In an age of impending space tourism, borderline creepy artificial intelligence, and more information and power at our fingertips than anyone could’ve imagined, commercial real estate shows up to the party in a horse-drawn carriage, handing out pamphlets about available property.
While many industries have fully embraced the 21st century, and the perks of this digital age, commercial real estate seems to trail behind, especially when it comes to adoption of new technology such as digital marketing and social media. Marketing continues to shift away from the traditional “push” method, and the commercial real estate industry must adapt. A successful commercial marketing strategy goes far beyond creating a professional brochure and distributing it online. All consumers want more control, involvement, transparency, and authenticity when it comes to advertising, and our industry is no different.
If you are not engaging with consumers through the platforms they are already using, you’re missing the mark. Focusing on the platforms that consumers are already using, like Loopnet, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, is the most effective way to expand your market exposure. Easier said than done right?
The online landscape has evolved, giving consumers access to commercial listings and more information than ever before through websites like Loopnet. In the past, consumers did not have a central way to search commercial listings online, making it hard to gather information without a broker. That model is shifting, while giving business owners, property owners and investors direct access to available properties nationally. This platform makes it easy for possible tenants to find your property and request information from the broker through email. With “83 percent of all online commercial real estate searches going to CoStar and Loopnet sites” and “450 percent more exposure than the next 50 real estate sites combined” according to Loopnet, it’s impossible to ignore. If you want to connect directly with possible tenants, a platform like Loopnet is the best place to start.
Another way to increase the exposure of your listings is through social media. There are more than a handful of social media platforms to consider; invest in the platforms your customers are already using. LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook translate the best for commercial real estate marketing. LinkedIn has more than 250 million active monthly users geared toward business owners and professionals, making it the perfect platform to promote new listings and build your brand. Instagram on the other hand, is an image and video heavy platform that is ideal for promoting properties in a non-traditional way. Facebook, the largest social media platform with more than 800 million daily users is an ideal space to build your brand with generous content. While residential agents aggressively leverage new technology and digital media, the commercial industry underestimates the power of non-traditional marketing.
It’s time to ditch the horse and carriage approach to marketing your property, and hop on a spaceship. It’s commercial real estate’s time to join in as other industries embrace the evolving marketing landscape of the 21st century.
Caroline Veldman is a commercial broker at Waypoint Real Estate LLC, based in Fort Collins, provides commercial brokerage, investment, property management and architect services through SPD Architecture.