Effective marketing requires two things: a good message and a good list. For CRE professionals, the best lists target the local commercial brokerage community. A broker list can easily exceed a thousand names and hundreds of brokerage firms. Reaching these agents is vital because the vast majority of NJ commercial deals involve at least one broker, typically the tenant representative or buyer’s representative.
Maintaining an accurate list presents challenges. New firms start up, agents change firms and leave the business, and new agents join the sales force as rookie brokers.
This is where Black’s Directory founder Jim Black saw an opportunity to solve a common problem for CRE marketers. He advises, “The broker list is your second-best marketing tool. The only marketing tool more effective and loved is the leasing sign. The only problem with the sign is you can’t mail it.”
Resembling an association member directory, the website is based on the concept of using proactive research to create a master listing of all NJ brokerage firms and their agents. Black’s Directory is free to visit and use, but agents also can amplify their listing inclusion through branding opportunities like big and bold listings and Preferred Placement in the search results. As the ball gets rolling, the directory anticipates offering the Good Broker List for mailing and email.
The initial research for the beta version, launched in July 2017, has 285 commercial brokerage firms and over 1500 agents. To take advantage of the free listing with Black’s Directory, an agent needs only two qualifications: 1) the agent needs a New Jersey real estate license, and 2) the agent works full time for a New Jersey commercial brokerage firm.
In addition to the New Jersey brokerage firms and agent directory, the directory provides a listing of NJ owners/developers and vendors who sell into the CRE industry. “If you need a directory of commercial brokers, Black’s Directory will be the go-to source for people who want to reach the brokerage community,” said Black. “With the help and advice of the New Jersey real estate community, it will become exceptional.”
CRE professionals in the New Jersey area can edit or enhance their free professional profile by visiting the Black’s Directory website and logging on with their email. Black looks forward to hearing from the New Jersey community on how the directory can be improved to better meet their needs. With this valuable community feedback, Black’s Directory will be able to expand into additional markets in the near future.