When the world seems to be moving at the speed of tweet, it can be challenging to keep up not only with the commercial real estate market, but also marketing trends in commercial real estate.
Here are our top five trends affecting commercial real estate marketing.
Top 5 Trends in Real Estate Marketing
Trend #1 – Age
Frederick County Maryland’s population is aging faster than the national average. This changes not only the workforce population but the services available in the community. With a rising aging population comes the demand for products and services to meet those needs. This will have a significant impact on medical office space as more providers and services are needed. Location and amenities will be critical for those services including access to parking and space design.
Trend #2 – Growth
While the county has benefited from government related jobs due to location, the future looks uncertain as government programs experience spending cuts. What does this mean for the commercial real estate market? Will products and services grow in Frederick County to meet the growing age market demand? What will happen to existing and future government contractors? Will Frederick change course and attract a younger workforce to take a place of retirees? We don’t know the answers to these questions but we do know that growth (or lack there of) will have a huge impact on Frederick commercial real estate marketing moving forward. According to Sage Policy Group’s 2014 Commercial Market Report the total impact of the Great Recession and other macroeconomic developments has been to render the city of Frederick more dependent upon institutional (especially government) employment over time. What is more disturbing is real estate performance over the 2008-2014 time period. In their report, Sage notes that:
- Almost no new office space has been delivered in the City of Frederick since the recession
ended in June 2009 and net absorption has been negative during many recent quarters.
- Very little new industrial space has been delivered since the previous report was submitted in
- There have been no deliveries of flex space in the City of Frederick since the initial quarter of
2008, an indication that at least for much of the period since the recession began (December
2007), flex space supply has exceeded demand.
One may speculate that the market has worked within the current inventory until now and things look up. We hope so. How will this affect commercial real estate marketing? The changing service and business climate will have a direct affect on inventory types in the market, what needs to be done to market that inventory and how we communicate that message.
Trend #3 – Generation C
Between a major economic shift in family structure and the accessibility of technology, grandparents and toddlers alike are consuming information in the same way – through Internet devices. Generation C or Generation Connected (also known as Generation Content) has redefined classic marketing boundary lines based on age. Generation C or Generation Connected will not replace Gen X, Gen Y or Boomer entirely, but it certainly will redefine how we discriminate by age. In a world where 40 is the new 30 (or maybe 20?) age is becoming less and less a barrier to entry to the world of digital communications. You either use a cell phone, or you do not. You engage in email or you lick stamps. You gather information online or you wait for the 7 o’clock news. In this brave new world of forever young – you are either part of generation connected or you are disconnected. If you are reading this blog, congratulations! You are part of Generation C. Chances are those searching for commercial real estate are too.
Trend #4 – Environment
It is estimated that 20.6% of Fredericktownians commute over an hour to get to work each day. Even greater numbers leave the county to arrive at their place of employment. In this digital age we have seen rise to telecommuting options, co-work options, and satellite offices. Companies no longer rely 100% on a traditional office environment. With Frederick strategically positioned between major employment centers and transportation hubs, the office environment is changing locally with co-working facilities, flexible leasing options and incubators. We think this is just the beginning as technology continues to enable us to communicate from the comfort of any location – not just the office.
Trend #5 – Digital Communication
Our traditional outbound methods of print, direct mail and signs are increasingly less effective and even harder to measure. Now when someone searches for real estate they simply find their nearest internet enabled device – usually always within arms length. It is estimated that 70% of of the purchase decision is done online before the phone rings. This means our commercial brochures are now electronic and interactive. Searchers want all available information regarding a property at their finger tips, for free and not gated by brokers and agents. If you needed more proof as to why digital communications are vital to real estate marketing read on….
- 87% of Adult Americans use the Internet
- 97% of Internet users conduct purchase research online
- 100 Billion searches are conducted every month on Google
- 1/3 of US consumers spend three or more hours online every day
- US Internet users spend 3X more minutes on blogs and social networks than on email
- 70% of the links search users click on are organic not paid
- 200 million Americans have registered on the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list
Between the digital tsunami of information and technologies, our aging population, environment and growth issues, real estate marketing has experienced incredible change. These market factors effect the way we communicate, the way we work and the spaces we work in. As our populations shifts, so do our businesses and our marketing communications.
Want to learn more about marketing commercial real estate? Check out MacRo’s integrated commercial real estate marketing program.
About the Author, Christina May: Christina is managing partner and CMO at Illumine8 Marketing & PR, an integrated inbound marketing agency located in Frederick, Maryland. A recent GALA award winner with 14 years experience in integrated marketing strategy; she is a popular speaker on topics that include real estate marketing, integrated marketing communications, inbound marketing and digital conversion strategies.