The Rise of Digital Showcasing in Commercial Real Estate
As demographics change in the commercial real estate market, so too should strategies and tactics for appealing to their diverse interests and needs. Trends in this highly competitive space are ever evolving, affording CRE professionals exciting new ways to connect with and service the growing need for quality commercial space.
Millennials Enter the Market
Your typical customer is getting younger. As millennials begin to dominate the workplace, they will increasingly be the decision makers in leasing or purchasing commercial properties for their businesses. They already comprise over half of the workforce, and they’re bringing key changes with them.
Some of these changes include:
A greater reliance on workplace technology and tech-driven practices like video conferencing, company mobile apps, and virtual events.
Teamwork and collaboration will be more valuable than before.
Flexibility will trump proximity, as the traditional office will likely take a backseat to more work-from-home options and work-life balance.
What is Digital Showcasing?
Your properties are unique and valuable. And you want to convey this to your prospective tenants. The problem is, your target customers aren’t walking around empty office spaces, taking in your property’s benefits and signing contracts on the spot.
So, where are they?
They’re online. They’re taking digital tours of properties that sound and look appealing online and imagining their business in that space. Digital showcasing capitalizes on this trend, making properties more accessible to them in a digital format.
Now, this goes beyond just setting up a detailed listing on a website. Digital showcasing commercial properties can extend from a high-resolution photo shoot of the space to AR/VR 3D interactive videos that place the prospect in a virtual recreation of the space.
In this recreation, they can view the room from different angles, from their own personal height, or rearrange office furniture within the space. Digital showcasing can also mean on-the-spot discussions via chat to nail down details, amenities, availability, etc.
Why Go Digital?
There are several important considerations regarding virtual or digital showcasing for CRE professionals and landlords. But keep in mind, in-person physical showcasing and walk throughs will never go away. The idea isn’t to do away with the usual way of doing things, but to add new options. This creates versatility as your customer base diversifies.
Wherever your customer may be, they can check in and view your property from the other side of the world.
Whatever time of day or night the need arises, digital showcased properties are available for them to tour at a moment’s notice.
Of course, virtual tours also reduce the need for in-person contact.
Especially for long-distance tenants, digital showcasing lessons the need for airline travel and the resulting environmental impact.
Virtual tours also provide unique insights to your CRE team as a powerful arm of your digital marketing; showcases can be A/B tested, patterns identified, and blockages addressed.
As reliance on workplace tech increases with millennial involvement, virtual tours put you in front of a larger segment of potential business.
Of course, embracing new modes of marketing may not come easy. Understanding the technical ins and outs as well as the younger customer base may not be something your team is already good at.
For this reason, it can be especially helpful to add digital skills to your list of trainings for employees or to your list of questions for interviews for a new hire. But the payoff for those who invest in this new and rising trend is there for those willing to try it.