• Colliers | Columbus

MARKETING DURING A PANDEMIC

Written by: Dawn Jacobson, CPMC, CPRC


As the Director of Marketing and Research, Dawn works closely with each service line at Colliers | Columbus to spearhead strategic business development initiatives as well as handling the effective communication and implementation of those initiatives both externally and internally. In leading and mentoring the Marketing and Research teams, she strives to continuously incorporate innovation and efficiencies while offering the highest in class service to the client. Keep reading to get Dawn’s take on how the pandemic forced us to shake up our old standard of marketing.

Just over a year ago our industry, along with every other, was rocked. Commercial real estate was certainly spun for a loop. Like a flip of a switch, our days of creating flyers to hand to potential tenants as they walked through spaces were gone. We’d done property videos before of course, but it seemed in our market the heavy focus was still on those sheets of paper that were handed over during a tour.


Then one day we were told no more going in those buildings and no more meeting to tour. *Record scratch* This is commercial real estate. How can we do business if we cannot visit properties and share our informational flyers? How can we take care of our clients if we cannot lease their space? How do we market properties that no one can tour?


In about a week’s time, my team who typically focused on design became video editors. Any property that had photos we could use became a video with slick transitions and upbeat music. We utilized multiple editing programs so everyone on the team could produce a video – from the novice to the highly-skilled.


As restrictions eased, we had the opportunity to visit properties to collect our own video footage. We purchased two additional cameras as well as two 360 cameras. We not only got slicker with our video editing with all the practice but started offering 360 tours as well.


Some of my team had never created a video before that time and here they were putting together personalized video tours for a potential tenant to view from their phone. We went from creating under 20 videos in 2019 to creating over 160 in 2020.


The creativity continued to flow. During this time our standard printed flyers became digital with links to videos, maps, demographics and amenities. We used Go-Pros to share property updates with ownership. We surveyed tenants to create reports to share with our clients to help them understand the climate. We even held a drive-thru, contact-free broker event in a warehouse.


We raised our own bar in the middle of a pandemic and we are not resting as the restrictions continue to wind down. Sure, we’ll have to print a leasing flyer every now and then, but our focus is forward and away from how it was before 2020.

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