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Finding The Fast Track To Pre-Leasing: 3 Tips For Developers


Pre-leasing by its very nature is a struggle. Developers have to attract people to a unit that they can’t yet see. Since all prospective tenants have to go on is a building’s marketing collateral, these materials have to provide them with a deep sense of how their space will look and feel, and what it will be like to live in a new development.

A building can be months away from completion and still actively market itself to new residents. But the stock images and floor plan diagrams that make up the bulk of pre-leasing collateral often fall short of making prospective tenants feel at home.

Bisnow spoke with Yavuz Goncu, director of 3D Technology at HighRock, a full-service marketing agency in Maryland, to discuss what goes into a strong pre-leasing strategy. He listed three overarching goals for developers to keep in mind during this critical time in the leasing process.

1. Have A Clearly Defined Vision 

Goncu: Pre-leasing campaigns should paint a clear picture of the value a building will have for its tenants. That is only possible if the developer has a fully defined vision for the future of the property and a strategy for how to convey that vision to potential tenants. The vision has to go beneath the surface, toward the small details: Who exactly is the building for? What single amenity will set it apart from its competitors? What does the area need?

During the building process, developers may not have the time to focus on these finer details. Bringing on a dedicated marketing team can help developers cast a clear vision and build a marketing plan around their goals that targets the right audience. 

Marketing to baby boomers and marketing to millennials are vastly different tasks; knowing whom to target and how to target them is something a good partner can help define and navigate.

2. Embrace New Technology 

Goncu: Advances in 3D technology are allowing developers to take their architectural plans and transform them into renderings and virtual tours that bring tenants inside their future spaces and their future neighborhood. 

3D renderings are not just a way to explain a building’s architecture: They can be used to create a sense of community for the target audience. By including outdoor renderings, tenants can see themselves within the context of a larger neighborhood. They can see the shops, the restaurants, the grocery store that they will use.

To give potential tenants an even more in-depth feel for the property, developers can pair 3D renderings with virtual tours on property websites. HighRock’s 3D and VR engineers can create materials that showcase both the exterior and interior of buildings long before construction is completed. As they walk through what could be their future home, tenants can change finishes, color schemes and furniture in real time to suit their preferences.

3. Aim To Break Through The Noise 

Goncu: One of the main goals of a pre-leasing campaign is to help a development stand out from the competition. Developers need to break through the noise and use marketing to showcase what makes their property special, whether it be unique amenities they have included or a building’s prime location. 

The key is to identify the main selling point that differentiates a project and make that the focal point of the marketing strategy. It’s not always easy to determine which feature is the best to highlight in order to attract the ideal tenant, which is where marketing professionals can help. 

This feature was produced by Bisnow Branded Content in collaboration with HighRock. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.