Top 5 Marketing Mistakes Real Estate Brokers Make

Top 5 Marketing Mistakes Real Estate Brokers Make

      Commercial real estate agents are some of the busiest people on earth but handling multiple deals at a time is one of the time management skills they develop very soon, or they quickly discover how costly mistakes can be.  And since continually filling the pipeline is essential to long-term success due to the long sales cycle, there are several important marketing essentials that brokers can’t let slide, or revenue can dry up before you know it.  We’ve looked at some of these common pitfalls and narrowed our top 5 to the following:

Letting your office or mobile phone voicemail fill up. 

After all of the work you do on a daily basis trying to find and generate leads for the listings you represent, the greatest disservice you can do to yourself and your client is to allow your voice mailbox to fill up without clearing it so that the next prospect can't leave a message. Forcing them to have to text you for any information on the property in question creates a bad first impression that is seldom recoverable. If you think this makes you look busy and therefore important, you’re wrong. It makes you look disorganized and inattentive.  And the next landlord prospect may think you could be too busy to help them.  Keep your voicemail clear by placing contacts and notes regarding their requirement in a simple CRM with follow up cues so that you don't have to rely on reviewing old messages.

Relying on administrative assistants to handle all data entry. 

When asked by commercial real estate trainer, Rod Santomassimo, “What is your job?”  A room full of brokers shouted answers like deal making, negotiating, showing property, etc.  And I rejoiced at a hearing Rod reply: “No, it's marketing. Because if you don't market yourself and your listings affectively, you don't get to any of the other activities”. And the first step in affectively marketing any property is writing a description that sells, as well as ensuring that all of the relevant data is accurate.  Whether you upload the data into each of the many platforms that publicize your listings or if you complete a form detailing all of the listing’s data and attributes, the initial input should come entirely from you as your administrative assistant has likely not even been to the property. You and the owner of the property have determined what its highest and best use is and you likely have a list of 3 to 5 target verticals that you will pursue.  Your assistant’s time is so much better spent researching potential target prospects for this property than gathering listing data for a property no one should know better than you and the owner.

Thinking any photo of the property is fine.  

Yes, every smartphone has a camera, but that certainly doesn't make every commercial real estate agent a photographer. Take a few minutes and watch some YouTube videos on photography basics before the next time you snap some pictures with your iPhone and discover what a huge difference it makes selling even the most challenging listing. A small one-time investment in Photoshop and a few hours learning basics about color management and perspective will go a long way in putting your client’s property in the best light. Commercial brokers could learn a great deal from residential luxury home agents who understand the value of curb appeal. Lighting enhancements, wide-angle lenses and staging can go a long way in helping a tenant or commercial office buyer visualize their business inside your client’s building.  For larger listings, if you are not already using a drone to capture aerial views that you can later enhance with Photoshop to delineate boundaries and label important features, then you are behind the curve. If you are currently snipping screenshots of Google aerial photos, you are biding your time just waiting for a lawsuit when they decide to enforce copyright law. It is well worth it to buy a drone and either learn to fly yourself or hire a millennial to take aerial photos or film video flyovers. This is such a powerful tool in selling any land listing, shopping center, prominent office building or industrial park and it’s no longer only the national firms with the resources to take advantage of this new technology.

Random tactics vs tailored marketing strategy.  

Unfortunately, most brokers take the exact same approach when marketing listings regardless of the listing type or most likely buyer. At most, they have a list they have developed over years of people who have bought similar types of property but do little to actively expand that list. The vast majority however gather basic property info, take a few mediocre pictures, place a sign and post it on CoStar/LoopNet and maybe one other site and then wait for the phone to ring.  These are all tactics randomly selected with the hope that a random prospect will see the property and make an offer.  More pro-active agents start with this, then determine who the best target prospects for the property are, create a list of prime suspects, use an e-mail campaign strategy that targets these verticals with behavior-based retargeting to reinforce the benefits of the property and a CRM-based follow up system to record notes about progress, and connecting on social media with these target prospects to increase exposure of the listing among them in a consultancy manner rather than a selling mode.  A custom, pro-active strategy wins every time.

Building a referral base.  

The lifeblood of any career broker is a healthy referral base. Most brokers will say they know this, but few work purposefully at developing it.  This is your easiest and cheapest form of marketing and can help establish and build your personal brand.  On every successful completion of a project, you should be asking if there are any colleagues your client has that are experiencing real estate related challenges.  Then ask them to write a short testimonial and post it on your website or even better, ask to record a message using your smartphone and post it on your YouTube channel, LinkedIn or Facebook and you should insert a link to your RealtyZapp listing profile containing your bio and qualifications, so that everyone that finds you on Social Media sees your brand as well as your current listings.  Then when you connect with each new referral on LinkedIn for example, they know exactly the kind of professional they’ll be working with.  Doctors and Lawyers do this consistently, so it should be important enough for you.