Western Real Estate Business

OCT 2018

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

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50 • October 2018 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com THE FUTURE OF MARKETING WILL 'NEVER REACH THE FINISH LINE'' Technology, social media and various smart devices have changed the way commercial real estate is marketed to investors, potential tenants and the public. Interview by Nellie Day T he physical real estate isn't the only aspect of our industry that has been affected by technology. The way these properties are present- ed and marketed has changed as well. Though this is an often overlooked, behind-the-scenes facet of commercial real estate, it is nevertheless an inte- gral component to getting deals done, achieving optimal occupancy, and garnering favorable attention with both the public and public officials. Kristina Sanderson, JLL's director of marketing for Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain region, and Mary Tamaki, director of marketing for the firm's Southwest region, sat down with WREB to discuss the winning market- ing strategies commercial real estate professionals are implementing out West. WREB: How has the commercial real estate marketing world changed over the past few decades? Kristina Sanderson: The pace of change in our industry has increased dramatically and will continue to do so. Prior to working in commercial real estate, I was in tech, and mak- ing the move between industries was eye opening. Change moves at warp speed in tech, but the commercial real estate industry, at-large, has histori- cally been slow to adopt to new tech- nology. I've witnessed that delta keep getting slimmer and slimmer. In com- mercial real estate today, what used to be considered digital marketing is now just marketing. Today, everyone is a "tech company," from banking to the commercial real estate industry. We are all looking to innovate and harness the power of technology as it plays a more integrated role in our daily business. Mary Tamaki: When I started in com- mercial real estate marketing 20 years ago, my primary role was to provide visually compelling deliverables. This included proposals, presentations, brochures, ad campaigns, etc. Our company had a baseline of informa- tion and standardized messaging to communicate our brand positioning. The better looking the materials, the more value we provided to our bro- kers. Today, commercial real estate marketing is more than just the pack- aging. As marketing professionals, you have to partner with your brokers to truly understand the target audi- ence and create ways to engage them. It's not enough to simply recite a ser- vice offering. You must share subject matter expertise and thought leader- ship through compelling stories and multi-media channels. Successful programs must dif- ferentiate, innovate and evoke emo- tions. You want to work hand in hand with research to leverage their data and market trends to create impact- ful and relevant content, which then must be woven into engaging stories. Now more than ever, marketing pro- fessionals are tasked with analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of their efforts so they can continuous- ly improve. Today, commercial real estate marketers need to be strategists, branding experts, storytellers, enter- tainers, communicators, social sellers, technologists and data analysts. WREB: How can today's commercial real estate marketers prepare for the digital transformation? Sanderson: Commercial real estate marketers must keep an open mind to new customer touchpoints and ways to engage. We should make it a priority to proactively search out the latest and greatest commercial real estate and marketing technologies. As you develop a plan to market a property, utilize the best technologies and applications to tell your story. Don't ever be afraid to push the envelope and remember, anything is possible! When learning about a new technology or digital applica- tion, think about how that technol- ogy could pivot to better serve your needs. Digital trends are ever evolv- ing and your insight and influence could shape that technology's future state or applications. Tamaki: It's easy to get swept up in all the cool new digital trends and the continuous barrage of new market- ing and technology (MarTech) solu- tions, but good marketers need to stick to some basic principles before jumping into any new technology. You must first know your audience, competitors and services/product offering to tell the stories that sup- port your strategy. Technology can only help deliver your message once you have a solid understanding of what you need to say and who you are trying to say it to. Once you have a strong marketing footprint, it doesn't hurt to spend time research- ing and exploring new technologies to help enhance your storytelling or your audience experience. Staying ahead of the game is vitally impor- tant because of the rapid speed in which change is happening in com- mercial real estate marketing. Cana- dian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the last Davos conference that "the pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again." Very true words. WREB: Why is it important to keep finding new ways to market a com- mercial real estate property? Kristina Sanderson JLL Mary Tamaki JLL Today's technologies can help marketing and design teams create 3D walkthrough visualizations specific to a client's workplace needs and budget requirements. Potential tenants are looking for new workplace experiences and want to fully explore their opportunities before making a next move. Using 360-degree virtual tours or virtual reality is one way to show off a space or neighborhood.

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