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"How to Turn Small Deals into Big Commissions!"


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Colleen Sheridan Photo
6/6/08 Interview with Colleen Sheridan

MySquareFeet (formerly theSmallTenant.com)
742 Mill Hill Terrace
Southport, CT 06890
Biography

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The Role of MySquareFeet

  1. The web site MySquareFeet (formerly TheSmallTenant.com) holds potential for commissions on small commercial real estate deals that are often passed up by both Commercial and Residential agents.
  2. The site is an online marketing tool for commercial real estate; brokers and owners can use it as a place to offer available space efficiently, affordably and directly to searching tenants; MySquareFeet is an Internet platform dedicated to making small space marketing easier
  3. Searching tenants can find full property details, including pictures, floor plans and brochures, and be connected directly with the listing party by email; phone contacts are also given.
  4. MySquareFeet is inexpensive compared to traditional print advertising; a 3-month ad on the site is only $10/month; space is available to the market 24/7.
  5. Sheridan identifies the small-space segment of the commercial market as the most fragmented and the most in need of help; there was no other small-space platform, and inexperienced, small business owners needed the most assistance in finding space.
  6. Small-space deals take the most time and pay the least; MySquareFeet is a solution.
Challenges from the Commercial Side

  1. Commercial pros have not embraced Internet marketing as readily as Residential pros, partly because that industry is more fragmented than Residential; some Commercial brokers are not REALTORS®, and most do not utilize the MLS.
  2. More commercial owners market their space directly themselves—the majority are white males over fifty, who are not too Internet sensitive; MySquareFeet is challenged to communicate that there is a new tool for them to reach searching tenants.
  3. Traffic has picked up dramatically—from 7,500 hits a month at inception to 200,000+ now; the goal this year is a million.
Strategies for Driving Traffic to the Site

  1. MySquareFeet uses a complex formula of key word searches, builds reciprocal links, and uses imbedded metatags.
  2. The search engine companies do not make it easy to be picked up in searches; search engine optimization (SEO) companies spend fortunes to understand rankings.
  3. Just having a web site does not constitute being on the Internet in an effective way; building rankings so that tenants find you when they need the space is vital; the biggest portion of MySquareFeet’s budget is invested in SEO.
  4. MySquareFeet advertises everywhere online that it possibly can—e.g., Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, Better Websites, and many more.
Comparing Costs and Effectiveness

  1. Internet advertising is considerably less expensive than traditional print advertising and much more effective—it has the advantages of being live, available 24/7 and loaded with rich content.
  2. Most advertising in the future will be done on the Internet; while newspapers have been losing audiences, revenue growth for Internet advertising has been about 20% per year.
  3. Owners and sellers who are not on the Internet today are not engaging market potential fully.
How the Site Works

  1. Owners simply sign up as an advertiser on the site and then enter the property data; the site makes the data live.
  2. A tenant looking for space enters search criteria on the site, and matches come up; the searching tenant then links directly to the owner or broker.
  3. The tenants who make contact with brokers through the site are more qualified leads than those who call from a sign because the website leads have had exposure to a lot of information about the property and remain interested.
The Competition

  1. LoopNet is a subscription service that requires a monthly payment around $50 per listing; the service is geared more toward brokerage companies with continuous listings; MySquareFeet is suitable for anyone who has even a single office to share.
  2. LoopNet serves the brokerage community as a listing service; whereas MySquareFeet is a direct-connect matching service; LoopNet focuses more on sales, while MySquareFeet emphasizes leasing.
  3. CoStar is a replacement for the in-house market research department of the bigger companies.
Measuring the Success for Brokers

  1. MySquareFeet provides information by report to advertisers on the site about where hits come from and how often each ad is hit.
  2. Agents who use any kind of advertising should monitor success of it on their own; automatically ask leads how the leads found them; that practice will reveal where advertising dollars are well spent.
Changes in Commercial Real Estate Advertising

  1. Since starting MySquareFeet three years ago, Sheridan has seen changes; hits to ads are much more frequent, and more brokers and owners are putting ads up.
  2. In general, Internet advertising is growing—80% of consumers of any goods and services search on the Internet; today, sellers need to be on the Internet to get out their messages.
The Name Change

  1. "MySquareFeet" is catchier than "The Small Tenant" and reflects more about the kind of tenant who engages the site; its searching tenants tend to be entrepreneurs who own and run their own companies—"MySquareFeet" reflects the way they do business.
  2. The new name also allows for servicing sales.
Favorite Sites on the Web

  1. 1. Good research sites for Internet marketing include IAB.com and EmailMarketing.com.
  2. 2. Anyone looking to expand Internet marketing should research online how to improve website ranking and how to do and measure Internet marketing.
Contact Information for Colleen Sheridan:

(v) 203-292-3608
(f) 203-259-3610
(e) Colleen@theSmallTenant.com
(w)www.theSmallTenant.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

MySquareFeet: www.mysquarefeet.com (formerly www.thesmalltenant.com)
Interactive Advertising Bureau: www.IAB.net
Additional Internet marketing site: www.clickz.com
EmailMarketing.com: www.emailmarketing.com or www.yesmail.com