In last Thursday’s blog, we gave you a test: Go to Google and see how your building’s brand stacks up. We also gave you an example of the messages delivered by the world’s top traffic driver, the web. The results weren’t so good for the building, despite it being a well known class A office tower. Today, we are focusing on how a building and all of its players, can recapture their collective voice using proven, easy to implement strategies to build a brand and get great results.
First things first; whose responsibility is it to get people into your building? Is it the broker’s responsibility to attract new tenants? The property management team’s responsibility to retain tenants? The parking management company’s responsibility to rent spaces? Your vendor tenants responsibility to market their own product or service? What about the owner? What role do they all play?
Today, in most buildings, each party has their own niche that they are responsible for. This “every man for himself” approach worked well when space was in high demand and traffic in your building was at record levels. Now the current climate has left record vacancies in just about every type of space. There are fewer consumers purchasing products from your vendor tenants and lower demand for building services (ie. Parking). This significant drop in traffic has had a dramatic, negative impact on every player’s bottom line. When every player in a building works collectively to recapture the building’s voice, then every player wins.
The Building that Markets Together, Stays Together
Each player in your building has the same problem – getting people in your building. So why not leverage all of the different activities that each of your players engage in, and input that into the overall brand? The easiest way to do this is to create an online presence for your building; brand it as you would any product, and promote your building’s players and the products and services they provide. Here are five easy strategies that can help you achieve this:
Strategy #1: Market Your Building’s Vendor Tenants
If your building has an entire complex of restaurants, coffee shops, and merchants or just a single cafeteria, you can use your building’s presence as a way to drive business; thus bringing more people into your building as well as making your tenants happy with ‘building only’ deals. Offering space on your building’s website for something like dollar coffee every third Wednesday of the month, is a great way to drive traffic and improve tenant relations.
Strategy #2: Drive People into Your Parking Garage
A couple years back I was looking to rent a parking space in my building, a Class A office tower in downtown Seattle. The parking garage in my building was convenient, spacious, and easily accessible. The problem? It was impossible to find rate and rental info – so I rented a space next door where the building had a website that answered all of my questions and gave me contact info. As a big parking garage in a major downtown center, you can only imagine the amount of money gained by the building with an online presence as opposed to the one without.
Strategy #3: Unite Brokers, Managers, and Owners
These players are all selling the same thing, the building! So why not bring the efforts of these players together? Prospects and current tenants make the decision to lease based on how well your building suits their needs. A building that offers amenities like an on-site gym, provides meeting space, boasts green technologies, and is convenient to public transit can have a significant advantage over buildings that don’t offer these conveniences. The problem is that many buildings keep all of the great things a state secret.
Brokers, managers, and owners all have a vested interest in keeping their building occupied – creating an online presence is the single best way to keep prospects and current building tenants aware of everything that you do. You can even extend this effort by providing a tenant landing page and integrate a communications program into your public facing website. This will help create brand consistency and make your building a market differentiator.
Strategy #4: Always Brand
Recapturing your voice is all about promoting your brand – a brand is simply the recognizable experience your clients have every time they engage with you. Consistency and quality are essential to the successful branding of your building and can drive people to your building thus improving your bottom line. As we saw in our previous blog, if your brand is tarnished by online ‘gossip’ and that the only information available about your building, your brand is going to suffer because the experience is negative (even if it is beyond your control).
Establishing an online presence is essential to building a brand and communicating your message. Prospects Google your building, they find your website, and they look no further because they found their answer. As a bonus, you might also find good public relations opportunities if you sponsor events, such as blood drives or other community activities.
Strategy #5: Always be Accessible
Is your building accessible? Can I easily find the hours of business operation? What about how late the sandwich shop is open in case I need to order lunch for a meeting? Where is the handicap entrance for my co-worker who is recovering from a water-skiing mishap? How can vendor’s gain access to the loading dock and who do they need to contact with certificate of insurance information? How about directions? Or what if I am going to an event downtown and want to use your garage but don’t want to get locked in after hours?
These are just some of the common questions and concerns people have – and if they can’t easily find an answer they will take their business elsewhere. Always being accessible is a multi-level communications strategy that starts with an online presence, passed to the public (and tenants), who then find useful and helpful information about your building.