How to Use Direct Marketing in Your Commercial Real Estate Brokerage
By Tony Seruga, Yolanda Seruga and Yolanda Bishop
Real estate has been increasingly popular. There seems to be a new agent getting their real estate license left and right- especially with the booming housing market. The same goes for the commercial real estate industry- new brokers popping up everywhere trying to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately, these new brokers only sell a few properties a year- if that because they simply do not know how to market their properties. Simply listing the property in the MLS or placing on an information only website is not the best way to find buyers- mainly investors and end users.
Even seasoned professional brokers often rely on their agents to locate and bring in buyers for the properties. Nice property information packages are made up for those who are interested and sent out to those who inquire.
That is all fine and dandy, but why should they have to get new buyers every time? Investors have specific buying strategies and will purchase more than one property that fits their criteria. Why not capitalize on that rather than writing for a random buyer to come trickling through the office door or speak to half-interested buyers over the phone that just happen to come across a property?
Extremely successful brokers take it upon themselves to have a pool of people to take a new property to that is on the market. They can even seek out properties that fit the criteria of his or her investors. In fact, if their pool of people is large enough, they can actually agree to put on their listing the properties they know their clients will want.
Too few commercial real estate brokers and agents do this. One reason why they don't is because they are not sure on how to go about creating a solid list. The other, is that they are simply too lazy and rather the buyers come to them in search of a property. Whatever the reason, we are going to discuss just a few simple direct marketing techniques that can be used on the internet to build a list that a broker will always be in contact with.
There are three items that you need to implement this direct marketing technique:
1. A website
2. A newsletter
3. A buyer's list
Many brokers have a website, but it is purely informational- the location, a biography, and the properties that are listed for sale. There might be a contact section for an interested investor to get more information about a property. Direct marketing on the internet is the easiest, cheapest way to collect great contacts and build a profitable list.
Transform your website into a list builder by creating a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter filled with valuable information for a buyer- purchaser, end-user, or whoever else you may be looking to attract to your list. You are a wealth of knowledge about your specific location, market, purchasing techniques etc. Take what is in your head and provide valuable information to those who visit the site.
Now, the visitor does not get this information for free, however. They must opt-in or sign-up for the newsletter by giving you their first name, primary email and even phone number. When they sign-up for the newsletter, you now have a hot contact! The more people who opt-in to the newsletter, the larger your list becomes.
Now that you have these people's contact information, you can send automated, extremely personal emails asking for their interests, criteria in commercial properties, what projects they most like to work on, and if they are looking for anything in particular.
You can get to know each person on your list and find properties according to their criteria. Here you have a buyer's list that is showing interest in purchasing specific types of properties that you find. If you pick up a property, all you have to do is send it out to the people you think would be most interested. Keep your list happy, especially those who purchase from you. These people are your goldmine and will continue to purchase properties if you pay attention, listen to what they want, find suitable properties, and provide exceptional customer service.
Sure this is more work than waiting for a buyer to present himself to your office, but a thousand times more profitable!
With this simple and effective direct marketing technique, you will be able to increase the number of properties on your listing, and both your sellers and buyers will be pleased. This equation equals success and for all parties involved.
The website and software for this simple automation is a very small investment for the returns you can expect. Simply find a webmaster that can set up this easy process for you. Crank out a few, valuable newsletters, and let people know about your website within your social network. You will begin to build your list very quickly.
There are many other direct marketing techniques that are easy to implement with a little knowledge. There are many books and course that can show you how to build out and make your website truly optimized so you can get the most out of your list. Find other successful brokers and learn their systems? What can you learn from them that will increase your effectiveness? There are many options to improve your brokerage business within the commercial real estate industry. Don't limit yourself to the possibilities and see how you can greatly improve.
About the Author
$600 million worth of property is being managed by Tony Seruga, Yolanda Seruga, Yolanda Bishop and their partners as of May 2006. They specialize in commercial real estate, and are always looking for new projects across the U.S. http://www.maverickrei.com.
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