Seth Godin – Standing Out

Retail real estate is changing…slowly, yes, but perhaps finally and forever!

In the retail world of Commercial Real Estate, what was big and fat is now being honed down in size, shape, color and message.

For most of my career retail centers, gerenally speaking, all looked the same. All shopping malls have been essentially the same and all open air centers were all the same. Town centers…same! Strip centers…yep, same! With few exceptions, there existed little or differentiation in the marketing or the appeal. With the exception of Outlets and higher end centers, retail has been essentiall the same, tame and lame story.

Design is free when you get to scale. The riskiest thing you can do now is be safe…safe is risky. — Seth Godin

One of the most important ingredients in retail today is the ability of a location to “stand out” as a unique place that delivers a constant stream of products that are remarkable and irresistible to “unique” people and groups. Emphasis on “REMARKABLE” and emphasis on “UNIQUE.”

Listen to Seth Godin from TED on the topic of standing out.

The Art of “Shaping the Deal” – Kid Style

When Donald Trump wrote “The Art of the Deal” he became an industry authority figure for knowing or, at least claiming to know, how to make deals…deals that work.

Has anything changed since Trump wrote his 1988 best seller? Yes, a lot has changed. The fundamentals of deal making have not changed and perhaps they never will.

Making deals is one thing…now, however, the renewed skill that is most in demand is how to shape the deals we are making.

Due to today’s unique economic times, I’m discovering there is a big difference between securing signatures and shaping a deal for long term performance.

In fact, shaping the deal may be the requisite skill now in most demand because there are fewer deals to be done and the deals that are getting done require more perseverance and targeted thinking.

Negotiating Breakfast with My Daughter

Almost every day, we are all negotiating something. I did it this morning with my 9-year-old daughter. We negotiated about her breakfast. She wanted chocolate donuts, not one, but two! Once we formulated the premise for the sign-off, i.e., what each side wanted, we then had the core of the deal.

My position was clear. “You cannot have donuts for breakfast.” Her position was, “Donuts is the only way to make this deal work.”
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Terminatio Simulatio Velociter

richard_boone_Paladin - 175My first Broker, the Del Webb Corporation, was big on fast failure. The principle and skill of what I now call Terminatio Simulatio Velociter was drilled into the head of each fledgling Sales Counselor whose job it was to meet, greet and qualify prospects who visited the Sales Pavilion in Sun City West.

Now, some nearly 25 years hence, I truly do recognize the importance of “sorting” and the notion of elimination has become more and more a part of representing my commercial real estate clients effectively.

Of late, and driven by market conditions, there has emerged a new brand of bottom-feeding. It’s a concept I call “LOI Shopping” or, maybe “Networking the Deal” for better terms.

There is no doubt in my mind that this carp-like behavior among prospective tenants is a product of too much inventory and the desire of often marginal tenants to continue their vain attempts to shrink or even collapse the pricing envelope.
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Facing a New Commercial Reality

slice-leftWhen I am asked, “What do you think my commercial property is worth?” I cringe and feel less than completely at ease with the answers I know honesty demands.

It is not that I am reluctant to be completely transparent with a client. That is the easy part. The difficulty lies in communicating to commercial property investors that they may be facing a new commercial reality.

Our new commercial reality contains several characteristics that make buying and selling, leasing and landlording and other forms of investment more precarious than perhaps in times past.

Heads I Win Tails You Lose

Commercial real estate values are tipping and for some investors it doesn’t matter what side of the coin comes up.

In a majority of major commercial markets commercial property is softening and for those who purchased in 2005-2007, things may be less than stellar. This is also true of commercial real estate markets like Prescott, Arizona.

Owners who purchased in the 2005-07 framework invested at the top of the market…they bought high.
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