A Commercial Real Estate Agent said to me today, ‘I can’t seem to get any more advertising out of my vendors; they won’t spend on advertising.  Listings are buried online many pages below the homepage simply because the property owners won’t pay for a priority advert on the commercial portals.  What can I do?’

My advice is to ‘toughen up’.    In this market you will get plenty of clients and property owners that won’t want to spend money on their listing; that needs to be sorted.  The fact of the matter is that if they are genuine, they have to spend money on marketing and you should also chase price reductions as part of that process to keep a listing fresh.

If the client declines the request to pay marketing monies, be prepared to drill down on the issue rather than give up on it.  Here are some statements I would use in doing so:

  • ‘Like it or not the internet is a powerful marketing tool that requires strategy’
  • ‘Invest in marketing by priority placement’
  • ‘Position your property above the others’
  • ‘The internet is a first port of call for most buyers and tenants’
  • ‘Don’t let the competition listings grab the enquiries’
  • ‘Go for gold on your marketing and attract the enquiry’
  • ‘Take your best shot at online marketing because you only have one chance’
  • ‘Listings get stale really fast’
  • ‘Help the market to find you and your property’
  • ‘If you are serious, your marketing also needs to be’
  • ‘Don’t make life too hard’
  • ‘Don’t get lost in online clutter’
  • ‘Vacancies are costly so don’t waste time on marketing’
  • ‘Buyers make decisions really fast so be there when they are looking’
  • ‘Act now before others do…… compete’
  • ‘Attract your target market the right way’
  • ‘Use keywords in your online strategy to attract enquiries’
  •  ‘Enquiries are everything in moving up the property ladder locally’

The ‘portals’ push their packages and that’s how they make their money; the portals are not going to disappear so we have to sell the concept well.   If we want better enquiry for any listing on our books, it is up to us to condition the client to the market, and keep all quality listings at the front of the online portals.  That means selling the need for vendor paid advertising funds.

So let’s go back to my comment about ‘toughening up’.  We must be prepared to confidently sell the logic of online marketing money and specialised campaigns.  The internet is not going away at any time, and on that basis we really must be comfortable with pitching the best methods of marketing using the internet as a priority marketing tool.

Top agents understand the need for advertising dollars as part of promoting listings.  If you are not getting good inquiries now from your listings, take a look at the advertising spend on the priority listings (compare each month and grow the commitment).  Track those numbers monthly.  Most listings need a price adjustment or even a few of them before a deal is done.  Don’t take too long to adjust your prices and focus on marketing funds.