The Polish real estate market has been on a strong growth path for more than a decade. Its office sector is in good health, evidenced by a high number of new office completions and building permits, rising transaction volumes and the growing capital values of office buildings. On the other hand, the ever-stronger competition is forcing real estate owners to further improve sales processes. Against this backdrop, professional marketing services are becoming critical in effective real estate commercialisation, according to Małgorzata Frąckiewicz, Property Marketing Manager, Office Agency at Cushman & Wakefield.
It’s not only about the location
The growing importance of teamwork, the technology boom, the spread of the sharing economy, the entry of Millennials onto the job market alongside changing employee requirements regarding a work environment and workstyle, and the philosophy of the work-life balance are key factors in how office buildings will be perceived and modelled going forward. Appropriate office design is now as important as the location itself, if not more.
Unlocking the potential of public spaces in the vicinity of existing buildings can help substantially improve their appeal. Developers now tend to go beyond just communicating key financial lease conditions or technical specifications of a building and, in line with the current market practice, they highlight all amenities and non-standard features in order to stand out on the market and reach out to potential tenants more effectively. Well-designed public spaces improve not only the quality of an offer but also the chances of an effective lease process.
Satisfying your curiosity
Property marketing offers many tools that help attractively present an existing building, a scheme under construction or a development site. The owner of a building can take advantage of solutions to draw clients’ attention to its specific features such as photographs, scale models or visualisations. Digitisation and the rapid technological progress have made it much easier today to generate an attractive presentation of a building and its surroundings; drone photography that used to be costly is now available not only to the biggest market players. Both VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) also have a permanent place in marketing strategies of property owners and help them to showcase projects in a very attractive way. They help satisfy the curiosity of users before a project is completed. What used to be communicated to potential clients through brochure descriptions can now be shown live before a project comes to fruition. This makes solutions put in place more comprehensible to the client.
For a project to be considered friendly, a marketing communication strategy should include activities targeted at a local community. Social media are excellent tools in image building and promotion of a location. Social media campaigns help build the awareness of a project, present a unique offer, evoke interest and engage a local community in a discussion. If local residents are involved in a project, for instance by giving them an opportunity to name a building, they will feel emotionally attached to the project. The sooner the marketing campaign targeted at a local community is launched, the better the image the project will have among local residents and authorities.
Open to people
Positioning a property, irrespective of its size and function, as a place for people and not just a building to let is key to effective property marketing. A project must have a positive impact on the urban fabric and the quality of public spaces, enrich people’s lives and encourage local communities to become active. Ghelamco’s Warsaw Spire, near Daszyńskiego Roundabout, is a model example of the implementation of a human-centred office strategy where the office building is not only a workplace but also a place in which to relax and spend free time. Its focal point is the European Square – a high-quality, open, public space with restaurants and an open-air art gallery. This place is popular not only with local office employees but also with tourists and Warsaw inhabitants.
Accessible and aesthetic
Communicating functions and amenities at or near a property (landscape design) is key to attracting a strong occupier interest. The aesthetic design of a project’s surroundings, landscape structures or additional features – all being innovative and unique – have great communication and sales potential. They facilitate the positioning of a building, which later translates into greater lease effectiveness and lower marketing costs.
Property marketing also involves rebranding. A graphic facelift and a new advertising slogan may prove insufficient. That’s why rebranding very often involves a redesign of internal and external spaces or adding a new function to a building. Buildings that have been recently rebranded in Warsaw include Prosta Tower, Trinity ONE and Zebra Tower.
Facilitating employer branding
An office building is an important tool in employer branding strategies for many companies. A unique workspace has an impact on employee retention levels and frequently also on the decision of a sought-after candidate whether to accept the job offer. The role of property marketing is to effectively communicate the features of a building that make it attractive to employees.
What is effective?
Proper marketing communication should be consistent and based on transmediality in which communication channels are intertwined and complement one another. Each channel is different and the key criterion in the choice of a channel should be the effectiveness and speed of a potential client accessing information about a project.
Amid strong competition on the office real estate market, developers and property owners opt for specialist marketing services to build a competitive advantage. The key tasks of a property marketing team are to provide comprehensive support in the leasing process through strategic consultancy, designing and implementing bespoke marketing strategies.