Commercial Real Estate Marketing Public Relations

CRELIX Clients Go Places

November 18, 2022

Marketing and PR success can be measured in a variety of ways depending on the goals of the company or organization. But there’s always a bottom line — typically growth and value-added metrics. For these three CRELIX clients, their success resulted in being acquired by competitors in significant wins for their shareholders.

Most recently, in 2022, two CRELIX clients were acquired: Apto and Hatch Data. A third, LoopNet, was purchased by its major competitor several years ago. They all have two things in common: The expertise and strategic marketing and PR power of CRELIX to propel their expansion, and their market leadership at the time of their sales.

Cary Brazeman, principal and founder, CRELIX Marketing Partners, notes that “sometimes clients hire us specifically to help them get ready for sale, though usually that’s not the case. Either way, to the extent we help clients advance their business plans and become known for doing something really well, they naturally become more valuable and more attractive acquisition candidates.”

Does CRELIX have a secret sauce that drives its clients' success?

“Of course our marketing and PR services are customized for the specific needs of each client,” Brazeman says. “Our content-based campaigns support their business plans. Working together is a process and usually a partnership. In the end, it may be something we help them do better — versus something we did for them — that really heightens their performance.”

Here's a brief look at the three CRELIX clients that were acquired.

Apto

Apto was a leading commercial real estate software company that helped brokers manage information about people, properties and deals, and track deals more efficiently, to get more deals done. It was purchased in January 2022 by Buildout, a developer of commercial real estate property marketing automation software. Apto, with its #1-ranked broker-centric database software, was a peerless complement to Buildout.

Apto engaged CRELIX for corporate and marketing PR to heighten its profile, position itself as a thought-leader in the industry, and generate marketing qualified leads.

Among other things, CRELIX created a survey program, the "Apto National Broker Buzz Poll,” that tapped Apto’s large number of customers and prospects to gauge commercial broker sentiment on a range of topical issues, and track metrics including broker income and transaction volume from year to year. The poll results often proved to be quite eye-opening and garnered significant media attention.  One example: “New Poll Reveals: CRE Brokers High on Cannabis Deals.”

CRELIX also helped Apto merchandise content across marketing and communications channels. For example, survey results were leveraged in paid advertising as well as earned media, and as the basis of editorial content published on owned media channels.

Hatch Data

Hatch Data was the leading decarbonization platform for real estate in the U.S. It was acquired by Measurabl, a global software company that helps commercial real estate companies use data to meet their ESG goals.

CRELIX was retained for corporate and marketing PR to help Hatch Data launch the company, increase market awareness and understanding of its value proposition, and demonstrate to customers and prospects how they could optimize data to improve building performance and the bottom line. CRELIX’s marketing PR efforts also supported the company’s sales efforts.

The pandemic unexpectedly presented the perfect opportunity to showcase the value of Hatch's energy management software, which could be used by building owners and operators to help make decisions in an otherwise confusing and challenging time.

Data aggregated by the company revealed some very interesting facts about office building energy consumption that were contrary to many people’s assumptions at the time. For example, proprietary analysis from Hatch Data showed that even though buildings were virtually empty, their energy consumption declined only modestly. CRELIX leveraged the company-generated research for extensive media coverage, including in Business Insider and Fast Company.

While the PR campaign was under way, adoption of Hatch’s software increased rapidly. The company reported a 40% year-over-year increase in square footage under management. The company was acquired the following year.

LoopNet

LoopNet operates the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate sale and lease marketplace online. CRELIX was LoopNet’s marketing PR partner for most of its life as an independent company before it was acquired by competitor CoStar.

The agency worked with LoopNet to make the market for an online listings marketplace. We were there as LoopNet offered free products and services in order to aggregate a critical mass of commercial property listings (supply) and users (demand). We were there when LoopNet launched its first paid subscription product.

CRELIX helped LoopNet communicate why and how the paid product was a significant event for the company in the context of its business plan, and why and how the new product would benefit paying LoopNet customers.

Over the years, the agency deployed many strategies and tactics to expand LoopNet's reach, including leveraging real estate market research for media coverage; and customer interviews for testimonials, case studies and media coverage. The intelligence we gathered about customer perceptions of product features and benefits also was used to inform company decisions about products, pricing and marketing.

With the agency's expertise, LoopNet achieved its initial sales targets, reached profitability, went public and continued to grow revenues and traffic at a rapid clip. Ultimately, the company was sold to a competitor at a premium price.