Commercial property has been around for centuries, and yet some of the biggest and most rapid changes have come only in the past few years.
The way in which commercial properties are marketed and consumed has been forever transformed in our digital and social media-driven world, and those who’ve been open to change and quick to embrace new methods are now reaping the rewards.
But with some vendors and landlords reluctant to put money behind their advertising campaigns, how do you go about turning that mentality around and generating paid advertising revenue from them?
Change vendor mindset
The challenge with some long-established commercial property vendors or landlords is that they’ve done things a certain way for a very long time.
But the property landscape is a very different place to what it was 20 years ago, or even five years ago.
Dan Spencer, facilitator of the Commercial Agent Masterclass says, often clients will take the “path of least resistance”, which in many cases is to continue to use only free or very cheap advertising as their main marketing tool.
Therefore, Spencer says, your primary goal is to change your client’s mindset, and help them to understand the importance of putting money into their online advertising, and showcasing how media consumption has changed.
Free online media is a thing of the past
If you want quality eyeballs on your content, you need to be prepared to pay for it. And if you’re not prepared to put money behind your campaigns, you’re falling behind.
“Do you want to be riding the front of that wave, or wait for that wave to break and then try to get on it at that point?” Spencer says.
Understand the decision cycle
When a buyer or lessee considers their next commercial property, there are five important steps or phases they go through, starting with acknowledging they need a new property, and ending with the search for another property years down the track.
Spencer outlines those five critical stages in his masterclass, and says that commercial property clients need to understand that 90% of that legwork now happens online and in the buyer/lessee’s own time.
Properties therefore need to be put in front of that audience through paid advertising.
“You can choose to have the clients come to you … or you can choose to go to them. In this day and age, going to clients and cold calling and door knocking - whilst there’s a place for that - the balance of having clients coming to you as well as you going to clients is going to give you some strong momentum,” he says.
Sell the return on investment
The old adage of needing to spend money to make money has never been more apt than in the commercial property advertising game.
Spencer says that while some clients might baulk at an advertising spend, the final result almost always speaks for itself.
“The mindset of the client that doesn’t pay for advertising really doesn’t understand the value of advertising,” he says.
“Let’s just say the average negotiation (as a result of advertising) pushes up by $10,000 to $15,000. If that marketing is $1000 to $2000 extra, what we’re really saying is that for one tenth of one fifteenth of a negotiation push, you can market the property (in a paid online campaign).”
“The return on investment is 10-15 times the outlay, and that’s a significant return on an investment. Those messages need to be explained to the clients.”