May 29, 2018
Commercial Real Estate Marketing Ideas: Our Guide
Depending on your area, resources, demographic, and previous exposure, putting together a commercial real estate marketing plan will vary every project, year, city, and state. This guide will help you build a marketing plan while keeping in mind these variables and deliver ideas or tactics you can incorporate depending on each project. For instance, promoting events oriented around your development is only something you should do if your project targets a demographic that will enjoy said event and is in relatively close proximity. Or for instance, creating a brand presence can include some heavy living if this is your first or second commercial real estate project but won’t be a large part of the strategy in later projects.
In this guide, we’ll review the following topics to help your team kick-start ideas best for your project and your brand:
- Immersing your Brand within the Local Community
- Identifying Target Demographics Early On
- Combining Traditional Marketing with Digital Marketing
- Creating Presence
- Collaborating with Local Businesses
- Appealing to Eco-Friendly Initiatives
- Utilizing Social Media
- Promoting Events Oriented Around Your Development
- Converting Both Businesses & Individuals
Immersing Your Brand Within the Local Community
Your project shouldn’t just be a construction site with a banner out front displaying your logo. Whether you’re a large corporation building and planning commercial real estate developments across the country or a smaller company building in one state or region, getting in contact with local business owners and influencers even after you have your permeants and the city government’s support, will go a long way in smoothing the transition and opening of the project. Letting the community know you’re there as just another business with the goal to make their lives easier or more convenient in some way is good marketing and good PR before the shovels start digging.
Identifying Target Demographics Early On
Similar to immersing your brand within the local community, identifying your target demographic early on by creating a customer profile and identifying pain points and solutions will help your brand and marketing initiatives get off to a great start and prevent future unforeseen and untoward events. Of course, you would have done the market research before deciding what project to build where, however, digging down into your customer profile to a very minute level before you start your marketing initiatives may look differently than what you originally planned at the start of the project. That’s ok, as you learn more about the community your brand and product should grow with those realizations.
Combining Traditional Marketing with Digital Marketing
Unlike other industries, most of your future shoppers and buyers aren’t going to be doing much research online themselves for the newest commercial real estate project in their area. Businesses may be more likely when looking for another location to expand, but in the beginning, your strategy won’t be one of inbound marketing and that is really the strength of digital.
The more aggressive digital/inbound tactics should be further down the road and closer to the grand opening and after. Therefore, to create hype and awareness for the development, you’ll want to combine the “traditional” outdoor, news, radio, TV, and again build relationships with the local community. After initiating awareness and buzz you’ll then want to build off of this recognition with digital marketing tactics such as social media, SEO, SEM, and programmatic advertising.
Whether you’re a small or large corporation, developing real estate projects only in your local communities or across the United States, doesn’t mean your offline/online presence is recognizable to all parties or to all areas. Say your presence on the East Coast is significant, but now you’re trying to get in on the West Coast and your virtually unknown. In this scenario, you have two choices: leverage your success on the East Coast and as an authority in your field to build awareness and trust in your brand, or take on a similar but new identity fit for your new surroundings and demographic that will create more engagement because it resonates more with that particular buyer.
Another scenario would be if you’re just starting out, this is your first project and you need to spread at least a general knowledge of your commercial real estate brand. Why not go big this first project and help propel your next project and the next. Combining your marketing and public relations strategies will promote your online presence and your presence in the local community, which is where your initial reviews and user-generated content is going to come from.
Collaborating with Local Businesses
Your PR team will tell you that collaborating with local business and not ostracizing your development will go a long way in creating a positive image for your company and people. Creating new jobs and increasing the value of nearby businesses versus having a negative community impact is really free marketing and reputation is everything.
Appealing to Eco-Friendly Initiatives
The future (and really the present) of real estate development is sustainability and eco-friendly construction. As the popularity of eco-friendliness grows, it’s becoming easier to incorporate eco-friendly solutions into commercial real estate projects. Also, more people are now prioritizing sustainability and eco-friendliness in their lives, some making it a requirement, making this another important marketing opportunity.
Utilizing Social Media
Even in commercial real estate, you absolutely must have a social media presence. For a large percentage of the population, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are essentially a person’s only news outlet. Facebook is also a place where people can leave reviews and openly share their thoughts on your project creating either a positive or negative online conversation. Another recent opportunity that actually incorporates Google, is the updates to Google My Business that now allows for more social interactions. With the new posting and connection tools available, you can’t afford to not be sharing and interacting through your Google business page.
Promoting Events Oriented Around Your Development
As we’ve previously stated, your project is not a construction site surrounded by a chain linked fence and a banner out front. If possible, holding community events as different phases of the project open will go a long way in developing your word-of-mouth marketing (the most valuable advertising you can have and the hardest to buy) from the local community and those who attend said events. Invite local and new vendors, handout more marketing materials, include family-friendly fun, have a media presence, and share it on social.
Converting Both Businesses & Individuals
Aside from not ostracizing local business, for them to be on your side is a golden nugget. For a local business owner to be completely comfortable with referring people to your development and business creates a sense of familiarity and trust for your commercial real estate project with the people who live closest to it. And to ideally even have a few of those local businesses move or expand their locations to your project will ensure more buyer traffic.