Jackson — A new alternative on the commercial real estate marketing scene in the metro area is www.LEASEABUILDING.com. The Web site was formed to provide a targeted and cost-effective way for businesses, real estate professionals and property owners to market their property.
Currently, the site lists approximately 250 properties for lease or sale, and 90% are in the Jackson area, said Brad Grice, operating partner of the company.
“We started out with the premise of it just being buildings and property for lease,” Grice said. “But in the field we had such a positive response. People said, ‘This is great, but what about property for sale?’ Many real estate professionals sell as much as they lease. So, we added some categories to meet that need. Our long-term plan is to create a sister site for sale properties only.”
Work building the Web site began in March of this year. Grice said they realized that unless there was content on the site, there was no reason for people to visit it. So they began by offering a 90-day free trial period for customers with a goal of having 200 properties listed by the end of July.
After reaching that goal, the company went forward with advertising in mid August through print and radio, as well as Internet search engines. Grice said the Internet search engines have been a really big plus to help attract viewers to the site.
“We drive traffic to this site via search engine submissions, printed advertising, radio advertising and links from other Web sites,” Grice said. “In addition, prospects will see the bright yellow signs appearing on property all over town. Our marketing package includes not only one of our yellow signs, but also business cards showing the customer’s property number and phone number. These cards can be passed out to friends, business associates, or left in any area that customers feel will give their property good exposure.”
Grice said the entire purpose of the business is to promote commercial sales and lease activity throughout the area and beyond.
“We are a marketing medium,” he said. “We tell people we are just another tool in their belt as far as sales are concerned. And that is the way the site is intended to be used. We want to be a place where people look and network for commercial property.”
Feedback from potential customers has been valuable in helping develop the Web site. Grice said they got a lot of positive response and feedback on the site, from people who ended up doing business with them and those who did not.
Ad rates start at $25 per month for property with a 90-day commitment. The more property a customer posts on the site, the lower the price goes.
A couple of different strategies have been taken to enhance the effectiveness of the site. One, there are no requirements to register by providing your names, address and other information in order to browse LEASEABUILDING.com. Grice said when he goes to a site and has to register contact information before seeing anything, instead of wasting time he will look for another Web site. Someone can choose to register at the site to receive future communications about listings. But it isn’t a requirement to register.
“We make it easy to browse,” Grice said. “There is no need to register any personal or business information. We have a policy of no spamming and no reselling information from our site. Also, there are no pop-up advertisements. And the site is set up to be fully self administered from the user end.”
This includes adding or deleting properties, editing ads, changing account information, etc.
The company brings a personal touch to sales by helping customers upload information and pictures. Grice said customers want personal service, and if LEASEABUILDING.com. helps facilitate that by making it easy to post ads, the customer is more likely to come back.
Long term, the company plans to grow both regionally and nationally. In preparing their business strategy, the company has conducted a marketing analysis of the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the U.S.
“We would like to expand initially further into the Southeastern U.S. with the first primary target markets to be the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Atlanta, Ga.,” he said. “We are currently seeking investors or business partners to help us achieve this growth. Feedback from potential customers has been valuable in helping develop the Web site.”
Another feature of the site is online purchasing of marketing materials linked to the site. Currently about 80 to 100 of the LEASEABUILDING.com signs are up at properties in the Jackson area. But using a LEASEABUILDING.com sign isn’t required in order to place an ad. Some of their customers prefer their own signs.
Listings on the Web site include information such as location, lease rate, square footage, utilities available and other amenities. Grice suggests “a thoughtful description that sells!”
“Also, we strongly suggest using pictures in your ad,” Grice said.
There is no additional cost for up to three pictures for each property advertised. Grice recommends making property look its best by choosing the best time of day for minimum shadows, and fewest obstructions such as parked cars. The company can scan printed pictures and renderings or resize current digital pictures.
Ads don’t renew automatically unless requested. Customers are contacted when the ad is about to expire, and instructions are given on how to renew the ad. At that time, the ad can also be edited.
LEASEABUILDING.com is not a Realtor, so customers don’t pay a commission when signing a lease or purchasing property. The company doesn’t act as an agent for either the lessee or the lessor. That allows people who have listed property with a Realtor to still promote their property at
LEASEABUILDING.com. Grice said an advantage of that is because their site is promoted in local newspapers, trade magazines and radio ads, property receives more views than would ever be possible with a listing on a single Realtor’s Web site.
LEASEABUILDING.com doesn’t have to be notified when a property rents or sales. Grice said it can be a good idea to leave the ad up
“If you have multiple properties, you may get inquiries about a sold or leased property and have the opportunity to direct them to another of your properties,” Grice said. “But if a customer wishes to minimize calls and e-mail about a property that has leased or sold, they can mark the property as leased or delete it through their account management utility. Additionally, they can e-mail us with the property number and the ad will be marked as leased or deleted.”
Contact MBJ contributing writer Becky Gillette at firstname.lastname@example.org.