re interested in this great opportunity! Do you need a different location or square footage? Let me know and I’ll be happy to find your perfect location.


Your local yellow pages may have a similar service where they’ll pull a list of businesses in a particular area, design a postcard, and mail the postcard for you.