Commercial Agents – 3 Tips for Leasing Commercial Property

When working as a commercial real estate agent, you will come across the opportunity to do leasing in addition to the normal sales activity in the local property market. Commercial office, industrial property, and retail property, all offer leasing opportunities for your agency listing diversity and future commissions.

Knowledge of market rentals, incentives, lease documentation, and tenant needs will help you with the process of putting a lease together on a vacant property.

The Main Factors in Leasing

When considering the listing of a commercial property for leasing, there are three main considerations or tips that can be incorporated into the listing and leasing process. They are as follows:

  1. Make sure you understand your target market of tenants and what they looking for. In each and every location there will be tenancies looking towards change and relocation. From time to time tenants are also looking to upgrade their premises or adjust their occupancy costs and commitments. This is a fresh and new opportunity for the leasing of new premises. Property agents should spend time in connecting with all the local businesses to identify their property needs, the expiration of their leases, and any tenant requirements for expansion or change of occupied area. You should expect that other specialized leasing agents in the local area will also be speaking to tenants in your managed properties on a similar basis. It is therefore critical to implement a tenant retention plan to retain your tenants and minimise vacancy situations.
  2. Comprehensively market the vacant property into the local business community. When it comes to the leasing of commercial office space, history has proven that most tenants come from the existing local business community. Those businesses are simply seeking to improve their standards of tenancy occupation, or adjust their business commitment to rental and other occupancy costs. They know the local area but they need to change property. On this basis, the marketing of vacant space should occur through both the traditional and non-traditional marketing processes into the local businesses. Firstly, the property should be listed on the Internet plus suitable signage placed at the front of the property or the tenancy. Secondly, the complete details of the property should be itemised in an information brochure to be circulated through the neighbouring properties and local businesses. The process here can be greatly aided by a follow-up telephone call. Even though an existing business may not be seeking to relocate currently, they will usually advise you of their existing lease termination date. Capturing this information into your database will greatly assist future marketing processes.
  3. Identify the competition properties that have an impact on your marketing promotions. These properties may have been on the market for some time; they may even be considering a rental adjustment to lower levels to attract more enquiry. These properties will have a direct impact on the levels of rental and the marketing strategies that you adopt for your subject property. In this case the landlord should be suitably briefed so they understand the impact that these properties could have on your vacant area. Logic says that a competitive rental should be offered in your property to offset the pressures of other competition properties.

These three simple tips have significant impact on the success or failure of the leasing campaign relative to the vacancy. Set your leasing targets so you can proceed through the campaign with clarity and focus. Adjust your rental should enquiry not be generated within the first few weeks of the campaign.

iPhone Delivers Bling – iPod Touch Delivers Bang For App Economy

iPhone gets all the attention and the lion share of the paid app economy according to industry observers. However, it is the iPod Touch that is the workhorse in delivering the sheer numbers that drive the 2 billion+ app downloads. For marketers seeking to extend their brand targeting a teen-male-fashion-gadgets-social audience in the app economy, iPod Touch users represent the primary sweet spot.

Let’s take a step back for a moment and get the lay of the unit volume land. iPod Touch represents approx. 40% (22.3M*) of the global OSX installed base as of Q3 2009. In particular, iPod Touch has played particularly well in North America and the UK and proportionally continues to represent a larger install base than the global figures and coincidentally come in at the same level; approx. 46% (15.5M) and 46% (1.9M) of these respective markets.

Note: Apple does not release iPod Touch global or regional figures. However based on certain publicly available resources it is possible to reasonably estimate.

The rise in downloads continues to scale with the latest figures coming in at 10.5 million apps per day. But here is the real kicker. For every 1 app downloaded by an iPhone user; 1.8 apps are downloaded by an iPod Touch user, according to Admob. Almost double. This translates to iPod Touch consuming 54% (146M) of all apps globally and 12M in the UK in the month of September 2009. Given that iPhone volume is accelerating and iPod Touch is expected to grow within a stagnant overall iPod market, a crossover point is expected later this year. Nonetheless, the iPod Touch segment remains a key demographic versus the flash of its twin brother.

As a target audience how are iPod Touch users uniquely defined versus iPhone users? According to comScore and Flurry Analytics they have;

Lots of teen angst. 69% are between 13-24 years and are primarily characterized as teen centric

Less cash. Only 66% have at least 25K annual income

Zeal for fashion and gadgets. More likely to be in the market for mobile, clothes, TV’s and other consumer electronics

Voraciously share their lives. Made up of heavy MySpace, Facebook and SMS users

Of course, one thing both devices have in common is machismo, depending on which industry report you read they are 65-70%+ male.

Here is the slap in the face. iPod Touch users have an insatiable appetite to download the latest shiny new thing; however the tendency is to use it once and chuck it. According to Pinch Media, only 20-30% of users return after first use. Laughably this plummets to approx. 1% of users that continue with the product after 70-90 days. Indeed, Flurry with a much larger sample indicates that in North American and the UK the retention level is 12%. They define this as someone who has downloaded an app at some point in the past and has used the app in the past seven (7) days. Neither Pinch or Flurry break it down by device type, however given the trigger happy nature of iPod Touch users, I would suggest they bear the brunt of the responsibility for these types of stats popping up.

So, if you are a marketer wanting to target this teen-male-fashion-gadgets-social audience, what to do. I would suggest you either create a super engaging app or explicitly design a throw-away app. Don’t bother with the in-between. The app type should factor into your decision-making process as according to Flurry, categories like music, health & fitness and news tend have higher retention levels. In contrast categories like lifestyle and predictably entertainment have lower levels.

Often the best marketing is simply embracing user behaviour and not trying to get all fancy pants on your target market. Design for “use once & dump”, deliver a great one-off “pop” of utility that reinforces the brand. The bonus here is likely to be a faster and cheaper rollout based on a simpler concept realization process.

In contrast, the engaging app needs to deliver a well crafted experience in terms of content, design and go-to market elements. Part of that experience is the integration of social capabilities to appeal to that voracious sharing need mentioned earlier. The result is, hopefully, durability and traction over the long-term with your audience. Indeed, one might argue the reason why users download and use once is the large number of lame home-grown apps.

There you have it. Build a super engaging app or explicitly design a throw-away app.

What’s The Perfect Color For Your App Icon?

The icon of your app is one of the three defining parameters that affect conversion rates, along with price and name. But unlike these two, it’s the icon that catches the eye first. As we know, black and white is beautiful in photography, but in design it’s full-color icons that catch attention. All the elaborated graphics and the smoothly running features come only later. Therefore, a failed icon is most likely a failed app.

How can one not fail it? There are no absolute guidelines for the issue of choice. The rule is to pay attention to what matters. And with the recent mobile design trends accentuating more on minimalistic shapes than on complex drawings, the importance of color rose even higher.

When it comes to color, there are two possible situations. For established brands it’s absolutely obvious to stick to the brand’s identity that has been before the app. For mobile startups, when it all is just the beginning, the image of the brand, the product, is only being formed, which is the crucial phase. A good brand has a distinct personality and has to awake emotions in users. The very first emotions and impressions are formed with, again, color. So what are the common ‘main’ colors for app icons?

What’s In The Color?

When a brand becomes more or less known, it immediately gains strong color associations, which will last. Facebook, Twitter? Blue. Pinterest, Flipboard? Red. Evernote? Surely green. If your logo, your app icon will have one predominant color, it will carry the message, the mood, the feelings, the essence of your product. Moreover, there must be a balance between the icon standing out and getting noticed on the homescreen, and ‘overdoing’ it to annoying flamboyancy, which is also a common problem of icon design. Drawing a perfect icon is the task of a designer, while the colors will most probably be chosen by you.

Blue is commonly a major favorite among all colors. Plenty of companies use various hues of blue for logos, and as a result, app icons. It’s rather hard not to recognize the distinct hue of Facebook’s blue. The downside is that for smaller brands it’s easy to get lost and blended among the sea of blue icons. Examine your own mobile homescreen; on an average one blue occupies about a quarter of icons.

Yellow is a gorgeous color, if the hue is chosen carefully, so pay special attention to that. Sunshine, positive energy, optimism – this is yellow as we see it. If you use Springpad for notetaking, it definitely catches attention on your homescreen, doesn’t it?

Red is visually intense and energetic, and usually considered second to blue in terms of popularity. It undoubtedly means excitement and catches the eye like no other color. Red would be the least bland color on calls to action.

Purple is a touch of magic and creativity. It doesn’t have the same gender neutrality like other colors, therefore it has never held a great share – which is good actually. If you think of a fashion app, purple will be one of the regular options.

Green has rather strong and definite connotations. First – it’s the color of nature, freshness, life, and peace. Second – naturally money. The business & finance app category is rich with hues of green. Who would actually want to see a disturbing and warning red color in anything concerning finance anyway?

Orange is a very warm and friendly color, a worthy option to avoid the overused blue and red. Orange is positively energetic and not even nearly as aggressive as red. Not overused, which is also a great benefit.

White means cleanness, openness and simplicity. Although you will rather see it as a ‘second color’ in combinations, or nothing more a background to the main element of the icon. After Apple abandoned their rainbow-colored logo, their white/silver shape became even more elegant, embracing simplicity as Apple’s main policy in making products.

Black is a much-favored color in many things we see every day, be it clothing or personal tech; however, this symbol of mystery, power, and challenge is not as popular as blue or red. Nevertheless it draws attention, and the recent Opera Coast’s icon is a good showcase.

Look at other famous brands associated with the color you chose: what do you have in common? Pay attention to specific perception of colors and their meanings among different cultural audiences and in different countries. Personal preferences also play a huge role in forming judgments and opinions. It’s impossible to be liked by everyone, therefore it’s better to focus on the identity of your app. Do a poll among a number of people by giving them at least 10 icon options to choose from.

There has been done lots of psychological research on colors and perfect color combinations, and it’s the art that’s handled by good UX/UI designers. After you define the basics, they will be able to pick the right hues, match the icon with the interface, your brand’s identity, and the smooth user experience provided by your app.