Commercial real estate has undergone some major changes in the digital era, particularly when it comes to promotional tactics. With a wide array of digital tools and promotional channels, brokers have more ways than ever to get eyes on their properties.
Many top commercial real estate brokers have embraced forward-thinking technology to stand out in this competitive playing field. Some have turned to digital twins, which are immersive, interactive 3D virtual models of properties. These digital twins enrich marketing materials, giving prospects an immersive and visually rich glimpse into commercial spaces.
In this article, we’ll explore these new real estate marketing tools and learn how they’re helping individuals in the commercial real estate industry work efficiently, connect with clients, and drive sales and leasing activity.
The commercial real estate landscape
The pandemic disrupted work patterns in just about every industry, and commercial real estate was no different. Suddenly brokers had to find new ways to show commercial properties to potential customers. Many teams adjusted on the fly and quickly adopted digital twins, adding a competitive edge to their marketing practices.
Even as pandemic restrictions have eased, commercial real estate brokers still see a natural use for digital twins in the real estate industry. These digitally mediated environments have the chance to transform online marketing for real estate, enabling clients to experience high-quality, immersive virtual tours from anywhere. As the industry continues to evolve, property marketing is going to change too — and digital twins are helping teams adapt.
4 key objectives for commercial real estate marketing
A lot goes into closing a real estate deal. Commercial real estate agents must research the market, win listings, put their properties on the market, reach prospects, and nurture relationships. They are looking to nail these key areas when they craft their broker marketing strategy:
Whether you’re a single agent looking to get your name out there, or part of a major firm positioned as an industry leader, it’s important to make sure property owners know about you and your skill set. Today’s real estate brands are investing in innovative marketing campaigns to drive lead generation, brand awareness and reach their target audience.
Commercial real estate is a complicated, constantly evolving space. Understanding the market and competition is crucial for anyone in the commercial real estate industry. More teams are embracing new digital tools and using advanced analytics and metrics to stay informed and get marketing ideas.
It’s not enough to just drive brand awareness. Commercial real estate teams also need to close the deal and actually increase sales or leasing volume. In commercial real estate, a lot can happen in a week, in a day, or even in an hour. That’s why it’s imperative for commercial real estate teams to work fast and efficiently — or risk losing out on a major deal.
Managing relationships is a key component of commercial real estate. This could mean relationships with longtime clients, prospective clients, or other brokers. A well-managed relationship can lead to new referrals and more deals down the line.
5 commercial real estate marketing channels
A combination of time-tested digital marketing methods work together to help commercial real estate brokers reach their objectives. Below are a few of the marketing channels used in commercial real estate to both increase sales volume and drive brand awareness.
1. Online marketplaces
Promoting properties on key commercial real estate property websites like CoStar and LoopNet are integral to any modern commercial real estate marketing plan. A paid subscription to one of these property websites can help ensure your listings find the right audience.
2. Organic SEO marketing
Search engine optimization is a useful channel for some commercial real estate brands looking to get their property listings in front of potential customers. Crafting keyword-driven, high-quality content that reaches the right audience is one of the cornerstones of a winning strategy. Additionally, using paid advertising platforms like Google AdWords to place your listings higher on search engines can boost engagement.
3. Social media
Effective marketing on social media is a low-cost way to boost activity in a competitive landscape. Leverage your social network on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to get your listings in front of brokers who represent ideal clients for your space, plus showcase your closed deals to clients looking to engage your services.
4. Direct mail
It may not be the most modern marketing channel, but direct mail is an effective way to let your network know about your listing. Compared to a social media post, print mail allows for more room to explain your brand and include visually rich materials. Marketing floor plan booklets, brochures and site plans are a few popular promotional materials you can leverage in direct mail and across your digital campaigns.
5. Email campaigns
Other brokers in your network possibly receive hundreds of emails in a day, so standing out in an inbox isn’t easy. But commercial real estate professionals who craft consistently informative email marketing that is enriched with visual content have a key advantage when it comes to promotion.
How to create a successful commercial real estate marketing strategy
Many forward-thinking commercial real estate brokers are putting digital twins at the center of their property marketing strategies. Digital twins offer an immersive, 360-degree view into a physical space, acting as a 24/7 open house. This gives you the chance to get more eyes on your properties, engage motivated leads, save time, and shorten your sales cycle. Here’s how you can use digital twins to promote your properties more effectively:
Make Matterport digital twins the centerpiece of your marketing strategy
A Matterport digital twin provides an immersive, dimensionally accurate 3D representation of a space, amplifying property marketing for broker teams across the commercial real estate industry. Digital twins enable prospects to virtually walk through a property, exploring at their own pace, from anywhere. . If you prefer to curate the viewer’s experience, you can also build a guided tour of your digital twin, which allows you to move clients through the property while highlighting key areas with voiceover or captions.
Matterport’s wide range of features help you create more engaging virtual tours. You can call out unique features of your property with MatterTags, which are small notes that you can add to your digital twin. For instance, you can tag conference rooms to let viewers know the maximum occupancy, or add tags to various amenity areas throughout the building.
If prospects are looking for more details on size, they can use the measurement tool in a Matterport digital twin to get exact dimensions of a room or anything inside. Matterport also enables you to quickly generate and download up-to-date schematic floor plans so that clients can understand the space layout.
Matterport digital twins also come with downloadable 4K photos, which you can share and leverage across all your marketing collateral. Together, these features enable you to build a unique, engaging property marketing experience.
Cushman and Wakefield, a global leader in commercial real estate, used Matterport’s all-in-one platform to scan over 1,000 properties in under 12 hours, making virtual tours the standard for their business. Thanks to this partnership with Matterport, brokers can easily feature digital twins in property marketing materials and prospects can virtually tour before they get in touch, pushing motivated leads through the funnel and allowing for more productive conversations.
Share 3D tours across different digital mediums
Once you have digital twins of your properties, it’s time to share this remote experience across your property marketing materials. Matterport hosts your digital twins in the cloud, so prospects can access via a hyperlink from anywhere. Embed this link in online advertising, on social media, and on listing websites to enrich your marketing collateral.
With buyers spread across nearly 70 countries, Colliers International used Matterport digital twins to help clients view properties on a 24/7 basis from anywhere in the world. This stoked interest and enabled brokers to reduce in-person tours by 50%.
Add digital twins to social media content
Posting on social media is an effective way to promote listings. But with crowded feeds, standing out isn’t always easy. Including a link to an immersive digital twin in your post can quickly catch the eye of a lead and stoke interest.
Stand out on major commercial real estate listing platforms
While sites like CoStar and LoopNet are central to CRE marketing activities, it can be hard to drive consistent engagement on these widely used listing sites. Enhancing your listings with high-quality immersive 3D models is a great way to stand out from the crowd and narrow your lead pool to highly motivated parties.
New technologies like digital twins are driving a digital transformation in commercial real estate. The pandemic only sped up this transformation, which means the real estate game is now won and lost in the digital space. Tools like Matterport’s cameras and capturing services can help real estate companies and teams connect with clients, shorten sales cycles, and save time.