As the world increasingly moves into the digital sphere in response to the global pandemic, companies are searching for the best commercial real estate advertising strategy to embrace the unprecedented challenges and unexpected opportunities of these uncertain times.

Fluctuations in the global economy are making companies reassess their strategies for advertising commercial real estate, making sure that they are targeting the right audience in the most efficient way possible.

If you want your commercial real estate ads to reach a bigger, more engaged audience, you need to know how to choose the best channels.

Now more than ever, being savvier about advertising your commercial real estate offerings can help you take advantage of the different benefits offered by different channels, including:

  • Instant access to a large, engaged, and interested audience
  • Flexibility and fast results to test different marketing messages and targeting profiles
  • Powerful and detailed analytics to track your spend and monitor ROI

What are some ways to advertise commercial real estate in an ever-changing world?

Learn about the top five advertising channels for your commercial listings, including their audience profiles, ad formats, and pricing estimates. Additionally, check out our post with great commercial real estate marketing ideas as inspiration for expanding and enhancing your company’s digital footprint.

What Is Real Estate Marketing?

The main purpose of real estate marketing is to let people know what your business is all about and what makes it special. This is done through promotion, which can take many forms such as advertising, public relations, and content marketing. The goal is to attract potential clients and customers and then close deals with them. Marketing is important for nearly every business, and real estate businesses are no different.

In short, real estate is buying, selling, or renting land, buildings, or housing.

Marketing is often confused with advertising or sales, but they are actually two different concepts. Advertising is just one type of marketing, aimed at creating interest in a product or service. When you ask someone about marketing, they may not think of it as something that sells products or services. Marketing is the action of selling products or services through advertising, promotion, or market research. Advertising is just one type of marketing that is meant to create interest in a product or service.

If you are involved in the real estate industry in any capacity, you should be using real estate marketing to grow your business.

The key to success in real estate marketing is generating leads. This means creating customer interest in your business’s products or services in order to convert them into customers.

An “opt in” occurs when someone sends you their email address and contact information to receive more information about your offer.

Your real estate marketing offer could be any number of things, such as a property for sale, an apartment for rent, real estate agent services, leasing services, or property management.

Real estate marketing is designed to generate interest in your company’s products and services among potential customers.

You’re probably thinking, “My house isn’t a product, so how can it be sold in the market?” Real estate is not sold in a store, so how does this work? What kind of competition is there for real estate?

Well, now that you know the definition and premise of real estate marketing, let’s move on to the next topic and find out more clues about how marketing is used efficiently within the real estate industry.

Who Uses Real Estate Marketing?

Who uses real estate marketing? Anyone who operates and provides goods or services within the real estate industry will use real estate marketing.

Users of real estate marketing include:

  • Real Estate Agents and Realtors
  • Real Estate Brokers
  • Property Managers
  • Real Estate Investors
  • Homeowners looking to rent their property out
  • FSBO (For Sale By Owner) Home Sellers
  • Landlords attracting tenants
  • General Contractors
  • Title Companies
  • Local Businesses Serving The Real Estate Industry
  • House Flippers
  • Real Estate Wholesalers

1. Advertise on Commercial Real Estate Listings Websites

The most effective websites for promoting premier properties are those that allow you to quickly reach an audience that is already interested in and considering such properties.

There are a few good options for finding pricing and advertising for your specific needs that don’t cost as much as CoStar and LoopNet.

Why Advertise in CRE Listings Sites?

Commercial real estate listings sites are used to find available properties for sale or lease.

Is your company in need of more office space? You can search for available commercial spaces for sale or lease, depending on your needs. You can also search for shared office spaces (co-working spaces), if you’re interested in that option. Searching is based on location, space needs, and amenities, so you can find the perfect space for your company.

Who is the Target Audience?

The main audience for CRE listing sites are investors, brokers and tenants who are looking for various types of commercial properties that are either for sale or lease.

Since they are packed with content and are constantly being updated, they rank well on Google for searches related to specific locations and features, and will be seen by potential customers who are in the early stages of the buying process, as well as those who are already familiar with these sites and are looking for something more specific.

Common Advertising Format

Most CRE listing sites offer a mix of free and paid features, depending on their audience size and reach. Most free plans have time limits and provide only basic features for describing your properties.

  • Subscription plans – These depend on the number of property listings, location, users or number of leads you will receive. Memberships also range from single properties to enterprise plans for brokerage offices with multiple properties and agents.
  • Premium listings – The majority listing sites offer the possibility to enhance the visibility of your listings within their search results.

2. Advertise in Trade Journals

Trade journals for commercial real estate, like Urban Land Magazine, National Real Estate Investor, and Real Estate Forum, are usually read by other CRE professionals and people who are thinking about renting or buying space. They have information about the latest industry developments, market trends, market reports, and articles with new ideas that could be interesting to your target audience.

Why Advertise in Commercial Real Estate Trade Journals?

Specialized content focus refers to the topics that trade publications have for commercial real estate. Advertising in commercial real estate trade journals allows you to reach a target audience of potential clients and partners while also increasing brand awareness for your business.

Who is the Target Audience?

The readers of trade journals are usually commercial real estate professionals who are interested in reading about industry trends in office, retail, industrial, and multi-family space. They also want to know about the impact of economic conditions on the market, and they would like to hear what industry leaders think about current trends. Trade journals reach an audience that is very plugged into the industry and is therefore a very captive audience for the right campaigns.

Common Advertising Formats

There are often multiple different advertising options available depending on the publication, the number of channels they manage, and their circulation numbers. These include:

  • Magazine/Journal Advertising – This will depend highly on circulation and placement – it can range from $500 to $10,000.
  • Newsletter Advertising – Many of these sites also offer newsletters, in which you can place ads or featured content for between $600-$3,000.
  • Website Advertising – Traffic tends to be higher for website advertising and rates fluctuate accordingly, starting at $500 and ranging upwards depending on unique visitors per month.

In our in-depth list of commercial real estate trade journals, you can learn more about the biggest trade journals and their advertising options.

3. Advertise on News Sites & Blogs

Many trade journals that focus on commercial real estate have a dedicated web presence that gets a lot of traffic. However, these websites are often formatted and presented differently than traditional commercial real estate blogs and news sites.

Why Advertise in Commercial Real Estate News Sites & Blogs?

These websites work to provide articles and news to those who work in the commercial real estate industry in order to keep them up-to-date on what is happening. These website typically have sections that feature different topics written by well-known people within the industry as well as a searchable trend section. They also bring in a lot of traffic which can be good for advertisements.

Who is the Target Audience?

The audience for news sites and blogs is slightly more diverse than the audience for trade journals. For example, The Real Deal will generate more pageviews and visitors per month, but it will also include people outside the real estate industry, such as private investors, tenants, and researchers. The audience is also skewed towards people in management positions and people involved in acquisitions, with a smaller number of finance professionals, brokers, and lawyers.

Common Advertising Formats

Advertising on a news site or blog is available in several forms, including:

  • Banner Ads – These are placed throughout the site, above the fold, in the sidebar, or alongside specific posts. The placement and size of the ad will determine the cost, which is then scaled against the number of impressions expected in the period during which you advertise.
  • Email Newsletter – Most news and blogs sites will maintain a sizable email distribution list and offer sponsored content opportunities to that list. Rates will depend on the size and quality of the list.
  • Sponsored Content – Many but not all news and blog sites offer sponsored content opportunities. Thought leadership alongside your company’s name that highlights an area that is particularly impactful to your target audience.

4. Advertise with Google AdWords

If you’re looking to generate leads online, Google’s massive advertising network is hard to ignore. With over 75% of the search market share in North America and a massive global display advertising network reaching more than 80% of Internet users, investing in AdWords could be attractive. But is it a good fit for your commercial real estate business?

Why Advertise on Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is an advertising platform that allows you to place ads on Google’s search results pages as well as on millions of other websites. Google’s ad network is extensive and reaches billions of people all over the world. If you want people to see your advertisements, Google is the best way to do so.

Who is the Target Audience?

If you’re not careful, it’s easy to spend too much money on Google Ads. The ads are targeted at specific keywords that people might search for. You’re charged every time someone clicks on your ad. If you’re too broad in your targeting, you might attract the wrong people to your website. Google AdWords can be set up and running in less than 10 minutes, but it needs to be finely tuned to avoid wasting money.

Common Advertising Formats

There are two main types of campaigns on Google AdWords, each with dozens of permutations and options. They include:

  • Google Search – The text ads that appear above and below Google’s search results are bid on by advertisers at a per-click rate. The amount you pay will depend on your bid, the competition for that term, and other factors like quality score and how relevant your website is.
  • Display Network – Google’s display ads show on millions of websites including specific Google websites like Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube. The network also includes mobile sites and apps. You can use text, image, video, or rich media formats and define the types of sites, keyword matches, and traffic demographics you’d like to reach and are similarly charged for each click on these ads.

The cost per click for both display network and Google search ads is based on a per-click model. A good average Click Thru Rate is 2.5%. This means that for every click you pay for, you will receive 40 or more impressions. The cost per click can be as low as $1 for general terms and low competition keywords, and as high as $50+ for highly competitive CRE targets. You should start by researching which real estate keywords are the best to target to ensure better results and a reasonable budget.

5. Run Paid Social Media Campaigns

Social media marketing for commercial real estate is newer than other options and can be more difficult because there are more options available. Advertising on multiple networks is one way to reach a larger audience, but it can be expensive. finding the right audience to advertise to is key to being successful with social media marketing.