Identify Key Stakeholders
Before diving into any marketing efforts for an unbuilt project, one must first identify the key players of the project. Who or what organizations will seal the deal on the success of your project? If you are building a medical facility, this will be the doctors and medical offices that will occupy your space. If it is a retail project, you must gain attractive tenants and the support of the surrounding cities, neighborhoods and future customers. These are the stakeholders of your project and they are the ones that you need to target with your marketing efforts. Figure out the best ways to reach them. Is it direct mail, signage, paid online advertising or direct calling? Dedicate your energy and marketing budget to the avenues where you are most likely to reach and influence your stakeholders.
Win Them Over
Once you have taken time to identify your stakeholders, it is time to win them over. Of course, this is an unbuilt project, something that isn't tangible...yet. It is your job to help them see the benefits of supporting your project. Here is where the dose of creativity comes in. Different people absorb and retain information in different ways. Therefore, you should approach educating your stakeholders on your project's positive features in many ways.
- Help them visualize the project - invest in professional renderings and high quality visuals that bring your project to life for visual learners.
- Educate them on the benefits - think about what is important to your stakeholders and how your project benefits them and educate on the possible amenities to the project.
- Get them involved - if you have the freedom to, let your stakeholders have their say in your project. Take their input and allow it to influence the project so they feel invested in the plans. For instance, one could tap into a local city government or neighborhood for help choosing and/or recruiting potential tenants they would want to have.
To market an unbuilt project to its full potential, a commercial real estate professional must sometimes put on a public relations hat. Create awareness and excitement around your project with creative signage, direct mail pieces and events. Remember to keep in mind the channels that your stakeholders are most present at and dedicate budget most aggressively to these.
You may have a four-leaf clover in your pocket, but your're going to need more than luck to get your key stakeholders behind an unbuilt project. Creativity and strategy are essential to success when marketing an unbuilt project and with the right plan of attack, you will be seeing green!
Justin Larson, LEED GA
VP, Director of Sustainability
Block Multifamily Group