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Friday, December 3, 2021

Strategies for a Successful CRE Email Campaign


graph: Which digital marketing channel generates the most ROI for your organization?


TheAnalyst® PRO Marketing Feature Saves Time, Improves Message 


Until the rise of digital communications, businesses had to rely on print, broadcast, and direct mail messages to build awareness for products and services brought to the marketplace. That all changed some three decades ago with the growth and expansion of using email to deliver messages to a targeted prospect list.
In the highly competitive and fast-paced commercial real estate industry, email campaigns are a sound practice for brokers. 
The use of email messaging offers commercial real estate professionals a viable, flexible, and affordable platform for sharing news on properties. But like any marketing initiative, it’s essential for brokers to employ solid strategies, share appropriate and well-crafted messages, and target the right prospects when committing to an email campaign. 
In a previous post, we offered thoughts on the value of email marketing. Here, we’ll share some strategies to incorporate into email campaigns, and illustrate how marketing features within TheAnalyst® PRO can be employed to achieve email marketing success. 
First, let’s analyze some insight on the value and success of email campaigns in today’s challenging digital marketplace. As noted in this online report from a global technology firm, a study revealed 59% of respondents said email campaigns generated the highest return on investment, exceeding social media, display ads, videos, and text messages. Furthermore, those polled noted they had fewer plans to include more recently developed tools like artificial intelligence, chatbots, and influencer marketing into campaigns. 
Strategies and Tactics That Lead to Success for CRE Professionals
The overall goal behind using email as a primary component of a marketing program is to generate qualified leads that can prompt delivery of an offering memorandum or in-person presentation, and of course, eventually result in a closed sale or lease transaction. Here are three directives to follow when building the foundation for the campaign. 
1. Invest in Email Marketing Software 
Email services used for personal or even corporate messaging – think Yahoo or Google’s Gmail – work fine for general correspondence; but these services are not appropriate for CRE professionals because there are limits on the number of messages that can be sent in one transmission. Plus, they don’t provide solid analytics or allow for advance scheduling. Services like Mailchimp® or Constant Contact are recommended because they are designed for businesses. Also, business email software allows for the ability to customize the message – such as adding the recipient’s name in the body copy. 
2.  Keep It Simple, But Compelling
Many people check emails from their desktop. But use of handheld devices has soared in recent years, meaning more people now access email messages while away from their desk. According to this report from 2019, mobile email marketing is especially effective to those under 34 years of age. To ensure a message can be effectively viewed on all devices, draft a minimal amount of content, and incorporate simple visual elements. One compelling property image and a site map may help increase open rates and generate responses for more information. 
3.  Two Strategies to Bolster Open Rates
We all get a lot of emails these days. In fact, most of us probably can unequivocally proclaim that we get too many! These key strategies will increase the chance your recipients will open and eventually read the message:

        Keep subject lines short. Six to eight words, or less, should be sufficient and will help bolster the open rate. Here’s an example: “Premier Tech Corridor Office Tower for Sale.” Use active verbs and avoid fluff.

        Know when to hit “send.” Let’s eliminate weekend days as options, and focus on the five work week days. According to this website, there is no one “best” day to push out a marketing message, but statistics reveal Tuesdays are most advantageous.


Tuesday open rates. source: www.mailerlite.com


Benefits of TheAnalyst® PRO in Email Campaigns

Five marketing features are offered by TheAnalyst® PRO: Offering memorandums, flyers, brochures, websites, and flipbooks. One key benefit is the ability to prepare and distribute an email message in just three steps. Working from the Property Marketing Tools section, subscribers can create the email from an existing OM, flyer, or brochure. 

To distribute the message, there are three templates to select from, and the software allows for seamless integration with an existing Mailchimp account. Or a subscriber can download the html code and paste into an email marketing platform, such as Constant Contact  or Microsoft Outlook. Subscribers also have the time-saving option to select a default template for future email campaigns. 

As noted, email campaigns are cost-effective communications that can drive business success. The marketing features within TheAnalyst® PRO provide the platform CRE professionals can apply quickly and effectively. To request a demonstration, please visit this page.




Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Excel Lacks Versatility Needed by Modern CRE Professionals




TheAnalyst® PRO Offers Complete Package to Drive Success

classy analysis report from TheAnalyst PRO

When introduced nearly four decades ago, Microsoft Excel proved to be a valuable software program appropriate for just about every kind of business and business application. As noted on this website, the evolution of the software “opened up almost unlimited possibilities in repetitive tasks for crunching numbers, process automation, and presenting data for businesses.”
In later years, Excel also gave people a powerful tool to manage personal finances and other tasks through the easy creation of spreadsheets and ability to perform calculations.
Commercial real estate professionals – from those involved in brokerage and leasing to property managers to those working in finance – have used Excel successfully for many years. However, technology has advanced in momentous proportions and the Microsoft spreadsheet program no longer offers the same value across the CRE stratosphere.

Excel Challenges For CRE Professionals 
Without question, Excel lets the user store, manage and manipulate financial data. But in today’s dynamic and competitive commercial real estate environment, CRE professionals can encounter costly limitations and delays when using the program.

clunky Excel spreadsheet analysis report

For example, the figures and calculations posted on Excel spreadsheets cannot be integrated into other data sources; and the information posted requires human input to update and ensure accuracy. One more concern: Excel data can be lost if a file is not saved or stored properly, resulting in a loss of work and a loss of valuable time. This article from 2019 provides additional insight.
But when positioned against the financial capabilities of TheAnalyst® PRO, there are even more concerns; here are five:
1)  Potential for Calculation Errors. Excel is prone to formula errors, overwriting or deleting formulas, and entering numbers without built in data validation. With TheAnalyst PRO, subscribers can rely on tested calculations with extensive algorithms that cannot be changed. Data is validated to match property size and lease terms.   
 
2) Lacks Professional Presentation. Excel does not allow users to copy and paste data effectively into presentation material. TheAnalyst PRO prepares the analysis in a PDF format branded with the company logo and contact information, allowing for seamless input. Investment and Lease Analysis data are automatically incorporated into an Offering Memorandum (OM) and Commercial Package PRO™ due diligence packages. 
 
3) Customization Challenges: When used in CRE applications, Excel spreadsheets typically are designed for one specific analysis or property. Handling multi-tenant properties with different lease start dates, escalations, or CAM reimbursements requires extensive customization and is not user friendly. TheAnalyst PRO handles unlimited commercial property scenarios quickly and effectively because programming and complex algorithms are factored into the software package. 
 
4) Cumbersome on Mobile Devices: Excel does not run well on handheld devices or tablets. Spreadsheets also require extra effort to save and organize, and in some cases are not readily accessible on all devices. TheAnalyst PRO is the only platform that is custom designed to natively operate on IOS and Android devices. All data is saved to the cloud, offering quick accessibility.
 
5) Lack of Security: Digital communications are prone to hackers. And often, commercial real estate proposals are prepared by a team, which could result in errors. Subscribers to TheAnalyst PRO maintain exclusive access to data, which is stored on Amazon AWS secure servers and guarded by numerous firewall and security protocols.
 

Analysis of TheAnalyst® PRO vs. Excel “Competition"
In March of 2021, Todd Kuhlmann, CCIM, founder of TheAnalyst® PRO, engaged in an online debate to highlight the differences between the Microsoft product and financial analysis features offered through TheAnalyst PRO. In the “Excel vs. TheAnalyst® PRO CRE Tech® Heavyweight Championship,” Todd matched wits with Jeff Engelstad, CCIM, a clinical professor at the University of Denver and acknowledged Excel expert when using the software for commercial real estate applications.  (For the record, both Todd and Jeff are long-time CCIM Institute instructors.)

Excel vs TheAnalyst PRO - CRE Tech Heavyweight Championship webinar

Based on the discussion, here are some primary reasons why TheAnalyst PRO is unquestionably the superior financial analysis resource for modern commercial real estate professionals committed to serving clients in the best possible way.
·       Broad Scope of Features: TheAnalyst PRO can effectively be applied across every type of commercial real estate transaction, and the cloud-based calculations can be revised quickly through desktop, tablet, or handheld devices.
 ·       Simple to Use:  The platform is intuitive when adding property data, saving CRE professionals time. Plus, subscribers to the platform can view tutorial videos, access Help buttons, and interact with the Support team for needed guidance and direction.
·       Designed for CRE:  TheAnalyst PRO was developed exclusively for the commercial real estate industry, letting subscribers seamlessly incorporate financial and performance data with graphs, images, and company or property marketing information.


Review of Features on TheAnalyst® PRO
Interested in learning about the specific financial analysis capabilities offered in TheAnalyst PRO?
Peruse the list of platform features here. Also shown are five types of Analysis reports: Investment, Comparative Lease, Lease vs. Own, Loan Amount and Target Cap Rate. Visitors can link to samples of each report created in TheAnalyst PRO. All allow subscribers to customize reports with their own company logo. 
Excel will continue to provide businesses and people with a great digital financial tool. But as noted extensively here, Excel can’t match the capabilities or security offered by TheAnalyst PRO when used for commercial real estate brokerage.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Incorporate Strategic Email Communications to Help Drive CRE Transactions


image: computer, email marketing

Marketing Feature in TheAnalyst® PRO Provides Template to Launch Successful Email Campaigns

 

For the past three-plus decades, technology has transformed all that we do, especially being able to communicate quickly and effectively with a wide or targeted audience. Of all the online tools available, email was one of the earliest, and it remains the most widely used. 

According to research released in March from global company Statista, use of email messages continues to expand, and this electronic means of communication will continue to remain relevant and valuable: “Despite the growth and prominence of mobile messengers and chat apps, e-mail is an integral part of daily online life.”

From another perspective, more people worldwide engage in email communications today than any social media platform.

Commercial real estate professionals would be prudent to incorporate a strategic and concerted email campaign as a key component of marketing communications to promote properties for sale or lease, as well as to strengthen brand awareness for a brokerage firm and its capabilities. 


Value of Strategic Email Marketing

A robust email campaign offers CRE professionals many tangible benefits. Here are four key reasons to consider:

Drives audience engagement

An email message sends a direct communication to clients and prospects, which can result in a quick response regarding additional information, a request to meet online or in person, or a request for an offering memorandum. Prompt attention to an inquiry regarding an available property can help close a deal.

Grants total control over the message

Strategic email campaigns distribute messages on a prescribed date and at a prescribed time, letting the CRE professional determine when the message was sent and received. Other digital resources, like social media platforms or online advertising, are controlled by algorithms that impact when the message is viewed. 

Allows for a more personal message

Like direct mail print letters, an email can be personalized to the recipient, offering a more private and intimate message. Plus, an email can be branded with images of a commercial property or CRE team and feature the company logo, providing the recipient with a wide range of information. 

Widespread use by virtually everyone

Decades after it was introduced, email remains a communications tool that has become an integral part of business and everyday life today. It’s safe to say that everyone working in the commercial real estate arena has an email account and uses it regularly, if not daily. 


Advantages of TheAnalyst® PRO Email Feature

Subscribers to TheAnalyst PRO can build and launch an email communications program through use of a template that’s part of the Commercial Package PRO. Earlier this year, founder Todd Kuhlmann, CCIM, demonstrated the email component in a six-minute video, “Email Template Tutorial for The AnalystPro”. 

Todd points out that TheAnalyst PRO powers CRE email campaigns using a previously created property flier, brochure, or offering memorandum with just three quick and easy-to-comprehend steps.

Subscribers can select from three email design template options, and distribution can be integrated with an existing Mailchimp® account API (application programming interface) code to allow for quick and seamless distribution. For CRE professionals not on Mailchimp, TheAnalyst PRO automatically generates HMTL code that can be incorporated into other email marketing services like Constant Contact or information management systems like Microsoft Outlook. Subscribers also have the time-saving option to select a default template for future email campaigns. 


Two Key Steps for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Before engaging in an email campaign, CRE professionals should undertake the following:

--- Analyze current marketing communications to determine the performance of the company or property website, social media messages, and direct mail campaigns.

--- Determine how an effective email program will compliment other marketing in order to better drive commercial property sales and referrals. 


Have questions about the email component or other CRE tools available through TheAnalyst PRO? 

Reach out and contact us or sign up for a personal demo.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Prospecting & Deal Winning Made Easy

 

Key Takeaways from our Webinar:

Prospecting & Deal Winning Made Easy 


A collaboration between
ProspectNow & TheAnalyst PRO

Presented by:
Steve Wayne, Founder & CEO ProspectNow
Todd Kuhlmann, CCIM, Founder & CEO of TheAnalyst® PRO by CRE Tech®, Inc.



Prospecting in Commercial Real Estate - a process many agents/brokers use to identify viable property sellers, buyers and investors. 

Whether you actively prospect for your business or not, our webinar covered some key strategies for effective prospecting:

--- Know who YOUR ideal customer is. Is it location based? Property type specific? Investor type? Or otherwise?

--- Find those ideal customers – potential sellers, refinances or buyers in the market. “Gravitate and market to property owners who WANT to sell,” as Steve Wayne, CEO of ProspectNow, puts it.

--- Identify how to reach out to potential customers, specifically the decision-maker.

--- Have a high value conversation with the decision-maker. Knowing your facts and what they mean, the more likely they will be to have a conversation with you.

--- Stay in the know for your current clients and help them scope out their future transactional needs.

--- Not only work a client’s listing, but seek out potential buyers for that listing.


The process above can pay off in client loyalty and big dollars, if you invest the time. See below for achieving maximum time-savings in this process!



You have found the potential clients and the opportunity to get in front of them. 


Now what?



Win that deal!


--- Set up a listing presentation to show the client what you can do for them.


--- Prepare. Prepare. Prepare!

    -- Conduct a quick search online to learn what you can about the client’s property.

    -- Prepare and show a sample marketing package on their property that is highly visual. Tip: Don’t leave behind the visual until you have earned the listing.


--- Keep up that intelligent conversation. Show what you do know about the client property,  both in terms of positive and challenging aspects of its marketability (i.e. environmental concerns, flood plain, etc.).


Monday, July 12, 2021

Garbage In / Garbage Out: How The Accuracy of Data Can Impact Your Investments

 

TheAnalyst PRO Garbage In / Garbage Out

One of the most important factors when looking at purchasing an investment property is to take a close look at the Net Operating Income (NOI). This is to ensure an investor is paying the appropriate amount at the time of purchase, and can properly project the potential future sales price of the property. Using TheAnalyst PRO platform you can estimate the current value of the property and quickly forecast the future value of a property, for up to 10 years. That is assuming the income and expense data being entered is correct. If the information entered is not accurate, the cash flow projection will be less reliable. This is what Todd Kuhlmann, Founder of TheAnalyst PRO, refers to as “Garbage In / Garbage Out.”

Investment Real Estate

Looking at acquiring Commercial Real Estate property is a major undertaking for any investor. Whether an apartment complex, office building, retail space, or industrial property, you can quickly put TheAnalyst PRO to work. Let’s review how you can ensure you are using the most accurate information possible when calculating the Net Operating Income (NOI) for a property.

Determining Value

The first step in determining the accurate value of a property is to review the current cash flow. This is also known as the going-in or year one value. Using TheAnalyst PRO provides you with the advantage of being able to quickly and easily determine the future cash flow. Cash flow will come from various sources, based on the nature of a property. It could come from the operations of the property such as rental income, as well as the appreciation value when the property is sold.

You will want to review the financials you have been provided and adjust for current market conditions. This is what Todd refers to as “Scrubbing the Numbers”. It is important to remember that in most cases the proforma you’re provided with will have been produced by the broker who is trying to sell the property. You will want to review the trailing 12 months of cash flow and expenses for the property. These are going to be the numbers we can scrub through, and make sure they accurately represent the property.

TAP NOI Keyboard

It can be very time-consuming and challenging to obtain all of the appropriate information, but it could be the difference between being profitable or taking a loss on your investment. A major benefit of TheAnalyst PRO is that with the advanced algorithms used by the program, you can accurately project future cash flows each year for up to 10 years. Here are some ways to review the information you have been provided.


 

“When I purchase investment real estate, I am purchasing future cash flow”

Todd Kuhlmann, Founder of TheAnalyst PRO

Scrubbing The Income

Start by obtaining a copy of every lease for the property. It is important to compare the leases with the rent roll. A rent roll shows the current rental income for an investment property. It can be used for any type of cash-producing property such as apartment buildings, office space, retail and leased land. Information from the rent roll can be used to provide key property financial performance and information on the rent being collected.

We often find the lease terms, or the lease amounts, do not match what is reflected on the rent roll. We encourage investors to physically inspect each tenant’s space, to ensure the lease details provided are accurate for the property and that you have a copy of all leases for tenants occupying space on the property. This is a big part of making sure we are not putting bogus information into TheAnalyst PRO calculations. Remember, “Garbage In / Garbage Out.”

Scrubbing The Expenses

Review the historical expenses in detail, and properly scrub through each line. One of the most common errors found in the proforma for expenses is underestimating certain expenses such as professional management fees, current hazard insurance premium and property taxes. If the current seller is self-managing the property, they may not include management expenses on the historical expense report. On the other hand, the seller may include items that are not relevant to the operation of your property, such as including auto expenses that has no actual impact on the operation of the property.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are often one of the highest recurring expenses. Scrub the property taxes by researching the current assessed value of your property. Many times, the current assessed value is less than the purchase price. Assessment guidelines of property values alter based on the state, so it’s always important to be aware of your state's assessment regulations. States have different requirements for how often reassessments are conducted. For example, in the state of California, a property will be reassessed when a “change of ownership occurs” or new construction finishes. In this case, the property taxes will be based on the purchase price, not last year’s assessed value. Adjust the property tax expense based on the anticipated reassessed value upon purchase of the property. 

Replacement Reserves

All properties will require standard minor maintenance and repairs that may recur each year. However, larger non-recurring repairs are often categorized as Replacement Reserves. Replacing a worn-out roof or repaving a parking lot are a couple examples of work that would be funded by a replacement reserve, and not as a property expense. Most owners and property investors know they will eventually have to invest in these capital items. Reserve funds can also be used to cover any emergency costs not covered by insurance. An example of this includes a central boiler system that stops functioning.

Those are a few situations in which we can ensure the data being inputted into TheAnalyst PRO is as accurate as possible. Now that we have that information, we can take a look at the data that is being output.

"Bricks and sticks are great and I like that I can touch and feel my investments, but the investment value is based on future cash flow."

Todd Kuhlmann, Founder of TheAnalyst PRO

 

TAP NOI

Net Operating Income

After scrubbing each line of the cash flow and property expenses, we can properly calculate the current NOI and project future NOI. TheAnalyst PRO was designed to provide you with this information quickly and efficiently, saving time from having to calculate it in a spreadsheet or other complex software. It also uses advanced algorithms to accurately forecast future income and expenses, providing a much more accurate NOI to work with.

Uses of Net Operating Income

There are two major uses for the NOI. The first is that appraisers will use the NOI to calculate property values at any specific point in time using the market CAP rate. Having the ability to predict future values is one of the greatest benefits of investing in commercial real estate and TheAnalyst PRO makes it easy. At any time, investors will be able to see the estimated value of their property on a yearly basis for the next 10 years.

NOI is also used by lenders to determine the maximum loan amount you will be able to get. TheAnalyst PRO also has a built-in loan calculator that can provide you with the maximum loan amount, based on the Year One NOI of the property.

Net Operating Income Accuracy

If the calculated NOI is too high, you may be overpaying for the property. And if it is too low, your future sales price could be much lower than you have estimated. The rule of thumb is that for each dollar the NOI is off, it can change the property value by $10 - $20. This is why it is so important to have accurate information being entered.

Tap Cap Rate Formula

Example of Net Operating Income Variance

Let’s imagine you have a proforma that has the Year One NOI projected at $500,000, with a CAP rate of 7%. This would mean you have an estimated property value of $7,143,000.

After scrubbing the numbers, you determine that the actual NOI is $400,000. This would result in the updated property value being $5,714,000. This would be a decrease in value of $1,429,000.

Using TheAnalyst PRO, you can quickly determine the proper value of your investment property, as long as the numbers you have used are accurate.




 TheAnalyst® Pro

TheAnalyst PRO is CRE Tech®’s #1 investment modeling (DCF) software, including Offering Memorandums, Lease Analysis, Location Risk, Demographics, Infographics, Flyers & Brochures.

 






Thursday, May 6, 2021

Turn your Offering Memorandums into Property Websites & Flipbooks in Minutes

 

Takeaways from our Webinar:
Turning your OMs into Property Websites & Flipbooks


TheAnalyst PRO new enhancements featured in this webinar:

★ Updated Property Website Template Options ★

  Flipbook Presentation Format 


(samples above - customizable to your logo colors)



This webinar not only demoed our newest features, it also emphasized the speediness in which you can create these eye-catching marketing pieces!


Here are the key takeaways:

Speed-to-Market  a business strategy that withstands time
If you can get to your customers quickly, you instantly have an advantage over your competitors. TheAnalyst PRO triumphs in our ability to make complicated concepts simple for you. That includes creating property websites and flipbooks from your OMs in under 10 minutes. The same goes for our marketing flyers and brochures!

Time Savings  making your professional life easier
Need to make a quick change for a client? TheAnalyst PRO saves everything for you - just change the needed entry field, and push a button to create the updated marketing piece. Fast and easy for you - professional and instant follow up to your client!

The Power of Presentation
There's no doubt - marketing that dazzles the eye gets you noticed! Add a spice of professionalism and you have marketing that earns you deals. TheAnalyst PRO is your CRE presentation partner! On top of these easy-to-create property websites and flipbooks, we offer several other marketing pieces, along with data represented in colorful graphs, charts and infographics.

Confidentiality Options
1) You select which information from the OM appears on the property website. Just the basics or a detailed pro forma. 2) Share and market a property website URL as you see fit. These are not made readily available to the public domain. 3) Want to know who downloads the information? There is an option to track downloads, serving as the lead-generator for follow up!

Unlimited Hosting
TheAnalyst PRO takes care of the storage for you. We host an unlimited number of property websites for you on our secure servers, and you can always access your property URLs in your TheAnalyst PRO account.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Excel vs. TheAnalyst PRO

 

Key Takeaways from our Webinar:
Excel vs. TheAnalyst PRO
CRE Tech® Heavyweight Championship




Thank you to, Excel expert and University of Denver professor, Jeff Engelstad for dueling with TheAnalyst PRO founder, Todd Kuhlmann, in a friendly competition between these two software platforms and their role in commercial real estate analysis. 

Who won?

Take a look at the key takeaways below, then watch the full presentation to find out.


Key takeaways from the webinar:


Flexibility Factors 

Creating unique calculation sequences in Excel is an advantage, if you know how to set them up and create them. Not only does TheAnalyst PRO present unlimited investment scenarios where you can change inputs and re-run in seconds; it also goes with you wherever you need it (cloud-based: laptop, tablet, phone). Making last-minute changes in the field keeps you in front of clients longer and saves time.


Ease & Efficiency

The founding principles of TheAnalyst PRO! Complex analyses are made simple and time-intensive report formatting is done for you. Excel can have limitations here. The need to set up multiple spreadsheets for different property scenarios can be consuming. Excel requires users to set up all of their own scenarios and calculation macros, which leads to our critical next factor...


Risk of Error

Both products follow the adage garbage in, garbage out. With TheAnalyst PRO you can be assured we are taking care of the calculations for you, based on the data you enter! When working in Excel, sometimes it can take a genius, like Jeff, to properly set up the correct calculations and sequences, then carefully not taint them as you are working within the spreadsheet. One wrong move can send the entire spreadsheet into disarray mathematically.


Formula Transparency

Excel shines in this area - offering infinite transparency to track the formulas used for the calculations. Expert witnesses for court cases often use this transparency. Since no two deals in commercial real estate are the same, the algorithms used by TheAnalyst PRO are very complex to accommodate for these unlimited scenarios.


Exhibiting Professionalism

Another goal of TheAnalyst PRO is to help CRE professionals be just that - PROFESSIONAL. The reporting and output offered by TheAnalyst PRO is some of the finest on the market, automatically generating graphs, and offering marketing materials to accompany all of those magical analysis scenarios. Excel lags immensely in this area, and can be overwhelming for some viewers to digest.



So the declaration of the ultimate winner rests in each CRE professional's hands (see comments from webinar participants below). Evaluating your analysis needs, and weighing the merits of each product as they pertain to you, is a critical piece of this puzzle. An added benefit is that TheAnalyst PRO provides a full video training section, help buttons throughout the platform and live support to all subscribers.


On the other hand, we are a big fan of collaboration, and see a great value in using both products together, especially since TheAnalyst PRO reports can be downloaded into Excel spreadsheets.