Commercial real estate marketing: where to start

by Helana Mulder on 16 Nov 2021

Commercial Real Estate Marketing

The real estate industry has experienced a significant boom since the start of the pandemic. As real estate professionals, it's important to stay on top of your operations and keep up with the new changes in order to take advantage of this boom.

When it comes to commercial real estate (CRE), this means keeping up with the digital marketing techniques that have allowed the commercial real estate industry to see a boost in sales. Developing a strong real estate marketing plan is a foundational step in boosting sales and raising awareness about your business.

What is a marketing plan and why is it necessary?

A marketing plan is a strategy that defines the brand image you want to convey, the target audience you want to reach, the goals you want to accomplish, and the tactics that you will use to do so. A marketing plan also looks at the components of the marketing mix (product, price, placement, promotion) and how to use them effectively to achieve success.

Real estate companies rely heavily on word of mouth and networking. These are both forms of marketing and advertising that can be used to boost sales and draw in potential clients. Without these types of marketing and advertising, you could be missing out on a wealth of clients.

A marketing plan is vital for any business, even for commercial real estate companies. Reaching a target audience and selling a product or service is the action that keeps your firm running. Without business marketing and advertising, a company can fail. In order to make the most effective use of marketing tactics, a commercial real estate marketing plan is used. This plan outlines specific goals, strategies, and metrics that will be used to achieve success.

real estate agent putting together a marketing plan

Developing a commercial real estate marketing plan

A good marketing plan can do a lot of good for your commercial real estate firm. A great real estate marketing strategy can raise brand awareness, increase company website views, and even lead to an increase in sales and future clients for you and your team.

There are plenty of different real estate marketing tools that you can use to craft a marketing campaign for your business. As you begin to create your commercial real estate marketing strategy, there are several steps to consider in order to make the campaign successful.

1. Define your goals

The absolute first step in any marketing plan is defining specific goals that you hope to reach. These goals will act as the foundation of your plan and will help create successful tactics. If you don't have clear goals outlined in your commercial real estate marketing plan, you can easily find yourself lost and confused.

Your goals and strategies act as the game plan and blueprints for your marketing campaign. It's hard to successfully complete the real estate marketing campaign without them. Because the goals shape the rest of your marketing campaign, it's important to start with this step.

Create S.M.A.R.T. goals

Defining your goals for a commercial real estate marketing plan can follow an easy formula. Marketing goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T system. This means that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

Maybe this means boosting sales by 10% among Gen-X buyers in the next calendar year. Or maybe it's just increasing engagement and brand awareness on social media with the goal of reaching 1,000 followers in three months. Whatever your goal is, Having goals that abide by each of these characteristics will make them more likely to succeed.

SMART goals diagram for marketing strategy

Think about your brand image

When crafting your goals and planning the rest of your marketing strategy, you will want to consider your business' brand image. Your brand image is a critical component of your business. It's something that shapes your clients' perception of the firm. When it comes to commercial real estate, what do you want people to think of when they hear about your business?

What kind of commercial properties do you often work with? What kind of clientele do you cater to? Who are your potential prospects and potential tenants? What is your unique selling point or value proposition?

2. Focus on a target market

When it comes to commercial real estate, finding your target audience is key. You have to find the right kind of people who are interested in your commercial properties and could be future customers. To create a strong CRE marketing strategy, you will want to precisely define the audience that you want your marketing efforts to reach.

As commercial real estate professionals, you have a fairly defined market already laid out for you as you are attracting a different type of client. A commercial property, which includes office, industrial, and retail properties, also attracts a different type of tenant than a residential home.

Who are your potential clients?

Your potential clients could be investors looking to step into a different kind of real estate investing with a commercial property. Or maybe they are business owners looking to open up new locations. Whatever the case is, you have to think about what type of person you are trying to reach.

Conduct market research

To really understand the audience, you will want to conduct market research and learn what you can about the type of people that you want to reach. What are they interested in when it comes to commercial real estate properties? What are their spending habits? What is the average age that you're dealing with? What digital platforms and marketing materials are most effective in reaching them?

Answering these questions can help you narrow down an audience and understand them thoroughly. Doing so can mean successful lead generation, increased sales, and more awareness around your real estate business.

3. Choose your marketing materials and tactics

Once you have specified your marketing goals and your target audience, it's time to think about how you are going to reach them. Choosing your commercial real estate marketing tactics and components is actually quite a process. Each method of marketing has its pros and cons for reaching people and achieving goals.

real estate team choosing marketing components

Just think about using your social media platforms as a marketing tactic. The digital world has opened up so many different ways of reaching people. Not only can you build brand awareness with these social media pages, but you can also boost sales, review market trends, and boost views on a property listing.

Take advantage of online marketing

Online marketing alone can go in a variety of different ways. Do you want to implement more organic content? Do you want to run a giveaway? How about stories and live videos? These are all aspects of digital marketing that you need to consider when crafting a commercial real estate marketing strategy.

Common marketing components

Some basic marketing activities that you can implement in a commercial real estate marketing plan include:

  • Targeted ads on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram
  • Email marketing campaigns with company news and listings sent out to your client lists
  • Traditional out-of-home advertisements (bus stops, benches, signs, etc)
  • Blog posts on your company website that have industry professionals dive into real estate or home economics topics
     

Each of these components can be crafted to suit your specific commercial real estate marketing needs and goals.

Think back to your goals and audience

When you are choosing your marketing strategies, you will really want to consider your potential customers and real estate goals. You will have to think about which kind of tactics best reach your ideal audience and which will help you reach your goals.

Ask questions

As you plan your marketing efforts, you will want to choose advertising techniques that will actually reach them. Are you trying to reach young millennials who are first-time homebuyers? Maybe use digital and social media marketing and email campaigns. Or are you trying to reach older couples who are looking at downsizing when they retire? Consider direct mail and face-to-face selling.

If you choose efforts and tactics that aren't reaching your audience, your goals aren't going to be accomplished.

4. Implement your plan

Once you have settled on the components and marketing channels that you will use to meet your goals, it's time to put your plan into action. Whether this means creating social media content, writing blogs, ordering signs, or putting together some content for your email marketing campaigns, it's time to get started.

green traffic light and start word on street

Consider hiring a marketing manager

Managing all of your various components can get overwhelming. In order to complete a successful marketing campaign, it's important to stay on top of your components. This is where you might consider hiring a marketing manager to keep tabs on all of these tasks.

With the real estate market boom, realtors are extremely busy. Marketing activities can easily get lost in the craziness. Having a person specifically hired to manage all these other marketing materials can make or break your campaign. They will be responsible for posting consistently on social media, organizing and sending out emails, taking and editing photos and videos for your website, and so on.

Outsource your marketing managers

If you're looking to hire a marketing manager, you might look at working with a marketing agency like Merged Real Estate Marking. Not only can an agency offer consulting services, but they can also be hired to manage your commercial real estate marketing efforts.

Merged Media specializes in a variety of commercial real estate marketing services including web design and hosting, social media marketing, photography, email marketing, and search engine optimization. Utilizing a digital marketing agency can take your marketing performance to the next level and help you achieve your business goals.

5. Measure success and adapt

Once you have implemented your marketing plan, it's vital that you continue to evaluate your marketing performance.

Look at your key metrics and Google Analytics

If you're using social media as one of your main components, you're in luck. Many social media sites offer businesses data and metrics that tell them how their content is doing.

For example, Instagram for businesses allows you to look at your posts' engagement, the demographics of your followers, where your followers are coming from, the number of website clicks in the last week, and so much more. As a commercial real estate business, using these metrics to your advantage can boost your online presence and help raise awareness.

Another key source of data is your Google Analytics. This set of data tells you how well your business is performing in a variety of areas. These tools can show you how much your users are spending, what your search results are like, how your Google ad words are performing, and so much more. This is also where SEO and keyword research can play a huge role.

SEO and keyword research

If you aren't showing up at the top of the results page when potential clients search terms related to commercial real estate, you might consider doing some SEO and keyword research.

SEO can take your online content to the next level by bringing in a lot more users. Taking advantage of the right keywords can help your website show up in more Google search engine results and bring in more clients.

Improving your SEO can be done in a variety of ways. You might consider reaching out to past clients and having them leave reviews and testimonials. Or maybe you'll use more real estate terms in your blog posts and website content. Conducting research can help you figure out what keywords to use in order to reach your clients.

Consider making changes to your plan

When implementing your marketing activities, don't be afraid to make changes and adapt where needed. If something isn't working, change it.

This could mean posting a different kind of content, engaging with your followers more, changing the location of your signs, and so on. Take a look at your evaluation and see what areas need improvement.

Making strong changes can help you reach your commercial real estate goals and achieve success. Don't shy away and stick with the original ideas if they aren't going to help you reach your goals.

change ahead yellow traffic sign

Key takeaways

Developing a commercial real estate marketing strategy doesn't have to be hard. It can actually be fun! Marketing and advertising are vital components of a successful real estate firm, so it's important to make the most of them.

Staying on top of your marketing strategies can drive your campaign to success. This is why working with marketing professionals can help you achieve your various business goals in a timely manner.

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