Sunday, August 20, 2006

Commercial real estate buzz

How do you create buzz about your commercial real estate? We are moving offices right now and one thing I have noticed is the difficulty of finding a good source of commercial real estate listings. I am sure they are out there, but as I browse I have not been able to find one good source. It got me thinking, if I owned commercial real estate, how would I start creating buzz long before I wanted to sell it to make it easier? Much like anything else, I would work hard to develop commercial real estate success stories. For example, have your tenants stayed longer than in the average property in your area? Have your commercial tenants been more profitable because of the location? Did you get a great deal on the location and is it highly profitable for you? Constantly be looking for stories to tell and tell them frequently. People that do not have commercial property yet will start thinking about getting into the business. Then, when they start asking for advice from you, you know that they are potential future purchasers of your property. If they are not, there is still a good chance they are going to talk about you to others. Once you begin thinking about selling the commercial property, start telling people about it. For example, “You know that plaza I have? I am thinking about selling it, even though it is very lucrative, and putting the money in a new venture…” Listen to what people are saying and see if anyone bits. This works best if you are not in a hurry, of course. You could even mention that if someone offers to buy it before you list it with a realtor, you could part with it for less. I would also always keep a list of business owners I met that were currently renting. They are a source for potential new renters if they outgrown their existing space, and they probably often think about the benefits of owning their own multi-suite business site. Send them all out updates and opportunities once in a while to keep them dreaming about the possibility of owning their own commercial property one day. The great thing about buzz is that it fits in nicely with life. It is really just cool small talk. Real Estate is usually a long term investment. Be sure to invest in creating buzz and awareness as well to get the highest profit from your commercial real estate.