Every landlord, broker and agent knows that vacancies are bad. Fortunately, over the last five years, the commercial real estate industry has experienced a fairly stable level of vacancies. However, according to research firm REIS, Inc., office vacancy rates have been slowly creeping up since the fourth quarter of 2016. The rates have slowly climbed from 16.2% to 16.5% during this time period as construction has surpassed occupancy growth. While this is hardly an earth shattering change, it does signal a need to be creative about attracting and retaining tenants. In a previous blog post, we talked about using ‘The Big 3’ of social media. (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) to promote your commercial real estate business. Here, we’ll look at a few novel ways that will push the envelope, so to speak, but hopefully make your commercial real estate offerings stand out from the crowd.
Initially built to bring people together, social media has evolved into a progressive tool for commercial real estate companies to reach their audiences with a single click. NAIOP has studied the growing trends of businesses and since 2013 has pointed to the importance of these channels in promoting commercial real estate companies. While numbers vary, one source says that CRE firms ( and most Fortune 500 companies for that matter) have upped usage in the social media world since just 2013. Twitter is up from 77% to 88% today. Facebook groups have grown from 70% to 85%, and LinkedIn leads the pack with businesses, touting a 98% participation rate.
Social media can attract your target audience by employing ‘social proof’, a means by which groups of people are influenced to change behaviors based on the likability of its content. If your content is relevant, it is capable of converting the target, and if it is effective, you can close more clients by gaining their trust as a ‘thought leader’, and building confidence in your brand.
Social media integrates well with other commercial real estate marketing programs like lead generation programs and search engine optimization. Here are five ways your marketing team can make your brand stand out by daring to push the envelope through these platforms.
- Instagram, in the last year, has developed its platform with the ‘carousel’ feature. This allows users to leverage content by uploading 10 videos or static images in a single post. Utilizing strong video and photography from your portfolio can influence decision makers in the direction you need to move forward.
- Facebook Groups let you create an online “club” tailored to your clients and prospects. Creating specialized groups provides better connections with your audiences. With fewer diversions, your clients win by being directed to your content without filtered interference. Merely substituting cover pictures with video is a fantastic option to turn heads.
- Periscope Twitter makes every interaction a live selling event, building confidence in your audience for what you have to offer. Offer video to your clients to set the tone and guide them down the sales path. Incorporating drone images and videos in commercial real estate is a platform that is growing in popularity – why not do a live tour via Periscope?. Building on this trend today is an innovative way to communicate your offerings to your audience.
- Facebook Messenger application is a creative method for marketing groups to promote offerings 24/7. Your clients are able to turn off notifications or customize them to their needs, but they are never fully logged off. Send a free to preview of listings to your client list at your convenience, in real time.
- Video is more of a medium than a social media platform, but is crucial in making your presentations come to life. Video allows you to stand out from the crowd. When you can share a video, you can more effectively show a property. Using a marketing group that knows how to highlight your offerings is the difference maker, so think carefully before going it alone. Video offers a 360° view, and tells the story with pictures and in your words. The bottom line is that social media platforms are most viable when video is incorporated.
To set yourself apart from the crowd with your commercial real estate offerings, you want to push the envelope. The most convenient way is to partner with a team that knows how to optimize social media to your advantage. Make sure though that you work with a team that is capable of promoting your brand and boasts a proven track record for success. If you want to make a difference in marketing your offerings, consider letting social media help you go a little farther.