When one is an SIOR, he or she is undoubtedly a successful real estate practitioner – someone who has spent years crafting market knowledge and negotiating skills, built long-lasting relationships and has become the “go-to” expert for commercial real estate needs.
For many SIORs and brokers in general, when a call is received, you may ask yourself “Where did that come from?” Typically it’s based off a direct referral from another broker or an existing client. So many of us have focused our efforts on building intimate relationships that we haven’t expanded our reach nearly big or far enough. Regardless of the size of your company, whether a single person firm or a global powerhouse, the importance of personal branding should always be top of mind.
We should all think of ourselves as a media company, from both a macro and micro level. What do I mean by this? Our team’s focus is to be omnipresent from a national level when it comes to out-of-state brokers knowing us as the “Vegas Team,” and from a local level to be known as the go-to Tenant Representation team for Las Vegas companies.
How do we go about achieving this?
Attend all major company/organization conferences and events. But more than that, we send out mailers prior to the conference in an effort to get some additional face time with brokers and contacts who are now making an effort to seek us out, not vice versa. On top of branding ourselves at these events, we make an effort to jump in feet first and get involved, whether that be on committees, boards, or writing a blog to help with content.
We made a decision last year to provide value to not only our local community but to be a source of information to brokers outside of our market. We have a bi-weekly email blast encompassing local, national and noteworthy news that goes to over 1000 brokers, whether they are at Cushman & Wakefield or another firm. Again, our only goal is to be the first people that come to mind when they have a client asking about the Las Vegas market.
Attend all major organizations and events. When doing this locally, we are not interacting with brokers, as much as we are mingling with vendors, professionals, clients, etc. At these functions, it’s important to make an impression and be known as someone who does commercial real estate. It’s rare we are breaking down what we do to the finite discussion of exclusive tenant representation.
o NAIOP (12-20 events per year)
o SIOR (12-15 events per year)
o CREW (12-15 events per year)
o CALV (3-5 events per year)
o CCIM (3-6 events per year)
o Other Professional Organizations (6-12 events per year)
Non-Profit Participation is a key component for our team. We are currently on the boards of two local non-profits. In choosing which organization to get involved with we look at two factors.
- Is the organization something we truly believe in and support (there will typically be many different non-profits that meet this requirement)
- Who else is on the board? We want to ensure that the board has other professionals that are influencers in our market. Our ability to build long-lasting relationships with these other board members as their commercial real estate advisor will ultimately lead to many referrals over the years
Be a Value Provider
We have actively pursued and engaged our local and state economic development organizations to ensure we are looked at as a resource for them. Our ultimate goal is to help build our community by attracting companies to relocate to Las Vegas. We go out of our way to provide market info, surveys, entertain prospects and anything else that is asked of us. Whether we have the opportunity to represent them should the relocate or not, so long as the company relocates, we are all benefiting from it.
Traditional marketing is a key for us. Being selective as to what publications we advertise in are key. We don’t advertise in any real estate publications, but rather business magazines, law-related publications (Law Firms are a target client for us), site selector magazines, etc. Be sure you are not one of many brokers in the same publication, but the only broker.
Personalized market reports are a big one for us. While our company has the bandwidth to provide us with quarterly market reports, we take it a step further. We use the information to customize two self-branded publications.
- The first one is focused on Tenants (From the Tenant’s Perspective), which dives into the overall local market and the changing trends in concessions, design, construction and what is in the development pipeline.
- The second publication is our Law Firm Quarterly Report, which is hand delivered to the top 100 law firms in our market. The report focuses on what firms are staying vs. relocating, what local news is influential to local law firms and what trends are we seeing in CRE as it pertains to law firms from a tenant perspective.
Social Media Branding
Let me start by saying, most if not all CRE professionals are not using social media for business purposes. You likely have a Facebook account and maybe a Twitter you gave up on years ago. We love this, as we know we are one of the select teams taking advantage of the one branding tool that our competition has no interest in trying, understanding and then religiously participating in. We know the future decision makers are growing up on these platforms, and we also know the platforms will come and go. From a branding standpoint, there are only so many people that have an interest in CRE and there are even less engaging in CRE via social media. What social media provides us is the ability to spread our brand far beyond any reach traditional marketing can provide. We are currently active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and we are getting ready to launch our YouTube page. All of this is an effort to provide free value, information, and insight into our team, our community, and our clients. We want people to know us before we ever get a call. We want them to know, we know what we are doing and have been fully engaged in it for some time.
“Social Media is the current state of the internet and those that don’t embrace it will be left behind. You didn’t grow up driving, but you figured that out.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
So why all of this branding? At the end of the day, our job is to deliver best-in-market service, delivery, and advising to our clients. That’s all based on being the broker getting the call from that client. We always say, “If the broker next to us gets the call, we don’t make a dime.” We brand in an effort to be the brokers getting the call so we can work on the requirement, to deliver the service and build the relationship, which in turn results in more referrals and business. Some will sit around and hope for the phone to ring, we have decided to make branding a big part of our model, so we can eliminate the ebb and flow of our pipeline and only focus on client delivery, service and providing value.
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