Top Tips for Marketing Your London Commercial Space Effectively
October 26, 2023
In the dynamic world of London commercial real estate, marketing properties requires a unique blend of expertise and strategy. With nearly 30 years’ of industry experience, Colin Becker, Commercial Agency Equity Director at Metrus, shares his insights and advice for effective property marketing, going above and beyond the conventional methods to succeed in London’s competitive marketplace.
The key factors which make marketing commercial space in London unique
When marketing property, promoting local amenities is a key element in addition to highlighting the transport infrastructure.
With the London Overground and Underground system making travel around the city quick and efficient for commuters, businesses know they will have a much wider employment market available to them if they are based in the capital. In addition, international businesses have easy access to the London City and Heathrow International airports, as well as the Eurostar connecting London to Mainland Europe.
There is also a cross-pollination effect of owning property near other major occupiers in the capital, which can help drive market reach and awareness. With a London office address, a business can gain additional kudos with employees and clients, even though it is accepted that the rents and overheads of the property will be higher.
London is also perfectly located geographically between east and west time zones, so there’s a lot of unique factors when marketing a building in one of the major capital cities of the world. There is also the additional benefits of a trusted legal system, financial and regulatory, and trusted professional advisors.
Current rental market trends in London and how they impact marketing strategy
From a commercial agency perspective, the largest driver of market trends during the last 30 years has been and the move towards digital marketing initiatives and video content-based marketing.
In the past, agents would share their expertise and knowledge with clients. However, now people are more informed than ever due to the internet. They can easily find out how much similar properties are worth – or on the market for – when they were leased or sold, the condition they were in and the benefits of the local area. The internet also means that agents can reach a much larger audience than ever before by leveraging social media platforms.
Currently, the largest impact on the industry has been the move to focus on quality and sustainability. Employers are recognising that the quality of the office space has become more important for the well-being of their existing staff, as well as instrumental in attracting prospective talent; it is no longer acceptable to have rows and rows of cubicles or desks.
From a strategic perspective, we encourage landlords to use quality materials in their refurbishments and to ensure their buildings have excellent sustainable credentials and fibre connectivity in order to attract a more diverse audience.
End of journey facilities are incredibly important, with buildings adding bike storage areas, shower facilities, dry rooms and gymnasiums. This is coupled with a more relaxed office environment with breakout areas, kitchens and meditation rooms.
The essential elements for a successful marketing plan for leasing commercial space
It’s all about identifying what’s unique about the building or the space, whether it’s the location, the history of the building, the major occupiers within close proximity or the finishes and fit out – it all matters.
By combining what makes the property unique and the desired target audience, the marketing strategy can then identify the media, platforms and initiatives most suited to achieve success.
What ultimately is going to make the building or the space stand out is creativity, innovation and producing material that creates a memory and stands out. It could be just putting a character with the building and creating a marketing campaign around it, but it’s always got to be strategic and targeted.
Determining the ideal target audience for a commercial space
London has several submarkets which are synonymous with certain types of occupiers. However, this has changed over the years. For example, the area to the North of Oxford Street, known as Fitzrovia, was previously synonymous with the fashion world and was previously known as the “rag trade”. It is now full with media and tech companies and is one of London’s most fashionable districts. In addition, venture capitalists and hedge funds historically favour Mayfair, and Soho is traditionally home to more a creative type of occupant.
To determine your target audience, you must understand the submarket, who the occupiers are that operate in those areas, and who would be attracted to the district areas. You also need to assess the building type, style and condition, as well as the client’s aspirations.
Marketing strategies to make space stand out to prospective occupiers
Quality is of the upmost to occupiers and we encourage landlords to invest to meet needs.
Occupiers want to see the finished product when viewing space. They want to know meeting rooms, kitchen, breakout spaces and desks are in situ, and they’re prepared to pay for it. To meet the needs of the target audience, we produce indicative floor plan layouts as well as high quality CGI’s demonstrating what the space can look like refurbished and fitted. These initiatives can be used for our brochures, website, email campaigns and on our social media platforms.
To further promote space to potential occupiers, we often host an agent’s launch and invite agents to visit the building. These events present the perfect opportunity to network, as well as potentially connect their clients with the available space.
Examples of successful Metrus marketing campaigns for London commercial space
Here are a couple of great marketing campaign examples I’m particularly proud of: 20 Midtown and Soho Life.
20 Midtown, London WC1
Metrus acted on behalf of a private Landlord who extensively refurbished, remodelled and restyled office space in the heart of Holborn to create 23,443 sq ft of unique office space behind a striking glass façade.
As well as the building being substantially refurbished and redesigned, during initial discussions it was agreed that the address of the building, originally 20 Proctor Street, London WC1, would be replaced with a strategic campaign centred around the word ‘Midtown’ to create a New York-style vibe and the building named ‘20 Midtown’. The building was subsequently relaunched with various marketing materials including CGIs, indicative floor plans, brochure and agents launch.
Within 6 months of the building being complete, occupiers had been secured for the entire 23,443 sq ft.
Soho Life, 53-55 Frith Street and 8-11 Bateman Street, W1
On behalf of the vendor, a charitable trust, Metrus together with the joint agents Michael Elliott, were instructed to secure a purchaser for the freehold interest of this stunning mixed-use asset which benefitted from restaurant/retail/offices and residential uses comprising 29,390 sq ft in total.
A strategic marketing campaign was implemented and once again while the address of the property was utilised throughout the marketing collateral, the campaign was themed around a title ‘Soho Life’, embracing the vibrant district within which the asset is located.