Saturday, September 21, 2013

"How to" sell commercial real estate with YouTube

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984. Today's post centers around one of the most exciting channels (pardon the pun) of social media...YouTube. If you own or broker commercial real estate for a living and you are not using YouTube to sell or lease your are sadly missing out on a HUGE opportunity.

So how pretell is it done? Here are five ways that I have successfully used YouTube to sell and lease my commercial real estate listings:

Low tech: VIDEO If I want to generate a vast amount of "trial" quickly, create a searchable address for one of my listings (Google owns and loves YouTube), and get the video produced in a hurry, I simply take some footage of the building outside and in, narrate as I go, upload the footage to YouTube and post the link to theBrokerList,  Loopnet, CoStar, post it to my blog, forward the link to an inquiry etc. Sometimes the market reacts more favorably to a "low tech" video clip because it doesn't appear to be "produced". I wouldn't recommend this for some of the glitzy high rises that are in Manhattan...but for an industrial building in Fullerton, California...low tech works just fine! Did I mention that the address becomes searchable? Huge if someone drives by and googles the address! Important note: Make sure you title the video by the address...street, number, city, and state.

High tech: VIDEO Generally speaking, industrial buildings are boring...concrete boxes with very little sex appeal. They all are not created equal, however. A high tech production of the interior of your commercial real estate building can gain a lot of traction, endear you to your owner by selling or leasing the building quicker, and save those in the brokerage community a tremendous amount of time and effort. Think about it, if I produce a virtual tour of the interior of the building, reference the link on my marketing materials, forward this link to those in the community...prospects and brokers...that would be interested in the building, the "preview" of the building is complete! traded calls, no preview "walk-throughs", etc...we can get right down to business and schedule a tour that is meaningful since the preliminaries are accomplished.

Generate "efficient" tours: Let's face it, a tour must be accomplished before a transaction can occur. Tours are necessarily time consuming. But how can we use YouTube to insure that tours are efficient uses of everyone's time? Take a virtual tour YOURSELF! You are previewing the building anyway, right? Why not take the trusty device along and video the preview? You can then send this link along to your client for their review before you drag them out of the office to see a building that won't work. If you want to give an owner of a commercial real estate building a tour of his competition...even better!

Introductions: Some commercial real estate practitioners insist on being present when tours take place. Some owners require that all tours be escorted by a member of the marketing team. UGH! How about this. Send the prospective tour participants a preview of the deal, owner, motivation, etc. VIDEO. This step will help qualify the prospects and cause your time to be spent productively.

Special sauce: Want to REALLY impress the marketplace and reduce the time between a listing engagement and a paycheck...besides aggressive pricing, of course? Take an extra step and generate a QR code that can be affixed to signs inside the building, on the signs outside the building, on brochures, postcards, and other marketing materials. I can hear the collective cry out there...those damn things don't work because no one scans them. Well, my contention is that QR codes are widely misused...AND...once we as a community figure out how to correctly use the medium, the magic will, we sound REALLY old when we say that!