Marketing Commercial Properties During the Pandemic

Marketing commercial real estate during the novel COVID-19 pandemic requires creativity, technical know-how, careful planning, and an understanding of how buyers’ needs have changed.

In one new reportCBRE outlines three ways the coronavirus outbreak has transformed commercial property marketing and tips on how to adjust.

During the pre-coronavirus era, some of the most sought-after office facilities included gyms, cafes, lounges, and meeting rooms. According to CBRE, most buyers are now concerned about indoor air quality, touchless technologies, outdoor facilities and building apps.

“Before COVID-19, the focus of real estate marketing was on amenities such as common areas. Today’s tenants want property features that support a healthy and safe building environment and an owner who cares about the well-being of their tenants, ”the report said.

While virtual tours have been around for a while, shutdowns and social distancing have made virtual tours a necessity, and agents need to find ways to make their offerings stand out in a highly competitive marketplace.

CBRE recommends a tiered approach to virtual marketing that includes sales management platforms. “Dynamic Marketing” with brochures, websites and e-blasts; and advertising on social media.

“Now, greater convenience with the technology combined with travel restrictions and cost-saving initiatives will result in investors and tenants visiting virtually dozens of properties outside of the market before shortlisting them for a personal tour,” the report said.

Prior to a personal tour, agents must communicate with the owners to ensure the building spaces have been thoroughly cleaned and establish a guide that will take prospective buyers on a hands-free tour along a clearly marked path. It’s also important to find out if the owner requests a waiver before going on tours.

“The partnership between our real estate management, leasing and sales professionals is more important than ever,” said Emma Buckland, global president of real estate management at CBRE.

“While virtual tours replace in-person tours in many cases, it is likely that you will need to physically visit a shortlist of properties in order to make a final selection,” she added. “Both parties are working together to support health and safety protocols for existing and potential tenants during site visits.”