The 7 Factors in Seller Paid Marketing in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate you need seller paid marketing funds to spread the word about the property and its upcoming sale.  Without that marketing approach, it can be very hard to get the message around the industry about the pending sale and the suitability of the property to the target audience.

If the client will not contribute towards property promotion, you have to ask yourself whether the listing is worth having.  Think about all those other exclusive listings that you have where the clients have already spent good money on marketing.  Shouldn’t you spend more time on those listings?

Some agents will decline an exclusive listing without vendor paid funds and I tend to agree with the practice.  If you have a motivated client then you have something to work with and promote.  Marketing funds helps reach out to the right buyers of the listing.

Here are some principles behind the process of vendor or seller paid marketing:

  1. Get the advertising money upfront before you spend time and effort in the campaign.  Don’t start the campaign without funds in bank.  Many a client has stalled on paying marketing funds later on, especially when buyers are hard to find or if inspections are slow to create.
  2. When it comes to advertising on the industry portals or websites, ensure that the client is prepared to pay for premium placement or elite type listings online.  Given that there are plenty of local listings on the market at any point in time, your quality property has to stand out above others.
  3. Your brokerage is likely to have a website for the promotion of listings in addition to the industry portals.  Develop a ‘premium strategy’ for quality listings where they feature on your home page for a number of days.  The client should pay for this extra service on your website.
  4. Every exclusive listing should be promoted in your email newsletter.  Those newsletters should be going out to the market every 7 or 14 days and should be property type or zone specific.  You can charge a special rate for this despatch.  If you have a large database, you could charge $150 per email database send.  To sell the concept to your clients show them the size of your database and its relevance to the listing.  Show them the shortlist of people you have already identified as potential buyers.
  5. Let’s assume you have an exclusive listing; that listing should be the subject of 3 or 4 different types of advertisements all separately worded to minimise repetition.  You can also use a selection of professional photographs to attract the eye of the reader.
  6. To help sell the concept of seller paid marketing funds, tell the client exactly how you will be personally contacting directly the property owners and the business proprietors locally.  Most agents won’t leave the desk to promote a property locally.  That is an amazing opportunity for those that do.  Physically take your quality exclusive listing to the surrounding property owners and business leaders.
  7. Communicate continually.  When the client has spent good money on marketing, it is up to you to tell the client every 2 or 3 days how things are going in promoting the listing.  Give them plenty of feedback on website hits, email click throughs, and direct call enquiries.  If you take an inspection at the property, tell the client what you found in the inspection.

You could say that this is not ‘rocket science’ and that most agents should do these things.  The fact of the matter is that most agents do not market a listing specifically.  Those that do however reap the benefits of better inbound enquiries and commission opportunities.