No matter how unstable the headlines seem to be these days, industry experts agree that those of you in commercial real estate can rest easy knowing:
- Deloitte notes that the United States continues to be the most favored destination for real estate investments.
- The Urban Land Institute states that the S. property market is the most stable and transparent in the world, with higher relative yields and price appreciation potential, which could all contribute to another two years on the current growth cycle.
- And MultiFamily Executive lists as part of its 2017 trends that foreign investors are looking beyond Class A properties in top-tier cities to urban areas nationwide.
In our survey of the latest ideas in commercial real estate marketing, let’s start with what’s known as the digital marketing trifecta.
- Earned Media is visibility that you earn through word-of-mouth and other non-paid efforts, such as search engine optimization on your websites and good ol’ public relations. Your contacts here include those who cover your business for third parties (journalists, analysts, bloggers, etc.). You can even volunteer to contribute as a guest writer or poster on real estate sites, but be sure to include your own contact information and links. Once you build your list of these contacts, creating an email distribution list to communicate your latest news is an easy process to set up.
- Owned Media refers to your own websites, blog posts, and social media profiles, as well as the contact lists you collect and maintain yourself.
- Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are widely accepted in CRE marketing as an informal avenue for demonstrating expertise and developing relationships.
- When creating content for your own sites (including microsites for individual listings), make sure your posts are relevant, easy to read, and fully crosslinked to your other owned media.
- Never underestimate the power of developing and segmenting your own lists of prospects, industry contacts, previous clients, referrals, and more. Every successful direct marketing campaign, be it traditional or online, depends on good data, and lists of people you know personally are the most successful.
- Go Mobile
One new frontier is in-app mobile advertising, which offers you the opportunity to push your marketing in front of smartphone users (who spend more than 64% of their phone times within mobile apps). A tool like Xpress Mobile enables you to leverage your print pieces to create an in-app mobile ad campaign and publish it on trending apps with real-time distribution.
Next, here are a couple of ways to make sure your online presence is as solid as your brick-and-mortar office.
- Claim Your Digital Space
What are your prospects finding when they search for you in their favorite browsers such as Google, Bing, or Yelp? Or in CRE sites like LoopNet? Claiming your business, supplying full information, and keeping it up-to-date is an easy and free way to maximize your online impact.
- “Owner Occupied” Online
When it comes to marketing commercial properties, there are a lot of dollars and a lot of moving parts involved. To make the clearest case for any property, consider a microsite devoted to the listing where you can post full, well-organized details like high-resolution images, video tours, floor plans, area maps, downloadable or digital brochures — whatever best tells the story to your prospects. Of course, it is just as important that the site be cross-linked to your other sites and optimized for both SEO and mobile devices.
- Metrics, metrics, metrics
Sure, there is an art to being a great marketer, but there is also a fair amount of science. Why spend time and money on any marketing effort unless you can determine that it works? Build metrics into all aspects of your marketing plan: goals, strategies, and tactics. Take a few minutes during and after your campaigns to see what worked and what did not, and then use that data to make more informed decisions for future campaigns. A great tool for this information gathering process is Google Analytics, which allows you to track online views, visitors, clicks, etc., and develop insights into your lead conversions.
- Integrate Digital with Direct Mail
Integrating your digital and direct mail marketing efforts will help optimize the performance of your campaigns. Direct mail continues to be among the most successful forms of marketing, so syncing it to your digital efforts (by leveraging content and design components) to create another touchpoint will garner a higher return on investment.
In summary, these seven ideas boil down to three steps: diversify your efforts, measure the results, and repeat. Execute these steps effectively, and you will be making the most of our current commercial real estate market’s growth phase.
This article was guest written by my friend…
Eric Arnold (VP of Sales and Business Development) is the author of the article.
Eric has been leading Xpressdocs’ sales and business development efforts for more than 12 years. Prior to Xpressdocs, he held sales and management positions at various software and technology companies, including Expedia and Jobs.com. Eric graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Business Administration degree in Finance and Computer Applications.