Commercial property owners have some unique marketing challenges to attract tenants to their properties. The pandemic didn't help matters, although it gave commercial property owners a reason to reassess their marketing and move toward more multi-channel strategies to stay ahead of the competition.
Many factors come into play when generating commercial tenant leads and keeping properties occupied, and it takes time to prioritize the best starting point for a winning approach. However, with the right marketing strategy, commercial property owners can attract their preferred tenants, keep occupancy rates high, and maximize their return on investment (ROI).
The following marketing tips for commercial property owners provide some time-tested ideas that can lay the foundation for a successful, ongoing marketing plan to get leads and convert them to tenants.
Build and Manage an Online Strategy
Building and growing an online presence is necessary for today's marketing strategies. Creating a user-friendly website is one of the first steps to increasing your property's online presence. On the website, you can post property pictures with floor plans and relevant information about amenities and other features.
You can also post a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about your property. This addition can save your staff the time to answer phone calls and emails and help tenants and prospects quickly get the information they want and need regarding your property.
On your website, post a blog with valuable articles for renters. Within these articles and on other website pages, integrate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your website shows up in internet searches.
Social Media is Free Advertising
Set up social media accounts to advertise and promote your property. Facebook, Twitter, a Google Business page and other sites are free or low-cost. Potential and existing tenants can follow your accounts to stay updated on available units, property upgrades, lease incentives, and more.
As part of your online marketing strategy, monitor your reputation. Do a web search for the name of your business, commercial building, property address, or other details regarding your property. Websites like Yelp.com and Google Maps allow users to leave reviews, and whether good or bad, these reviews factor into peoples' opinions about your property. You can respond to any negative reviews and may be able to have them removed.
On your website and social media pages, showcase positive reviews to build credibility with prospective tenants.
Run Targeted Marketing Campaigns
As part of your online strategy, remember email marketing. Social media lets you reach a large audience with just a few clicks, but it doesn't allow you to personalize your message to segmented groups. Email marketing, if done correctly (no spammy emails), is often more effective than social media for acquiring new tenants. You can set up your website to collect email addresses and other details, then send emails offering targeted incentives, special pricing, and further information to potential renters.
You can also create online property ads listing commercial real estate on marketplace websites. However, list your property on marketplace websites catering to the tenants wanting the property you offer.
Highlight Quality Features
Whether you market using a website, online ads, mailers, or brochures that get handed out to prospective tenants, your property will shine if you take the time to highlight features that make it stand apart from the others.
Tenants now look at commercial space as a place that needs to compete on some level with the comforts of home. Offering tenants amenities and other enticements that make them more productive in the office than while working at home is the new post-covid approach to leasing space.
Marketing tips for commercial property owners pay off when you make upfront investments in the property and let prospects know about them. Have you installed upgraded flooring and energy-efficient equipment or appliances? Do your units include a kitchen space, if that's what office tenants want? Does your property include a front reception accepting package deliveries to keep them safe until tenants can collect them? Play up the features that add value for your tenants.
Have high-quality photos taken of your property, and consider making a video of the inside of an attractive, furnished unit and a view of the grounds, common areas, building entrance, and parking area. In other words, create a virtual tour for your prospects. If similar properties nearby have more upgrades or features, you may need to invest more in your property to remain competitive.
Get Involved in the Community
Attend local industry events and take advantage of networking opportunities. You can build relationships with real estate agents, brokers, and local business owners, all of whom can refer tenants to your properties. Consider partnering with local businesses, offering incentives in exchange for new tenant referrals.
Consider contributing guest articles for trade magazines and blogs. Contributing your expertise to other online sites and linking your website details will improve your property's search ranking on sites like Google.
Offline Strategies Still Work
In the era of online communication, people still do direct mail, signage, and other forms of offline marketing for one simple reason: they work.
Turn photographs of your property into custom marketing brochures, customized with the property's details and essential features. Use the photos to create ads for listing in local newspapers. Some newspapers have both online and print versions and may offer a cost-saving deal if you advertise your property online and in the paper.
Consider magazines and trade associations as other places to advertise your commercial property, especially if you rent units for industrial business use in specific industries.
You can also use different types of signage to get the word out. Consider posting property signs, road signs, and even billboards to get the word out that you have space for rent or lease.
Keep Your Property Looking Its Best
Another of the best marketing tips for commercial property owners is understanding that a well-maintained property attracts more tenants than one, showing signs of disrepair and poor maintenance. The landscaping may need a refresh, or the property's common areas could use additional plantings or seasonal flower beds to add color and visual appeal.
Existing tenants are a potential referral source for new tenants, but they will also tell others if they have a less-than-positive experience. Suppose your property has frequent plumbing clogs, flooded parking lots during rainstorms, or smelly, pooling water or mud in common areas. In that case, you will have a more challenging time attracting quality tenants and higher rents.
Assemble a checklist of necessary maintenance, and invest the time and money to work through it. For example, if needed, a service company can perform pipe jetting on your property's stormwater pipes. This procedure uses fresh water without chemicals to scour your property's stormwater conveyance system in the event that there is a backup in the conveyance system and reduces the risk of flooding at the property during a major rain event.
Manage Your Tenant Relationships
Many property owners and managers are familiar with the fact that it costs more money to attract new tenants than to keep the ones you have. To that end, invest in your tenant relationships by providing excellent customer service. Your satisfied tenants will do free marketing for you because they will be happy and spread the word.
One of the final marketing tips for commercial property owners is to consider installing or upgrading your property management software. Many property management software packages include a tenant portal and an online presence that offers several types of functionality. Even if you still need to set up a website for your property, you can provide tenants with a web-based portal via the software that lets them pay rent online, schedule repair requests, and more.
Many software packages also let you upload walk-through videos of your units, with a list of frequently asked questions and other details for prospective tenants. You can also accept lease applications online. These features make the difference for a potential tenant considering yours versus a similar property. If you show that you care about your tenants and have taken steps to be helpful and efficient, they will want to choose your property.
Improve Your Property's Appeal and Reduce Costs
When you need to increase your marketing to achieve better results, many strategies can help grow and maintain higher occupancy rates, enhance ROI, and attract new, high-quality tenants.
Implementing a successful marketing strategy includes maintaining your property to ensure it appeals to current and prospective tenants. Maintaining the property regularly can reduce the needed repairs, saving you time and money in the long run while offering the best tenant experience.
CatchAll Environmental provides commercial property owners with our patented catch-all system to put your property's maintenance on autopilot. We perform the maintenance, keep costs down, and free up your staff for more pressing tasks. Contact CatchAll Environmental today to learn how we save our customers time and money daily.