Four Questions To Ask When Using Influencers To Drive Retail Leasing

Real Estate

Carrie Bobb is the CEO of Carrie Bobb & Co., a consumer analytics nerd and an expert at driving revenue for brick and mortar real estate. 

Small and large retailers are calling influencers way before they are calling a broker. This is not a knock on brokers – there is no way we could possibly have the information influencers have. Nor could influencers negotiate and piece together a deal like a broker. The sweet spot is when they can work together to impact leasing and drive revenue.

Retail brands are seeking out the right influencer to promote their product, and retail landlords should, too. When retail landlords involve the right influencers in a project’s leasing strategy they don’t have to do a post about the property or the leasing opportunity. All they have to do is make a call or send a direct message to connect the dots.

According to a 2018 Gartner study, 91% of luxury brands, 84% of athletic apparel brands and 83% of beauty brands used influencers to drive sales. So why shouldn’t retail landlords be using them to drive revenue too?

If you would like to explore the idea of including an influencer in your social media leasing strategy, I’ve put together a few common questions to better understand the concept. They are based on my own experience helping brick-and-mortar retail spaces build revenue through leasing and will help you not only better understand this type of strategy, but determine if it will work for you as a retail space owner.

How do you find the right influencers?

If there is a specific retailer you want to attract to your property, odds are they have an influencer post on their feed. Start by scrolling through retailers’ feeds and seeing who they use. Search through the tagged photos of the target retailer, and discover who is tagging them on their feeds. Searching hashtags can help find targeted influencers as well. A couple of examples of location-based hashtags include #sandiegoinfluencer, #sdinfluencer, #phoenixblogger and #phoenixmoms.

What is the difference between a nano-, micro- and macro-influencer?

Definitions vary slightly, although a typical nano-influencer is an individual with 1,000-5,000 followers. Some consider a nano-influencer to be anyone with 10,000 or fewer followers.

A micro-influencer has somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 followers, while a macro-influencer has a significantly larger following. A macro-influencer is often thought of as someone with over 100,000 followers.

What do you look for in an influencer?

When it comes to retail leasing, quality is more important than quantity. Engagement rate is more valuable than the number of followers. The average Instagram account engagement rate is 4.7%. Micro-influencers average 8% engagement, while macro-influencer average approximately 1.8%.

It matters more that the influencer’s followers are the right followers for your property. It is OK to ask them about their audience and some of their Instagram stats, including their engagement rate, audience demographics and data from specific posts, before collaborating with them on your property.

How much do you pay an influencer?

As a general rule of thumb, we calculate a finder’s fee as about 20% of half of the commission. For instance, if a broker were going to send another broker a referral fee, it would be approximately 20% of their half of the commission. The influencer only gets paid if the deal is signed and executed. Often, we will run a calculation and then translate it into a flat fee or a specific dollar amount.

Do business with people you can trust.

So much of retail leasing is about who you know. It’s personal. This business is all about relationships. Now more than ever, retailers and restauranteurs want to know they are doing business with people they can trust.

In a survey of over 21,000 people commissioned by Facebook in 2018, over 83% of those surveyed who used Instagram discovered new products and services on the platform. Influencers are impacting sales for retailers based on their endorsement of a brand. It’s the same thing when it comes to retail leasing. We can use influencers as a conduit to businesses to endorse the property and drive revenue through leasing.

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