theMART is the largest privately held commercial building in the entire country, home to hundreds of world-class Fortune 500 tenants. It is 4,200,000 square feet and spans 2 city blocks in downtown Chicago. The space provided by theMART allows over 30,000 people to walk through its doors daily. Amongst the traffic are some of the most creative and technologically innovative companies in Chicago, including Motorola Mobility, Yelp, PayPal, and more.
When leasing a significant and historic asset with so much square footage, it is essential to anticipate and combat tenant turnover. Simply put, if you don’t have the proper leasing strategy in place at a property of this scale, vacancies quickly swell. theMart ownership, Vornado, recognized this predicament and adopted RealtyAds software in their vacancy-fighting efforts.
To help facilitate leasing, theMART engages RealtyAds Pursuit Marketing to increase reach to critical audiences. With the automation of RITA (RealtyAds Intelligent Technology Assistant), the asset’s digital advertising efforts are launched, managed, and optimized to reach specific decision-makers with only the push of a button.
Not only is RealtyAds easier to deploy than most other leasing and marketing strategies, but it’s also proving to be more effective. By the close of 2022, Vornado had attributable data outlining how RealtyAds was able to participate in at least 5 closed transactions at theMart by reaching the decision-makers and their representation at various stages. Unlike the still pervasive traditional forms of commercial real estate marketing that fail to provide any targeted reach despite significant costs, RealtyAds was able to keep the asset relevant at the right time and to the right people for an extremely nominal expense.
More specifically, fintech powerhouse Avant signed a lease at theMart. This 81,340 SF lease was worth roughly $40,000,000. During the tenant pursuit and prior to lease execution, the decision-makers at Avant interacted with the building’s digital strategy (powered by RealtyAds) more than 495 times. This success would be replicated later that same month as VideoAmp announced it would join Avant in theMart with a 5-year lease. Consistent touches were made to decision-makers at VideoAmp from February to August, strategically getting the asset’s message in front of key audiences before signing their lease.
The trend continued, and by the end of August, theMART inked 2 more deals (United Way and Delta Dental). During all of these tenant pursuits, RealtyAds was not only reaching and keeping the property top of mind to the tenant’s decision-makers but also their representation. In fact, RealtyAds successfully reached ~89% of the brokers in Chicago every calendar month of 2022, as noted below by a prominent Chicago tenant advisor. Before adopting RealtyAds, theMart invested heavily in email blasts that only reached about 12% of the brokers monthly.
Via Instagram, I am getting real-time updates on theMart, which is (and has during deals) kept the property top of mind for me. What’s more, when the property announced my client’s transaction to the market via digital channels, I had no less than 10 brokers send me a congratulatory text. This further confirmed that my peer group was engaging with the property online as well.
Executive Director | Cushman & Wakefield
By October, theMart secured another tenant as Fat Shallot executed a lease after RealtyAds delivered theMART’s messaging over digital channels directly to decision makers at the company more than 320 times.
Throughout 2022, theMART gained 106,093 targeted views from potential prospects, brokers in the market, and decision-makers. Many of these tenants will go on to transact in 2023. Historically, commercial real estate marketing channels have promised broad exposure (such as listing services, marketplaces, and commercial publications), but what has become evident is that exposure is simply not good enough. What is missing in this strategy is a targeting component, an ability to really hone in on who you want your property to reach. With RealtyAds, theMart not only generated the most exposure it ever had, but this exposure was reaching an extremely targeted audience of the leasing team’s choosing. These sample 5 transactions highlight how this targeted approach, which only RealtyAds can provide, is how marketing will have the most success influencing leasing activity.
Market momentum is one of the most critical aspects of commercial real estate leasing. To build and retain momentum, your prospects need to be aware of and consider your asset if they will ultimately become a tenant. While this sounds obvious, too many properties are not reaching critical targets because they operate on antiquated channels brokers and tenants never use. If you omit a digital presence from your marketing strategy, you’re omitting the single most effective channel for reaching brokers and tenants.
By utilizing RealtyAds, you’re equipping your buildings with the only tool that can proactively reach targeted decision-makers of your choosing at every stage of the deal. As evidenced in theMart, these routine touches to your prospects and their representation will help your building close more deals by differentiating itself over the long and extremely competitive transaction process.