How to Build a Commercial Real Estate Marketing Strategy
Creating a successful commercial real estate marketing strategy requires more than having a fancy print brochure and pushing your listings to LoopNet. In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the game is shifting quickly and you need to appear where your clients are looking to increase the chances of success for your business.
Since every real estate project is different, we will give you a list of commercial real estate marketing ideas that can work for any CRE firm.
Exclusive Download: Download a free marketing strategy template + 3 additional Excel templates for commercial real estate marketing.
A healthy commercial real estate marketing strategy should have a well-balanced marketing mix and leverage Earned, Paid and Owned media.
The notion of diversifying your risk also applies in commercial real estate marketing. Your marketing mix should be distributed across different channels to mitigate any down-side risk in the case of unexpected issues with a specific marketing area.
So, just how do you start?
Here are 15 important activities that should be part of your commercial real estate marketing strategy:
1. Create a Professional Company Website
Your company website is often times the first impression you give a potential client and a key factor to instill trust and confidence to prospects.
It can also serve as an important marketing outlet allowing you to feature company news, demonstrate thought leadership through blog posts and research studies, and promote your properties.
2. Launch Individual Property Websites
In 2018, if you don’t have a strong digital footprint for your properties then your competitors are going to eat your lunch.
Creating a property website for your properties is a big step beyond a simple listing page on a company website or CRE portal. It not only serves as a digital hub for your property marketing efforts, but can also add “wow” factor to help engage and convert visitors much more effectively.
3. Send Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns
Building and segmenting a database of potential prospects for sending targeted email communications is one of the single most important marketing activities you can do to help fuel your sales or leasing efforts.
There are plenty of ways to start building your list through your website, blogs and lead capture pages. Whether you use a commercial real estate CRM, an email marketing platform or simply store your contacts manually, make sure you have a game plan in place to grow and nurture your user base.
4. Create Useful Content
Content marketing is one of the key tactics to stay top of mind and nurture your prospects until they are ready to actively engage with your business.
However, not many commercial real estate companies know where to start or what to do.
The key to content marketing is this: don’t just be part of the noise.
Create high-quality content that is useful, relevant or entertaining. This can be done in many different ways including blog posts, studies, infographics and videos.
5. Share content on Social Media
Social media marketing is free and an effective way to build brand awareness and drive eyeballs to your website. Savvy commercial real estate professionals are also using social media to spark conversations and facilitate connections with potential customers and partners.
Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook are the most relevant social networks for commercial real estate, and where your company should be most active.
6. Get Press Coverage
Building relationships with influencers, journalists and bloggers can pay off big. Outreach takes time but press mentions can help propel your brand awareness and have a massively positive impact on your marketing efforts.
Having your own “black book” of influencers is a key asset and will save you thousands of dollars in PR agency fees who essentially spend most of their efforts around outreach.
7. Optimize Your Website for SEO
Make sure you develop a SEO plan as early as possible. Visibility from search engines can have a powerful impact for your business and help drive tenants, brokers and investors to your website.
However, SEO is a long-term process and requires can take months to start seeing impact.
8. Post your Listings on Commercial Real Estate Listing Sites
Advertising your listings on commercial real estate portals is an effective way to generate visibility in front of a very highly relevant and targeted audience.
Besides Costar and LoopNet there are several other alternative CRE listing websites worth considering to promote your properties and drive leads.
9. Set Up Paid Google Keyword Campaigns
There are 500 million searches on Google every day and chances are that your clients are searching for keywords related to your property or business right now.
Google Adwords is a very powerful acquisition channel to help you attract leads but real estate keywords can be very expensive depending on your target market. However, what’s great about Adwords is that you can specify your Ad budget to whatever you feel comfortable with and stop at anytime.
10. Set Up Paid Display Campaigns
Display advertising comes in different formats and can help raise brand awareness and impact thousands (or millions) of people very quickly. Working with Ad networks like Adwords will provide you with very granular targeting and allow you to decide what websites you want your Ads to appear on.
11. Target Your Visitors through Remarketing
Remarketing goes beyond simple display advertising. When a user visits your website, a cookie is dropped on their computer so you can target them and show relevant Ads when they browse on different websites.
This can be an effective way to stay “top of mind” and drive visitors that engaged previously back to your property listing or company website.
12. Don’t Ignore Social Media Advertising
Another way to raise awareness and acquire visits is through performance-based advertising campaigns on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.
These platforms can offer very laser-targeted campaigns, allowing you to select who, when and where your Ads are displayed.
For example, if you are leasing a life science property you could launch a campaign targeting C-level executives in the bioscience industry in a specific geography.
13. Advertise on Trade Journals
Commercial real estate trade journals and online publications are read daily by thousands of potential investors, brokers and other industry peers.
Almost all industry journals offer advertising opportunities to help maximize your exposure in front of a large, national audience or a more focused regional segment.
14. Develop a Marketing Plan
What is a real estate marketing plan (and why do you need one)? A real estate marketing plan provides a comprehensive structure for all of your earned, owned, and paid media assets. It allows you to document your marketing activities and define objectives so you have a clear understanding of where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
Moreover, a marketing plan is a key component of any real estate marketing strategy as it helps you plan and manage both your timelines and budget.
15. Measure Your Success
“If you can’t measure it, don’t mess with it”
The most critical component of a success commercial real estate marketing strategy is measuring the success of your activities. Define key metrics for each of your marketing channels, setup a real estate marketing report, and make data-driven decisions to continuously improve your efforts.
Don’t let your strategy get stale. You should constantly be testing ideas and tactics to see what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t have any impact.
Most importantly, don’t lose sight of how your marketing strategies impact your business objectives. If you can’t quantify the direct or indirect impact on your lease-up, sales or tenant retention efforts (or whatever else) then you need to go back to the drawing board.
Marketing Strategy Template (Bonus)
If you want to create an effective commercial real estate marketing plan, you need a systematic approach that defines the overall strategy, objectives and key metrics for each key channel you want to engage in. The following real estate marketing plan template is an Excel spreadsheet that will help you organize all of this.
Download Free:Commercial Real Estate Marketing Strategy Template (Excel)