You’ve probably have a pretty good idea of how you want to market your commercial real estate business. Your plans may even include hiring a marketing assistant to help you execute on your vision. With so many marketing resources available to you today, you’ll need to do some critically important consideration of the role that the new hire will play and how you’ll want them to help you market your business.
In a recent article published in Smart Business, author Jayne Gest asserts “Business owners need to know their people as well as they know their numbers. They have a responsibility and the privilege to define the core expectations they want in their employees’ behavior and performance.” In setting your own expectations for a new hire, you’ll undoubtedly need to look for someone that knows how to market commercial real estate. You should also look to understand how this person will improve the overall strength of your marketing efforts by testing whether your potential new hire possesses some key hard and soft skills. To help you out, below we’ve put together a list of 12 must-have skills for the implementation of any commercial real-estate marketing plan.
1. Strategy – Marketing isn’t about one-offs, it’s about making a plan, adjusting as needed and keeping with it. It’s imperative that prospective hires are capable of taking your direction and have the discipline to continue working on this plan regardless of any hiccups you might encounter while implementing.
2. Customer Experience – This person should have experience directly related to selling or servicing your existing clients. Your clients are your most valuable asset and it’s unlikely that you’ll always be around to answer every question that they may have and accomplish all tasks they need accomplished. Because of this, you need a marketing professional that is capable of being an extension of your team and will be able to speak on your behalf when you’re not around.
3. Analytics – We live in the age of big data, understanding this data will be critical to your plans. It’s crucial to not only understand that data is important but als knowing the right resources to use to extract this data and how to interpret to improve future commercial real estate marketing campaigns.
4. Tech Savvy – Any marketer worth their weight today needs a solid understanding of modern technology like social media, email marketing automation, posting blog articles, making simple website updates and using adobe InDesign, Illustrator or PowerPoint to develop attractive commercial real estate flyers, brochures, offering memorandums, postcards and email designs.
5. Content Marketing – Today it’s all about the “pull” rather than the “push”. Your marketing person should have the skill set to develop and publish great content consistently.
6. Graphic Design – Great strategy and ideas needs to be fulfilled by marketing materials and collateral with good, clean and effective designs.
7. Adaptability – An ability to embrace change and adapt to situations is a must! The only constant in our world of commercial real estate is that change and issues are inevitable. Marketing associates should be able to understand these changes and put in place necessary updates to ensure success for the entire team.
8. Pro-Activeness – Having an ability to spot opportunities and adjust strategies quickly.
9. Open-Mindedness – Your marketing associate should be open to new ideas and willing to collaborate. When forming a team, headstrong individuals that are easily offended can become a huge problem. It’s important to be able to take guidance with a happy and positive attitude. It’s about the whole – not one individual.
10. Comfortable Taking Risks – As much as marketing is a science, it’s also filled with uncertainty. At times, marketing associates will be responsible to sending out large email blasts and at times, receivers will become frustrated or straight out rude. With this being said, marketing associates need to understand that offending or making people angry comes with the territory. The risk of reaching a new audience is key to building a client roster.
11. Passionate – A passion for your business or industry and eagerness to learn should be clearly present. You want someone who takes an ownership in what it is that you do. Someone who is only interested in vacation time, arriving at 9 and leaving at 5 is a “no no”.
12. Deadline oriented – time is money and working hard to make sure campaigns and materials are delivered on-schedule is critical. Hitting a deadline can make or break a listing opportunity that could result in thousands of commission dollars – I think an hour update the presentation or marketing deliverable is worth the extra effort.
There’s plenty of places to find good candidates for this role and as you begin to develop a short list of prospective employees, don’t forget to test for the above skills and benchmark each applicant against your specific needs and expectations for the marketing role in your organization. Having an understanding of the new hire’s strengths from the outset will save you valuable time and money down the road.
If you’re either struggling to find the right candidate, don’t have the budget to hire a full time employee or simply don’t have the time to go through the exercise of hiring and training – outsourcing to an industry specific marketing firm might be a real possibility. This type of outsourced solution will allow for a quick and smooth transition to the new marketing initiatives without the expense and time commitment of a full time employee