TOP 6 MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR SAVANNAH COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Like the stock exchange, money is made in commercial real estate when the market corrects. Are you a Savannah investor looking to buy and turn around a property? Are you a landlord that wants to sell or just ride out the recovery? For any of these scenarios, you need a well thought out plan. Here’s my advice:
3. Be Prepared. Move-in condition will beat out those spaces that are still filled with the remains of the last tenant. Have improvement estimates and space delivery times in advance to quickly respond to inquiries. Sellers: include surveys, equipment lists, as much detail as possible in your listing package. The more “unknowns,” the more likely you will be scratched off a prospect’s list.
4. Be your Tenant’s best friend. Have your broker deliver doughnuts, coffee, monogrammed Snuggies…something simple to let them know they are appreciated. Use this face time to address any concerns and take their pulse. Are they busy or do you see Uhaul boxes everywhere? If it’s the latter, it’s better to know in advance and consider a lease buy out. This allows you to begin promoting the space now versus finding it abandoned overnight.
4.1 Structure a referral program for tenants that recommend someone to the building.
5. Use a Commercial Broker. A good broker will execute most of the items listed above, provide invaluable resources (e.g., sale/lease comps, vendor lists) while protecting your interests.
5.1 You pay for performance –fees are paid when you secure a buyer/tenant and reach a positive outcome. Try that the next time you visit a lawyer’s or doctor’s office.
5.2 Save your time to focus on your core business and let your broker focus on his. Real estate is exciting but, it’s full of tire-kickers and some of the greatest story tellers known to man. A broker qualifies prospects, acts as a buffer, and having structured hundreds of agreements, knows creative ways to overcome issues.
5.3 Pay a strong commission. There are too many comparable spaces out there. You want yours to be the default listing in every broker’s market survey. If brokers know you have a quality building and that you value the services they provide, it will.
6. Be proactive about your financing. Banks are calling commercial loans – sometimes even those that are current- to improve their balance sheet. Financing can still be challenging but, there are lenders looking to loan money at very low rates.
6.1 The Small Business Administration presently has programs with waived fees and requires as little as ten percent down for properties that are at least fifty-one percent owner occupied. A plus, you can include improvements and equipment costs in the loan. The SBA is also expected to announce it will temporarily allow long term refinancing for owner occupied buildings with maturing loans using the 504 program which is usually reserved for new purchases.
Making these investments now will keep you competitive, get you noticed and allow you to quickly respond to opportunities. As the economy turns around, these processes will provide a greater degree of success and a stronger bottom line.
Blogger’s Note: This was reprinted from the 2.17.10 article in BiS-Business in Savannah business journal. Rex Benton is Savannah Commercial Real Estate agent with Mopper-Stapen, Realtors and contributing columnist for BiS-Business In Savannah weekly business publication. www.mopper-stapen.com 912.238.0874 Office Retail Industrial Investment Real Estate