Commercial real estate has traditionally relied on offline relationship-building, so much so that large parts of the industry have remained relatively archaic.
As the industry enters the digital age, however, key CRE players are forced to keep up with companies that leverage online strategies to grow their businesses. Digital content marketing plays an important — if not the most important — role in defining and shaping these strategies.
The reason for this has to do with a shift in consumer behavior. Transparency in real estate is increasingly becoming an expectation amongst consumers. Though the archetypal brokers of the past have been characterized as sly, dishonest, and willing to deceive in order to maximize their commission potential, this is no longer a strategy that will serve brokers well.
With a wealth of statistics, pricing information, and general insights into the world of real estate available online to renters and buyers, commercial real estate companies that strive to be competitive will do well to accommodate consumers' desires to be well-informed.
Content is one of the best mediums for this: real estate marketers can share engaging, useful information to empower clients to make the best decisions in their commercial real estate journeys.
We’ve compiled some of the top content marketing trends in commercial real estate below that all real estate marketers should be following.
3 Content Marketing Trends That’ll Grow Your Business
- Video content draws attention
- Virtual reality creates interaction
- Social-proof content generates trust
Video Content Draws Attention
Video content is a great way, as a marketer, to capture the attention of your audience while providing them with useful, actionable information.
The value of video can be understood intuitively — when scrolling through your social media feeds, you’re more likely to be grabbed by video content than by walls of text. Currently, 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, compared to 61% of businesses in 2016.
It’s clear that video marketing is the way of the future as businesses look to stand out in the constant stream of information being provided to consumers.
Online videos are even more useful to marketers than TV ad campaigns. According to one Google consumer insights report, 60% of people would rather watch online videos than television.
Additionally, 64% of consumers have been shown to make a purchase after watching company-generated videos on social media.
However, creating videos can often be a time-consuming endeavor, so you want to make sure you’re not developing video content just for the sake of doing it.
So, what should you be making videos of? Here are a few ideas:
- Videos of Your Team: Creating “About Us” videos will help to humanize your business and instill trust and credibility in your team. You can share your team’s values, expertise, and more, which will allow potential customers to get an insight into the quality of the service they’ll be getting with your team.
- Listing Videos: Video content of available listings are some of the most popular in the commercial real estate industry. If the spaces you’re representing are properly staged and manicured, showcasing videos of them can generate consumer interest. Make sure to have a call-to-action that drives viewers to reach out to your team if they are interested in space.
- Informational Videos: There are many obstacles that can come into play when looking to rent or purchase commercial space. Why not inform your viewership of what those are, and how they can solve any problems they may be having? Sharing your expertise will go a long way in establishing your credibility with your audience.
Virtual Reality Creates Interaction
Virtual reality platforms are revolutionizing the real estate industry. Agents can now show listings they represent without requiring that clients come to a physical location.
And these virtual visits aren’t just a small step up from looking at pictures — they’re highly advanced, immersive, and interactive.
Solutions like Matterport allow real estate companies to create virtual reality tours, thereby eliminating scheduling conflicts and general inconveniences as well as widening the scope of clients they can accommodate.
Customers may then choose to visit certain properties in person, knowing they have saved time and effort by doing a virtual tour first.
Social-Proof Content Generates Trust
In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, savvy customers look to compare their options before taking action. In fact, 72% of consumers won’t move forward with a decision without reading reviews first.
This makes the need for social-proof content extremely important — especially in commercial real estate, where decisions often require immense commitment, whether a client is purchasing or renting.
So how can you reassure your clients that your service is the right one for them? How can you give them a better sense of what you offer?
Here are some of the best ways to achieve this:
Your target audience wants to know what they’re getting themselves into by signing on with you — and a large part of that means seeing that you’ve been able to serve clients like them successfully.
Develop case studies that walk through your most successful client stories and address the implicit concerns that potential clients may have.
Reviews and Testimonials
We all read reviews — through Yelp, Google Business, Trustpilot, and more. There are a variety of ways consumers can look online to see whether your services live up to your hype and whether they’re worth pursuing.
The decision consumers take based on reviews can be dependent on a simple glimpse of a high- or low-star rating so, while this may be a no-brainer, you should take great care to ensure you’re providing the best service possible.
Additionally, encourage your clients to leave honest reviews once you’ve successfully provided them with the service they needed. From the customers with whom your team has exceptionally solid relationships, you may even want to ask for testimonials that you can then include in other marketing materials.
Reading these case studies or viewing testimonials will ensure your client that you’re the best fit for their real estate needs.
Content Marketing Will Grow Your Business
It’s clear that the value of content marketing in commercial real estate cannot be overstated.
Stay competitive and grow your business by leveraging these content marketing tactics mentioned above.