Many commercial real estate agents will have a web site featuring listings and property activities in their local area. Unfortunately that will be the beginning and the end of the online experience and activities for many agents. There are however many other things that can and should occur to improve the commercial real estate profile for both commercial real estate agents and brokers.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an individual agent or part of a larger brokerage. You can and should improve your profile where ever possible online and offline. There are strategies to the process that are easily implemented.
Here are some ideas to help the online process:
- All of your listing marketing should be well designed with due regard for property features and local area impact. When you write an advertisement for an exclusive listing, make sure that you are picking up on all of the property features and the keywords that apply to the property type in your town or city. You can research the correct keywords using one of the online keyword search tools provided by the search engines. The selection of the correct words will help the search engines find the property and attract a greater number of buyers or tenants to your property listing. When you follow the process with all of your listings, the impact to your brokerage can be seen in a significantly improved number of inquiries coming back to your office and the individual agents.
- On your website home page, make sure that you have a database entry point where people can make inquiries for properties locally, and or information about the property type and the region. The database entry point should be achieving many registrations and new people every day. It is not unusual for some brokerages to have between 20 and 50 new registrations per day through the online database entry point. If you are not achieving that result now, it simply comes back to the fact that you were not focusing on your website enough with local content and property relevance. A high quality website with good content will attract more people; that is a proven fact to be optimized at every opportunity as part of your marketing effort.
- With an exclusive listing ensure that you have two or three variations of the property advertisement available and ready to use online. In this way you can advertise the same property in different industry portals to improve hits and the inquiry rate. There is no point in repeating the same advertisement across the different portals. When you have an exclusive listing, create variations of the advertising copy to use in this way.
- Every property advertisement can be well written with a focus on the local area and your targeted tenants or buyers as the case may be. To help with the process you can use a professional copywriter, or you can use simple publications that help with the design and layout of advertisements. Good books to use include topics such as ‘words that sell’ and ‘phrases that sell’. They are commonly available online and in most bookstores. Every real estate agent should have books of this type to help with property advertising copy.
- Every exclusive listing and every quality property should feature professional photographs as part of the marketing process. When you look at a website containing a number of listed properties, it is very easy to see the difference in attraction when it comes to using professional photographs verses ordinary photographs. Professional photographs provide far more hits and therefore many more inquiries for each listing. There is a cost to the process that should be passed on to the property owner as part of the marketing campaign.
- You can improve the number of hits that you achieve from an online advertisement by including a video within the marketing process. Videos generally lift the hit rate and the inquiry rate for most listings. It should be said that the cost of the video should be part of the vendor paid marketing process.
- The home page for your website should feature a quality ‘listing of the week’ in a prominent way. That can be a property from your selection of exclusive listings. The vendor for that particular property should pay a premium for that process. This then also comes back to the strategy of marketing and charging the vendor accordingly.
- To improve the profile of your brokerage website ensure that you have structured a blogging process within the website. Place regular blogs to the site at least three or four times weekly. Use those blogs to talk about real estate market activity, changes in the commercial property market, sales, leasing, and property strategies. You can tie all of these issues to the local area, your town and your city. In that way the search engines will see relevant content that may be of attraction to search engine inquiries. That is how you lift the profile of your website against other agents locally.
Whilst you may use the industry based property portals as part of your property marketing strategy, your own website should not suffer as part of the process. Every quality property should be featured on your own website given the factors and the strategies mentioned.