Brokerage best practices

What not to do in your commercial real estate brochure

January 12, 2022

Considered a table-stakes marketing activity for selling and leasing property, it’s tempting to treat the commercial real estate brochure as a last-minute checklist item.

For even the best brokers, the chore of creating a real estate brochure can induce feelings of dread. Without the proper tools and support, brochure production can span weeks and take 15 or more hours of your time plus the time of a marketing or administrative staff member. For this reason, “brochure anxiety” results in low-quality brochures rushed through production in the 11th hour before listing.

However, a well-designed and produced commercial real estate marketing brochure can be the difference between success and failure in selling or leasing property quickly and delivering a highly-satisfying client representation experience.

With so much riding on a relatively small number of high-value commercial real estate deals, why risk losing or delaying a deal with substandard marketing materials?

Read on to learn what not to do and, more importantly, how to design and produce a real estate brochure that gets results.

The following recommendations are based on over a decade of experience helping over 30,000 brokers create over 330,000 property marketing brochures that yield results.

1st Do and Don’t

Do

Create a professional-quality brochure with cleanly designed branding, legible typography, high-resolution photography, and accurate information that’s coherently laid out.

Don’t

Don’t do DIY flyers created in PowerPoint, Word, Canva, or other free/inexpensive office publishing software. Or, possibly even worse, don’t rely on printouts from syndication site listings.

Takeaway

You have one chance to make a first impression. The property marketing brochure is often that first chance. Done poorly, it might be your last chance. Imagine losing a $50,000-$100,000 commission over something as simple as a brochure. Even worse you could lose a client because they don’t feel your marketing represents their property in its best light.

2nd Do and Don’t

Do

Include detailed data, such as a rent roll, broker opinion of value, comparatives, demographics, and a map with key point of interest callouts.

Don’t

Don’t stop at a flyer with only basic building/space/site stats.

Takeaway

The internet has forever changed how we shop. Buyers now expect to thoroughly research a purchase before engaging. The same is true for commercial real estate. Having more information upfront makes it easier for investors and tenants to decide which properties to evaluate among the many choices they might have.

3rd Do and Don’t

Do

Use high-quality photos of key property attributes that have been cropped and “photoshopped” for best fit and maximum appeal.

Don’t

Don’t use screen-grabs of poorly lit Google StreetView images or worse, somebody else’s photo downloaded from Google Image Search.

Takeaway

If you’re unsure whether high-quality images are important consider the following facts that every marketer intuitively knows. Various marketing research studies have shown that

  • Ads with images are 60 times more likely to get a response.
  • Marketing content with imagery gets 94% more views than text-only content.
  • Pictures are more memorable. Our ability to recall information when it includes images increases six-fold.

It pays to think like a marketer and invest in high-quality photos for selling or leasing your next property.

4th Do and Don’t

Do

Include your phone number and email address.

Don't

Don’t only provide one contact method.

Takeaway

As with many things in life, no two investors or tenants are the same. While some might prefer to communicate by email, others prefer the more personal approach of a phone call. By including a phone number and your email address, you’ll increase the likelihood of being contacted by accommodating different communication styles and personalities.

5th Do and Don’t

Do

Ensure information is consistently and accurately presented.

Don't

Don’t publish typos, errors, or information that’s not in agreement with information presented elsewhere such as the information in your listing.

Takeaway

Creating all of the marketing assets for a new listing, such as the brochure, flyer, web listing, syndicated listings, social posts, ads, etc…is time-consuming, repetitive, and tedious work that’s also highly error-prone. Humans struggle with data entry. Manual data entry without an independent verification step can result in an error rate as high as 4%. While that sounds low, it means for every 1000 characters keyed into your computer as many as 40 entries could be in error. Errors, typos, misspellings, and inaccuracies also depress response and engagement with marketing content— reducing likelihood to respond by as much as 70%, according to research conducted with Google Ads. In short, it pays to have a process (Hint: Like ours at Buildout) that dramatically reduces the potential for errors and the negative impact they can have on your marketing efforts.

If creating property marketing brochures feels like a struggle, reach out to us at Buildout. We’ve helped over 30,000 commercial real estate brokers improve their marketing results. Not only can we help you improve the look and results of your brochures, but also we enable you to eliminate the struggle by implementing a streamlined, systematic, virtually error-free process for creating your marketing materials including brochures, listing page, syndicated listings, and more.

Download the broker toolkit to access brochure, flyer, and proposal templates

You might also like