Marketing Plan in 30 Days: Day 13

Back to Day 1

I once worked for a commercial real estate brokerage and found many arguments between brokers and agents stemmed from one question – Marketing: Whose job is it?  The broker felt like it was the agent’s job to sell his or her own services.  The agent felt lead generation should be provided by the broker.  So…WHOSE JOB IS IT?!

The answer is a bit more complicated than putting the full burden on one person’s shoulders.  Instead, there are pieces of marketing that need to be performed of by each.  For the purposes of this article, I’m going to generalize with “most brokerages”, however, depending on your brokerage, they may provide more or less marketing services. 



The higher percentage that goes to the house, the more marketing will be provided by the broker.  An agent needs to decide what’s important to him or her – marketing done by the house, or extra cash.



Hold on to your hats, because it’s an agent’s job to generate leads and sign deals.

Marketing “you” as an agent.  Marketing yourself and your services is the agent’s job.  While some higher-end brokerages may offer a personal website, print ads, and social media, unless you’re doing a 70/30 (you), it’s unlikely you’re going to receive that kind of service.

Telling your story.  In a sea of commercial real estate agents, what makes you different?  Honestly, only you can tell your story, so this should be a give-in.  Start with a problem your potential clients have, create tension, and showcase your services.  How to tell your story without being boring.

Marketing pieces for you.  While your brokerage will likely provide the basics – business card, listing brochures and company website – “you-centered” marketing pieces are up to the agent!  Leave behinds, mailers advertising your services, personal brochures are often self-provided.  VistaPrint has great deals on flyers with lots of layouts to choose from.

Website for you.  It’s extremely rare for a brokerage to pay for an agent’s personal website.  After-all, if you leave, they want to keep your clients and assign them to different agents.  When you have a personal website, a simple Google search will pull your information, no matter what the future holds.  Get an amazing website!

Ads for you.  Whether it’s magazine, newspaper, or online ads like Google, Facebook or LinkedIn, it’s likely going to be funded by the agent, my friend.

Social media for you.  While some brokerages may have someone doing social media, it’s likely they only work for the brokerage.  Any social media efforts to gather leads for yourself will need to be spearheaded by you.



While an agent’s job is to find and sign deals, it’s the broker’s job to market listings and provide tools to turnaround contracts as fast as possible.

Online Listing Services.  Access to listing services is critical for turning around listings.  While there is a plethora of databases, brokerages should give their agents access to a few most popular options.  If an agent wants access to a specialty listing service, it’s not unreasonable for a broker to ask the agent to handle that on his or her own.

Listing Brochures.  While large brokerages will offer a brochure builder or marketing department, medium to small brokerages may only provide templates.  Access to the color printer may also be a bit guarded here, but honestly, who needs paper in this day-and-age?  See DIY Brochure templates.

Sales Packages (OMs).  Like the listing brochures, larger brokerages may offer design services or OM builders, but medium to smaller brokerages often provide a do-it-yourself template.  See DIY OM templates.

Photography.  Whether it’s a headshot or building photos, brokerages often provide either a photo service or a nice camera available for borrowing.  A premium listing may require hiring a photographer or a drone service, this should be negotiated on a deal-by-deal basis.

Virtual tours.   While this option may not have return-on-investment for small listings, it could be a real winner for a high-end property.  Again, this should be negotiated on a deal-by-deal basis.

Email blasts.  Brokers can announce a premiere listing or try to get rid of a “problem” properties with inexpensive with email blast services.  Email blast your listings to hundreds of thousands of emails in a few clicks.  Check out 7 Ways to Purchase Commercial Real Estate Email Lists.


Let’s review!  Marketing an agent’s services is the agent’s job.  Brokers concentrate on turning around listings as fast as possible.  Working together, an agent and broker can become a great team – signing and closing deals.

On to Day 14: 9 Marketing Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents