Maximize the Value of Your Real Estate Through Proper Branding
New York Real Estate Journal
by Robert Siegel
(September 16, 2003) Proper branding increases the value of any asset, yet how many ignore this principal when marketing commercial office space?
Retail owners such as Taubman Centers and Simon Property Group have capitalized on branding for years, resulting in higher occupancy and rents. Thanks to savvy marketing efforts, tenants are fully aware of the space these owners control across the country. Owners of office buildings, however, tend to be reactive, marketing space when it is available rather than keeping their companies and the properties they own prominent. As a result, office tenants have little consistency in seeking out a particular landlord when expanding or moving across regions. Simply put, proper branding can significantly increase the bottom line.
For over 20 years, Metropole's principals have worked with the world's leading retailers to maximize their brands through strategically placed retail locations. Whether it is Hermes or Ralph Lauren, Burberry or Ferragamo, the primary value of these companies lies in their brands, more than in the actual merchandise they sell.
Similar to marketing a brand, a property should be marketed with a consistent message, in line with the ownership's strategy for its image and that of the building - from ads in strategic publications, to lobby aesthetics and staff uniforms, to the online presence that becomes the front line of communication between prospective tenant and broker.
Owners rely too often on the marketing staff of affiliated brokers or third parties, rather than providing the information and tools necessary to brand their property effectively. Without a permanent marketing presence online, owners are missing an opportunity to increase occupancy and add value.
To properly market and brand a property, an owner needs i) marketing expertise, ii) leasing specialists and iii) information technology. Unfortunately, the three speak different languages. Metropole360 has bridged that gap, creating products that speak to, and work easily, for all.
Metropole360's BuildingSite is a comprehensive solution for branding real estate companies and properties. BuildingSite is a customized website platform, with tools for e-mail and print material marketing and reporting, and an innovative 360º camera system. The platform was designed for the user who does not want to be distracted from his primary focus - managing and leasing real estate - and who knows little about technology.
With BuildingSite, a distinct website is generated instantly for each building. The platform enables property owners to assist their brokers to market, in real-time, available listings to a global audience, including 360º or still photos, floor plans, CAD drawings, PDF flyers, maps and more. In addition, BuildingSite's reporting tools enable ownership and brokers to track the success of their marketing efforts.
The branded listing is automatically formatted to be shared across media: it can be viewed on the building or owner's website; e-mailed to prospective tenants and related brokers; or printed and sent via fax or mail. Metropole's platform eliminates the need for additional graphic design or production staff.
Metropole provides owners complete control of their brand, enabling them to maximize the value of their space and promote the integrity of their name and their properties. By drastically increasing marketing efficiencies, Metropole, whose clients include premier companies such as CB Richard Ellis, New Boston Fund and Reckson, is shortening the leasing cycle.
Through proper branding, office property owners can increase occupancy at higher rental rates, resulting in a higher sale price for each building. The net result is a significant increase to the bottom line, without incurring significant costs.
Robert Siegel is Chief Executive of Metropole Worldwide LLC and Metropole Realty Advisors, Inc., in New York, NY.