By: Bob Dikman, Chairman & CEO

Tackle the times, Embrace the technology!

During my 30-plus years as a commercial real estate broker, I have seen many changes in our industry. Whether those changes were caused by emerging global trends, challenging market conditions, or new regulations governing how we conduct business, commercial real estate brokers have become accustomed to change. However, I can honestly and unequivocally say that the economic challenges that have taken place in the real estate industry over the past five years have challenged us like never before. These challenges have caused us to re-evaluate how we do business. Many of the traditional ways of marketing have become antiquated and non-effective in today’s market.So, how can we survive (and thrive)
in this economic downturn?

Tackle the times, embrace the technology!

Albert Einstein defined insanity as: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (And he wasn’t even a commercial realtor!) In all seriousness, we can’t just stick our heads in the sand hoping that the market will return to what we once considered “normal” market conditions. Nothing about this market is “normal”. If we want to prosper and be successful today in business, we must adopt a new mindset and embrace technology.

The Dikman Company made a commitment to look outside of the proverbial “box” for
innovative marketing programs and solutions. We did a thorough analysis of all
our marketing techniques and programs to determine what was working and what was
not. We looked outside of the real estate industry to get a better idea of how
marketing has changed and evolved, and then we made the decision (and commitment) to “tackle the times, and embrace the technology”.

This decision brought about some major changes in how we market our properties, our
services, and ourselves. While traditional marketing programs are still a vital
part of the overall business plan, we’ve adopted new strategies and innovative
solutions to provide our clients and prospective clients with the latest
information in a timely (and technical) manner.

Dikman’s Five Tech Tips to Increase Your Business

  1. Company website – Do an in-depth assessment of your current website to ensure its functionality has kept up with current technology. In an era where technology changes in a nano-second, chances are you will need to make changes to your site to be competitive. Also, have an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) assessment done. It won’t matter if your website is phenomenal if your SEO is non-existent because NO ONE will ever find it.
  2. Virtual Tours – Residential realtors embraced this technology years ago, and it is
    time for commercial real estate agents to do the same.  Our clients and prospective clients want to be able to look at properties on their own time, which actually will save you a lot of time. When a prospective client contacts you after having reviewed a virtual tour, they are pre-qualified leads. They saw it, they liked it, and they contacted you. Be sure to provide as much information as you can about the property on the tour: location, sales price, price per sq. ft., and IMAGES.
  3. Video Interviews – This is an excellent way to educate and inform people about
    our industry and also position you as the expert. People do business with people
    they know, like and trust. By creating video interviews and promoting them on
    your website, You Tube and other Internet video channels, you are establishing
    a sense of trust and recognition.
  4. QR codes
    – Quick Response (QR) codes are inexpensive and simple to incorporate into your marketing plan. QR codes look like barcodes and are designed to be read by
    smartphones.  A QR code allows you to drive traffic to a specific spot on your website where interested parties can obtain immediate information about your company, your products, and your services. QR codes can be used on anything from business cards and flyers to signage and print advertising.
  5. Social Media – Be sure you have a presence on the following social media sites:
    Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and YouTube. People are turning to these sites first to research information about a company before making a decision to utilize its services. You can use these sites to share industry information and trends, promote your company, and build your database of followers. Also, if you haven’t googled your company in awhile be sure to do so. You might be surprised at what you find.

Finally, one very important piece of advice: If you embrace these new technologies and make them an integral part of your overall marketing plan, be prepared to make the commitment to update, post and provide current information to all of these outlets. There is nothing more aggravating to the technology savvy person
than a website, blog, QR code or social media site that contains dated or
useless information. You only have one shot of making a lasting first
impression, make it count.