No two properties are alike; there are geographic as well as asset attributes, such as age, condition and market availability that come into play. Realizing that a seller’s objective is to achieve optimal asset value, accelerated marketing looks at different sale scenarios and “designs a sale” for the property or includes the asset in a sale of similar assets that have gone through an asset stratification process.

What follows is a straight forward guide to aligning with a partner and getting started with a sale to achieve maximum exposure and the highest possible return for a seller.

Pricing

Has the seller reviewed a current Broker Price Opinion? Sellers often look at an accelerated marketing program as a way to test the market. How wrong! Review a current property evaluation survey completed by a local advisor who will present solid facts and a current financial analysis. From the findings presented, determine whether the property should be sold absolute or with a reserve price. Sellers may wish to discuss the analysis with your lender should the value far below your debt balance. Maximum value can be diminished if reserves are set too high in an accelerated marketing environment.  Buyers are aware when sellers have set unrealistic prices. They sense that the seller is unmotivated and do not take the sale seriously.

Project Team

Ask firms you are considering to provide a written proposal.  The firm and its team must be prepared to meet a seller’s goals!  No matter how persuasive their references or presentation appear, chemistry and synergy are essential.  To insure a coordinated collaborative environment, request a single source full time project manager, both knowledgeable and responsible for all functions and communication.  Ask them about their reporting system and the frequency of updates during the sale. When meeting the project leader, request names, backgrounds and responsibilities of each team member.  The team must demonstrate that they have the experience with similar sales and a solid plan to take your sale from start to finish within the timeline set. Consider firms that have a verifiable track record of past and recent sales of similar assets.  Generic references from non-related industries should not complete your vendor selection due diligence.  

Marketing Plan

Accelerated marketing provides a highly targeted marketing campaign to broaden the exposure of the asset. Marketing dollars from all properties in the sale are leveraged to create a larger, more robust marketing budget. Before commencing any project, have an agreement outlining the responsibility of the sale advisor to implement the plan.  Valuable time and breakdowns in critical function occur when either party lacks clarity on each other’s role from concept to completion.  There are dozens of functions and variables to be addressed. Ask for a detailed marketing plan including advertising and media sources and regularity of placements. A marketing plan should include details on property signs, brochures, print media, direct mail, email, telemarketing, electronic and social media, public relations and property due diligence packages. If an outcry auction is the selected method of sale, details on auction day sales coordination and staffing must be addressed.

Executing the Sale

Maximum asset value is derived from the right strategy and flawless execution.  Sellers should know their options up front and be prepared to make decisions in an “accelerated” fashion. Each offering is unique, and one seller’s strategy may not work for the next with the identical assets.  Plan together, stay on course and trust your sale advisor.  Once the selection has been made and the team strategy tactics and scope of services begin, it is critical to maintain trust and stay the course.  If the decision agreed upon was a date-certain sealed bid sale after sixty days market penetration, stay the course. Sellers may receive pre-emptive bids from buyers prior to the date of sale. If the sale advisor stresses the asset is important to the offering and interest has been exceptionally high, rely on their advice.  If an advisor reacts to real time changing market conditions and recommends fast sales or changing the asset stratification, allow their guidance.

Remember, they are working in your best interest and want to achieve optimal asset value!

-Patricia Faulkner

Patricia Faulkner is a Senior Vice President and auction specialist on NAI Global’s Special Asset Solutions team.