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A Guide to Setting Up Your Commercial Vacancy Lease Marketing Today

When you are creating marketing material for the leasing of commercial property, there are things that you should review and cover before the advert can be written with reasonable skill.  There are things to check and understand about the property and the local area.  A well-written advertisement for leasing will attract more tenants, interested people and hence enquiries.  So, there are strategies to understand and deploy.

Before saying too much here, there are ways to approach ‘leasing marketing’ when you look at the two listing types.  Some decisions are to be made.  Think about these facts for starters:

  • Open lease listings – you cannot control the property or the client in this listing type. This is the ‘problem zone’ of commercial real estate and the listing process.  The only reason you should bother taking on an open listing is if you can see some merit in the listing, the client, or property, given the local area and the enquiries that you are working with.  Do not waste overly much time marketing the open listing.  Your time should be focused on exclusive listings first and foremost.
  • Exclusive lease listings – this is where the ‘cream’ of the real estate business resides. The best clients with the best properties will generally be controlled exclusively by one skilled broker or agency firm for a fixed period.  That is when significant time can be focused on the property.

In commenting on these two listing types, the conversions of exclusive listings will lift for an agent when relevance and skill are present.  A client generally knows when they are talking with or using an agent that has solid marketing coverage and professional skill.  Consider your approach to a client or prospect now.  How do you display your marketing message and strategy?  Could it be better?

Writing the Best Advertisement

Moving on to the process of writing a leasing advertisement.  Here are some rules and factors of control to work through:

  1. Review and inspect the property first, so you know the strengths and weaknesses that are present. Some of the weaknesses will require fixing and resolve before you take the property to the market and promote it to local business owners or tenants.  Take photos in and around the asset so you can review the key facts or recommendations with the client.  The next meeting you have with the client will be in preparation for the listing to be activated.
  2. Given the previous point, it is now wise to look around the local area to see what vacancies and leasing competition may exist. How are those properties being marketed?  What are the factors of time on the market with those listings and what can you do to avoid lengthy listing periods with your property?  You will need some strategy to stand out as providing a valuable leasing marketing solution.
  3. Define the target market of tenants and consider the factors of attraction that they may be looking for in a lease situation. From those factors of attraction, you can create a few different headlines and feature points for your advertising layout.  With exclusive listings, it pays to have three or four different marketing layouts to stagger across the media channels online and change in the campaign.
  4. Simplicity works effectively in property marketing. Don’t say too much about the property; remember that you want people to ring you for the complete facts.  Five dot points and a few simple sentences will generally be adequate in promoting a property for lease.
  5. Get professional photographs done and use them in your online and media promotions. Five photographs will be adequate for promoting most properties.  Consider the different times of day for that photography.
  6. Consider the improvements in the vacancy that may attract people to an inspection. Talk about those improvements.
  7. Get some target rents and incentive rules set to use in tenant lease negotiations. Understand the lease rental alternatives available and the documentation required to move things ahead.  Fully brief the landlord on those things before the marketing campaign starts.
  8. Use the ‘white space’ principal in your advertisement layout to help the ‘readability’ factor of the marketing. Most adults will not read a complex advert in the first review.  You want to attract their attention first and foremost.  ‘White space’ around an advert tends to do that very well.
  9. Some phrases sell concepts and ideas better than others; property marketing is like that. To see some examples of that ‘sell factor’ you can review local newspapers and magazines.  Some phrases from the local media can and should be considered or in part used for your property marketing.  You can also get some books with words and phrases that sell; marketing people use them all the time.
  10. Put some urgency and a call to action in your marketing message. Make it easy for people to call you at any time.  Promote the property and its features, and then entice the reader to call you.
  11. Design the advert around the well-known AIDA marketing rules of attention, interest, desire, and action. The logic works well in most lease marketing situations.
  12. Track and measure all the enquiry that comes in for a property vacancy. Soon you will know what marketing channels are producing better enquiry. Replicate the things that work for enquiry and lease attraction.

All these points show that there is a reasonable amount of strategy and preparation to taking a vacant commercial investment property to the market for lease.  That is why ‘exclusivity’ is so important.  You can add to this list with local factors relating to the precinct and the property.

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