The pandemic is a testament to how people can grow very creative in times of crisis: many are putting up businesses now.
Some have jumped into the food industry, delivering all kinds of quarantine goodness, from baked sushi to ube cheese pandesal and cinnamon rolls. Others tried selling different types of products, clothes, cleaning equipment, face masks, and even plants, online. Still, there are some who focused on services, tutoring kids over Zoom or managing social media pages for brands. With technology, the pandemic era has raised an army of new entrepreneurs.
For the real estate industry, this presents an emerging opportunity: accommodating the space needs of small businesses or young professionals who need a place that can be a small office but feel as comfortable as home. As micro-business owners grow their operations, sooner or later, they will need an office, a space big enough to accommodate the growing team, but not too big that it will break the starting business’ fragile budget. For now, they might prefer working from home, but with a small home office where they can focus on their business tasks.
As a broker, you have the solution they need: the small office, home office, more popularly known as SOHO. It takes a good strategy, however, to sell this to them, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Here are some ways you can attract small business owners to your properties:
Emphasize the Location
As always, location is king. When writing your SOHO listings, include the key establishments around the building, such as the restaurants, malls, and more importantly, roads and transportation hubs. The last ones mentioned are critical, especially because most business operations now are dependent on couriers.
In Lamudi, there’s a nearest landmark feature, as well as a map, that will help your listings be more informative for interested buyers. You may also use Google Streetview to show off the property’s location.
Basically, your goal in emphasizing location is to reassure future clients that staying in your property provides convenience for their continued business operations.
Use the Right Keywords
Clients would naturally use “small office” or “home office” when searching online. To increase your visibility, include the same keywords in your marketing materials, whether it be in listings, social media posts, or blogs. This will also help in setting your property apart from traditional commercial spaces.
The address of your property is also among the essential keywords you should use. The exact location, not just the landmarks near it, is worth mentioning, since most seekers would include preferred locations in their searches online.
Publish High-Quality Photos and Videos
It goes without saying that business owners have to see the property to know whether or not it suits their requirements. One of the things they’ll consider in this aspect is the space. Does it have enough floor area? Is the layout flexible? Would it be easy to expand in the future? This is why it’s important to have high-quality photos and videos on your marketing materials to really show the exact look of the space.
Aside from mere information, these pieces of content provide extra service in this time of pandemic when property viewings are limited. Your potential clients can readily see the office spaces, whenever they want, wherever they are, regardless of your availability. They can make informed decisions based on their virtual walkthroughs in the property.
Take note of the makings of high-quality photos and videos: good lighting conditions and excellent camera equipment.
Stage the Property
It will be easier for future tenants to envision working in a space when the property is dressed well. Decorate the small office with basic furnishings, such as tables and chairs, and storage cabinets. If it’s possible to have neutral-toned walls, go for it. Then, use accessories, such as art pieces and plants, to brighten up the space.
With a staged property, you can make your photos and videos more visually appealing. It will increase the likelihood of clients picking up their phone and inquiring about the home office.
Just remember that when staging, you don’t need to fill every available space. Your clients, for sure, wouldn’t want to work in a crowded workplace.
The emergence of new businesses today offers fresh opportunities for brokers to promote and sell small office home office units. Seize this moment to be of service to starting ventures.