5 Tips To Build Traction in Commercial Real Estate

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October 25, 2021

So, your next development project is on the drawing board. You may need to acquire land, raise capital, sell your vision to stakeholders, engage the community — the list goes on. As your project begins to take shape, it can be beneficial to consider your design strategy up front. Here are five ways your next project can gain traction by investing early in design and brand.

1. Break Free From the Competition

As in many industries, real estate can suffer from terrible design — you have the opportunity to use this to your advantage. If you're competing with other developers to acquire the same piece of land, the same old dusty pdf isn't going to cut it. Don't let your brilliant proposal get lost in the shuffle as just another development opportunity.

With some fairly simple design considerations, you can immediately set your project apart. Developing an initial brand and assembling a polished and thoughtful presentation can help distinguish you from the competition. Design won't necessarily land you all the capital you need, but demonstrating design-forward thinking in your presentation is a great way to grab the attention of potential capital partners.

2. Bring Your Vision to Life

Financial and planning documents that outline a new project are often technical and don't adequately sell a vision. Here's where you can use storytelling to captivate your audience. Whether you're trying to raise capital or engage other stakeholders, ensure that the message you're selling provides value that partners can buy into.

Using an interactive sales deck is a great way to communicate your vision and tell a compelling story. We often deploy this tactic to provide a new project with early traction and value.

3. Develop Brand Awareness

Leasing is a substantial endeavor for any development project, and you can never start building brand awareness too early.

"When you add a name and a brand, it is intrinsically easier for someone to retain.," shares Bryant Hughes, partner at Authentic. "As soon as a project starts building momentum, you need to be spending time on brand, design, and technology to start creating an online presence."

If you wait until leasing begins to consider your brand and messaging, there is a huge hill to climb. SEO and online traction take time to build, and waiting to brand your project can result in additional time and expense to make up for lost ground.

Establishing a microsite is a tactic you can use to build upon brand awareness during the early phases of a project. An online presence offers a platform to communicate details and updates and allows you to maintain control over the messaging surrounding developing initiatives. Not only does this support leasing down the road, but it also provides documentation during entitlements to clarify intentions and show progress and changes after community feedback.

4. Build an SEO Foundation

Having a digital presence for your project also creates a foundation for SEO. The simple act of launching a website on a URL indexed by Google will create associations with keywords in your content and allow the site to appear in organic search across the web.

A microsite also enables the media to utilize your webpage for backlinks in online articles, which is great for organic search. Additionally, if you decide to invest in paid or social media to spread awareness about your project, those online audiences can be utilized for retargeted marketing down the road.

All of this builds toward marketing equity and having your SEO foundation in place will accelerate the velocity of your digital marketing programs

5. Maximize Your Investment

Investing early in design doesn't mean that you'll be spending more in the long run. You can optimize your spending over time to maximize your investment throughout the development process.

Often, companies obsess over not having a final product when the approach should be iterating and improving as a project evolves. Crafting an early brand identity doesn't mean that you're locked into one iteration of your vision for the long haul. A brand can pivot with a project as plans change — and it can be done without doubling your investment.

If you're in the early phases of your next project, reach out to the Authentic team! We can help you maximize your investment in design and technology to add value and traction across the entire development process.

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