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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

5 Tips for Using Video to Market and Brand in Commercial Real Estate

February 10th, 2013

I recently attended a seminar on the topic of internet marketing and I witnessed something that shocked me. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and the seminar was wrapping up. The speaker asked the audience of about 250 attendees to raise their hands if they planned to go home after the seminar and turn on the television. By his count, 17 hands went up. He then asked how many people planned to spend their time after the seminar online. I was near the back of the room and suffice it to say, I lost site of the speaker because of the forest of raised hands in front of me.

While it’s probably obvious, online activities have replaced a very large chunk of the time we used to spend watching the tube. Sure we surf for information across all formats, text, audio and video, but video is becoming the most popular form of content on the web. YouTube is now the third most visited site on the internet behind Google and Facebook according to Alexa Traffic Rankings. More than 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day and when you consider that most videos are under 5 minutes in length, that’s a heck of a lot of videos. There are other video platforms as well, such as Vimeo, digg and others popping up to increase the volume of video content even more. (more…)

3 Key Components of a Great Database

May 24th, 2012

Ever heard the expression “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts”? Well in commercial real estate brokerage what you know does matter but it’s kind of useless if you don’t have a properly populated database of contacts upon which you can espouse that knowledge. Building and maintaining a solid database is arguably the fuel that drives the engine of your brokerage machine. I’m often amazed at the lengths that some agents will go to when trying to build their list of contacts. Some trudge it out looking up each property record, scouring the internet for phone numbers and scrubbing their information for accuracy. Some hire brokerage assistants or interns to do the work for them. Whatever the process, let’s examine what is really important in building your database:

1. We need client contact information. That means not just the ownership or buying entity, but the name, address, phone number and email address for a real human. Remember, a successful commercial real estate business is about person to person relationships.

2. We need lender contacts. Especially in the environment we have experienced over the past few years, it is extremely important to know who key decision makers are within the commercial real estate lending community. Opportunities about for commercial real estate agents who establish solid working relationships with key lenders.

3. We need co-brokerage contacts. When marketing our listings, the efficiencies of leveraging contacts within the commercial real estate brokerage community must be an important component. The buyer for your new listing may be in the database of a good commercial real estate agent in another area or another state. Having a database with agent contacts will strengthen the punch of any property marketing campaign.

Obviously to build and manage the above described key contact information could be a time consuming undertaking. Fortunately, in the internet age there are streamlining options that take some of the frustration out of the process. Yes, search features on some property appraiser websites are getting better. Social media and search engines improve your likelihood of finding your way to a key contact. But in these scenarios you or your staff are still the ones compiling the information and time is money.
Some technology types are figuring out ways to automate this process for commercial real estate agents by curating the data and keeping it up to date. I’ve been a subscriber to one such service for a couple of years. is a subscription service that offers a complete database of key contacts in all of the three areas discussed above. The information is sortable and is delivered in a simple Excel format so it is easy to import it to whatever CRM system you use. CREfirms is a really affordable option to spending enormous amounts of time doing this research and it’s way less expensive than an assistant. From firsthand experience, I can highly recommend them. You can receive a 30 day free trial by going to
However you go about the process, never ignore the power of feeding your key contact database. Take what you know in commercial real estate and impress who you know by having those people in a well populated database.

6 Traits Commercial Real Estate Brokers Should Learn From Tim Tebow

January 11th, 2012

No matter what you think of “Tebow Mania”, you have to admit it’s been interesting to watch. Love him or hate him, the guy is a proven winner which is what most of us certainly try to be when it comes to our commercial real estate brokerage practices. I’ll admit, I’ve been on the Tebow bandwagon and I’ve developed a few parallels that I think can be applied to what we do to be “winners’ in commercial real estate. I’ve identified 6 traits that Tim Tebow exemplifies and that you will also find in almost every successful broker:


  1. ATTITUDE: Tebow has always had the attitude of a winner. He knows what it takes to prepare and he goes about his business with a positive mindset, even though he is under tremendous scrutiny and pressure. It’s been hard to have a positive attitude in the commercial real estate business over the past couple of years, but the attitude you project day in and day out reflects how you approach your business. I believe you either project a winning attitude or a losing attitude.
  2. ENTHUSIASM: Tim Tebow loves the game and it shows. He has been displaying a childlike enthusiasm on the field and off since he was at Florida. That enthusiasm is contagious and makes everyone from his teammates to his fans want to be a part of it. Dale Carnegie said “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence is the quality that most frequently makes for success”. Be enthusiastic about everything you do. When you make a cold call, meet a client for the first time or make a marketing presentation exude enthusiasm that tells the person on the other end that you LOVE what you are doing. More importantly, enthusiasm is the reinforcement of belief.
  3. COACHABILITY: Throughout his football career, Tebow’s coaches have raved about him. Why? Because their job is to coach and he is a coachable kid. Even when he was experiencing championship success at the University of Florida, he remained disciplined and open to the coaching he was receiving. (more…)

3 Things Commercial Real Estate Pros Can Do For A Better 2012

December 27th, 2011

As we bid farewell (or in many cases good riddance!) to 2011, now is the time to map out a success strategy for 2012. Commercial Real Estate agents and brokers are always looking for new ways to increase efficiency and gain a competitive edge. There’s plenty of information and training out there on time management, best practices, etc. but let’s take a look at a few things you can reflect on which could have an exponentially positive impact on your earning power in 2012:

1. Take Ownership of Your Market. How well do you really know the market you are focused on? Better yet, ARE you focused on a specific market area? Take some time before the year starts to make sure you really know everything about your commercial real estate market, including everything that is happening in it. Is every property and owner accurately recorded in your database? What is the vacancy rate? What has been leased and sold in the past 12 months? Are there any market dynamics that will effect value and marketability, such as new roads, major employers coming into or leaving the area, new developments, etc.? Your knowledge of your market is your stock in trade when you speak to prospects.

2. Develop a System for Business Development. Successful commercial real estate brokers and agents know that business development is a never ending endeavor. Hopefully, 2012 will prove to be a more fruitful environment for generating new business, (more…)

Three Take-Aways From ICSC’s RECON 2011

June 3rd, 2011

My feet are killing me as they usually are at this time every May. A small price to pay for three and a half days of intense deal making, trend spotting and making valuable connections at ICSC’s annual convention in Las Vegas. This year’s programs were upbeat with a vibrant optimism that has been lacking in recent years for obvious reasons. My focus was on the information, trends, technologies and deals that would be of greatest interest to commercial real estate brokerage professionals. Here are three takeaways I got from RECON 2011 that every commercial agent and broker should pay attention to:

  1. THE BUZZ IS BACK – This year’s convention was attended by more than 35,000 commercial real estate and retail professionals, up significantly from last year. There was a cautious optimism throughout the convention. Deals were getting done on the Leasing Mall and in the hallways, I could hear brokers, developers, landlords and tenants burning up their cell phones talking about transactions. Ah yes, transactions….those illusive little activities that we have all missed so much over the past couple of years. There was no doubt that everyone had a bit of a bounce in their step as well as a few more smiles and better moods all around. While everyone acknowledged challenges ahead, positive momentum was in the air and that will feed on itself creating more opportunities for commercial brokers to see deal flow.
  2. THERE IS A RISING SOCIAL REVOLUTION IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE – If you think that Facebook and Twitter are just places where college kids tell their friends about last nights concert, you’d better think again. Social Media is the new branding mechanism for commercial real estate pros across all segments of the industry. (more…)