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Is This The Best We Can Do?

20130203

Marketing Property.

Imagine that it’s the year 2000(that’s 13 years ago) what do you have in front of you to market your property.

  1. Corporate website.
  2. Personal website ….maybe.
  3. PDF email marketing template.
  4. Local CIE…..maybe.
  5. Co-Star.
  6. Loopnet.

Look at the calendar right now it’s 2013 and your marketing choices are?

  1. Corporate website.
  2. Personal website.
  3. PDF email marketing template.
  4. Local CIE
  5. Co-Star.
  6. Loopnet.
  7. Social Networks.

So after thirteen years we can say that the only advances in property marketing for commercial real estate is a local CIE and social networks.A broker to broker network Twitter Facebook LinkedIn and Pinterest. Really! You have got to be shitting me!

Now it would seem that most all of the above are consumer or client facing. The reality is that the typical client has absolutely no idea what platforms are available to them. Unless of course they are directed there by….a broker.

Distribution.

What if you are a building owner? Do you not want exposure to the potential tenants directly? Are brokers really a priority?

Quick example: Wal-Mart.

They actively market space directly to the end user. Just sit in their booth at ICSC in Las Vegas and watch. Now before Travis and Joe Kay send me exasperated emails I know they value their broker relationships and pursue both with equal professionalism.

But….. how many eyeballs do they want their properties in front of?

How many eyeballs do you want your properties in front of?

Simple answer is as many eyeballs as possible…right?

Residential Model?

You have a house. You want to sell that house. What are your marketing options?

1. Agents website.

2. Agents corporate website.

3. Agents consumer facing MLS website.

4. Agents MLS network distribution vendor. Listhub with 900 real estate search sites.

5. Realtor.com

6. Trullia.

7. Zillow.

8. Social Networks.

Seems somewhat similar does it not? Well no.

Residential faces the user.

Commercial real estate hides from the user.

This is STUPID.

Search.

Google houses for sale in Kansas City.

14 different sites to choose from.

Google office for sale in Kansas City.

4 different sites to choose from.

Loopnet Cityfeet (owned by Loopnet) Building Search (owned by Co-Star) and Craigslist.

So if I want to look at an office build in Kansas City Loopnet Co-Star and Craigslist are my best options.

Not a brokerage not a broker not a building owner not the local CIE and certainly not anyone remotely connected to the Kansas City market.

WOW!

Easy Fix?

Your are where commercial real estate is.

Users are where commercial real estate is not.

Brokers have the best point of contact with the user so far.

Building owners have the best point of contact with the users and don’t realize it….yet.

Data points make it easier to find a user. They are searching for data.

Give them access. Give them the data.

Failing Reality.

2013 and commercial real estate does not know how to face the user.

We do not know how to market property.

We do not provide any kind of user experience.

We do not provide any type of distribution.

We do not know how to provide a valuable marketing service to the building owner.

It’s 2013 and Is This The Best We Can Do?

Thoughts comments and opinions are always appreciated.

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  • Patrick Braswell

    Seems like it is time for CRE to adopt some new technology, and for the first time we’ve got several quality companies giving them options!

  • Chris

    Have thought for a long time that most CRE listing sites looked like they were designed more for agents than users. The criteria search, the “fact” sheet layout. Starting to change, though…

  • We’re working on it, Duke!.. Our current round of clients have been receptive to showcasing properties/availabilities in a way that responds quickly/simply to the needs of brokers AND eventual space users. We’ll be offering sneak peaks on our progress as the sites evolve – requesting space search user interface and map search customization suggestions from a variety of potential users. We’ve learned quite a bit from our current family of sites regarding HOW brokers/non-brokers search for space, and we’re having fun responding to those needs via smarter design.

  • Doug

    Duke, I get what you’re saying…But, what do you suggest?

    • dukelong

      I am working on it.

  • That’s why we opened up BuzzTarget to end-users like tenants, developers, owners, etc. They can either do a free search for various listing types on BuzzTarget.com…OR proactively connect with other owners, developers, tenants by sending out targeted email campaigns and creating free searchable listings. They can include brokers as well, but that’s their choice.

    For example, one of our fast-expanding tenant clients sends out Space Wanted email campaigns directly to owners/developers to fill their need for multiple national retail locations. Likewise, for Investment Wanted, For Sale, For Lease listing types that are used by investors, owners, developers, etc.

  • Ray Anthony

    I laughed when I saw your list from 2000, compared to 2013. Yup, we’ve sure come a long way (ha ha).

  • Andrew R

    So as a service provider for commercial real estate owners should I advertise on craigs list? Do you have any suggestions how best to get in front of property owners for a Christmas Decoration Business?

  • Mark

    Most brokers/owners do not know how to reach their target audience. It’s easy if you have a specific tenant in mind. It’s more difficult and expensive if you are trying to reach a broader audience. Most brokers will not invest the money to reach the broader audience. Signs, Loopnet, etc. reach only those people actively looking for space on your street, in your city or based on other narrow search terms. This form of marketing does not reach the people who are not actively looking but may consider your space if they knew it was available and you can provide a reason why your option is better than the one they currently have. ( better location, more traffic, lower rent). Pay per click, direct mail and targeted email are all methods that can be used to target specific groups.