Ten X Buyers
When searching and purchasing commercial real estate, buyers now mostly prefer to use the Internet to search on commercial real estate property websites. Throughout their search, social media platforms, like Instagram, and influencers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, contribute to their decision-making. Blogs also contribute by serving as information centers for industry news, trends, and ideas.
DIGITAL TOOLS and CHANNELS Preferred by Commercial Real Estate Buyers
In the Digital Age, the Internet has become a prevalent presence in all industries and facets of life, including commercial real estate (CRE). With the constant availability of the Internet, a real estate media company, inMotion, says that today's buyers usually start their commercial real estate search by going online and visiting corresponding websites. To do their searching, 90 percent of buyers use mobile search. When buyers use computers, however, they use the browsers Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari to varying degrees. Internet Explorer sees the most usage at 42 percent of buyers. Meanwhile, only 24 percent, 18 percent, and 14 percent use Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, respectively.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE PROPERTY WEBSITES
Based on the data above about how buyers begin their online search, the commercial real estate property website is key in reaching out to buyers. As 90 percent of buyers use mobile search, a website then needs to be mobile-responsive, or it must have a mobile counterpart.
Zooming into the pages of the website itself, according to key findings by inMotion, buyers spend the most time viewing pictures and scouring the leasing page and tenant list. Web pages that garner the most views, however, are the property information, location, and photo gallery pages. Pictures in the photo gallery, in particular, receive an average of 3.9 seconds of attention per image. In spite of this information, inMotion concluded that the most important element on a commercial real estate property website is the leasing page. Many buyers want to see a PDF file that show a property's floor plan. This finding is based on data that showed 38 percent of viewers exit a leasing page, on average, for lack of the aforementioned PDF file. Leasing pages with PDF files, on the other hand, only experienced 26 percent of viewers exiting the pages.
Social media platforms, particularly Instagram, also play a role in the decision-making of commercial real estate buyers, according to commercial real estate marketing agency, Brower Group. These buyers want images to see properties in which they are interested and for content value, and Instagram perfectly allows buyers to have those images. In fact, commercial real estate companies are already utilizing the platform. For a few examples, the International Council of Shopping Centers have as much as 2,695 followers that the company engages using photos, videos, and contests. The Instagram account, Cool Working Space, markets work spaces to its 5,500 followers. DTLA Real Estate has 778 followers for its urban photography Instagram feed. Lastly, Murro Hill only has 9 Instagram posts but 544 followers.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE INFLUENCERS
On the social media platform of Twitter, however, buyers look to influencers instead of images for their decision-making, as attested by the thousands of followers of these influencers. These influencers mainly use Twitter, but they also have Facebook, Instagram, LinknedIn, and YouTube accounts, which only widen their reach and influence. Each influencer is described more fully below:
1. Coy Davidson - He has a popular blog named The Tenant Advisor, and almost all top commercial real estate news outlets have featured him. He has been in the industry for approximately 25 years and he currently has 32.2 thousand Twitter followers.
2. Jimmy Neuer - He has a corporate real estate blog called Neuerspace, and he has been in the industry for 18 years. He has 2,074 followers on Twitter.
3. Michael Beckerman - He founded The News Funnel, which features real estate content. He also serves as the CEO of cretech.com, a commercial real estate technology website. On Twitter, he has 5,800 followers.
4. Jonathan Schultz - On his blog at jonschultz.com, he discusses trending topics in the industry and shares his content to his 2,508 Twitter followers.
5. Duke Long - Rather than blogging like the influencers above, Long instead offers podcasts and webinars about the commercial real estate industry. He has 10.4 thousand followers on Twitter.
6. Linda Day Harrison - She founded Brokerlist.com where she writes about commercial real estate innovation and technology. She has 4,260 followers on Twitter.
7. Jeffrey Sica - He has 1,392 Twitter followers, and his commentaries have been frequently featured on multiple financial news networks.
8. Barbi Reuter - She has been in the industry for 20 years and has amassed 13.2 thousand Twitter followers. She currently serves as the President of Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate brokerage firm.
9. Warren Nagatani - He hosts webinars on YouTube and serves as the Vice President of Sales at a digital marketing platform called ProspectNow, which is geared towards the real estate industry. He has 1,173 Twitter followers.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BLOGS
For information on news, trends, and ideas in the commercial real estate industry, buyers turn to blogs, and the real estate media, inMotion, listed the topmost blogs that regularly produce content that buyers depend on.
Among blogs by individuals, inMotion listed:
1) A Student of the Real Estate Game
3) Commercial Tenant Resource
4) Commercial Real Estate Show
5) CRE Outsider
6) Calculated Risk
7) and Bo Barron.
Among blogs that discuss commercial real estate platforms and tools, inMotion included:
4) Honest Buildings
5) Property Metrics
6) Bigger Pockets
7) The Center of Shopping
8) The Balance Sheet
9) The Broker List
11) and Aquicore.
Finally, the news portals that buyers rely on subscribe to include:
1) The Real Deal
3) INC Magazine
4) Urban Land Magazine
5) WSJ Developments
6) CP Executive
7) CRE Radio & TV
8) Commercial Observer
9) The News Funnel
10) and Real Estate Tech News.
In summary, commercial real estate buyers nowadays rely on property websites via the Internet to search for properties. Even so, information and content from social media influencers and Instagram posts factor into buyer decision-making. Buyers also look to top blogs for news, trends, and ideas about the commercial real estate industry.