Friday, January 10, 2014

Moving sucks!...and 3 #CRE MUSTS

Ahhhh, my first blog post of 2014! As I sit here in the world HQ of Location Advice on the 57th anniversary of my birth...thanks Mom and Dad...I have come to two realizations...you only need to do three things to make a commercial real estate deal AND moving sucks! OK, I said it...not in the colorful way that my buddy Duke Long would say it...but said it nonetheless.

As a disclaimer, I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living...AKA I MOVE COMPANIES and am paid handsomely when I do so. For me to say that moving sucks is a bit counter intuitive...wouldn't you say? But, it must be said and believed in order to provide the very best advice to your occupant.

OK, so here is what I realized...more specifically.

You only need to do three things to make a commercial real estate deal...period...work with control, work with the decision maker, and set realistic expectations...that is it! Simple right?...but FAR from easy.

Working with control: One of the early lessons I learned in the biz was to work with an engagement agreement...after a guy made a move without me on a building that I showed him...we've ALL been there. Our tendency is not to ask for the control because we believe that we have not earned the right to ask. If you believe that working with one exclusive broker is in the client's best interest and can clearly explain the reasons...you will not be disappointed...or worse, left at the altar with your ____ hanging out. BTW, control doesn't guarantee success...and working without control doesn't guarantee failure...control just allows you to do a better job for your client.

Working with the decision maker: If there is one reason...above all the others...that will crater a deal; it is not working with the decision maker. You may be thinking...OK, but I do corporate services and there are multiple decision makers...OR the decision maker is 1000 miles away...OR the decision maker asked that I work with her CFO...OR you fill in the reason...Just sayin'. Any time you vary from this rule, you increase the likelihood of a train wreck...AKA your deal explodes and your fee vaporizes.

Setting realistic expectations: Also known as "qualifying", this is where a real pro will trounce his competition. Understand the landscape...Why are you moving, what have you seen, who have you worked with, have you considered purchasing, why do you want to purchase, have you spoken with a lender, do you know exactly how many square feet you need, have you spoken to your landlord about an extension...is this an alternative...etc. AND, here are the market conditions, here is what is available, here are the most recent deals, here is a cheaper area you could consider, others in your industry have considered xyz, etc. AND segue to "oh by the way...moving sucks and you should avoid it wherever possible...and make it a last resort...

Now to the moving sucks part. Moving is expensive, disruptive, and only rarely creates a better efficiency...yet companies do it...every day! Why? Refresh yourself on my post entitled the five reasons companies relocate. My point is this...there are reasons that clearly motivate a move but it is incumbent upon us as professionals to think "anti move"...because this may be what is best for our clients. Believe me, if you don't deliver this message clearly (moving sucks...maybe a more PC version), the occupant will figure it out...and maybe to the deal's detriment. If your client is out of space, there are several things that can be done to avoid a move...read here for those. Cover these and make lots of friends. You may not get paid...but you are paying it forward...much greater!

Let's level with our clients and make it a great 2014 y'all!