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Top 7 Common Commercial Real Estate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

The purpose of commercial real estate marketing is to sell or lease commercial real estate space. Sounds simple enough, yet all too often mistakes are made that end up costing a lot of time, lost leads, and lost business.

By avoiding the top seven most common commercial real estate marketing mistakes you’ll increase your odds of selling or leasing your listings.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Marketing Strategy

Not having a marketing strategy – or having the wrong one, or a weak one – will wreak havoc on your CRE marketing efforts. Common strategic marketing blunders that commercial real estate agents make include:

  • Forgetting that CRE marketing is a continuous long-term process and not a one-off event,
  • Not using multiple marketing channels such as free commercial real estate property listing sites, email, social media, and offline marketing.
  • Lacking objectives for your marketing strategy by not thinking about the expected ROI for your marketing, what marketing metrics you’ll use to measure your efforts, and who your target audience really is.

Mistake #2: Creating the Wrong Buyer Profile

Successful commercial real estate marketing is all about targeting the right audience. In order to create engaging and informative content you’ve got to know exactly who it is you are speaking to. You can do this by creating a buyer persona.

A buyer (or seller, or lessee) persona is a semi-fictional creation of your ideal customer. Conducting research on your past clients, and focusing on their demographics, psychographics, goals and challenges can help you find common attributes to use to build your target customer profile.

Mistake #3: Creating the Wrong Content

Another common CRE marketing mistake is creating the wrong content, or just plain old boring or bad content, for your messaging. The target audience for your commercial real estate marketing likely includes players in hedge funds, private equity, and institutional money firms. So, it’s important to have high-quality content versus a high quantity of content.

Three examples of creating high-quality content for your CRE marketing campaigns are focusing your message on what you can do for them (instead of talking about yourself), using drone videos to showcase the panoramic vistas your listing offers, and virtual reality to make floor plans and space layouts easier to visualize.

Mistake #4: Using the Wrong Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that prospects use to find your listings online with search engines. Keywords can also be used in targeted offline direct mail or postcard campaigns. But not all keywords are created equal.

Often CRE agents make the mistake of using keywords that are too broad. Keywords for commercial real estate marketing campaigns should be specific enough that they drive traffic to your website or make the print reader want to pick up the phone and call you for more info.

Here’s an example of how to use the right keyword strategy for commercial real estate:

If you’re using pay-per-click advertising, using descriptive long tail search engine optimization (SEO) key phrases such as “North Burnet Austin office space” will also cost less than overly broad and vague keywords like “Texas office space.”

Mistake #5: Not Leveraging Social Media

Social media marketing for commercial real estate expands your reach, is easy to use and to measure results, and is free or inexpensive to use. Yet despite these benefits it’s surprising how many CRE agents don’t fully leverage the power of social media.

Twitter is a great way to send targeted messages to your followers. Facebook and LinkedIn are perfect for posting digital flyers and professional imagery. Your own personal YouTube channel is perfect for distributing your cutting-edge drone video footage of the Greenwich Village Manhattan NY office space for lease that you just listed. (And yes, that is a long tail key phrase you just read!)

Mistake #6: Making the Sales/Buying/Leasing Process Sound Complicated

One of the reasons that property owners, investors, and prospective tenants come to you is so that you can make their lives easier. Easier to list a property for sale, easier to find a good deal in a hot office market, or easier to locate the perfect coworking space for a couple that is confident their start-up is going to be the next Uber.

Today, people expect to get almost everything online, including information about your commercial property listing. Make it easy for your prospects to get brochures, records, documents, and contact information without having to click every page of your website. It’s all about psychology: if your process is easy, you’ll eliminate any concerns investors or tenants might have about how complicated or time-consuming doing business with you might be.

Mistake #7: Not Including a CTA

CTA is marketing parlance for “call-to-action.” Your CTA tells prospects what you want them to do next and makes that next step easy for them to take. Four examples of using a call-to-action in commercial real estate marketing are:

  • Including phone and email contact info on all pages of your website or print material,
  • Providing a downloadable PDF of your property brochure or a direct link to your YouTube channel,
  • Offering a click-to-call button that rings directly into your office,
  • Giving a free whitepaper or short e-book in exchange for the prospect giving you their name, email, and phone number.

Summary: Top CRE Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Not having a CRE marketing strategy,
  2. Creating the wrong buyer profile,
  3. Creating the wrong content,
  4. Using the wrong keywords,
  5. Not leveraging social media marketing,
  6. Making the process sound complicated,
  7. Forgetting to include a call-to-action.

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