How Commercial Real Estate Companies Should Use Digital Marketing By James Tredwell on October 11, 2020 In 2020, consumers expect to be interacting with digital marketing material and rely on these materials to learn about brands and business offerings. In real estate in particular, digital marketing makes a world of difference. In the last year, 93% of people found information about properties via a company website and 73% sought out properties on a mobile device. Benefits may not seem immediately apparent to commercial real estate companies based on statistics such as these, but like individuals, businesses favor starting their research online. Digital marketing assets offer a level of interactivity that print marketing doesn’t. Additionally, commercial real estate firms can appeal to a broader audience by focusing on digital marketing rather than print marketing assets. How can businesses best take advantage of the strengths of digital marketing to showcase real estate in a B2B space? This article breaks down four methods of making your commercial properties stand out through digital marketing. Prioritize Engaging Visuals Companies looking to effectively market their commercial properties should hire a professional real estate photographer to capture the property strategically and in a sharp, engaging manner. Redfin studies found that property listings that feature sharp, polished images sell at or above list price 44% of the time. Additionally, properties with professional, engaging visuals sell within six months 64% of the time. Commercial real estate experts believe that high-quality photographs make for stronger first impressions and provide prospective leasees or buyers with the best possible understanding of the space. Some professionals recommend engaging potential tenants through aerial photography or video. This innovative approach to property presentation will impact your listings in the following ways: The unique perspectives will differentiate your property The use of wide shots will allow viewers to understand how the entirety of the property looks The wealth of possible shots will allow you more control over which parts of the property you showcase Listings with aerial photos also tend to sell more quickly than those with more traditional photos. The eye-catching quality of aerial shots is more likely to stop businesses from passing through your listing after a quick glance. Engaging photos will encourage businesses to examine the rest of the property more thoroughly. This is especially important because when reviewing listings, potential occupants tend to spend the majority of their time looking at the photography components. In addition to listings, visuals can be used in email outreach, social media posts, and on your company website. This makes them an essential part of any commercial real estate company’s digital marketing plans. Execute Targeted Email Outreach Email outreach may not seem like the most trendy or innovative way to reach new clients, but it remains the most effective form of outreach. In 2020, 87% of B2B marketers said email is one of their top free organic lead generation channels. Additionally, many (31%) of these marketers found that email newsletters were the best way to nurture leads following outreach. Commercial Real Estate marketers at Calico Marketing recommend that companies: Write short, succinct subject lines Avoid introducing yourself Focus on pain points and how your business can fix them Include a call to action within the email In following those guidelines, you’re positioning your company to solve problems others are facing while earning yourself new clients. Email marketing will be most effective if accurately targeted to the correct audiences. Consider creating email lists that include companies most closely aligned with your services. From there, be sure to segment and personalize your outreach. You can segment an email list by location, organzation type, company size, and more. By segmenting your email list, you will be better able to adjust the language in your emails to resonate with customers with varying needs. Once you segment your list, be sure to regularly update it as customers convert or unsubscribe from emails. Conducting targeted email outreach is an excellent way to capture leads and stand out in competitive markets. Optimize Your Site Content for SEO SEO is an important part of digital marketing for any business hoping to show up at the top of a Google search results pages. To most, this may seem like a challenging task. However, CRE companies are able to improve their rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) simply by conducting a site audit and making adjustments to the structure of your site. When conducting an SEO audit, industry experts recommend to focus on the state of the following on your site: Site structure and redirects Page structure and meta descriptions Keyword selection and linking strategy within your page copy Instances of broken links Opportunities for internal links Site speed All of the above aspects of your website help determine where your page will fall on search results. After conducting a site audit or hiring a SEO company to help you, your areas for improvement will become more apparent. Looking to be more competitive in a specific market? One of the best ways to attract niche audiences is by targeting the keywords they search within your content. Using a tool like Ahrefs, your team will be able to gain insights into the search volume and competition level for certain keywords. Finding appropriate keywords that align with you business that offer low competition level with a high level of monthly searching will best position you to rank highly for that keyword. 6Generally, the keywords with the greatest volume of monthly searches will also have a higher competition level. Your time spent doing keyword research will be used finding opportunities to capture many users without too much competition. Once you locate your ideal keyword, you can begin prioritizing them within your site’s content. That way, your services will rise to the top of Google rankings and see a substantial increase in web traffic. Strategically Leverage Social Media Advertising Social media advertising can be tricky for B2B companies, but CRE companies can benefit from strategically using platforms to engage new tenants. Many B2B companies struggle with social media marketing on platforms such as Instagram because the practice is more aligned with B2C companies’ focus on directly connecting with consumers. However, due to the engaging visual elements of CRE properties, commercial real estate companies can be an exception to this norm. Many companies, such as Hines, perform well on Instagram by showcasing their high-quality images or videos of their properties. Additionally, these companies leverage Instagram’s tagging features strategically. In the image above, Hines make sure to tag the property manager in the post for increased visibility. The company also includes several hashtags in a comment below the caption, helping the post gain traction for various phases such as #CRE or #coworking. Instagram users in search of coworking spaces may come across this post due to the hashtag and become a prospective tenant. Instagram is a great place to share the most compelling visuals of your properties to begin to establish a visually-engaging brand, but CRE companies can also benefit from showcasing their properties and services on LinkedIn. Due to the professional nature of LinkedIn, the social media site is a great place to share content that’s meant for a B2B audience. The business-oriented network promotes connections between companies in a way that few other online platforms do. Just like with Instagram, companies should include relevant hashtags and company tags in their LinkedIn posts to boost visibility. Leveraging both LinkedIn and Instagram will yield the best results for CRE companies looking to connect with potential clients over social media and broaden their reach. Digital Marketing Strategies Create Visibility for CRE Companies There’s no question that digital marketing is necessary for commercial real estate companies in this day and age. Companies can capture the interest of prospective clients by creating compelling visuals to share on social media and property listings. From there, leveraging Instagram and LinkedIn will aid CRE firms in expanding the pool of potential buyers. In tandem with social media efforts, companies should also look into investing in more traditional digital marketing practices, such as email marketing and SEO. While these strategies are more common in the field, it’s important to build optimzed systems that will generate leads while competing in tough markets. Sydney Wess is a content writer and editor at Clutch, specializing in promoting visibility for business service providers.