2023 Commercial Real Estate Marketing Guide: How to Market a Commercial Property for Sale Online
From this guide you will learn how to market commercial real estate for sale. We will cover 12 effective strategies and tools that will help you attract a maximum number of potential buyers to your property.
The efficiency of these methods was tested during a decade of my career as a real estate digital marketing professional.
Keep reading so you could also apply this knowledge to successfully market your own commercial property.
Commercial Property Marketplaces
The fastest and easiest way to expose your commercial property to tens or even hundreds of potential buyers immediately is to list it on a commercial property marketplace.
These platforms connect commercial real estate buyers and sellers online and facilitate their communication. Think of them as venues to present your listing to investors looking for commercial properties like yours.
Commercial property marketplaces may charge fees for listings or additional advertising.
But normally at the end of the day you spend much less than the cost of getting as many potential buyers’ eyeballs through other methods within the same time frame.
First of all, I’d suggest that you take a look at PropertyCashin Commercial Property Marketplace. Listing there is free for property owners and brokers.
This marketplace has national reach and specializes in all types of commercial real estate.
The property categorization system is the most thought-through among the rest of CRE marketplaces I’ve seen. This allows for the quickest connection of buyers with sellers.
If you need a quick sale, you have an additional option to request a cash offer on your property from PropertyCashin’s large network of qualified commercial real estate investors.
How It Works
Optimize Your Listing
When listing your property in commercial marketplaces, provide as much information as possible.
Internet searchers, even if they are serious buyers, often filter out listings without enough information. Emphasize the main selling points of your property and the location.
Use professional images. Try to get a bird’s eye view. If you don’t have a drone, hire one of the best commercial real estate photographers near you.
If you have one, read professional real estate photographers’ tips on real estate drone photography and videography. You will be able to repurpose these images for other online marketing strategies as well.
Fill out all of the required fields. These marketplaces offer many filtering and sorting options to prospective buyers. For example, buyers might sort by price, square footage, or location.
Including all of this information will ensure your property comes up in all of these searches, maximizing your exposure.
This will also help you get responses from more qualified buyers and make negotiations more straightforward. Buyers will have to ask fewer questions to find out whether or not your property has the features they’re looking for.
Your Own Website
Whether you are a broker or an investor selling commercial real estate, you should list it on your own website. Ideally, your website should have stable traffic from local potential buyers.
Even if it doesn’t, you can draw traffic to this listing from other channels: paid and free advertising, social media, and others. This way, interested buyers will not only contact you directly, but also learn about your business.
How It Works
Create a web page that showcases the property you are selling. Similarly to ad listings, add photos and detailed description of the property’s features.
Describe advantages and opportunities the property presents to the buyer. Include a prominent way allowing visitors to easily contact you — a form or button.
Include the property’s picture with a link to this page on your homepage for better visibility.
It’s best if you have a widget for this, similar to “popular posts” that you may have seen on various websites, but showcasing property listings.
When advertising your property on social media or other external sources, provide a link to this listing.
Create a Property Marketplace
If you sell real estate on a regular basis, it’s imperative to have a section on your website designed for your listings — a marketplace.
Through various IDX technologies and by using one of the best MLS IDX providers, you can connect it to your local MLS so that you can pull listings from it without having to list them on your website manually.
Syndicate Your Listing to Industry Websites
What’s more, your reach can be significantly expanded if you network with other professionals’ websites that show your listings on their marketplaces.
Imagine your listing on tens of local professionals’ websites — brokers, lenders, investors, title companies etc. — that receive constant traffic from investors in your city looking for properties like yours.
There are real estate listing syndication websites making it easy to syndicate your property across multiple platforms. However, they serve mostly residential real estate agents.
To provide you this opportunity in commercial real estate, we at Real Estate Bees also created a one-of-a-kind website solution for real estate professionals.
One of its built-in components is the property marketplace. You can choose to have the marketplace connected to the Reciprocity Network.
This enables you to have properties listed on your website shown on other real estate websites’ marketplaces connected to Reciprocity Network. If you opt for it, other companies’ listings will show on your website as well.
While this may seem eclipsing your properties by others’ listings, this will increase your visitors’ engagement and dwell time on your website.
These indicators are proven to have a direct impact on the likelihood of contacting you and building long term trust in your brand.
The longer a visitor spends on your website, the more they get used to it and the longer it stays in their memory.
That said, if you don’t want to feature other sellers’ properties on your website, you can turn Reciprocity Network off and still use the marketplace to list your own properties only.
Our website solution is still in development. But if you want to be among a limited number of the first and privileged users who will get the Beta version upon its release, contact us to join the waiting list.
Well-established industry websites offer a perfect opportunity to expose your commercial real estate to a large number of qualified prospects.
Choose websites of local professionals that are well-established in the real estate market and receive daily visits from likely buyers who may otherwise be outside your reach.
The types of professionals you would want to reach will vary by your property type, but some examples include the following:
- Property developers
- Real estate attorneys
- Property management companies
- Asset management companies
- Commercial real estate brokers and agents
- Hard money lenders
- Acquisition professionals from large and growing companies
- 1031 Exchange companies
How It Works
Look for local, regional, and national associations that offer support and networking opportunities to these types of professionals, as well as local real estate vendors. You can find these through Google and through social media.
Look for advertising opportunities on their website. They may have an advertising section already. Some may require a membership before you can advertise.
They may allow you to place a banner ad on their website for a fee if they do not already have a listing service. Or you can advertise them on your website in return.
Reach out to them and ask if they offer advertising opportunities. If they have a blog, see if they will accept a guest post.
See if they would be willing to do a mutually beneficial podcast with you. Some associations offer directory listings.
A convenient solution for this, titled Reciprocity Network, is described in the last subsection of the previous section of this guide. If you haven’t read it, please do.
This is a solution designed to give you instant access to tens or hundreds of local real estate professionals’ websites who will advertise your listing without charging advertising fees.
Social media sites offer advertising in users’ news feeds. On social media sites, users indicate much data about themselves: age, occupation, interests, etc.
This provides the opportunity to closely target specific audiences. While the investment for this type of advertising may seem considerable, it is effective and provides quick results.
Social media advertising is one of the best commercial real estate marketing ideas because you have control over multiple factors.
You control who sees your ads, how much you spend, and how long the campaign continues.
The four social media sites with the most powerful advertising opportunities for commercial property sellers are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
How It Works
Social media platforms charge you based on impressions or in ore simple words – how many times your ad has been shown to a platform’s users. This means you pay every time someone sees your ad, whether they interact with it or not.
This is different from PPC (pay-per-click) advertising model offered by search engines like Google (we will discuss it too, further in this guide).
Advertising works similarly on all social media platforms. You set a daily budget, which is the maximum amount you are willing to spend per day.
The actual cost per impression (view) varies, and there is no way to know that ahead of time. You set the maximum cost you are willing to pay per impression.
Social media ads work on a competitive bidding system, meaning the advertiser with the highest bid gets the best placement.
Your maximum bid will determine how well your ads display compared to your competition.
You will not necessarily pay your maximum bid amount. The amount you actually pay per view is based on multiple factors at the time your ad is shown.
Factors to Consider
When setting your max bid, you will need to consider several factors. How much competition do you have? What is your budget?
If you divide your daily budget by your max bid, you can determine the minimum amount of views you will have per day.
Conversion rate is also an important consideration. It’s a measurement of how well your ad performs. The conversion rate is the percentage of clicks that result in a sale.
Of course, if you only have one property to sell, you will only need one sale, which will make this harder to measure.
If you have multiple properties to sell, the conversion rate becomes more important. You may wish to do some split testing to see which platforms and which ads perform better.
Factors that impact conversion rates are the media (picture or video) displayed with the ad, the ad copy, the quality of the landing page, the price and value of the property for sale, and the effectiveness of your targeting strategy.
Optimizing Your Ads
People who use social media quickly scroll and scan the page. They tend to skip over ads as quickly as possible.
It is important that your ads have the following characteristics to stop your ideal buyers in their tracks:
- An attention-grabbing image or video
- Strong ad copy, especially the first few sentences
- A strong landing page
You may have to do some split A/B testing to determine which media, copy, or landing pages convert the best.
Many advertisers have found that videos are more effective than images, but they need to be very attention-grabbing. Story-telling is an effective method to get clicks.
A landing page is the website people will arrive at after clicking your social media ad. An effective landing page will show the property in its most flattering light.
It will offer virtual tours, and most importantly, a call to action. Usually, the action would be to contact you.
You can build a landing page by using one of the best real estate investor website templates.
When writing your ad copy, always remember to focus on the benefits of the property, but don’t just tell what the benefits are — show them.
You can show them through pictures and videos and through story-telling.
You also need to use a tone that establishes a sense of urgency. Show them they will never find another property like yours, this is their only chance.
Show them there are other buyers beating down your door. If they fail to act now, they might lose out.
Reaching the Correct Audience
Social media advertising can become quite expensive if you do not target your audience correctly.
As with any type of advertising, you will need to know your audience. Who are the people buying properties like yours? Some important facts to know about your audience include:
- Whom do they know?
- Who else is in their network?
- Where do they hang out (online or offline)?
- What type of investors are they?
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- What are their interests?
Depending on the advertising platform, you can specify these parameters to make sure your ad is only shown to people within your specified categories.
The more you know about your ideal buyers, the easier it will be to develop an effective ad strategy that specifically targets them.
If you do not target the correct audience, you will get many views, which you will have to pay for, with no conversion.
Make sure your branding is obvious and consistent throughout your advertising, from your social media posts to your paid ads to your landing page to your website.
When your audience can associate your name with an image, they will remember you and feel familiar with your brand. This establishes trust and can increase interest in your offerings.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Many advertisers have given up on social media advertising thinking it doesn’t work. The most common issue is poor targeting.
If you target the right audience, even if your media and copy aren’t great, you will still get better results than you would with perfect media and copy.
Unlike other forms of advertising, social media advertising requires daily attention and maintenance.
Some platforms allow commenting on ads. These need to be monitored daily. You will need to check your performance metrics daily and make frequent adjustments.
Your campaigns will be more effective with fewer campaigns and daily monitoring than multiple campaigns with infrequent monitoring.
If you do not have time to monitor all the platforms every day, it is better to only use one or two.
Hire an Agency
Digital marketing agencies know how to research and target the correct audience, create attention-grabbing media, a professional landing page, and write professional copy for your ads.
Ideally, the agency should have experience marketing specifically commercial real estate. In fact, it is highly recommended to engage only agencies specializing in commercial real estate marketing.
An experienced agency can save you a ton of money on social media advertising costs.
The four most well-known platforms all work about the same way, with just a few differences in how they reach their audiences. Next is an overview of the four most popular platforms.
LinkedIn is the one social media platform especially set up for business. Using LinkedIn is one of the best commercial real estate marketing ideas.
If you only have time or a budget to market on one social media platform, LinkedIn deserves your serious consideration.
LinkedIn ads tend to have a notably higher cost compared to the other platforms, but for good reason. It offers the best targeting options, which equates to higher conversion rates.
This means it takes fewer clicks to get a sale, and perhaps less time.
While the other social media platforms mostly allow targeting based on demographics and browsing habits, LinkedIn allows you to target based on factors like industry, job title, years of experience, and interests.
This makes it easier to make sure real estate investors who are likely to be serious buyers see your ads.
LinkedIn is a professional environment, which means ads should appeal to professionals and be of high caliber. They should include professionally-written copy and professional images.
Since you are selling a commercial property, a professional image showing the property in its most desirable light is necessary.
Consider an aerial view or a view of the property in its environment, if it is a beautiful property in a desirable location. Think of what would get the attention of your ideal buyer, and show that in the picture.
You have choices on where to display your ads. You can display ads in the news feed or as thumbnails in the sidebar.
The newsfeed ads will be noticed more, but they are also more expensive.
Free Promotional Opportunities
LinkedIn is also a great place to build brand recognition and market your commercial property by using organic (free) methods.
You can set up a company page in addition to your personal profile, and link the two. You can post daily updates and use hashtags to increase your reach and grow your following.
LinkedIn also has an article feature. LinkedIn articles need to offer value, not just advertising. If you do offer value, you can increase your following.
LinkedIn even offers the opportunity to use paid promotions with your articles.
Regular posts and articles on LinkedIn can help establish you as an expert in the commercial real estate field, or just with regards to your property type.
This increases trust and helps you sell your commercial property faster.
You may think of Facebook mainly as a place to share memes and family photos.
Facebook may be a social platform, but it is widely used by businesses due to the high level of success business owners achieve through optimized, targeted advertising campaigns.
Before you can start advertising on Facebook, you will need to set up a business page.
If you have more than one property to sell, you can advertise them all through the same page, or you can set up separate pages for each property or property type.
You can set up as many pages as you want — there is no maximum. Setting up a page is simple.
Just find “pages” in your profile menu on your phone or a desktop computer, and select the option to create a page.
You can add some nice pictures, videos, and information about your property to your page. You will need to give your page a name.
There are a lot of ways to optimize your page, but don’t feel the need to get too carried away. You only need to set up the page for the purpose of running ads.
Pages are ineffective for organic audience-building, as people have to “like” your page before they can see your posts.
Even after that, only a small percentage of these “likers” will actually see your posts.
Whenever you post on your page, Facebook will offer the opportunity to “boost” your post. Most advertisers have not found this to be the most effective method of advertising.
The best way to handle your page is to set it up, then use it only to run ads.
Facebook Business Suite
Once you have set up your page, whenever you go to your page, you will have access to Facebook’s business suite, which includes Ads Manager.
You can set up ads and targeting settings through Ads Manager and monitor your performance through the business suite.
Learning how to use Ads Manager has a bit of a learning curve. If you already know how to use it, you can get started. If not, you may need to take a course to learn how to use it.
If you prefer to hire an agency to handle your advertising, you will need to make their representative an administrator on your page.
You will need to give them access to Ads Manager through your permissions settings.
Instagram is Facebook’s sister site. Facebook owns Instagram. If you set up a business page on Facebook and a business profile on Instagram, you can link them in Facebook’s Business Suite.
You can even post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, including ads, through Facebook Business Suite.
Originally set up for ease of posting and viewing media on mobile devices, many businesses dismiss Instagram as a platform for teenagers.
However, many businesses have had great success advertising on Instagram.
How It Works
Instagram advertising works best when you already have a large following.
This is because you can post stories, reels, and pictures of your property and market it organically, without paid advertising, in conjunction with your paid ads.
The use of hashtags on Instagram allows you to reach investors who do not yet follow you on Instagram. Hashtags are visible for anyone who searches for them.
You can research popular hashtags right on Instagram. They are crucial to gaining exposure. This is a great way to not only expose your property but also build your network.
When advertising on Instagram, whether organically or through paid methods, always prioritize images with storytelling.
Posts on Instagram are only seen for a short time after you post, so you would want to post at least a couple of times per day if you use organic (free) advertising methods.
While posts are the most widely used method of advertising, stories and reels tend to get more clicks.
If you are using an ad agency, they will know the most effective methods of advertising on Instagram.
Twitter users typically scroll quickly. Tweets tend to be short. Your ad copy should also be short.
Try to use a picture or a video that shows your property, and use just a few words to entice your audience to click on your website.
Twitter is a great place to use organic marketing methods. Follow the same people your ideal buyers would follow.
This could be hard money lenders, developers, industry news agencies, and commercial real estate brokers.
Tweet a short, attention-grabbing sentence with strategic hashtags a few times per day to grow your following quickly. The more followers you have, the greater your reach.
The vast majority of people begin their searches for products, services, and even commercial real estate through search engines like Google.
While other search engines exist, Google is by far the most popular.
Ideally, you should have a website about your property, and that website should appear on the first page when someone searches for a commercial property like yours.
With thousands of businesses competing for a first-page position, you probably will not have first-page ranking.
To rank high, your site should be properly optimized, notably by building links from reputable web resources pointing to it. It’s one of the most important Google’s ranking factors.
You should also publish high quality content. Learn more about this in my real estate SEO guide.
If you don’t have a powerful website yet, since many searchers never go past the first page, you will need to find another way to get noticed on the first page.
The way to do that is through Google Ads, Google’s web advertising service. It’s similar to the one offered by social media platforms described above.
Google ads appear at the top of search results and are interspersed throughout. They can appear on any page, but they are most effective when they appear at the top of the first page.
Since all advertisers covet this position, you will have to compete for it.
How It Works
Google ads are based on a competitive pay-per-click system. You will set a daily budget and bid on your cost per click.
To get started, you will need a high-quality landing page and a Google Ads account. This is free to set up.
Targeting is different with Google ads. Instead of targeting based on the characteristics of your audience, you target based on keywords.
Google offers a whole suite of planning tools to help you identify the best keywords and measure how well they perform.
Google Keyword Planner offers a powerful means to identify the best keywords. You can access this tool through your Google Ads account.
If you go to the tool and enter your favorite search terms, the keyword planner will suggest several others while telling you about how many searches there are per day and the level of competition for those terms.
Look for keywords with low competition and a high number of searches. If you are able to find these types of keywords, you will have hit gold.
With so many advertisers in the marketplace today, the low-competition keywords will probably have low search volume. Low-competition keywords are the least expensive.
Even with low search volume, low-competition keywords can be top performers. Sometimes the search volume and competition are low because they are very specific.
These terms usually have four or more words. They are called long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords that perfectly match your property will have the most clicks and the highest conversion rate.
Investors who type in these keywords tend to have the strongest buying intentions. Non-specific one- or two-word phrases can have multiple meanings and are more likely to be searched by people who have no intention to buy.
Maximizing Your Return on Ad Spend (RoAS)
Most likely, the majority of the keywords you target will be medium-competition keywords with medium to high search volume.
These keywords will be less expensive and often more specific than high-competition keywords. Your ads will also show up on the first page more frequently than ads that target high-competition keywords.
Commercial real estate keywords tend to be expensive, so be prepared to budget generously for your Google Ads campaign.
To maximize your RoAS, you will need to know your audience, set up a strong landing page, optimize your ads, and retarget your leads.
Targeting Your Audience
Knowing who your most likely buyers are is key in every type of marketing campaign, and Google Ads is no exception. Google offers multiple targeting options like geographical and demographics.
Knowing your audience will help you select the most effective keywords. It will help you write the most effective copy for your landing page. It will help you know how to respond to each lead.
Your Landing Page
Your landing page is the page on your website searchers land on after clicking your ad.
Due to the vast amount of information internet users face, they will decide within a few seconds whether to stay on your page or click away.
Your page will need to quickly gain and keep their interest. Your landing page should have an attention-grabbing video or image and a powerful headline.
It will need professional website copy that hooks readers’ attention from the beginning and makes them feel compelled to keep reading.
It should include a conspicuous and easy way to contact you with calls to action throughout. The action could be to contact you or to submit an offer.
Include a contact form or email address and a phone number. Instill a sense of urgency. For example, you can indicate that the interest level is high, and they could lose out if they do not make an offer now.
Your landing page needs to be formatted so it is easy to read. Use short paragraphs, short sentences, and use headings and images throughout to divide the text.
The longer you can keep your prospects on your page, the higher your conversion rate. A professionally-made virtual tour is a great way to maximize time on the page and increase interest.
Creating Effective Ads
No matter how great your landing page is, if you cannot get your investors to click to it, you will not get any conversions.
When creating your ads, remember you are not trying to sell anything or get anyone to contact you directly through the ad. The ad has one purpose: to get clicks.
Use the best long-tail keywords in the headline. In the body, use a sentence or two to entice shoppers to click. Searchers scan quickly through search results, so you have about a second to grab their attention.
Include important keywords and use formatting options like bold font within the ad. It just needs to show prospects that your site has what they are looking for.
Monitoring Your Ads’ Performance
Google Analytics is an important tool you can access within your Google Ads account to help you evaluate your campaign’s performance. It is important to check your campaigns weekly to see how your ads perform.
If you get a lot of impressions but no clicks, your ad copy is ineffective, and you will need to reformat the ad. If you are not getting many impressions, this could indicate your bid is too low or your landing page is low quality.
If you are getting plenty of clicks but no conversions, either your landing page needs work or you are targeting the wrong keywords.
Google Ads offers a vast array of tools to help you identify the most effective ways to get your commercial property in front of the most likely buyers.
Google offers a free course on how to use Google Ads and make the most of the tools. You can also hire a professional ad agency to handle this for you.
The final most important step in maximizing your Google ad ROI is to retarget your leads. You can set up your website to collect browsing information through cookies and use retargeting ads.
You can use your website to collect email addresses and send regular emails (with permission). That will be the topic of the next section.
A single-property website is a separate website you set up specifically for the purpose of marketing a single commercial property.
Even if you have a company website with a page where you advertise your property, having a single-property website has its own benefits.
How It Works
Your home page for your single-property website can double as your landing page for your Google Ads campaign.
Your landing page could be the home page, and you could have additional pages set up to provide details about the property.
The purpose of the website is not to sell the property. It is to entice prospects to call you for more information. This means you will need to strike the perfect balance.
If you tell them too much, they will have no reason to call you. If you do not tell them enough, your property will not stand out enough to get your prospects to call you.
Important Elements to Include
Include price, location information, professional images with a birds eye view, a virtual tour, and basic property information, such as square footage.
It is helpful to show the location of the property on a map. You should include the best selling points about the property. Moving stories or compelling success stories about the property can also be helpful.
Make sure your contact information is prominent throughout the website and that you offer an easy contact form, your email, and your phone number.
You can use a pop-up to offer a downloadable marketing package about your property, in exchange for an email address, but try not to use it on the home page.
Formatting Your Website
Make sure your website works well on mobile as well as desktop. Using short paragraphs and headings throughout, plus a responsive design will help ensure users on all devices will be able to quickly and easily learn all they can about your property and most importantly, contact you without any hassles.
Making Your Website an Asset
One benefit of setting up a single-property website is the ability to transfer it to the buyer, to be used to promote the business after purchase.
You could even start a blog that offers the latest industry news, which can help optimize the website for higher search engine rankings.
An established website is a huge benefit that increases your property’s appeal to the buyer. You may want to read my guide to real estate website design. It will help you understand your options.
Of the above platforms, Facebook and LinkedIn offer the best opportunities to network with other businesses through groups.
In both cases, groups are created by individuals, not by the platforms. Every group has different rules and purposes.
Many do not allow advertising or “self-promotion.” However, there are groups specifically for buying and selling real estate where sharing listings or off market deals is welcomed.
People join groups based on common interests. Joining a group is a great opportunity to connect with an audience of potential prospects who fit the criteria of your ideal buyer.
Groups can be quite large. If you do not have a lot of connections, this can be a great way to quickly build a large audience.
How It Works
Finding Groups to Join
To find a group, go to the platform (LinkedIn or Facebook), and enter a keyword into the search bar to find the types of groups you want to join.
For example, you might want to search for “CRE Investors”, “REI group”, or “commercial real estate”.
Ideally, you will find a group with a name like “Buy/Sell Commercial Real Estate in [your location]”. In this kind of group you won’t be banned for advertising because it’s made for this.
In the search results, you will see a list of groups, as well as the number of members in each group. Try to stick with the groups with at least a few hundred members, and preferably over 1,000.
Larger groups are more professionally managed and offer more opportunities. On Facebook, if you select a private group, you can see how many posts were made in the last day and month.
Prioritize the groups with a large amount of activity. This is where you can be sure prospects will see and respond to your posts.
You may have to request to join a group and sometimes answer questions to make sure you meet group criteria. Be sure to read the group rules to make sure belonging to the group will serve your purposes.
How to Network in Groups
When you join a group, be prepared to offer value. Most people will not respond well to ads or self-promoting posts within a group if they do not know you.
Some groups will ban you for self-promoting. Think of a group as a longer-term strategy to build a network and an opportunity to set up a positive reputation for your business.
You can offer value to a group by providing helpful answers to questions and by posting information group members would find helpful.
For example, you could share news articles about investment trends or share your expert observations about the market.
These types of posts will get prospects to come to you when they have a need. If someone expresses an interest in buying or selling a commercial property, you can always send a private message to offer your service.
Starting Your Own Groups
This may work for brokers as a long term strategy of gaining an audience to market to during a long period of time.
If you cannot find a group that meets your needs, or if you already have a large audience, you can start your own group on either platform.
If you do not have a large audience, you may have to use a combination of paid and organic marketing methods to build an audience. Paid methods can be expensive, but it is the fastest way to build an audience.
If you do use ads or email to draw people to your group, make sure you consistently offer plenty of high-quality content.
Plan to post every day until you build a large enough group that others are posting on a daily basis. While your group is in the early growth stage, try to respond to every post or comment.
Compared to Facebook business pages, groups are a more effective way to get your message out. Posts from groups are shown to more people in their newsfeed than posts from pages.
You can set your group to be private or public. Public groups can be found and joined by anyone on Facebook. Private groups tend to offer better value to members.
Private groups can be set up to be invisible or visible (either no one can see them or anyone can). Non-members cannot see what is posted in the group or who the members are.
Group privacy helps instill a sense of security for group members. This will help assure that your property offer is legitimate.
Maintaining Your Groups
Facebook gives you the ability to schedule posts in advance, so if you are unable to post every day, you could take a few hours once a week or even once a month to compose and schedule several daily posts at a time.
LinkedIn does not offer this functionality, but you can schedule posts on your LinkedIn business page by using a variety of third-party software tools, such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Unlike Facebook, your LinkedIn network will see what you post on your business page. LinkedIn members join the platform as a means to network.
They are there to promote their business and expect the same from others. Facebook users are more interested in socializing and supporting one another. They tend to be more resistant to overt attempts to self-promote.
The more value you offer in Facebook groups, the more open prospective buyers will be to your promotional efforts. The same is true in LinkedIn groups.
People join groups to build their networks with like-minded businesses. They do not join to be solicited. Networking through groups is a long-term strategy.
It is the best way to build a pipeline of potential buyers. If you build a strong network, offer value, and cultivate relationships, you will be able to sell properties through your network with less effort.
This can help you sell faster and save thousands on advertising expenses.
Email marketing is a strategy that mostly works for brokers and other companies that sell real estate on a regular basis.
While you’re free to buy commercial real estate leads, you aren’t allowed to purchase a list of leads who don’t know you and send them emails advertising a product or service due to the U.S. anti-spam laws.
First you need to build an email list of people who gave you permission to do this. This takes much time but it pays off as a long term strategy.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods of reaching a well-targeted audience, and it can be surprisingly effective.
Most buyers need to see an offer multiple times before they actually buy. When you send a weekly email, you have the opportunity to repeatedly expose some of your best prospects to your properties.
Building an email list and sending out regular marketing content may take effort, but you will quickly find that your email list is one of your greatest assets.
This is a list of highly targeted individuals who have already taken an interest in something you offer.
How It Works
Email marketing comes with challenges, but it is so effective it is worth the effort. The main challenges are building your list, consistently sending messages at the right times, and managing your content.
Before you start sending emails to your prospect, make sure you comply with anti-spam laws.
You must have written permission or a personal relationship with each party before you can send solicitations or other business-related messages.
The easiest way to do this is by using an opt-in checkbox near the field where prospects enter their email addresses.
To comply with the law, you must offer instructions on how to unsubscribe in every email. Unsubscribing should be simple for the subscriber. Once someone unsubscribes, you must stop sending them emails.
Email marketing tools include this feature by default, at the bottom of your email, under the signature. Speaking about the signature, read a blog post on what an effective lead generating realtor email signature looks like.
Your Email List
Building a list is the most challenging aspect of email marketing. It takes time. Many companies offer to sell lists. It is a fast method to get contacts, but this is not recommended.
Since the contacts on these lists do not know you, you would have to get their permission to contact them. The contact information may be outdated. The contacts might not even be real investors.
Sending bulk emails to people who don’t respond is also bad for your email server IP reputation. When the reputation is low, your emails start going to the “Spam” folder in your recipients’ mailboxes.
Nobody ever looks in that folder, so your emails will stay unseen. The most effective email marketing will be to investors who know you.
They will have opted in to receive communications from you either because of a relationship with you or your company or because they have been interested in something you offered in the past and opted in to receive email communication.
Building an email list takes time, but you can employ multiple methods to speed the process. You can capture emails through your website, landing pages, social media groups you own, or individual contacts.
The key is to seize the opportunity to capture email addresses every chance you get.
Building Your List
Most people are reluctant to provide their email addresses unless they have a compelling reason to do so.
On your landing page, you can offer a free download, such as the marketing package or a special report about the market in your area. To get the report, visitors would have to provide an email address.
You can also request an email address on your contact forms. If you own a Facebook group, you can ask for email addresses in the membership questions.
If you offer a benefit or free gift, more prospective members will provide their emails. You can use automated tools like GroupConvert or ConvertKit to automatically collect these emails for you.
If you have a website, you can create quizzes, courses, or free reports, all of which can require an email address in order to participate.
As long as your website is set up for investors and others involved in the commercial real estate business, you will get excellent prospects who also know likely buyers.
Emailing Your List
Once you have a list of at least a few hundred quality email contacts, you will need an effective email sequence. This is called a drip campaign.
This can be a series of newsletters, articles, tidbits, or insider information. The purpose of each email should be to re-expose your prospects to your property and set yourself up as a trustworthy business to work with.
Each email should be enticing to read and offer freebies or other goodies, plus a strong call to action. Make sure you also always include an invitation to make an offer on your commercial property and your contact information, including your phone number.
By all means, advertise your properties in your emails, but make sure your emails offer the latest industry news and information that will make your subscribers want to read your emails, so you can be confident they are seeing your commercial property ads.
As long as you always offer value to your subscribers, they will keep reading your emails and may even refer others to you. If you only solicit your subscribers, they will quickly unsubscribe from your list or assign your emails to their spam folders.
Automating Your Email Drip Campaigns
If this seems like too much work, the good news is that email marketing can be easily automated. If you do not know how to write effective email marketing copy, many agencies and individuals offer content-writing services.
You also do not have to remember to send emails every week. You can use software such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or Get Response to automate your email marketing campaigns.
These services can automatically send a preset message every time someone subscribes, and a preset sequence afterward.
These systems can personalize your emails, so each person is individually addressed by name. You can set up separate email campaigns based on where a contact first subscribed and a contact’s activity.
You can automatically remarket to people who entered their email address into your landing page with or without making a purchase. The options are limitless.
These programs do take a little bit of learning. If this is not something you wish to do, an investment into agency services by a company experienced in advertising commercial real estate may be worth considering.
YouTube has become much more than an entertainment venue. It is a search engine for videos with some social media characteristics. For example, users can like, subscribe, and comment on videos.
Google owns YouTube, and the videos frequently show up in Google searches on the first page. Businesses are increasingly aware of its power. You can use YouTube in multiple ways to promote your commercial property.
Building a YouTube audience can take time. To speed up the process, you can pay for ads. YouTube uses a PPC system similar to Google Ads and social media, except your ads will be video ads.
YouTube also offers analytics, so you can keep track of how your ads perform. When advertising on YouTube, make sure you always have a clear call-to-action throughout your video and especially at the end.
You could just use YouTube to host your videos. When you upload a video to YouTube, YouTube provides code you can use to embed the video into your own website, such as your single property website.
Oftentimes, this will help your page load faster than if you used an uploaded video.
If you are a broker, you can also leverage the power of YouTube for networking and finding real estate investors who are interested in properties you sell.
In order for this to work, you will need to post videos frequently and optimize your videos for search.
Your videos will need to be appealing and draw an audience. Not only should your videos attract your likely buyers, but also anyone connected to the commercial real estate industry.
This is a great opportunity to set yourself up as an expert. Many people prefer to watch videos rather than read articles.
For this to work, you will need to create videos that educate or inform in a creative way. You could appear on the video or use animation to present your content.
Just make sure you remember your target audience and keep it professional. Your videos could discuss the latest news or trends.
You could offer commentary about trending topics in commercial real estate. Include calls to action asking viewers to visit your website with current listings.
If you present yourself or your content well, you can use your videos to set yourself up as an expert. You can share them on social media and your website.
YouTube visitors can subscribe to your videos, so they receive notifications whenever you post a new video.
To get started, you will first need to set up a YouTube account, which YouTube calls a channel. This is free. YouTube offers many tutorials about optimizing your channel, your videos, and your ads.
As soon as your channel is set up, you can start uploading videos.
Classified Ad Websites
If you wish to maximize your exposure, consider listing your commercial property on classified ad websites like Craigslist.
It’s not a common place to advertise commercial real estate. But this can work as a supplemental method, especially for small commercial buildings.
Craigslist used to be free for advertisers, but this gave rise to fraudsters. Charging fees has helped to reduce their number so the public can be less wary of using Craigslist to find deals.
Fees vary based on the geographical area where you advertise.
How It Works
When using Craigslist to market a commercial property, familiarize yourself with their community guidelines.
The moderators are strict about these guidelines, and they could remove your listing or ban you from using their platform altogether if you have too many infractions.
Their most important guidelines include the following:
- You cannot list the same property in multiple categories.
- You cannot list the same property in multiple geographical areas.
- You must list the property in the correct category.
- You cannot pay someone to post for you.
- You can only post once per category per area once every 48 hours.
Creating Effective Ads
Take your time to use each section to grab attention and entice prospects. The purpose of your ad is to get prospects to call you to learn more.
Once someone calls, you will need to pre-qualify the lead to see if they are a serious interested buyer. The best phone call answering services for real estate investors can be used for this task to save you time.
You may be able to find other classified ad websites that are specific to the local area, but Craigslist is categorized by local area and is by far the most well-known classified ad venue.
Be sure to include the most important selling points in the headline. Customers have the option to search by title. The most important components of a good Craigslist headline are as follows:
- The property type (for example, warehouse, office building, or retail space)
- The square footage
- The location (be specific)
If you include the square footage when you input the ad, it will show up under the title. However, it is a good idea to also include it in the headline so it shows up in as many searches as possible. Customers search Craigslist in a variety of ways.
The Property Description
In the body of the listing, provide the details of the property in a clear, concise way. Focus on the main selling points of the property. Location is usually the most important factor after property type.
Some investors may be from other cities or states and therefore unfamiliar with the area. Describe the area surrounding the building and the activity in its immediate vicinity.
Features and Benefits
Talk about the features of the property, but don’t forget to emphasize the benefits.
Features are the physical characteristics of the property, such as the location, square footage, number of windows, and building material.
Features are important, especially to investors, because they have minimum requirements for their properties.
Benefits focus on what the features do, how they help, and how the investor’s bottom line will improve through the property.
When selling products to the general public, benefits appeal to the emotions of potential buyers. However, even the most objective investors are not immune to the appeal of benefits.
For example, if you mention that a property is situated in a prime downtown location, you have listed a feature. Investors come across properties with this feature all the time.
If you mention investors can increase their business by 50% in the first year due to demand, you have listed a benefit they care about. Benefits command attention and make your listing stand out.
Formatting Your Commercial Property Ads
Keep paragraphs short. You can use basic HTML to enhance your listing with bold headings and bullet points to make it easier to scan and a little more professional.
Using bold print is also a great way to emphasize your best selling points.
Craigslist allows up to eight (8) images per listing. This is the most important part of your listing, so use all eight and make sure they are clear and professional.
They should show the outside of the building on all sides, the inside, the vicinity surrounding the property, and if possible, a birds eye view. The first image is your main image and will appear in search results.
This may seem like a lot of work, but remember you can repurpose the pictures for your other marketing venues and maybe even some of the text.
Read real estate photography tips from our expert photographers to take better pictures. You can renew your ad once every three days.
Limitations of Classified Ad Sites
Classified ad websites like Craigslist are easy and inexpensive to use, but they do come with their downsides. One major downside is that many commercial investors do not check sites like Craigslist.
This means your likely buyers may not see your ads.
eBay is one of the top eCommerce sites on the internet, with millions of visitors every month. They offer the option to sell real estate auction-style or through classified ads.
Just like Craigslist, it’s not a common way to market commercial real estate. Include it in your commercial property marketing plan if you need maximum enhancement of your marketing strategy and have time for this.
Unlike other items sold on eBay, real estate auctions are not binding upon the buyer. This protects eBay from violating state laws, which vary.
When a bid is made and accepted, the rest of the transaction takes place offline. eBay offers the bidding format as a means to help sellers identify the most interested buyers.
How It Works
Real estate auctions can be set to last up to 10 days. You can add up to 12 pictures to your listings. Always try to add the full amount of 12 pictures for the best results.
Pictures are the main component that will draw potential buyers into your listings, so make sure they are clear, professional, and appealing.
You can choose, for an extra fee, to offer a fixed price option, which will increase the duration to 30 days. You can also offer your property on eBay classifieds.
eBay classifieds can be listed for 30 or 90 days and differ slightly from auctions. The classified ad format allows you to eliminate the bidding process and use a set price.
Interested buyers fill out a contact form, and eBay sends this information to you. You can revise your classified listing at any time.
Gain Visibility for Your Listings
eBay is a competitive website that ranks high in search engines like Google. For maximum exposure, optimize your listing for search engines.
The most important way to do this is through the use of keyword phrases your prospective buyers would be likely to use to search for your property. Try to find at least 3-5 well-searched keyword phrases.
The most important keyword phrase should appear in the heading. Avoid using spammy words like “look” or “hot.”
You are only allowed to use up to 80 characters in your heading, so make the most of this space with relevant keywords potential customers would use.
The remaining phrases should appear naturally throughout the body of your listing. eBay recommends that these phrases make up 5-7% of your description.
For example, if your description is 200 words long, you should use the keywords 10-14 times. Do not use them more than this recommended amount, or eBay may consider it spammy, which violates their terms.
You can get ideas for popular keyword phrases by typing the first word into the search box and viewing eBay’s suggestions. You could get some ideas by using Google’s keyword planner.
If you use HTML to write your listing, add alt tags to your images that include keywords. You can also hire one of the many services that specialize in SEO for eBay.
The most important SEO optimization tip for advertising a commercial property on eBay is to make sure you provide a detailed description with as much information about the property as possible.
When entering your listing, you will have several fields to complete, some of which are optional. Fill out all fields that apply.
eBay charges insertion fees for both classified and auction-style listings. If the property sells through eBay, you will also be charged a final valuation fee.
Insertion fees currently range from $100-300. Final value fees are determined by the selling price. You can also opt to pay for listing enhancement like bold titles.
There are some downsides to selling on eBay. There is no way to directly target your ideal buyers. Many professional investors who are looking for properties do not check eBay.
Few commercial properties are listed on eBay. While this means the competition is low, it could signal that sellers do not get good results from marketing their commercial property on eBay.
The last on the list of our commercial property internet marketing ideas is Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace is a free classified ads service offered through a personal Facebook account.
It is similar to Craigslist and in recent years has gained popularity that rivals Craigslist.
How It Works
Facebook Marketplace works for marketing rentals much better than for selling commercial real estate as there is no dedicated category for it.
There is a real estate section, and if you wish to sell a housing development or an apartment building, it might be worth a try. Industrial real estate, retail, or office spaces probably would not fit in on Facebook Marketplace.
Since Facebook Marketplace is free, there is really no downside to testing it if you have the right type of property. You have the option to boost your listing for a fee to increase your reach.
You can post up to 10 pictures and you have plenty of space for your description. You can also include your website link in the description.
Most likely, your best investors will not see your marketplace listing, but with the large number of people using Facebook, anything is possible.
There is very little maintenance required for marketplace listings. You will receive a notification if anyone contacts you about your listing. You will have to renew it occasionally to keep it where people will see it.
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About the Author:
Oleg Donets is a serial entrepreneur, technology and digital marketing strategist with a solid track record. Since 2013, he has been successfully helping numerous startups and established companies from a wide range of industries to launch, grow and scale their businesses by utilizing his innovative technology solutions and progressive marketing strategies. Oleg is a founder of Real Estate Bees, a cutting-edge technology & marketing platform for the real estate industry. Oleg is also a proud business mentor at SCORE, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.