Property marketing in a changing environment10 September 2020
The commercial property market is facing big changes – BP last week announcing the sale of its head office in St James’s to scale down is a consequence of new working behaviours and, one suspects, the tip of the iceberg. There may well be an avalanche to follow. This is not to say that commercial offices are a thing of the past, it will no doubt just see a pattern of downscaling with partial home working and hot desking being very much the norm. This may mean there will be a lot of activity in the rental market once businesses have acknowledged and accepted a new way of working for their staff. While that may mean there are a lot of potential tenants out there, there may also be a lot of lettable property available. Therefore, the competition will once again be fierce to attract client attention.
This leads me to question the best approach to marketing a commercial property in these circumstances. And I believe the answer is the same as it was before COVID. And that is to create a distinct story around the property, because no two properties are the same. They can’t be. There is always going to be something distinct about it. It’s really a matter of taking the time and the trouble to find it.
The reason I say this is that I don’t think this is necessarily the approach that a number of ‘property marketing specialists’ take. I see somewhat ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions that demonstrate, at best, a competence at executing a nicely presented look and feel, with tasteful typefaces, colours and elegant foil blocking, but looks much the same as the next that uses tasteful typefaces, colours and elegant foil blocking. This flies in the face of creativity. I believe in the power of design to engage and influence audience behaviours. And this starts with finding a point of difference and blowing that trumpet.
This means creating communications that don’t just stand out for the sake of standing out, but stand out with a clear message that will chime with audiences that are looking for something in particular. They might be looking for a building that’s sustainable and has well-being credentials, a cracking location or iconic architecture. You’re not looking to capture everybody’s attention. You never will. Just the ones that will be the most interested in the property’s particular story.
This is my view. What’s yours?Read more...