One of the most important things you can do for your commercial real estate marketing strategy is to craft a budget to make sure expectations are clear for all stakeholders.
Without a budget, marketing spend can quickly spiral out of control, unexpected surprises can surface, and frequently leaves you with minimal metrics against which to measure overall success.
For this reason, even a simple one sheet budget can be immensely helpful in better understanding what works and what doesn’t for your property marketing campaigns.
Why a Real Estate Marketing Budget is Important
A marketing budget is important for several reasons, not the least of which is to measure success:
- Set Clear Expectations – For most commercial property projects (whether leasing or sales), there can be many stakeholders involved and the last thing you want is to renegotiate and enter into discussions in the middle of a marketing campaign. With a defined budget beforehand, you and all others involved know where your spend is going and who should be executing on each component.
- Limit Surprises – One of the key benefits of setting a budget in advance is that it forces you to think about all of the costs, vendors and services involved for your marketing campaign. This way you don’t have to scramble and create unnecessary stress because you might have missed something at the early stages.
- Ensure Ongoing Investment – Many commercial real estate companies slow or stop investment too quickly, put off by the large investment in a one-time campaign that didn’t provide results. A structured budget ensures a suitable period during which to test the efficacy of your efforts.
Breaking Down Different Categories of Spend
One of the many reasons a marketing budget is so important is that there are so many different categories in which you need to invest – many of which can be forgotten without a clearly established plan. These include:
- Tools – Email marketing software, your website design, website hosting, CRM, marketing analytics and automation software you may need as part of your marketing efforts.
- Advertising – Break your budget down by channel for advertising activities. This includes commercial real estate listing sites, Google PPC advertising, social media advertising and offline and print advertising.
- Contractors – If you need content written or collateral designed and don’t have the staff internally to handle the job, you may need a contractor – budget accordingly for location, skill level, and project type.
- Staff Hours – Be sure to include hours spent by yourself and your staff as this will directly factor into your return on investment.
Building an Effective Budget for Your Real Estate Marketing Efforts
A good budget is designed to provide a roadmap for your marketing efforts over a period of time. It will account for both direct spend and total investment (both monetary and time), into generating traffic and new prospects. This helps you to measure ROI from these efforts, but also to improve efforts over time. If ROI is high for one tactic but not another, you can adjust your budget accordingly and drive better results with the same spend.
Marketing Budget Template (Excel)
If you’re ready to start budgeting for your CRE marketing efforts, then download the following template to better manage your marketing spend and see where and how you are allocating your resources.