Commercial real estate this year is a mixed bag, especially with the recent tax overhaul having potentially positive impacts for the multifamily sector, while vacancy and market slowdowns are having more of a negative impact on available office space in other sectors. These fluctuations mean that CRE marketing is all the more imperative for companies to edge out competitors.
Consider the following 2018 commercial real estate marketing trends as they should show positive returns for your company.
A Social View
It’s a game-changing year for CRE marketing, especially in terms of how to reach prospective buyers in your area. Up until now, the marketing landscape has remained more or less the same, with social media claiming the throne in every corner of influence. However, we are now seeing increasingly fast-paced developments in the form of new and updated features such as live streaming and instant messaging.
What has made live streaming a growing trend, besides the capability to engage in real-time with clients, is the way it functions within Facebook. Recently, Facebook made an update to their news feed algorithm that would prioritize updates from friends and family rather than pages that the individual likes or follows.
What does this mean for commercial real estate marketing? Put simply, it means that content will have to be creative and engaging in order to gain more activity online. The update ranks content that receives the most activity and shares it closer to the top of the feed. A marketing team with experience in social media content will optimize results. And since live video is currently the most preferred type of content among Facebook users, it is an area that marketers will naturally place additional creative efforts towards.
Live features in social media contain so many great marketing opportunities, including the capability to broadcast a live house tour or announce real-time property events for clients or prospects. And the live features allow for specific market targeting across multiple platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Instant Messaging and Chatbots
Connectivity is another great advantage of social media. The simple ease of using functions such as direct messaging makes it easier than ever to engage with your audience. However, the conundrum that property managers now face is how to respond fast enough and accurately to prospective buyers.
Cue marketing automation bots, also known as chatbots.
Today’s consumers want to engage with a company when and where it’s most convenient for them. For real estate, this could mean losing possible leads if we are not able to respond to needs instantly. Chatbots seem to have cracked the code, quite literally, on instant communication. According to Botpress, a chatbot is defined as “any software that performs an automated task … the most intuitive definition is that a bot is a software that can have a conversation with a human.”
In addition to being programmed to have realistic, human-like conversations with prospective clients, chatbots are also able to gather specific information relevant to the seller or the marketer.
In the context of CRE, a chatbot can mean providing 24/7, instant responses that do not require an individual behind a screen scrambling to answer a question. Chatbots also provide a smoother user experience for the buyer, and user experience is always critical.
Social media features such as live streaming and instant messaging are powerful tools that benefit both seller and buyer. They are CRE marketing trends that are growing rapidly, and their influences within the industry are on the rise.
A Bird’s Eye View
Drones are a defining piece of technology for commercial real estate. Just a few years ago, it was conventional to hire a professional photographer for aerial shots of a property. Sellers now are capable of capturing stunning images and breathtaking videos of their property with camera-equipped drones, all while cutting back on costs.
Drones can depict a great layout of the entire property, especially when recording video. For larger areas, the unique benefit that drones provide is navigation beyond the property and into the surrounding area. They are able to capture incredible bodies of water, beautiful landscape, and nearby neighborhoods. This particular feature can be optimized if paired creatively with live streaming.
Drones also allow high-rise offices to capture images of the entire building along with attractive neighboring hotspots. Drones are one trend guaranteed to set your marketing apart from competitors, and will surely spread within the CRE industry.
A Virtual and Augmented View
Though we have seen impressive and usable trends for commercial real estate marketing, virtual and augmented reality takes the prize.
Virtual reality opens new doors for prospective clients quite literally as it provides a behind-the-scenes look, or rather, a digital tour of a property. As the real estate industry moves forward rapidly embracing new technologies, virtual will undoubtedly make it into many marketing plans. Companies, we can expect, will begin to design 3D models through the power of virtual reality. And prospects will be able to walk a unit and experience property amenities firsthand without being onsite.
Through augmented reality, marketers and realtors are bringing blueprints to life. With the aid of smartphone and tablet cameras, AR technology can render a 3D image of a building from a blueprint or a layout that is completely interactive. This tool will prove useful in all stages of development by allowing clients to visualize the entire project.
Augmented and VR technologies, along with drones and social media, make the customer experience more convenient and engaging. By considering these emerging trends, your customers will be brought smoothly through the sales funnel and to that final decision.
Social Media Guide
In the world of digital marketing, it can be difficult to know which tactic works best. Many businesses focus too much of their efforts on one tactic, thinking it will bring immediate results. However, each part of your marketing strategy should fit together into one cohesive piece. Your website, social media presence, customer experience, etc., should operate in harmony.
Social media is key to attracting new residents and engaging with current tenants, but each platform is unique. Download our social media guide to learn the dynamics of social media.