Highlights from the 2018 DNA of #CRE

By Sarah Malcolm
Our top highlights from the annual DNA of #CRE survey by theBrokerList and Buildout.

We look forward to the new DNA of #CRE survey results every year. This survey is a partnership between Buildout and theBrokerList. Respondents are commercial real estate brokers and marketers. Results reveal how they are doing their jobs, the tools they use, and the challenges they're facing. Anything that gives insights into the machinery of our industry is helpful for seeing trending and comparing your work to others.

Looking at the 2019 marketing edition, we noted a few interesting points.

#1. A demographic dichotomy in brokers versus marketers

Diversity is something we feel is important and something we need more of–not just in commercial real estate, but all industries. So the difference between gender and age bracket of brokers versus marketing professionals stood out to us. The broker respondents were 79 percent male and a quarter of those aged 60 to 69. Marketer respondents were 80 percent female and 32 percent of those aged 30 to 40. That's quite a contrast. It's a testament to CRE needing more diversity both sides of the coin.

#2. A need for metrics

We've written before about the importance of metrics tracking in a content marketing program.  Even though we know measurement and proof of ROI is something our industry must continue to address, the lack of use or understanding in survey respondents result surprised us. For example, under blogging, 36 percent said they were not sure if there was an increase in web traffic since they started the blog. That's an indication they are not tracking their metrics. Look again under social media. So many were not sure which social media sites brought them the most return on investment. Another third of marketers did not track their email marketing metrics.

How can marketers prove content marketing’s value to the commercial real estate industry without understanding the data? We need to know things like open rates, click-throughs, primary traffic sources,etc. Tracking changes in these numbers is how we know our strategies are working. Could this respondent result an indication CRE marketers are not setting goals or creating informed strategies to begin with? If so, that’s scary.

#3. Traditional Advertising

We learned 65 percent of marketers still use traditional advertising methods. Of that, 76 percent still use direct mail.Another 45 percent still use newspapers. We were surprised newspapers rated so highly, given the traditional publishing industry’s struggles. It makes you wonder what the ROI is for newspaper or magazine advertising. We did note that 28 percent of respondents did plan to incorporate digital advertising campaigns for listings this year. It will be interesting to see how that played out in next year's survey results.

#4. An uptick in video and drones

When it comes to CRE listings, the video trend is continuing. Nearly half of the respondents use videos or 3D tours for property marketing. Statistics continue to show that video resonates better than photos alone. We hope that content marketers carry over video into their email marketing and social media strategies. We note 38 percent plan to use video or listing marketing and 43 percent are planning to adopt drone video this year.

To see all the results from the 2018 DNA of#CRE marketing edition, check out the infographic or download the report. Or, see the broker edition. The survey releases at the beginning of the year, so stay tuned early 2020 to participate in 2019 edition.

Back to top