Preparation is key to success in anything we do, and marketing a commercial property is certainly no exception. A well-conceived and executed marketing plan involves a series of very deliberate steps that ensure maximum exposure and a crystal clear message.
The first step is to get a clear picture of exactly what you’re selling. Start with a professional appraisal of the property, to inform valuation and also increase your understanding of the property’s performance and potential.
To begin the appraisal, a thorough inspection of the property will be done, and this is followed by research into public ownership and zoning records, as well as investigation of demographic and lifestyle information. The appraiser will also compile comparable sales, replacement costs, and rentals and analyze this information as it relates to the value of the property.
The value of a commercial building is very dependent on the rental rates received relative to expenses. This is even more important than the physical asset.
#2: Assembling Materials
The next important consideration is the preparation of marketing materials and an offering memorandum. The offering memo will contain all of the property information, presented in an appealing and professional format.
There are many offering memo templates available to provide the framework for this job, and it’s advisable to invest in top-quality professional photography. Here are the elements that might be included:
- Cover Page: a photo or aerial of the property and possibly some high level deal points such as cap rate, price, and the property address.
- Project Highlights: a series of bullet points highlighting major aspects of the property.
- Aerial views, Maps, and Photos
- Rent Roll and Projections
- Market Data and Description
This is a critical task, and there are amazing digital tools available to help streamline the process with impressive results. Buildout is a popular marketing platform designed specifically for CRE.
#3: Make Contact
Once the materials are ready, it’s time to make contact with people you know who might be interested. Here it is helpful to have an efficient CRM system that makes it easy to identify and contact these potential buyers. This may result in a quick sale with a highly desirable property.
#4: List Privately
For the first 3-4 weeks, it can be smart to offer a desirable property as an “off-market” listing. This can be done on Brevitas, which offers high quality commercial properties privately to qualified buyers. The site matches buyers with properties that meet their criteria, and can expand the pool of potential buyers tremendously while still limiting competition. This is also a way to get in front of buyers who don’t bother searching through public listing databases.
#5: Bring the Asset to Market and Work your Broker Network
If an appropriate buyer has still not been found at this stage, it is time to look for co-brokers and then list the property publicly.
#6: Widen the Contact List
Now is the time to start an email campaign that casts a wider net. Reach out to more contacts and utilize your internal brokerage network to get the word out.
#7: Inform the Online Community
A way to reach a tremendous audience with your listing is to use public platforms like Loopnet. These CRE exchanges are used by hundreds of thousands of buyers, sellers, and brokers. They can get your listing in front of the as many eyes as possible, but maybe not the most targeted buyers.
#8: Remember E-Mail
Finally, to ensure that you’re reaching the widest possible audience, use services like Property Campaign or Property Send. These platforms make it simple to ensure that your message is reaching qualified recipients and you’re making the most of your efforts. Schedule email blasts and track your results for efficient and effective marketing.
With a desirable commercial property to sell, you may not get far down this list before the deal is closed. Preparation is key, and smart use of digital tools means better marketing and less time to close.