24 April 2018/ For CRE Professionals

Digital Advertising for Commercial Property

Commercial property is known for its reliance on email marketing. Tons of email campaigns are sent daily clogging inboxes of both tenant reps and prospective tenants, putting this channel’s effectiveness at risk of communication saturation. With GDPR upon us, this almost complete dependence on email marketing might find its limits. From the 25th of May, you will only be able to send a mass communication to contacts who have actively opted into your communications.

To maintain the level of traffic and enquiries coming from your building pages, you will need to find complementary distribution channels to drive interest in properties.

In this post, we will discuss how you can introduce a truly diversified marketing channel mix to support your enquiry generation and increase deal velocity.


Advertising on property portals seems like a natural thing to do. You’re probably doing it already. With their ready-made audience, portals give you access to hundreds of thousands of potential tenants. Using portals to generate enquiries and guarantee exposure for your listing is a logical first step.

Be strategic about your choice of portals. The best practice is to start broad and then narrow down based on the results of your first few campaigns. If you’re just getting started with portal advertising, allocate an equal budget to 3-5 main portals you want to test. After a few weeks of tracking results, you should have a clear idea which portals are winners when it comes to enquiry delivery and quality. After you’ve established which 2-3 portals are the best performers, redirect your entire portal budget to these.

When evaluating the performance of portals, you might want to analyse the following:

  • Cost per enquiry [how much does it cost you to generate one enquiry]
  • Cost per conversion (closed deal) [how much does it cost in advertising to convert one enquiry into a signed deal]
  • Percentage of qualified enquiries [what is the percentage of enquires that lead to viewings]

There are a few portals that allow you to list your building for free as a standard listing. Here at Realla, we use crawling technology. However, if we do not list your stock currently and you would like some free exposure, please get in touch with us on contact@realla.co. You can use our software product, RealBase, to list on all the main commercial property portals and track the results.


Search Advertising

There is a lot of talk about building pages ranking high in Google searches. SEO (search engine optimisation) is a discipline that deals with organic rankings on Google and other browsers. However, if you want to guarantee that you list at the top of the page for specific keywords, you should try Google Adwords. Firstly, you might want to start by determining the keywords you want to bid on. Usually, you will have a quite good idea what sort of keywords your potential prospects will use when searching for the commercial property you’re marketing. However, if you need some practical advice to help you start with your first Adwords Search campaign, you can use this simple key phrase generation formula to create a list of keywords to bid on.

[type of property] + [to let/ for sale] + [specific location]

Before you switch on your campaign, you might want to estimate potential results for your keywords. Keywords Planner is a very good tool for forecasting numbers of impressions and clicks. Plus, it will help you plan your spend.


Display advertising

Display, alongside Search, is another type of advertising offered by Google. Display advertising allows you to use online banners to promote your business or service/product to a target audience.

There are a few types of targeting available for display advertising including:

  • Remarketing - this type of targeting allows you to serve banner advertising on websites to people who visited your website
  • Interest-based - you can target a group of potential prospects based on the interest. For instance, you could choose a group interested in real estate or commercial real estate.
  • Demographic-based - this is a standard type of targeting based on gender and age group.
  • Specific website placements - you can also choose specific website where your banner advertising will be placed (that website must be enrolled with Adsense - you can check by searching placement website within your Google Adwords account).



Facebook and Twitter, although very different platforms have a rather similar advertising model. Both rely on revenue from the ads shown in a user feed. Hence, a similar approach can work across both social media networks. For instance, you could start with the following objectives for both channels:

  • Content distribution - the fact that content marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics for B2B businesses is not a secret. Now you can utilise social media as a distribution channels for your reports and whitepapers. You could allocate some ad spend money to promote pieces of content that are likely to be popular amongst your targeted audience. Most platforms provide comprehensive analytic software to allow you to evaluate the results and establish what types of content attracts most visitors.


  • Remarketing - using a custom audience (built from your previous visitors or buyers), you can create a campaign targeted at users that have previously shown interest in your listing(s). The campaign will reinforce the message and marketing qualify your enquiries (marketing qualified enquiries are those from users with sufficient level of engagement e.g. users who enquired about a property or users who read your blog). Getting your prospects re-engaged with your brand is crucial for nurturing your prospects and pushing them down the sales pipeline. The more familiar your prospects are with what you offer and your expertise, the more likely they are to convert into paying customers.


As a professional social media platform, LinkedIn is naturally suited to promoting your services to a business community. For a B2B business, LinkedIn can be a great way to build your reputation online and showcase your expertise through articles published on LinkedIn.

Content distribution

Distributing high-quality content to potential clients that don’t currently follow your LinkedIn page could be achieved through paid advertising. For example, you could promote your content to employees of specific organisations.

Similar to Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn allows you to target a specific group of people with your campaigns. However, LinkedIn is particularly attractive as it allows you to target individuals who are currently or previously working at a specific organisation. You can take it a step further and target people with a specific job title in specific organisations. Deploying this approach will help you get to the right people in the right organisation with your message.

Events promotion

Events are an important channel for the commercial property professional. They’re often used to launch a new building coming to market. You could target local tenants with a LinkedIn Inmail campaign, including an invite to one of the events you will be hosting to promote the building. Your prospects will receive a sponsored message on LinkedIn.The effectiveness of such a campaign could be measured by the number of prospects attending your event and eventually book a viewing.

Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is a paid tool offered by LinkedIn that allows you to reach out to LinkedIn users. It’s a prospecting tool used for researching new prospect, contacting them and following their LinkedIn activities (knowing what they like and are up to helps to start a conversation on social media).

Web advertising

Outside of self-service advertising opportunities, you can approach digital publishers to feature your promotional materials on their website and social channels. There are two main ways to gain exposure through digital advertising on third-party publishers website:

Sponsored content

Similar to print media, more and more digital media outlets offer advertorials or sponsored content in the media pack. Often carefully researched and curated, this type of tactic employs a more authentic approach to promoting your brand.

You could also use sponsored content to promote your reports and whitepapers. Depending on the publication, media outlets might be open to promoting your annual report or whitepapers to their readers as sponsored content.

Banner advertising

Banner advertising is an alternative or complementary to display advertising provided by Google. You can approach digital publishers to place your banner advertising directly on their websites. You could either promote your building (e.g. new development to let or a listing of smaller units) or push your content like a report or whitepaper. Publishers will usually provide you with the results at the end of the campaign.