Local area marketing is a big part of attracting listings and commissions in commercial real estate brokerage today. Most of the clients that you work with will come from your local area. Get to know your area in a comprehensive way; assess all the sales and leasing opportunities on a street by street basis. Identify the quality listings so that you can tap into the right properties in the right market.
If you took an assessment of most agents you would find that at least 80% of sales and leasing deals are created locally, based on the requirements of local businesses and investors.
Given all of this evidence it pays to focus your marketing efforts into the territory within your town or city. It is too hard to create new leads and prospects if you spread yourself too far. Results are everything when you work as a real estate agent; the sooner you create results the better for all concerned.
Understanding that sales and leasing activity is connected in one form or another, try to do both of these activities at a high level so that when sales are slow you have some lease deals to work on, and vice versa when the leasing market is slower. Project leasing and project sales can also be a very lucrative part of the industry for repeat business; look for new developments that may help you with that level of project work. A number of transactions in the same property can bring you multiple commissions over time.
So here are the eight principals of local area marketing that you could consider and merge into your business practices:
- Get to know all of the local business identities operating through your region. Referral opportunities exist through the relationships of established business people. Your business card can be a very valuable marketing tool on a daily basis. Handout your business card to tenants and business identities each and every day.
- Using the business telephone book in prospecting you can quite easily connect with many business owners and tenants throughout your town or city. It can be a direct approach to see if they have any challenges relating to the property in which they are located. Asking the right questions will help you find the opportunities. The cold calling process that you use should be built around questions and conversation. There is no need to pitch your services at the first level of contact.
- Property investors can be a little bit harder to identify and work with. Typically their contact details are difficult to research. In many cases property investors will be purchasing assets in the name of a company using the registered address of their solicitor or accountant. To tap into this valuable part of the property market get to know the local solicitors and accountants that service property investors. Over time those professional service groups can feed you with leads and listings.
- Focus on the marketing of quality listings where ever possible in your local area. Good quality listings will always produce better levels of enquiry. You will find many enquiries coming to you from utilising the strategy; over time those enquiries can be converted into clients or prospects for future deals.
- Given that you work in a town or a city, your signboard presence will be important to strengthening your personal brand. Your name has to be easily seen on all the signboards through the region. Those signboards should in the majority be ‘exclusives’ and not ‘open listings’. In that way you will control the enquiry when it comes in.
- The online part of your marketing process is quite special. It is not just a matter of getting your properties online; it is a matter of promoting yourself as an industry specialist. Start a blog online where you can regularly talk about property market changes and issues. Use local topics and keywords to trigger the search engines attention to your articles and commentary.
- Every property listing and every successful transaction is a reason to directly contact local businesses and property owners. Turn every listing into a group of cold calls through the local streets and suburbs. You will get a lot of leads from that process. Local business owners and tenants generally know what’s happening in their street with other properties; that information is valuable to you and your real estate business.
- Referrals are always available for the taking when you ask the right questions to the right people at the right time. It’s a lot easier to win new business from referrals.
Every one of these strategies will bring you advantages of one type or another; you just need to develop the system around the concepts. That is what local area marketing is all about for commercial real estate agents.