There is a lot to love about Loopnet. Loopnet is easily one of the easiest and most effective tools for marketing commercial real estate online, partly because it has become so engrained in the industry and is so widely used. But if you use the site frequently, you’ve probably noticed that it has many functionality issues. I won’t spend the entire post picking apart everything that’s wrong with the Loopnet interface, but my main qualm is that the options for advertising properties to a specific audience have always been surprisingly limited.
Up until recently, the options were (basically) as follows:
- Put up a listing and it will be found by people searching for the type of property you’ve listed under its zip code
- Spotlight the listing and it will be listed above regular listings
- Pay $1000 to “Sponsor” the listing and it will be displayed on the homepage (and other select pages) of Loopnet users throughout the country, regardless of what types of properties or locations they are interested in
- Pay $1000-2000 for an ad in the Hot Properties Bulletin, which goes out to everybody registered on Loopnet as a principal (over 800,000 people.)
In short, the options were “show your listing to people looking for what you have, or show it to everybody.”
On January 16th, Loopnet announced the unveiling of Targeted Property Ads, their first stab at a middle ground. This advertising option, which was previously only offered to brokers for advertising their services, allows you to serve your ads to Loopnet users based on what they’re searching for, via zip code & property type. Below I’ll go over how the ads work, how they might benefit you, & how to get started with them.
How Loopnet Targeted Property Ads work:
Loopnet Targeted Property Ads appear across Loopnet in 7 placements including banner ads, sky-scraper ads, & lead-gen forms, which you can see for yourself (better than I can describe,) on this Loopnet page. The information that, in my opinion, is most important, & unfortunately is not explained very well on the page linked above is:
Where The Ads Are Served:
As previously mentioned, the ads are served to Loopnet users based on what property type and zip code they’ve selected under the search filters. The ads appear across 3 Loopnet pages:
The Property Search Results Page:
This refers to the page that populates when a user searches for properties under a specific location and property type on Loopnet. The ads on this page will most likely be seen by people who are already familiar with Loopnet, as they’re using it to hunt for properties.
These are the Loopnet pages that a person would find if they were searching on Google for a certain property type in a certain location. For example, if you happened to Google “multifamily for sale in Maine,” this page would be served on the first page of the search results. Note that this page, and the page that would populate if you searched for multifamily properties in Maine on the actual Loopnet website won’t necessarily contain the same listings in the same order. The ads on this page will potentially be seen by people that are already aware of Loopnet, as well as those who just click the link because it showed up on Google but are searching for the sort of property that you’re advertising nonetheless.
Property Listing Pages:
These are the pages for individual property listings on Loopnet. A person could land on this page in a variety of ways; they could have found it from the property search results page, or from an SEO page that they clicked on from Google, or they might have heard about the property elsewhere and gone to Loopnet specifically to see it. No matter how they got there, you have the option of displaying your ad to them via the Targeted Property Ads.
Where The Ads Lead:
When a person clicks on the targeted property ads, you have 2 options for where to direct them. You can either send them to the Loopnet listing page for the property you’re advertising, or take them off of Loopnet to a landing page that you’ve created for the property. Both options have their merits. In my opinion, keeping it simple for the user is your best bet: direct them to your listing on Loopnet and if they want to contact you, the methods for doing so are clearly displayed on the page. If you direct them away from Loopnet and to a landing page, you open up a whole can of worms: your site’s load time could be slow, it could look distorted on their browser, it could be non-responsive to people looking at it on their phones, etc. In addition, leading them away from Loopnet could just confuse them, your Loopnet listing has better context for the user because they were already on Loopnet when they saw your ad. There are some positives to directing the user to a landing page; one being that you have the ability to provide a better user-experience than they would get from your Loopnet listing page, and another being the ability to analyze user behavior if you’re tracking your website with Google Analytics.
How Targeted Property Ads Might Benefit You:
If you’re like me (a penny-pincher,) you’re thinking “why would I advertise my property to people who are searching in the zip code & property type that my property is already listed under? They’re going to see it anyway.” This doubt is rational, but consider the following benefits:
- Your property will be on the top banner of the page, above the actual listings, giving you the opportunity to convey your message to the user before they even see your competition. The additional exposure on the listings page also gives you the opportunity to tell potential buyers something about the property that they wouldn’t have seen just by seeing your listing in the search results.
- The ad also appears on the pages of specific properties that the Loopnet user clicks on. Imagine if you went online to buy a new pair of shoes & saw an ad on the side of the page from a rival company letting you know that you could get a similar shoe for less money, or with better features. The ability to reach your target demographic while they’re looking at your competition could be very useful if you convey the right message.
- The ads are also displayed on the top banner on Loopnet’s SEO pages. Even if you have a Spotlighted listing, it is difficult to guarantee top placement on these pages, making the exposure offered by targeted ads very valuable.
- Finally, you don’t have to advertise to people searching for the property type and zip code that your property is listed under. Say for example you have a property that is technically mixed-use, but you know that based on the demand in your property’s location, it would be best suited as restaurant: You can use these targeted ads to get the listing in front of people searching for restaurant space and inform them that your property can meet their needs. The same concept can be applied to advertising flowers on Facebook – You can target people that have “Flowers” listed as an interest on Facebook, but you might be better off advertising to someone who just changed their status to “engaged” and is likely planning a wedding. These targeted ads represent the first time (to my knowledge,) that Loopnet has offered a tool for applying this concept.
Similar to the Spotlight ads, pricing for the Targeted Property Ad campaigns vary by the zip code & property type that you want to target. Advertising packages must be purchased 3 months at a time. If you purchase a Targeted Property Ad and end up selling the property within the 3 month ad period that you’ve paid for, you can swap out the property with another but you cannot change the zip code and property type that the ad targets.
How To Get Started:
If the Targeted Property Ads sound like something you’d find useful, head to the ad preview page and take a crack at building your ads. The ad preview page prompts you to enter the basic information about your property (name, description, headline,) along with a picture, your company logo and your contact information, it then allows you to see what your ad will look like across all 7 placements. If you decide that you want to move forward, call Loopnet ad sales at (888) 207-9234. If you’ve purchased some form of Loopnet ads in the past, contact your regular Loopnet representative.
Targeted Property Ads seem like they could be a great way in increase exposure for your properties. You may be able entice potential buyers that you would not have reached through a standard or spotlighted listing. If you decide to give the new ad platform a shot, be sure to track your results so you can decide if it is a fit for your budget and whether or not it will help you meet your marketing goals.