Economist, researcher, and teacher, Michael Porter, once said, "The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do." When it comes to developing a strategy for your commercial real estate company, nothing could be truer. Today we have so many tools, channels, outlets and sites that it's often hard to choose which direction to head. Some people fall into a routine of placing the same ads in publications, creating fliers and having the same web design they had in 2010. This is not a successful strategy. Your marketing plan should be a cohesive organized approach to achieving the goals of your business. Let’s look at the components of a successful marketing strategy.
Clearly Define Your Target Audience
Simply stating that you want to lease commercial real estate properties is too broad as an objective and too encompassing in terms of identifying your target market. Clearly identify your potential customers. Are you looking for companies that need office, retail or warehouse space? Are you catering to a luxury market? Are you focusing on a certain area? Here’s an example of a clear objective: “I want to reach professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc…) who need office space in Anytown, USA.” You can have more than one target audience, but make sure your marketing strategy caters to each.
Build A Marketing Plan That’s Integrated
Posting on Facebook and putting a few advertisements in the newspaper just because your competitors are doing those things is not an integrated plan. Like matching an outfit, a good plan should have pieces that “go” together nicely, and collectively drive your desired results. You should have a website that is easy to navigate, read and easy to find in a Google search. Most commercial real estate companies have brochures and fliers. And don’t forget the power of simply handing out a well-designed business card at a networking event. All of these are important elements, but they should each have a similar look and feel and all should be designed to achieve a common goal.
Carry this thinking into your digital marketing strategy too. Find out where your clients “hang out” online. Let’s start with social media. Where do your potential clients spend their “time?” Do you see them more on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Don’t throw away time and money on Twitter if your clients are not there. What are your clients reading? Do they read a local newspaper every day or do they more inclined to read trade publications or magazines? You don’t have to place a classified ad every week just because “it’s what we’ve always done.” Find your clients and create a strategy that helps you reach them.
The word plan sounds boring but you should make sure your marketing tools are anything but boring. Be creative when designing your marketing tools. Outsource to a commercial real estate marketing company that can guide you in design.
Make Sure Your Strategy is Measurable
Part of planning a marketing strategy is to establish your goals. Again, you are just wasting time and money if you aren’t sure of the results your getting. Your goal may be decreasing average vacancy in top five properties. Or, you may have “mini-goals” that include raising brand recognition as measured by social media likes/followers. To say your strategy was a success, it must be measured.
Strategy is not something you should “set and forget”
Change is the one thing you can depend on in life. Commercial real estate marketing is no exception. New commercial properties are built all the time. The demographics of a neighborhood change and affect the property values. A marketing tool that worked five years ago may not reach modern consumers. And the popularity and effectiveness of social media sites rises and falls. Do some “spring cleaning” from time-to-time and make sure your marketing strategy is still effective.