Done right, your commercial real estate (CRE) listings can do a lot more than advertise a property - they can actually help qualify your leads and eliminate a great deal of the work involved in selling CRE. The trick is to have all the relevant data at your fingertips, target your listing well, and have a clear, strong call to action.
Step 1: Profile your market, focus on the bottom line
The ‘spray and pray’ approach to advertising can work for mainstream consumer products, but CRE is not a one-size-fits-all consumer product. Every commercial property has certain USPs that make it ideal for one buyer and unsuitable for another. Before drafting your listing, consider who is most likely to be interested in the real estate, and for what purpose. Target those investors and highlight the USPs that will appeal to them.
Knowing the demographics and metrics of the area, along with previous sales data and transaction histories relating to similar real estate, will help you refine your target market.
Biproxi’s community of verified buyers gives brokers access to insight into the buyers, their acquisition goals and investment experience, and even where most interested buyers are coming from. Don’t stay committed to your initial assumptions about what target markets would be interested in the property. If your listing isn’t driving the right level of response, change the listing and target a ‘plan B’ market.
Step 2: Stand out from the crowd
If you’re not publishing your CRE listings online, you’re already behind the curve. Buyers can browse thousands of listings, from their mobile phone or laptop, whenever and wherever it suits them. This means brokers need to brush up on their writing and photography skills to ensure their listings get the right kind of attention from serious buyers - and translate into sales fast.
First impressions count - your headline and feature photograph (the first one viewers see) are critical in getting attention for your listing. In the case of the headline, keep it simple and descriptive. For example, a Fully leased, 20 000 Sq Ft industrial space in AN Area accompanied by a well-lit, wide angle photograph showing the property in use. There are any number of tutorials available online to help you take better photographs if that’s a skill you need to enhance.
Incommercial real estate, the asset’s potential to drive revenue, as well as the cost of ownership, are crucial factors to focus on first. The income and potential tax and grant opportunities of CRE, its certifications, tenancy and facilities are potentially more important than the architecture, size and other features that would be top of mind to residential investors.
Biproxi’s Data Explorer tool integrates directly into all new listings to populate the historical and tax record data automatically.
Step 3: Important info up top
There is a lot of information that can go into any CRE listing, and your listings should certainly include all of the relevant details an investor needs.
Be as specific as possible. Listing something as being in a ‘good area’, for example, is vague. Describing it as being in a ‘secured, industrial development zone’ gives the buyer a much better idea.
Critical information you’ll want to include:
● Size – square footage, number of rentable spaces, lot size, parking lot
● Property type – residential, industrial, mixed-use, etc.
● Property class – A, B, or C
● Submarket – walking score, demographics, mass transit
● Capital improvements to the property - upgrades or refurbishes
● Legal – zoning, tax credits, historical status
● Tenant info – lease duration, NNN, type of tenants, credit score
Step 4: The devil is in the details
It’s the little things that can ruin a good listing - like spelling, or a Google Maps plug-in that doesn’t show the correct address. Make sure that your listings are as professional as possible by running your text through online text editors (like Grammarly) and testing your links, Maps listings and every other aspect of the listing before you publish it. Buyers will notice sloppy spelling, and it reflects poorly on both the listing and the broker.
Step 5: It’s a package deal
Like this blog, all the elements of creating a CRE listing need to work together to deliver a rich picture of the property on offer. Headline, photography, and listings information needs to flow logically, be easy to read, simple to understand, and collectively provide the buyer with all of the information (and motivation) they need to take the next step - contacting you to arrange a viewing. Make sure that direct, accurate contact details are available on the listing. You might lose the buyer while they’re waiting on you to call them back.
Step 6: Call to action
If a potential investor has read to the end of your listing, they’re interested. Unless there’s a clear call to action (CTA) at this point, you risk losing them. Give them the opportunity to access more information or take the next step easily, and right away. Include a link to a 3D virtual tour of the real estate, a video outlining more the property’s USPs, or a direct message link to the broker, asking for a call back. You might even add a button to ‘click here to submit an offer’. On Biproxi, for example, every listing includes two CTA buttons: “Contact broker” and “Make an offer”, and they work.