In commercial real estate brokerage, it is all too easy to spread your new business and client focus far and wide across large areas and all property types; the consequence of that is you can lose focus. The brokers or agents that are ‘broad’ or generic marketers generally do not command market share and consequently, commissions are lower or harder to achieve.
The message here is that you can and should concentrate your listing and client focus at a personal level in all respects. Your skills and brand are personally important to your market share so put yourself forward in your new business and client contact processes; technology will help you. Here for example are some interesting perspectives on marketing for real estate agents and brokers today.
Concentrated Client Connections
When I say ‘concentrate’ your focus, I mean all the following:
- Fix on a location of streets – determine the streets that are important to your listing activities, and those streets that contain the better buildings and property owners. Get the research done in that zone so you know all those streets comprehensively. Look for the buildings and the property owners that could be the next to come into the market. There are signs to look for such as vacancy factors, the age of property, expansion or renovation needs, and tenant mix or local business changes.
- Single out buildings – from the previous point, there are certain buildings locally that will stand out as ‘prime’ or of high quality; you need those listings as they come onto the market. A building of high quality or of local area ‘prominence’, will always attract more enquiry. A core element of your marketing plan should be to choose and prospect into the better buildings.
- Select quality property owners and investors – as you talk to ever more people, you will find a small group of known and respected local property owners that dominate the property market and or property ownership in a region. Who are they? How can you connect with those people? Design your database to accommodate a VIP group of people that ‘stand out’ as local property identities and owners. That VIP group should evolve into a specific contact approach in your personal marketing plan. It can take a long time to break through into the group and gain their trust, but the rewards are many when you are known and trusted by local ‘high value’ property identities. Market yourself as a local specialist, and make sure that your online and offline promotional processes ‘sell’ the same story. Be ‘known’ as the local specialist.
- Encircle other agent’s listings – the other listings held in your area by your competitors are valuable ‘leverage points’ for your marketing efforts. When a competitor’s signboard is placed on a local property, you can and should market your specialised services into the surrounding property owners and businesses. Use the momentum of the nearby listings as a catalyst for your conversations with local property ‘interested’ people.
- Establish superior signboard presence – in this ‘day and age’ of the internet, local area marketing and signboard presence will always be important. From one well-placed sale or lease sign, you can get plenty of enquiry. That says however that you should control your signboard presence and you can only do that on ‘exclusive listings’. Control your listing stock, and in that way, control the enquiries that are coming to you.
- Narrow down your online marketing to a few channels – we all know the importance of online marketing today, and you can do it in so many ways. Drill down into just a few online promotional methods that you can regard as your personal social media and online strategies of marketing. You only need a few channels of ‘social contact’, and from that point, you can fill the channels with local property information can match your speciality and business profile. Frequency is very important in online marketing; by using the word ‘frequency’, I mean at least 4 or 5 times a week something should be published into your online marketing channels. This is a personal process of marketing, and not something that your brokerage would do for you; take control of your ‘online’ profile and get some meaningful information out into the location about recent trends in sales and leasing, and then also your experiences in local property. Have a few stories to tell. You will find that stories engage more with your location and your client base.
From these things, you can see how the process of marketing in commercial real estate brokerage is today more specific than generic; it is a very ‘personal’ process. When you ‘drill down’ into your promotional methods, and really connect with the right people, you will find the ‘snippets’ of information that can become a listing or a client opportunity in the future. At any time and in all property markets, there are plenty of leads and listings to find.