In commercial real estate brokerage today your brand is twofold and highly important. Firstly, you have the brand relating to the business that you work for, and secondly you have the image associated with your personal efforts and client base. In simple terms, you need to successfully consolidate your property business message on both platforms comprehensively. You have to be remembered and you have to be easily contactable by the active property people. If you want the telephone to ring more with property inquiry, then these ideas will help you.
In most towns or cities there are plenty of competitors chasing the same clients and the same listings. The only way to break through the ‘clutter’ is to have a marketing model that is memorable and effective. You want people to remember you in the best way, and at the right time.
If you are struggling with new business activity and client growth, it is time to look at your marketing model and its relevance for your client base and listing conversions. How many people know you? What would they say about you? Exactly how relevant are you for the local property market? Why do they need you?
Know your promotional strategy
As you can see, these simple questions really point back to the person and what they are doing from a marketing perspective. Here are some marketing solutions to help you consolidate your professional property image within a location and within any commercial real estate brokerage:
- Establish two different strategies that are to be working in parallel all of the time. You should have a specific online promotional strategy under way covering a number of Internet based tools and platforms. Also have an off-line direct marketing process working locally and within your target market. The online and off-line methods of marketing are totally different, and yet the same message should be consistently carried across both channels. Your image, message, contact processes, and professional services should stand out both online and off-line to the target markets that you serve.
- Why are you better than the competition? That message is to be used in your marketing, however don’t use something that is generically bland such as ‘working for you’ or ‘knowing the local area’. Bland marketing messages have been used for years by inexperienced property people that really don’t understand the business. It is so important to create a marketing message that is personal and that is relevant from a branding perspective. Dig down into your skill mix and property knowledge; in that way you will usually find a clear answer to your strengths and that you can work with from a business perspective.
- Review the levels of competition existing locally in your market today. On average you will find that approximately 20% of your competitors are reasonably clever as ‘top agents’ and well entrenched into their market segments. They will be professionally competitive and will be attracting levels of business that could interfere with your market share growth. What can you do to compete? Look at what they’re doing when it comes to client contact and the marketing strategies associated with all listings. There may be certain elements of promotion that you can replicate or enhance as part of your marketing model. Learn from the best in the industry, and then improve your processes to the next level.
- Undertake a signboard count for your location and the business or property types. Understand the number of property signs that you have within the property market and then compare those numbers to that of your competitors. The traditional signboard remains a very effective marketing tool for commercial real estate today. Why is a sign so important? It is location based. When you list a property, get a signboard placed onto the property boundary or within the asset as soon as possible. As soon as the signboard is erected, get into the location personally and talk to all the local business owners directly and specifically. Your signboard will create local property interest, so you need to be there to tap into that interest and answer questions. Your signboard gives you leverage, so use it.
- Use your business card comprehensively and directly at each and every opportunity. Ensure that your business card is of the highest standard both in design and quality. A good quality business card will be printed on quality paper stock and be of reasonable size. Make it a target to give out at least 20 to 30 business cards per day to the people that you interact with. Over time that approach will help give you reasonable levels of market penetration and prospect coverage.
When you look at these simple ideas, it is easy to see that you should be reaching out into the local property market on a daily basis consistently and directly. Most of the listing conversions created in commercial today are evolved from personal contact and trust. Find the right people to work for and then build the trust with them over time.