Saturday, September 14, 2013

"How To" win commercial real estate deals with Blogs

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 and have since 1984. 

I have blogged for three and a half years and have written about all things commercial real estate. I have in essence "worked out loud."

Recently, I was asked to compete for a tenant representation, right?

This is what we all strive for...a chance to flaunt our capabilities and maybe score a new assignment and ultimately some commission dollars.

I have accomplished almost seventy tenant or buyer deals in the last 3.5 years, so I believed that I was VERY qualified for this assignment! I thought, bring it on...when can we meet?...not so fast!

My enthusiasm soon evaporated when I received the RFP (Request for Proposal) through email...Hmmm, the RFP...those three letters send a chill up the spines of most commercial real estate brokers... three pages long, single spaced and filled with compound questions such as "Quickly provide a brief overview of your firm. Describe your approach to the marketplace and how you perform your services. Describe who would be your point person and what would the communication and update process encompass." and "Describe what additional services your firm provides. Describe any other contributions or offering that your firm provides that might assist a tenant such as this with this assignment..."...Well, you get the idea!...A LOT OF WORK...with no guarantee of success!

My first reaction was...damn...looking for a building isn't rocket science, is all of this necessary?
My second reaction was...and this is what I get for the relationship I have been building?...a CHANCE to compete?
I next went to...well, I am just not gonna play...if that is what they want, I'm not their guy.
Finally...and fortunately I kept the previous thoughts just that...thoughts...I decided to roll up my sleeves and let 'em have it!

So how did I compete for this assignment and shine? My blogging! My past posts enabled me to complete the RFP with ease and as a result of reading some past posts, I reminded myself that...hey, I MAY know what I'm doing!

Describe your firm? Wait, I wrote about that in 2010!
Can you outline your process? Absolutely! I wrote about that in 2010!
How are the market conditions? Nice...2013!
What challenges do you foresee in our search and how do we "shorten our downside"? All over that...2013!
How will you assist us in lease negotiations? How about this one from 2010?
What differentiates you from your competition? Let me wax on grasshopper! 
How do you add value? Awesome! Here's how.

So in short, all of the time I spend "working out loud" through my blogging helped me with this assignment! I hope that it will help you as well.


  1. Absolutely and totally agree. That is exactly what blogging can be for anyone in business. It truly is a way to chronicle your achievements, knowledge, deals, and whatever it is you focus on. It is out there and transparent. Thanks for sparking even more enthusiasm for blogging which is something we promote so heavily at and encourage our members to do. Good job.

    1. Well said by a person who walks the walk!

    2. Got many holes in my shoes too! Thanks for the endorsement! Much appreciated and back at ya!

  2. Allen, great post. I think a lot of us feel...why are we doing this? Sometimes a blog never gets seen! It's these intangibles is why it is so important. Thanks for the perspective change. And, man I loathe the words "Quickly provide a brief overview...".

  3. Mike, in this case, I've spent six months or so building a relationship with the gatekeeper. He was responsible for hiring the service providers. It was much like competing for an institutional owner as we had zero contact with the client until the interview. The meeting, because of the catalog of blog content, went very well.