OFFICE REAL ESTATE MARKETING IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER BEFORE
- Using modern promotional tools is an important factor for the successful commercialisation of office buildings
- Generation Y will cause a change in the communications and marketing strategies of buildings
- Along with tenants, the trade community is an important target group for communications
Warsaw, 18 August 2014. Experts of the global advisory company CBRE have presented their latest analysis including new challenges facing the marketing and communications strategies for office buildings, taking into account the difficult situation of landlords. According to CBRE, real estate marketing has become more important than ever before.
“In 2008 when we saw the vacancy rate in Warsaw drop below 3 per cent and rents in prime office buildings in the centre of the city exceed EUR 30 per square metre a month, it seemed possible to limit the marketing activities of an asset to simply opening the door for the tenant. However, at a time where there is around 600,000 sq. m of modern office space under construction in Warsaw alone, combined with the fact that analysts predict the vacancy rate to continue to grow in the next two years beyond the current 13 percent to 16-18 percent, the activity of office building commercialisation will require ever growing engagement and investment. The problem is compounded by the fact that an increasing large group of office users are from “Generation Y.” These tenants exhibit a different set of specific needs that were not previously required by the previous generation of tenants. A properly prepared marketing strategy is essential for helping owners lease their spaces quickly and efficiently” says Łukasz Kałędkiewicz, Senior Director, Office Agency, CBRE.
CBRE’s experts highlighted that it is essential to keep the office building’s marketing and communications strategy in mind from the very early planning stages in order to successfully utilize the potential of the location. Furthermore, it is also important to understand the target groups of the location’s communications activities in order to properly tailor language and messaging to grab the attention of potential tenants. Once the target group is established, the strategy for the building’s brand can be created, paying attention to cohesion between the various elements, starting with the name of the property and ending with the graphics, logo and language. The visual sphere also remains central to the successful marketing of office buildings. This includes professionally prepared photographs, site plans and floor plans, and visualisations of the building. This focus is also due to the fact that even the design stage, including technical standards and potential floor plan layouts, is crucial for future marketing activity.
The character of the developer or investment fund which owns the building is an important element as well. Keeping in mind long-term relations with tenants, it is important to showcase relevant experience and stress the credibility of the landlords as business partners which is particularly important while the office building is under construction.
“Marketing and communications strategies should be consistent and prepared at the same time. In practice, this means advertising the advantages of the project and the reputation of the landlord at every opportunity. Occasions for this type of communication can be found in such events as: obtaining financing, being granted the construction permit or completing crucial phases of the construction, or the final commissioning of the building. The trick is to use PR tools successfully to create and shape the awareness of a new business destination especially if the location used by the developer is unrecognisable among developers or considered unattractive. Another serious challenge is in the promotion of an old building that has been or is undergoing reconstruction. This is due to the fact that tenants need to be convinced that the asset will actually improve to meet the standard being offered. General principles do not change – the more difficult a project is in terms of the commercialisation process, the more important the role of public relations plays,” says Paulina Krasnopolska, Director, Marketing & PR, CBRE.
CBRE’s experts underline the importance of these modern marketing tools throughout the commercialisation process of a building, starting with advanced social media and ending in complex multimedia presentations developed via technologies that can produce 3D models which are then used for demonstrations involving augmented reality. One of the elements, often underestimated by developers, is the showroom. This separate unit, fully fitted-out, furnished and delivered at the earliest possible stage of the construction process allows tenants to see a variety of potential uses and layouts.
It should be remembered that potential tenants are not the only recipient of marketing activities. The market, including agents and commercial real estate market advisors, is an extremely important group to focus on. In fact, one of the main communications activities as part of the successful commercialisation process of a location is maintaining proper communications targeted at this group