The Battle For New Tenants Is Being Fought Online
Commercial real estate marketers have used the same playbook to promote office space for years: host events and advertise to get in the good graces of power brokers, and hope the tenants will follow.
But the struggle to bring in new tenants is shifting arenas. Even in the world of in-person meetings and paper brochures, the first property tour takes place online in digital marketplaces where companies search for office listings even before they hire a broker.
Since in-person tours are unlikely in this era of social distancing, the most important tools and metrics for determining how their properties are performing are now digital. The more views of their online property listing that marketers can garner, and the more they know about who is viewing it, the better chance they have of landing that next tenant.
What Are The Most Important Metrics For Digital Marketing?
Just creating a listing online doesn’t guarantee a lease. Property marketers need to put their listing information into the hands of as many potential tenants as possible. The most important digital marketing metrics to follow for a listing are its total views, the number of unique visitors to the listing and the total number of engagements prospects have had with a property.
While measuring total and unique visitors can clearly show whether a listing is getting the right amount of exposure, having a higher total engagement shows that prospective tenants keep coming back to a single listing, either to learn more or to show it off to their colleagues.
But the most advanced marketplaces offer much more than these three simple metrics. LoopNet, the world’s largest commercial real estate marketplace, offers marketers who list properties on its site a comprehensive Listing Performance Report, which offers real-time data and insights on who is viewing their listings.
The report includes competitive benchmarking data to show marketers how their listings are performing in comparison with other similar buildings.
Most importantly, marketers on LoopNet can also see which markets their traffic is coming from and who their visitors are. A barrage of views from members of the same company could mean that the company is considering a lease, allowing marketers to adapt their strategy or reach out to them directly. LoopNet’s reports automatically pull out these sorts of insights for marketers to see the more important takeaways from their traffic.
One of the next functionalities coming to LoopNet’s site is insight on property retargeting. Marketers who purchase Diamond and Platinum advertising packages from LoopNet will be able to see not only how their listings perform, but how their viewers interact with advertisements for the listings down the road.
Keeping Up With The Pack
For every property marketer, understanding how their competition is positioning itself and how they stack up is vital. While marketers could spend the time building out an exhaustive list of all of the buildings they vie against for tenants, marketplaces like LoopNet make it much easier to see the competition.
By combining reverse IP data and search behavior across the site, LoopNet is able to provide insights not only on who visited a listing, but what other listings they are likely to be looking at as well. That allows marketers to highlight the features that are unique to their property and prepare for any potential objections that might stem from a competing listing.
Advertising more heavily can also ensure that properties get the exposure that marketers want for their online listings. While a basic package on LoopNet makes the listing available to the site’s nearly 9 million unique visitors per month, a Platinum listing can anticipate 18 times the amount of exposure of a basic listing, and a Diamond listing can anticipate a whopping 62 times that amount.
Also included in these packages are content creation and strategy, from professional photo shoots and Matterport virtual tours to HD video and drone photography of the property.
A Crucial Component
While LoopNet has seen traffic spike in this year's online climate, tenants have been shifting to a digital-first search strategy for years, and millions of tenants visited LoopNet's site every month long before the coronavirus pandemic. While digital marketing has become an increasingly important component of any leasing strategy, it hasn't completely overtaken typical marketing strategies.
Property marketers should still anticipate developing property websites, hosting broker events, sending email blasts to brokers and prospects, developing brochures and advertising in the form of building signs, real estate publications and social media posts.
But even brokers with extensive networks can’t reach every possible prospect, and brokers can’t be accessible everywhere and at all times. By advertising online, property marketers can make sure that prospects can find their listings and take a virtual tour around the clock and around the globe.
The pandemic has changed how tenants find their offices, possibly for good. As companies have shifted their workforces to being remote, LoopNet saw record highs in traffic, with June and July both setting all-time records for monthly traffic on the site.
With over 52,000 companies looking at office space every day, a digital listing on LoopNet puts listings in front of the most actively engaged prospects on the internet. Digital marketing is a force that can’t be ignored.
This feature was produced in collaboration between the Bisnow Branded Content Studio and LoopNet. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.