3 September 2020/ For CRE Professionals

Commercial property marketing post-lockdown

With limited physical business activities and social distancing prevailing across the last few months, commercial property marketing has embraced digital wholeheartedly. From setting up virtual viewings and 3D tours to adopting e-contracts, commercial real estate has gone digital within a matter of days, not years. 

Based on the recent developments and the speed of digital technology adoption, we’ve put together a list of five digital marketing trends for CRE that will remain post-pandemic.

Top 5 changes to commercial property marketing that are here to stay post Covid-19

 

No 1 - Photos are worth more than a thousand words

High-quality photos are crucial to attract the attention of searchers online. Photos are the first thing they see and leave the biggest lasting impression of your property.

When competing with other properties for searchers’ attention, accurate and high-quality imagery serves the purpose of a shopfront – they draw attention and capture interest so searchers don’t look elsewhere.

Based on feedback from Realla users, we have a few tips for creating impactful photography:

  • Showcase both the interior and exterior of the property – searchers want to understand all aspects of the property before they progress with their enquiry.
  • Get photos of all key functional areas of a property, for example, the reception, shop floor, kitchen, staff room and toilets. Give searchers a thorough overview of the entire building.
  • For industrial units, it’s useful to see drone footage from above as it shows the location, parking spaces and access to the building.

PrimaryPhoto-1

No 2 - Virtual tours 

Widespread work from home has shown that lots of activities can be carried out virtually. Property viewings are a perfect example of physical activities being replaced by its digital equivalent during the pandemic.

Post lockdown, searchers may want to view several properties virtually before shortlisting a few for physical tours. Moreover, investors from outside of the area will have a greater opportunity to view properties without the unnecessary hassle and risk of travel. 

Realla offers you a handy tool that can help you move your viewings online. Realla CoTour allows you to run virtual viewings with searchers, talking them through different property listings using 3D tours or physical walk-throughs by an agent. It’s available completely free for all registered Realla users.

3d viewing

No 3 - Craft the property description with your audience in mind

After seeing some compelling images, engaged searchers will then review the property listing including the description and its features. Be clear what your space can offer prospective tenants. When describing your property try to use language that an average searcher would understand. If you choose to use CRE terminology, you might want to consider explaining what benefits they bring to occupiers and what it means for them in practice. 

Commercial property jargon makes your ad difficult to understand for searchers not familiar with the CRE lingo. By optimising your property description to your audience, you will also optimise it for search engines. Search engines like Google rank content that resonates with searchers higher up in the search results. 

No 4 – Fast responses matter

In the digital age of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other instant messaging applications, people expect to get replies immediately. From our own enquiry data, we’ve observed that less than 20% of enquiries are responded to within the first 24 hours. According to InsideSales, “50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first”. A slow reaction to an enquiry might lead to a lost deal. In the always-on digital world, time is of the essence.  

No 5 - Budget reallocation 

Marketing budgets pre-pandemic often included a large offline component, like a breakfast at the premises or a glossy brochure. With more and more people working from home and being away from their workplaces, physical marketing might not be as effective post-pandemic. 

Even though the nature of work might have changed, deals still need to be made. Therefore, it’s a logical response to shift the cost of currently unfeasible marketing activities to ones that are timely and effective. Digital channels have been unaffected during the pandemic – if anything, they’ve grown in importance and remain a reliable marketing tool. They can be highly targeted and as a result highly impactful. That impact is also more measurable than many offline channels so landlords can more easily assess their return on marketing spend.