Archive for the ‘Commercial real estate’ Category
Last month, as I was trawling Twitter, I experienced one of those moments of truth that often lead to a blog post. “Stop the Madness! Why do we spam the crap out of each other #CRE?” It was an excellent question from @TenantAdvisor. His screenshot (above) showed a whole bunch of emails from the real estate world; no doubt property listings or announcements about recent transactions.
This is especially true in the brokerage community, where deal flow means everything, competition is fierce, and an old-school approach to marketing is pervasive. But when everyone else is doing lead generation the same way, namely by email and even cold calls or printed fliers, it is simply not effective, as I explained in a previous post.
The numbers are astounding: Approximately 4,400 apartment and condominium units are under construction in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, according to my friend Paul McMorrow, who did the math. But that number is only half of what is in the pipeline in the same geography. From Jackson Square, to Downtown Crossing, the Seaport to Northpoint and Assembly Square, that’s a lot of housing – and it’s a lot to hit the market within a relatively short time period, making the competition for consumer mind-share fierce among developers.
But first, who’s going to live there? Since all of these units are urban, and quite a few will be super-small “micro units,” it’s clear that developers are targeting Millennials, also known as Echo Boomers. There are about 80 million of this cohort in the U.S. Born between 1980 and 1995, they’re the largest population group since the Baby Boomers.
Almost everyone in the commercial real estate sector approaches marketing and PR the same way: collateral materials with buildings bathed in sunshine; interviews with trade journals; market overview presentations over coffee and bagels.
They also issue press releases about deals, which the press rarely cares about unless it is a big one – and even then, writers typically want an exclusive. I was recently having lunch with a reporter who covers commercial real estate and we were discussing this. He animatedly pulled out his Blackberry and showed me an email from that day about a small lease deal from a commercial broker. “Why would anyone bother to send me that?” he asked. Of course, being in PR, I understand that brokers, REITS and developers like to show momentum however they can. And I told the reporter this. But we both agreed that there are more creative ways to do this.