How CRE Professionals Worked in 2016

It’s back! The DNA of #CRE surveys commercial real estate professionals on who they are and how they accomplished their work. Started in 2015 by CRE industry leaders Buildout and the Broker List, the 2016 DNA of #CRE survey uncovered interesting details about the marketing practices of the CRE industry. They were right to point out that CRE is complex with niche markets (office, industrial, retail) and multiple properties (developers, investors, buyers, landlords, tenants) all in the mix. Insights include:

How CRE Professionals Win Business

Relationships seize the top spot, with 71% of professionals identifying this as how they won business. Less important factors in earning business were personal reputation at 20%, professional materials and presentations at 3%, and company branding at 1%. Since relationships were the overwhelming factor in securing a business deal, it’s interesting that 33% of CRE professionals cited maximizing exposure as their most significant challenge in marketing listings. What’s not clear from the survey results is what marketing strategies (social media promotion, listing websites, et al.) these individuals used to grow their audience. Not a marketing challenge for CRE professionals? Redundant data entry for new or updating listings (7% each), speed to market at 6%, and lack of quality photography/video at 1%.

The Top-Rated Industry Tools

This part of the survey concerned the tech tools CRE professionals use to do their job. Survey respondents offered little to no surprises here. The top six information sources remained the same as 2015. Industry leader Co-Star once again topped the list as an information provider, followed by self-sourced data at 29%. LoopNet ranked third and Xceligent ranked fourth as the most common information provider.

CRE Agents cited finding/listing tools as the most often used at 72%. We’ve been talking about the importance of email marketing campaigns lately, and the industry reflects their significance. Email marketing was the second most regularly used tool by 68% of respondents. Other top tools used by CRE professionals: relationship management, marketing software, and source data.

How CRE Professional Market Content

From a content marketing standpoint, it’s interesting that LinkedIn ranked number one as a marketing and social media tool used by CRE professionals. 85% of survey respondents used LinkedIn, compared to runner-up Facebook at 60%. The least used marketing tool? A tie between Facebook Live, SlideShare, and Periscope. With content marketers expecting Live to be a huge trend in 2017, will be interesting to see how Facebook Live moves in next year’s survey.

How CRE Professionals Spent Their Time

The CRE tech world is concerned with finding new ways to save CRE professionals time. According to the DNA of #CRE survey, nearly half of respondents spent 1-5 hours a week on administrative tasks and 58% spent 1-5 hours on marketing tasks. The majority of respondents have administrative or marketing support paid for by their firm. The number of respondents spending 6-10 hours a week on administrative tasks dropped to 30% last year, a  6% decrease. Still, that’s almost a full day’s work a week CRE professionals could spend gathering leads and closing deals.

To see the entirety of the DNA of #CRE 2016 Survey Results, visit here. Buildout did an excellent job on creating an interactive infographic. Thank you to theBrokerList and Buildout for conducting the annual snapshot and sharing your findings with the commercial real estate industry.