As your business has grown and your day-to-day operations have become more complex, it's probably the case that your time and resources have, at times, been stretched. It's nerve-wracking when you realize you just won't make it to the bottom of your to-do list on a particular day, or maybe ever. As a commercial real estate professional, you may have helped grow your organization from pretty humble beginnings and now you're experiencing the growing pains associated with scaling your operation at a time when business is moving faster than ever. As you consider your options for continuing to move your company forward, you realize that changes need to be made.Very often, in restrictive situations, like the one described above, business managers will look to gain efficiency by eliminating activities that are perceived to be the biggest drain on company resources. Marketing is often one of those activities that is targeted for elimination when pitted against activities that are more directly related to revenue generation. Doing so, however, could be a costly mistake for several reasons:
Marketing budgets in general will continue increase over the next 12 months. According to CMOSurvey.org, despite your decision to hit pause on your marketing efforts, on average, commercial real estate marketing among your competitors will likely track with national marketing expenditure averages and increase 7.2% next year.
Resuming marketing is more costly. Even if your marketing efforts have only been half-hearted at best, you've undoubtedly developed some brand equity and marketplace expectation. Regaining that stature and rhythm can be more costly and more time consuming than maintaining a continuum of marketing all along.
You gotta be in it, to win it. By many accounts, commercial real estate investment will continue to experience growth in almost all major markets for the remainder of 2016 and into 2017. If you're not actively marketing your offerings, there's a chance you'll miss this growth period.
So, what's the answer if you don't have the time or resources to spend on market research, analyzing client feedback, or leveraging social media the way you did previously? Working with a real estate virtual assistant can help. He or she can develop your brand strategy, create inbound campaigns, and implement a social media calendar that targets your audiences. This frees up time for you to focus on the parts of your business that matter the most, and that only you can do.
If you've never worked with a real estate virtual assistant or outsourced marketing professional before, here's some tips for ensuring success:
Identify a plan
Creating a commercial real estate marketing plan is a very valuable exercise that can greatly contribute to the success of your business. Done right, a good commercial real estate marketing plan will ensure that your virtual resource and you are both working from a common starting point.
Educate your assistant on your business
In hiring a real estate virtual assistant, you'll undoubtedly need to look for someone that knows how to market commercial real estate and has verifiable experience in the industry. However, even the most astute commercial real estate marketer is going to need to be educated about your business. In doing so, you'll ensure that they are emulating your values, communicating in your voice and creating a seamless experience for both your prospects and your customers.
Agree on responsibilities
With a plan in place, and your new resource educated about your business, you should decide which activities will be handled internally and which will be handled by the outsourced party. Start with a checklist of real estate marketing tools that you wish to employ and then decide who will handle which. Remember, in delegating, you're not giving up control just enlisting help.
Execute and refine
Congratulations, you're ready to move forward. As your workload fluctuates, you may wish to change which activities you delegate and which you keep in house. As you get to learn the about the strengths of your real estate virtual assistant, you can adjust which items they handle and refine your overall go to market approach. The important thing is to keep moving forward with your marketing.