Imagine knowing you need to get from Point A to Point B, but you can’t even find Point A. For many commercial real estate companies, that’s how it feels when it comes to marketing their business. It’s also why clever ones are outsourcing their marketing. They know they need a great marketing plan for their business to grow, but they don’t know where to start. BTS Brands’ Megan Bruce has worked with many companies creating branding strategies and marketing plans from scratch. She says some companies don’t know where to begin.
“After I begin working with a new client, I always try and jump on what we call an ‘on-boarding call’ where we go over all the basics and what they are looking for and expectations,” Megan said. “I like to ask the client what kinds of things catch their eye. Are they attracted to bold modern designs or are they more attracted to simplified designs?”
Determining the colors and logo a company will use is the beginning of the branding process, which Megan believes is crucial to any marketing program. A consistent, recognizable brand will increase customer awareness.
CRE Marketing Goes Beyond Logos
The work does not end when a CRE company has developed a logo and color scheme. The next step is creating a branding strategy. All marketing materials, including the website and social media platforms, should look as though they come from the same company.
“Having cohesive branding is also extremely important, especially when you have that strong branding by itself, anytime someone sees an e-blast from you, or postcard, flyer, or other materials, they will know who it is and connect you with your brand,” says Megan.
A Marketing Plan is Essential for Commercial Real Estate
Adding a logo to flyers, social media, and other marketing materials and consistently using color, typefaces and other identifiers is good start. But, one their own, these won’t help a commercial real estate company reach its goals. In fact, random acts of marketing can do more harm than good, sometimes. CRE companies need a comprehensive marketing strategy that is well-executed with specific goals. A cookie-cutter approach doesn’t work. A firm in a small town in the South has different needs than one that markets properties in downtown Orlando.
A marketing plan should include consider all the components offline and online marketing. Each of these should be used in way that advances the company toward its goals. These include:
A website. Every company, large and small, needs to have a robust and professional website.
An email campaign. For CRE companies, this can include a monthly email featuring the latest property offerings, recent wins or a customer spotlight.
Social media campaigns. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are effective ways to reach audiences.
Classified and display advertisements. Many Sunday newspapers in large markets still have large sections highlighting commercial real estate properties. Magazines produced by local and state business organizations such as chambers of commerce often include sections about available CRE properties. Classified ads in newspapers and online classifieds are also marketing tools used by CRE companies.
Offline marketing materials. Some industries no longer use flyers, postcards or signs to reach customers. However, for CRE businesses, these are still effective ways to market their business.
The extent to which each of these is used varies. Megan says, “The most common request I personally receive from clients is probably 4-6 page flyers with a corresponding email campaign,”.
A Marketing Company’s Culture Should Help You Succeed
Megan and the other account managers at Built to Suit Brands work to make sure all of their clients have the right branding and marketing strategies. This means promoting internally a company culture that’s built around the customer.
“Everyone bands together and does what they can to help each other whether that is with design ideas or when one of us hits a wall,” Megan said, noting that the collaboration and relationships are her favorite part of working for Built to Suit Brands. If you’re not yet a believer in the importance of culture.