How to Launch a Product With a Budget Less Than a Direct Mail Campaign

We recently completed our beta launch in Portland OR in late January of this year and it went well as far as I could tell.  In the first 3 months, we had connected around 350 tenants to landlords, property managers or brokers.  Tenants had found space using our site and leases were being executed.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The challenge for us, however, had been educating brokers on our new service and how it actually works for parties, the broker and the tenant.

Nevertheless, when it came to launching in another city, I didn’t want to execute the same way.  What bugged me was despite the email campaigns in Portland highlighting our new service to brokers, I knew at best, only 20% of those emails were being opened.  We sent beautiful folders to every broker describing in detail how our service works but I was sure a large percentage of those went unopened and into the recycling or worse into the trash.  So, we began brainstorming other ideas.  Our goal – to reach every broker and explain exactly what it is we do and again, how OfficeSpace.com can help them.

This past week, we announced the launch of our new service, starting in Denver, while we were at an industry trade show.  Instead of sending out direct mail, we delivered customized gourmet cupcakes complete with an edible OfficeSpace.com logo to every brokerage in greater Denver – that was over 600 cupcakes in total.

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I reasoned even though it’s an edible item, certainly people would remember who gave it to them.  We built a campaign around our delicious delivery, building anticipation through our social media channels.  We created postcards to go with our cupcakes letting everyone know we were celebrating our birthday in Denver – and the cupcakes were free, just like our service.  We encouraged our recipients to use social media to tell us how they liked our gift and we waited.

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I can already definitively say this campaign was much more successful and cost-effective than our first and here’s why: when we began to make our follow- up calls, people wanted to talk to us.  They wanted to tell us that they liked our clever idea and more importantly, they wanted to know what the company was doing.

If we could be this creative just to get their attention, what would that mean for the types of products we could create to help them? We achieved what direct mail could not: a captive audience (with full tummies to boot!).

Susie Algard
CEO & Founder
OfficeSpace.com
follow us on twitter: @officespace_com
follow me on twitter: @susiealgard

Smart Buildings, Tech Portfolio Management- Oh My! Checking in From RealComm 2012

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We’ve been at RealComm 2012 in Las Vegas for the past two days.  The tradeshow, hosted at the Las Vegas Hotel &Casino, connects real estate with technology, a mission shared equally by OfficeSpace.com.  RealComm partnered with IBCom, focusing on intelligent building.

OfficeSpace.com had a booth where we met with professionals from Deloitte, Qube, Property Capsule, Sky Foundry and NOI Strategies amongst others.

Here were some of our favorite tidbits:

  1. Speaker Robert LiMandri of the New York City Buildings Department spoke at “975,000 NYC Buildings – Embracing Innovation and Setting Global Benchmarks.” LiMandri spoke on the less traditional methods of finding office space.  He highlighted “The Development Hub,” a state-of-the-art facility that uses electronic submission of digital construction plans, virtual plan reviews and inter-agency collaboration.  LiMandri also spoke of the opportunities for searching for buildings by environmental friendliness including LEED certification.
  2. Annual Digi Awards: This year’s Digi Awards included JLL, CBRE, Microsoft and the City of New York, but most intriguing were the individual awards given to Don Goldstein of CBC and Tama Huang of NOI Strategies. Huang was named one of RealComm’s Top 35 People to Watch in 2011 previously and has delivered.  We look forward to watching the careers of these winners.
  3. RealComm Live:  RealComm hosted a video series interviewing heads of companies from Sky Foundry, Property Capsule and OfficeSpace.com’s very own, Susie Algard.  Algard went through a web demo of what we do at OfficeSpace.com and announced our Denver launch today at the event.

Commercial real estate sure seems to have come along way from its technology dinosaurs reputation and OfficeSpace.com plans to be there every step of the way.  Between online listings, construction management technology and cloud-based technology portfolio management, what’s next for CRE technology?

Commercial Real Estate Startup Reinvents the Way Business Owners Search for Space

Contact:

Ninette Cheng

Marketing Coordinator, OfficeSpace.com

office: 206.686.4545 | Ninette@officespace.com

June 13, 2012

OfficeSpace.com knows a change in commercial real estate technology is coming— in fact, they’ve known and are readying to launch their free broker and landlord-to-tenant service in its second market.

After its successful beta launch reaching 24,000 tenants, connecting 350 tenants to brokers and landlords and covering 186 million square feet of space in Portland, Ore. OfficeSpace.com officially launches its new service, starting with Denver, Colo. on June 13.

“As an entrepreneur, finding the right space was always more difficult that I anticipated,” CEO and Founder Susie Algard said.  “The system of waiting for someone to call you back just to give you the space details or rate information is highly inefficient.  All of the tools were focused on people who were familiar with commercial real estate, not for people who only need to find space once every few years.”

In Denver, OfficeSpace.com currently covers over 172 million square feet of space and over 3,000 buildings available for tenants to search.

The days of expensive broker-to-broker subscription services are behind.

“By providing open access to details on an office space, we are helping all business owners during their research phase,” Algard said. “In particular, we are serving an audience whose needs are currently not sufficiently met – small business owners.  It’s difficult for brokers to make small requirements profitable, but we have created tools to help them directly with that.  We connect qualified tenants to brokers for free.”

OfficeSpace.com’s website offers free viewings and listings and social media tools for sharing. The company most recently launched a free Broker Tools suite for brokers to create flyers, surveys and communicate with tenants.  It also features photo-friendly interface and information on the confusing aspects of a lease for tenants.

About OfficeSpace.com

OfficeSpace.com is a start up with the goal of creating an efficient marketplace connecting tenants with landlords and brokers.  The company, purchased by Internet entrepreneurs Susie and Alex Algard, launched it’s new beta service launched in Portland in January 2012 and to date, has serviced over 350 tenants looking for space.  OfficeSpace.com also operates one of the leading commercial real estate marketing and analytics services in Seattle, Spokane, Denver, Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus and can be found at www.officespace.com.

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