Brokerage best practices

What to look for when comparing CRE marketing platforms

April 6, 2022

Your CRE marketing platform impacts your efficiency, effectiveness, employee experience, and customer satisfaction — which it’s why you should take extra care when comparing your options. Investing in the wrong software can undermine your initiatives and hamper your success. But choosing the right solution will help boost your results, increase your revenue potential, and help you work smarter (rather than harder).

To help you make the right choice for your brokerage, we’re covering a few things to consider when comparing CRE marketing platforms.

Features

Many platforms promote a lengthy list of features, so it’s crucial you consider your organization’s unique needs. This is also why it’s vital you opt for a marketing platform purpose-built for commercial real estate. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll be paying for functionality you don’t need while missing a few things you do.

Here are five features great CRE marketing platforms often include

  • Email: You should be able to create and send email blasts easily and automatically send property and space needs emails using data from your website.
  • Website: Your marking solution should allow you to create beautiful, professional-looking websites for each new property populated with current listing data.
  • Document management: The best platforms allow you to create and store proposals, flyers, brochures, and other materials for easy access.
  • Inventory plugin: Ensure your CRE marketing tool offers a plugin or feature that automatically updates your brokerage website with your latest listings.
  • Syndication: Adding each of your listings to multiple third-party syndication sites can be tedious, so it’s crucial you opt for a CRE marketing platform that will do it for you.

Price

It’s critical you carefully consider pricing to ensure you don’t go over budget and make sure there are no hidden “extras” hiding in the fine print. At the same time, you don’t want to opt for something too low-cost because, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Investing in quality CRE technology often means enjoying more reliability, better support, and greater potential ROI.

Look for a tiered pricing structure, so you’re only paying for the features you need and can easily upgrade as you scale and evolve your marketing program.

Reputation

Before you sign the dotted line, be sure to check the platform’s reputation. Here are a few ways to assess a CRE marketing platform’s credibility

  • Testimonials: Look for testimonials on their website and consider what features or benefits users refer to most. Are these the same elements you need? Are users from a similar role or industry?
  • Reviews: Check out third-party software review sites like G2 and Capterra. While testimonials are helpful, most brands will only share their clients’ glowing recommendations. You need to venture beyond the provider’s website to get the nitty-gritty.
  • Current customers: Who is already using the platform? Look for other brokerages, especially those in your market. If there’s no list of current clients on the provider’s website, ask them for a list.

Ease of Use

Every marketing tool will come with a learning curve and may feel overwhelming at first. However, some software has poor usability and a negative experience, and no amount of familiarity with the tool will make it better.

Always seek out solutions that are well-designed and easy to use. With so much on your plate, the last thing you need is to waste your time implementing a clunky and confusing platform.

Support

You’ll likely need assistance while implementing your new software, managing integrations, or learning how to use a new feature. In those moments, it’s good to have access to reliable support.

There are two types of customer support a platform should offer

  • Live support: This includes white-glove onboarding and chat, email, and phone support.
  • Self-service: This includes how-to blog posts and support articles.

While self-service is useful, it shouldn’t be the only option. If a platform doesn’t offer live support, it’s best to go with another option.

Data Privacy and Security

Keeping your data safe and secure is not only important for your benefit, but for your clients’ benefit too. Given you’ll be storing contact information and highly sensitive data, it’s essential your CRE marketing platform takes cybersecurity safely and has all the proper protocols in place.

Make sure the provider you choose has an excellent security policy and will not share or sell your or your contacts’ data with third parties.

Integrations

Toggling between multiple technologies all day is not only a massive time-waster but also creates frustrating data silos. If you’re working to simplify your workflow and centralize your data, you want to opt for an all-in-one solution with plenty of integrations.When comparing CRE marketing platforms, look for products that integrate with other tools you already use and prefer. And make sure the solution you invest in connects with your CRM. (Or, better yet, opt for software with its own CRM.)Choosing a CRE marketing platform will impact nearly every facet of your marketing experience, so it isn’t a decision you should enter into lightly. By keeping the above considerations in mind, you’ll be more likely to select software that eliminates headaches while generating better outcomes.

Buildout’s Marketing platform has all of the above — and more. Request a demo to see it in action.

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