Brokerage best practices

The ultimate CRE marketing software toolset: InDesign, Canva, and Buildout

June 8, 2022

As a commercial real estate professional, you know first impressions matter. The way you present yourself to prospects impacts the dynamics of your relationship (and whether you have a relationship at all). 

For example, you would never show up to a meeting in an old, wrinkled t-shirt with a folder full of loose, disorganized documents. But, if you did, you couldn’t blame the prospect for failing to trust you or passing on your services altogether.

The same holds true for your CRE marketing assets. If your website, brochures, flyers, and other collateral look messy, outdated, and don’t present the information in a clean and compelling manner, it can leave prospects with a negative impression of your brokerage.

If you’ve invested in a professional-grade design tool, like Adobe InDesign or Canva, there’s a good chance you’ve already up-leveled your marketing. But if you’re not combining it with the right CRE marketing software, you’re likely missing significant opportunities to save time and improve the customer experience.

In this post, we’re walking through the benefits of combining both.

What do professional-level design tools do?

Marketers often rely on graphic design solutions like InDesign and Canva to create professional-looking presentations, documents, and other types of visual content. These tools offer templates that you can customize with your branding to ensure a cohesive look and feel for all of your marketing assets.

While basic word processors, like Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs, allow you to create documents and place images, and tools like PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides allow you to create presentations, the functionality is limited. InDesign and Canva allow for more sophisticated design.

What does a CRE marketing platform do?

Managing CRE marketing is a lot of work. You have to constantly update your property listing details on various platforms, create site plans, send compelling emails to maximize property exposure, build and maintain property websites, and produce brochures and flyers for interested prospects. If you’re doing all of these things manually, you’re lucky if you even have time to sleep (let alone nurture all the leads you’re bringing in).

A good CRE marketing platform streamlines these efforts and automates many tedious and time-consuming tasks. For example, the Buildout marketing solution allows you to generate branded marketing materials in minutes, create and send clean and mobile-responsive emails, and quickly build elegant property websites for each listing with lead capture forms—and no coding knowledge required. Plus, you can instantly publish your listing details to several national and local sites, saving you hours of manual work.

And with Buildout’s Premium Marketing solution, you’ll also have access to project management, prebuilt checklists, client reporting tools, and holistic visibility into your pipeline.

How do CRE marketing platforms and design tools work together?

Some brokers and CRE marketers assume there’s no need to invest in a marketing platform if they already have a professional design tool. But, the truth is, using one without the other can cost you a significant amount of time and limit your marketing potential.

For example, several Buildout customers use tools like Adobe InDesign to design professional-looking marketing document templates. Then they use Buildout marketing tools to automate repetitive tasks, like adding text, data, and photos. The Buildout team will implement your visual branding and preferred templates to enable the Buildout software to automate content production workflows and generate various documents at once while retaining the fidelity of your original design standards. And once you’ve reviewed the final product, you can push them out to your website, social media accounts, email, syndication sites, and other publishing channels.

The bottom line is, while InDesign and Canva can help you create beautiful, captivating designs that reflect your brand, you still have to manually update each document and manually publish it to each platform and channel. A CRE marketing solution automates those steps, freeing up substantial time.

Imagine all the time you’d have if you didn’t have to touch every single document for every single listing. If you’re a marketer, you could use that time to focus on high-level strategy, launching more creative campaigns, and nurturing leads down the funnel. If you’re a broker who has been managing your own marketing, you’d have more time for what you do best: working deals, building relationships, and growing your customer base.

By combining a professional design tool with a CRE marketing platform like the Buildout marketing solution, you’ll unlock unlimited potential for generating leads and growing your revenue.

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