When FocusedCRE was created – almost 4 years ago! – our founder and CEO, Chelsea Brown, had already worked on CRE marketing strategies for more than 250+ commercial real estate firms across the country. In those years of experience, and in the many lessons learned, Chelsea has this takeaway regarding custom real estate aerial maps:
“Being up to date on software and design best practices is more important than ever. The platforms available to us are constantly getting better, and not only that, but new ones are also popping up that will complement your location with an engaging aerial map. Custom maps are in the top 3 requests we get from the 130+ CRE firms that work with us - in 2022 alone! I would have to say that training my marketing managers to continuously produce best of industry maps for locations of all types has to be a key differentiator in the services we provide over other digital agencies in the commercial real estate realm.”
Twelve years of commercial real estate marketing under her belt, and more than eight in a director role has left Chelsea with an eagle eye perspective on what will make or break a custom aerial map. Let’s take a deep dive into the top 3 items that will take your aerial map to the next level.
#1: A crisp Google Earth Pro Image
It is no secret that taking a screenshot of a Google Map location takes no more than 30 seconds, but let’s dissect that a little bit more. The average Google Map image is cluttered with colorful business and location names, most of the time the information included is drowning out the address you are trying to highlight. Additionally, anyone can take a screen shot of a map these days.
“Google Earth Pro is installed on all of our marketing managers’ desktops,” shares FocusedCRE’s Lindsay Amones, Sr. Marketing Manager. “The first thirty days of any new team member is spent training on how to pull a high-resolution aerial, for print and digital purposes, that is angled to favor not only the location itself, but also the location type. We know that a multi-family property will want to highlight different amenities than an industrial warehouse will, for example.”
Why invest in Google Earth Pro training upfront? Because the aerial maps we include in our Offering Memorandums, flyers, proposals, and even postcards, are diligently curated to ensure our client’s location is the focus.
#2: Logos and their layout
We have all experienced a sloppy aerial map. The logos clash, the colors are not consistent to the document or company brand, and the companies are not segmented into their different industries. McDonalds is labeled the same way as the elementary school, and there is no clear hierarchy or difference between anything. The eye has no way of knowing what is important and ends up meshing everything into one.
“Establishing a template upfront is the key element to ensuring your maps are clean and defined. While we are mindful of the industry’s turnaround times, we are also mindful of the importance of working with new clients to identify the aesthetic of their map. Believe it or not, but identifying amenities into categories, or even a simple color-coded legend, is worlds more effective than simply plastering a map with any and all logos,” Chelsea commented.
We recurringly see clients fit as many company logos as they can, with no rhyme or reason, and while we all understand the importance of highlighting the density of an area, spending the extra 20 minutes before starting a project to identify what amenities will complement the property type the best, will go a long way.
#3: Not Reinventing the Wheel: Outsource your Maps
Our clients range between a small 5 person brokerage firms, to large national multi-location firms. In that experience we have not only served as the entire marketing team for some firms, but also as complimentary team members to large organizations. Our ability to morph into whatever our client needs is one of our strongest assets. A client for whom we have made more than 65 maps this year says:
“We tested the FocusedCRE team to see if they could help alleviate the influx of property maps we had coming in that month. The ease and speed with which we were able to train our now marketing manager and designer was really impressive. Not only do they turn in maps in record time, within our previously discussed turnaround time, but the edits are always minimal. They have immersed themselves into our company brand and serve as seasoned support for our existing marketing strategy.”
Outsourcing your maps is not the only option though. We have recently implemented a formal map training program for commercial real estate firms who have decided to grow internally, so they can hire and train their own office administrators, marketing managers, etc. It is truly a source of pride for us when we are able to provide our clients with what is most strategic for their particular situation. Let’s connect to see how we can complement your CRE marketing strategy today!
Chelsea has been in the commercial real estate industry for the past 12 years. She has worked directly with local commercial real estate firms in the Indianapolis area managing marketing initiatives and assisting brokers – and has also worked with a site selection firm that handled incentive negotiations, location modeling and site selection for companies expanding or relocating throughout the United States. Over the last 7 years, Chelsea has consulted with commercial real estate firms throughout the United States handling their overall brand initiatives, website development, property marketing, company marketing and more. She has worked with an impressive 500+ commercial real estate companies over this time period. Chelsea started FocusedCRE in 2018 in order to give commercial real estate clients high quality marketing material under a direction she was fully on board, excited and proud about.
Chelsea is proud to have served in the United States Air Force as an intelligence analyst. She has her bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Studies and a minor in Terrorism Studies.
Chelsea lives in Fishers, IN with her husband, 4 children and two dogs. When she isn’t working and managing her children’s schedules she enjoys cooking, hiking, archery, and the occasional Netflix binge.