Developers and owners need a thoughtful and strategic marketing approach to attract tenants to a new project. However, if that strategy does not include at least four powerhouse tech tools, they could be missing some prospects, according to Rob MacLeod, president, Neoscape, a marketing firm with offices in Boston and New York.
MacLeod suggests these tools for attracting tenants:
iPhone and iPad apps. Every real estate project today will benefit from having an iPhone and an iPad app, whether the use is residential, office or retail. The app can be robust, delivering a great deal of information or it can be a vanity app providing general awareness. McLeod said that the app is no substitute for traditional marketing efforts. However, the information that is included on the app, which is typically distributed on a business-to-business basis rather than through the iTunes store, can be the same information that is on the website, in the brochure and in the sales center. It is information that is reused and repurposed into an app.
Neoscape recently handled the marketing of a Washington, D.C. office project including branding, renderings and floor plans. It repurposed that information to create iPhone and iPad apps for leasing. Thanks specifically to those apps, according to MacLeod, the developer landed a 120,000-square-foot anchor tenant. With a strong anchor tenant in hand and an additional 50,000-square-foot net lease, Neoscape retooled those apps to go after smaller tenants.
Virtual design. Use virtual design techniques in commercial real estate projects to tailor a particular presentation to a specific tenant without having to hire an architect and design a unique space. MacLeod advised that if you are after a technology, Twitter, Google or Microsoft tenant, use virtual design to create a project in their image to help them visualize how the space will look. This is important when pursuing retail tenants as well. While the retail space might be suitable for any number of tenants, if the developer is to pitch Forever 21, for example, the virtual design can turn that space into a Forever 21 store for the presentation.
Interaction with touch screen. The public sees and uses touch screen devices all the time. With the ubiquitous touch phones and tablet devices, multi-touch is becoming second-nature to everyone and should be incorporated into real estate presentations and projects.
Cinematic film. MacLeod emphasized that cinematic film is a real differentiator between top-tier companies in the real estate business: “We are using a combination of computer generated content and practically shot content,” he said. “People want to be entertained, and they expect to get information out of it as well.”
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