Branding Me – The Local Commercial Real Estate Expert
You market your listed properties; but what are you doing to promote yourself? Self-promotion is essential if you want to build your business. You need to tell people you are in the Commercial Real Estate Business; that you are a professional and an expert.
Create a template for an ongoing Public Relations Campaign and make a list of the local and regional newspapers and trade papers to send to. Publicize everything you do: education taken, certifications earned, designations or awards you receive, representation agreements and deals you close.
Create your own Real Estate Column for your local paper. Information about market conditions, financing, taxes, local zoning. Be creative. I had an agent who started a weekly column, each week he interviewed one of the businesses in town. Asking the same questions; why did you open your business here? What do you do/sell? What other business would you like to see move into the community? Everyone was interested in learning about other businesses, and at the end of each article he posted information about available real estate.
Did you give out 500 business cards last month? Give two business cards to every person you meet. Saying, here are a couple of my cards, one for your records and please pass the other onto someone you think I may be able to help.
In addition to that referral system you should be recruiting residential agents, who do not do commercial work, to refer their buyers to you after they close on the house?
Does everyone you pay money to; know you do Commercial Real Estate? If you’re Barber, Hair Salon, Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, Gas Station Owner, Dry Cleaner, Deli, etc. need more space or want to buy a building are they coming to you? Make sure they all know what you do. One of my agents made up a “mini” advertisement of her services and placed her ads in every bill she paid. The President of her local oil company saw the ad, and called her to find his company a 30,000 office building to buy.
Service clubs, chambers of commerce and other organizations are constantly looking for speakers; volunteer to talk about market conditions, show you are the expert. Host a seminar; maybe get some mortgage providers to sponsor it. Invite business owners from town, speak yourself and/or bring in an Accountant to speak on the new tax laws, a 1031 Exchange Intermediary or a Management Company.
Get involved in the community, volunteer for local charities, serve on organizations committees. Is there a local talk radio station? If so, let them interview you or make a regular Commercial Real Estate Market report.
Contact five people a day form you sphere of influence list, get their email addresses. Start a quarterly of monthly electronic Newsletter. It does not have to be long, just community information. Did you know that vacant store on Main Street has been lease; a new Bakery is coming to town! A few bits of news, then close with “Buy the way did you think of anyone I may be of service too?
Most folks spend 1-3 days a week in the local grocery store, typically for 45 minutes; would you like to have a commercial that lasts that long? Consider “Cartvertisng”. Many supermarkets have advertising spots available on their shopping carts. Talk about “Branding” opportunities!
Get active on social media, Facebook and LinkedIn, in addition to posting your listing, think Public Relations. When you do any of the things suggested in this article send out your press releases and post your activities on social media. If you don’t promote yourself who will?
Ed Smith is a Commercial and Investment Real Estate Continuing Education Instructor, Corporate and Private Trainer, Speaker, Author, Broker and Consultant; he may be contacted at CRETeach@charter.net or at www.CommercialEd.com
Edward S. Smith, Jr., Real Estate Broker
Licensed in New York and Connecticut
Smith Commercial Real Estate
Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook, CT