Brokerage best practices

Commercial real estate lead generation ideas that work in 2021

November 18, 2020

While being a commercial real estate broker is certainly about helping people buy, sell, lease, and invest in commercial real estate, effective prospecting and lead generation in the CRE industry is what makes a brokerage successful. In fact, nothing will benefit your brokerage more than investing in lead generation.

To help you out, we put together a list of 15 commercial real estate lead generation ideas and strategies on digital marketing, social media, content and more. 

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Commercial real estate digital marketing strategies

1. Develop a professional website that adequately showcases your CRE firm 

A well-designed website that is clear and easy to navigate is the most important thing to consider when establishing your reputation as a brokerage online.

Be sure to include things like a staff page that showcases your team, testimonials with client stories, social media icons for easy sharing of your content, the most updated property listings, and lead generation forms to capture visitor information—just to name a few.

2. Invest in SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is basically everything you need to do to show up in search results and expand your online reach. It’s all about increasing the quantity and the quality of traffic to your website—the most important marketing asset you have.

A couple of simple things you can do to start optimizing your site include listing all of your contact information, using relevant search engine-ranked keywords in your website copy, creating fresh content about your local markets, and featuring other trending stories about those locations.

3. Expand your visibility with search ads on major search engines like Google

Google Ads is an online advertising platform where you can bid to promote your service offerings or videos to web users. You can target by location, location-specific keywords and more, and the platform can help drive traffic to your website and convert them into leads quicker.

Commercial real estate social media marketing ideas

4. Advertise on social platforms

LinkedIn and Facebook are great platforms to increase your brand awareness and generate quality leads via ads. On Facebook, you can target by demographics, location, interests, pages followed, or audience segment.

With LinkedIn—although more expensive—you can target specific audiences based on location, job title, company, skills, and interests. With both platforms, you can also retarget people who have already visited your website or social pages.

5. Build your presence on social media 

As a commercial real estate brokerage or professional, you have to stay connected and develop a dialog with both your current and potential clients.

When using social media, be sure to post consistently, share industry content to establish yourself as a thought leader, and remain social yet professional in posts and interactions.

6. Use LinkedIn for research and outreach 

While promoting your brokerage via ads is a great way to leverage LinkedIn, you can also find and research potential leads on the platform. Use advanced tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to research prospects and find information about them including location, titles, current companies, etc. 

Pave the way for business growth →

Commercial real estate webinars and events

7. Host a commercial real estate networking event

Hosting a CRE networking event is a great opportunity to increase your exposure and generate new interest and leads. When planning the event, be sure to carefully consider the event space or venue, number of guests, food and beverage served, and overall theme to make the best impression.

8. Create webinars and promote real-time conversations

Webinars are one of the most successful gated pieces of content you can offer. You can create on-demand webinars so that visitors can watch and learn on their own time, or you can create live webinars in order to promote real-time conversations.

Whether you choose just one or a combination of the two, be sure to plan well in advance and market them on all platforms available.

Create shareable and valuable content

9. Capture blog visitors with topics that impact them 

Blogging can be very easy to push to the back burner when you’re busy and overwhelmed with everything else going on, but blog content is absolutely essential.

You want to use your blog to establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry—so write about topics like commercial real estate trends, news, state and local laws, and other relevant topics.

10. Offer resources useful to prospective clients 

Offering useful resources to prospective clients means you are immediately helping your prospective clients, which in turn will make them more likely to do business with you.

Develop tools to share like interactive area maps, zoning maps, traffic count reports, walk score widgets, searchable databases and more.

11. Create video content and promote it

Video content is a great storytelling tool, which is why CRE professionals devote significant time and resources to creating high-quality videos that show off the properties they’re marketing. If you decide to create videos, be sure you can truly make the investment in the production and promotion of the content.

Maximize your existing relationships

12. Capture and share client stories

There’s no better way to prove yourself than to share client testimonials and stories. It’s a way to humanize your brand and inspire and educate potential clients. Find clients that are willing to share their stories and separate them into categories on your website for the best user experience.

13. Be active in your community 

Giving back and being active in your community is always a good idea. It improves your company’s image and reputation and provides additional opportunities for connecting and networking, so be sure to donate and volunteer as a company whenever you can.

Promoting community events or creating content around your activity is a great way to feature your local markets on your website as part of your investment in SEO.

14. Ask clients for referrals 

Repeats and referrals should be a huge part of your CRE business. Ask clients for referrals or if anyone they might know would be interested in a property you are trying to sell or list.

CRE must-have tools for lead generation

15. Leverage commercial real estate software

The competition in the CRE industry has never been more intense, and without the best tools and technology at your disposal, you won’t be able to keep up. To ensure you’re operating efficiently and effectively, you need one program that integrates your data across every phase of the deal. And with the right CRE software, you can prospect effectively with a robust CRM + database, manage your deal pipeline and processes, automate your marketing, and close deals all with one platform.

Insights for generating more CRE leads

If you are lacking an all-in-one platform to run your brokerage, tour Buildout—the software used by top commercial real estate companies to power their marketing and brokerage operations.

For more updates like this and future coverage of tools in the CRE industry and other brokerage insights, subscribe to our blog.

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