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5 Steps to Build a Solid Commercial Real Estate Marketing Strategy

The commercial real estate industry is incredibly competitive, with property owners demanding more and more from you each and every day. While other CRE brokers might be struggling to survive, you can thrive by differentiating yourself and your business from everyone else in your market. Follow these five steps to build a solid commercial real estate marketing strategy that will help you get more prospect leads and close more deals.

Step #1: Put a CRE Marketing Plan in Place

An effective commercial real estate marketing strategy begins with a comprehensive marketing plan. Your CRE marketing plan is used to create the “big picture” you’ll use to measure your success. Items that should be in a commercial real estate marketing plan include:

  • What CRE asset class(es) do you focus on? This could be traditional office space, coworking, retail, mixed-use, or industrial.
  • Who is your target lead and what makes them tick? Understand the demographic and psychographic makeup of your target audience and what their hot buttons are.
  • Why should a client choose you and not someone else? Identify your personal unique selling proposition (also known as USP), which is a business-school phrase for telling prospects what you can do for them that the other broker cannot.
  • How much money do you have to spend, and how will you spend it? Marketing commercial real estate isn’t a one-off endeavor. Practice makes perfect and consistency is what leads to results. Create the right mindset by thinking in terms of an annual budget for marketing instead of a monthly one.
  • What channels will you use to market your CRE listings? Online, offline, or a combination of both?
  • How will you measure your results? Common metrics used to monitor a successful CRE marketing campaign include click-throughs to your website, qualified incoming leads from a CRE property listing website, inbound phone calls and emails, and number of deals closed.

Step #2: Develop Your Personal Brand Image

It’s all about you.

While this might sound conceited or egotistical, the fact is that CRE brokers with little egos have an extremely difficult time succeeding in the commercial real estate business. That’s because in commercial real estate you’re working with big players such as institutional investors, hedge funds, family offices, and private equity groups.

You can develop a personal and professional brand image for yourself with:

  • Professional photos and images, selfies from your cell phone are strictly forbidden.
  • Personal website with a unique domain name and a clean modern layout that’s easy to navigate and capture leads.
  • Powerful messages using your USP helping prospects understand what you can do for them that nobody else can

Step #3: Create an online CRE marketing strategy

The online digital part of your commercial real estate marketing strategy should include six things:

  • Professional company website or personal business website. Find a unique URL, ideally one that reinforces your USP and brand image.
  • Individual property websites, each with a unique domain name, where you can provide property specifics such as floorplans, drone videos and photos, and capture leads.
  • Email campaigns with messages specifically targeted to the wants and needs of your prospects.
  • Social media marketing using platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube can boost your credibility and generate leads from entirely new customer segments.
  • Create CRE content with blog articles, white papers, market reports, and free downloadable e-books used as a lead capturing tool.
  • Digital advertising including paid banner ads, pay-per-click advertising with Google AdWords, and free listings on CRE property websites.

Step #4: Create an Offline Commercial Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve developed your online strategy, you’re halfway there. Creating an offline CRE marketing strategy ensures that you’ll maximize your marketing dollars and help you close more transactions.

Key items to include in your offline CRE marketing strategy include:

  • Print materials such as brochures, flyers, and signage
  • Direct mail postcards and personalized single-page business letters
  • Networking events to meet other brokers, leasing agents, property managers, and investors
  • Trade journal advertising to reach thousands of brokers and investors regionally and nationally

Step #5: Measure Your CRE Marketing Results and Fine-Tune

A plane never flies in a straight line. The pilot makes constant course corrections due to changes in wind speed, altitude, and other air traffic to make sure you land where you’re supposed to.

Your commercial real estate marketing strategy is no different. You should fine-tune your CRE marketing efforts from time to time based on the results. Key metrics to measure your commercial real estate marketing results include:

  • Brand impressions for online advertising,
  • Website visits using Google Analytics,
  • Lead captures added to your CRM database,
  • Percentage of lead prospects converted to clients,
  • Number of clients who bought, sold, or leased from you.

Time Is Money

Organizing the main parts of your CRE marketing strategy with a timeline helps centralize the individual pieces of your marketing for multiple properties and makes it easy to plan and execute your next steps.

Building a solid commercial real estate marketing strategy gives you road map to follow. You’ll know where you’re going with plenty of CRE leads for fuel and you’ll be able to reach your final sales destination quickly.


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