Outside the Box Market Thinking

Think Outside the BoxMarket thinking is critical to commercial property owners. Thinking small is, well, putting it bluntly, an old paradigm and counter productive in today’s big CRE world.

Network largess is now a central key to lease marketing. Shrinking your exposure is deadly, while opening the marketing floodgates encourages multiple tributaries leading to more tenant activity, more LOIs and more executed leases.

In too many cases property owners have gotten twisted up in the pretzel of narrow representation, carrying the concept of going solo to new detrimental heights.

Learning over Lunch

A few years ago I met with a southern California owner at the Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona who had invited me to lunch discuss and consider marketing his retail properties in cooperation with more than one broker each having and “exclusive” right to lease agreement.

Initially, the concept short circuited my concept of representation but as I listened to this seasoned owner my thinking began to change. Of course the so called “exclusive” was actually a modified arrangement where more than one listing broker consented to step aside in the event another procured an executed lease. Yes, the devil, as always, was in the listing agreement details and convincing multiple brokers to share a so-called “exclusive” listing seemed more than challenging.

The conversation broadened my thinking and opened me up to new representation blueprints that can help owners and add possibilities to a broker’s inventory.

The notion of broadening exposure in this way included many brokers working on the same property rather than simply one. The model began to have some appeal in an overbuilt market where owners require more, not less, tenant exposure and leasing opportunities.

The Big, Big, Big CRE World

With the advent of websites, blogs, YouTube channels with video sharing permissions, LoopNet, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and the myriad of other avenues available to owners, it’s my opinion that the power of the multiplier is already at work…and, therefore, why not harness this power?

With regularity, I converse with property owners who either deliberately or, unintentionally narrow the lease playing field. The not only stay in the box, they tape it shut. Owners who narrow their exposure by attempting to control the benefits afforded them through the Internet’s affordable and organic expressions run the risk of reducing their competitive exposure.

Swimming in the Shrinking Tenant Pool

In today’s competitive communication environment it takes a lot more exposure to a property to procure a qualified prospect from within the shrinking tenant pool. There is more property available and therefore, capturing attention, securing interest, creating simultaneous leasing conversations with multiple tenants will enlarge a property’s potential for leasing success.

Marketing “for lease” properties through a narrow, single channel is fraught with danger and such an approach reduces an owner’s margin of error. Opening up the portals of exposure will, enlarge exposure and thus, enhance opportunity.

The added cost of multiple exposures is insignificant, consisting mostly of the time necessary to post to blog, create an ad, add a shared video or email one hundred additional brokers with updated information. Allowing organic exposure does not modify the marketing cost per square foot in fact, it might actually lower the cost by broadening the appeal and accelerating the results

I have not forgotten my lunch conversation at the Biltmore. It cracked my brain open showing me that thinking outside the narrowly defined and acceptable box can help owners lease more space.

Take your Message Outside the Box

To my industry colleagues, and yes, owners as well, I say, “If you are confident in your property’s appeal to attract and convert tenants open your thinking to as many available organic channels as possible.”

Take your leasing message outside the box!

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