Thanks to an ever-increasing reliance on digital communication and an explosion of new and evolving media platforms, commercial real estate marketing is more labor-intensive than ever.
Today, brokerages have to complete a superhuman amount of work just to attract and engage new leads—never mind the time and effort required to build meaningful relationships and close deals. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to consistently fill your pipeline and outperform your competition.
Fortunately, the right marketing automation system can help you reclaim your time while also scaling your efforts. But not all software is made equally, and choosing a solution isn’t a decision you should make lightly. After all, if you’re going to invest your resources in purchasing and implementing new software, you want to make sure it will support your organization now and well into the future.
To help make the selection process a little easier, we’re sharing a few things you should look for from your commercial real estate marketing automation software:
It’s crucial that your CRE marketing software integrates with existing tools and technologies you already leverage, like third-party listing sites, your website content management system, email, and social media. With streamlined integrations, you can easily publish property details to several platforms at once, which is a significant part of what makes marketing automation so valuable.
It should also integrate with the back office products you use for invoicing, commission workflows, and other accounting functions, and with your CRM for easy lead management and closed-loop reporting.
If the software you choose doesn’t integrate with tools you already use, it will significantly limit the product’s performance.
Automation exists to make your life easier, and much of that is done by increasing workflow efficiency. Not only should your marketing automation software take over those routine, manual tasks that consume so much of your time and energy, but it should also help streamline entire processes.
For example, a great commercial real estate marketing solution should improve the lead generation experience from an internal and customer perspective. For example, it should allow you to enter your data once and automatically publish it everywhere, including marketing packets and proposals. It should assist your efforts to deliver user-friendly property pages, captivating emails, and aesthetically pleasing marketing assets.
Then, when new qualified leads come in, your marketing software should automatically send them to your CRM so brokers can begin working those contacts immediately. Finally, it should match listings to qualified investor profiles to reduce brokers’ legwork.
In the CRE world, enticing visuals are essential. Not only do compelling real estate images hook interested buyers, but beautiful, cohesive designs keep prospects engaged throughout the entire process. Whether they’re navigating your website, reviewing printed marketing collateral, or scrolling through your emails, delivering a winning first impression earns buyers’ trust.
Your automation solution should allow you to quickly and easily produce professional-looking property websites, responsive emails that render correctly on various devices, digital and printable marketing assets (like brochures and flyers), and more. And it should do all of this without requiring too much technical expertise or compromising your brand standard.
Imagine having instant visibility into the number of leads you’ve generated for a specific property or campaign or being able to create user-friendly reports for clients in just a few clicks. With the right commercial real estate marketing software, that’s all possible.
Not only will automation boost lead generation, but high-quality reporting functionality will help you determine which efforts yield the best results. This way, you can quickly optimize your marketing spend. Plus, you can keep your clients in the loop with their own lead reports, so they’re well aware of everything you’re doing to engage top buyers—without any extra legwork.
The CRE industry is unlike any other, so it’s critical you opt for software that meets your unique needs.
While you can invest in a general-purpose marketing automation platform that supports all industries (like Eloqua, Pardot, or HubSpot), you’ll have to do quite a bit of customizing to tailor the software to your processes. That translates into higher implementation costs and a longer wait before you see an ROI. Plus, you’ll likely need to hire at least one professional to manage the software and integrations.
And even with all of the above, there’s a good chance you’ll still be missing essential functionality.
Opting for commercial real estate marketing tools designed specifically for CRE marketers and brokers—by people with CRE experience—means you’ll enjoy benefits right out of the box. Buildout Marketing, for example, was developed to support and accelerate workflows unique to commercial real estate based on what real brokers and CRE marketers want and need.
Brokers must act in the best interest of their clients. For example, a buyer agent knows it’s wrong to accept an incentive from a developer. But when it comes to software, conflicts of interest aren’t always as obvious.
When selecting commercial real estate marketing software, you have to ensure the software provider doesn’t sell data to your competitors or use your data to advise investors in counter negotiations.
For more tips on avoiding conflict of interest via software vendors, check out our recent blog post: Is your CRE software creating a conflict of interest?
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While it can be tempting to choose the cheapest or the most popular brand on the market, keep in mind the commercial real estate marketing software will significantly impact your business. The wrong solution can impede your growth and undermine your success, but the right solution will increase your efficiency, improve client satisfaction, and boost your revenue potential. And by investing in a marketing automation product designed for CRE, you’ll be several steps ahead of the competition.