Are you a Have or Have Not? (4 of 4)

puzzle

Now let’s focus on folks that “Have” available properties for sale needing debt or equity and the “Have Nots” who are looking for those deals.

If we look back at the issues with the space availability, we know that time, accuracy and completeness are issues with the capital market campaigns as well. While these are the same, there are a couple more nuances that we should be aware of:

  • Does your system allow you to keep up and track the Have Nots?
  • Can your system send out the documents to your list of Have Nots, and also indirectly market to other Have Nots if you want too?
  • Does your system allow you to track the different statuses that the Have Nots went to in each campaign?
  • Does your system lack a single data entry point?

As I look out at the commercial real estate industry, there are very, very few platforms that have a single data entry point that their leasing team can access to update all of the information needed to lease available space. While some have Excel spread sheets and others have a database, most do not have all of the required fields, and lack the ability to add any type of graphics or brochures or any other documents or video that they would like to show to the Have Nots.

Not only is this an issue inside a company platform, there is definitely no ability to do this, even if you paid a lot of money beyond a single platform. The commercial real estate industry has no place to put in the available space for lease for free and then have the Have Nots look at it for free. Isn’t that what the car and hotel businesses do?

To have a system that can actually get past these issues, we will need to see what a few more of the issues may be:

  1. Lack of consistent fields to enter the data into different systems.

As you start looking at different reports and different systems, you will see that most of the fields that we use in the commercial real estate business are the same. There are some variances depending on product type, but most are the same. The trick isn’t the name of the field but how those fields accept data and then how they can send that data back out in different formats to update the different services and their own website.

  1. Lack of a consistent format to send their data to the cloud.

Not only do we have an issue with the fields and their consistency with the data, there is also an issue of how to send the data that has been gathered, and then again when that data is edited. Some of the newer services and most websites use a file called an XML. It is type of file that can be automated by the Haves and sent to the Have Nots automatically. It is often used to update the Have’s own website.

Sadly, a lot of the service providers that accumulate this data, cannot or will not accept these files and ask that the Haves send them PDF files, of course formatted just for them and then they will re-input the data. What a waste of time and money! Some of these providers ask for Excel files and others CSV files. These providers make the Haves spend time and money for all of the different formats to make their systems work instead of focusing on leasing their space!

  1. Lack of information sharing among the different service providers.

So let’s say you have figured out Number 1 and 2. You still have to deal with the different formatting to the different service providers, right? There is no big surprise in this issue. All of the service providers want to have the latest and best information and charge the Have Nots to look at that information so they will not send the information the Haves send them to the other providers. So if one of the service providers did come up with an easy way to have the Haves send them their information, the Haves would still have to format for the others service providers!

Who works for who?

  1. How do the car and hotel sectors provide immediate information, but the real estate sector takes weeks to compile and distribute information?

Doesn’t it seem odd that other industries can distribute current and accurate data over several services that market that information to the Have Nots? It seems there needs to be a single CRE site that the Haves can access to upload their information, and then that site sends data to all of the sites that help to market that information for FREE! Then, the Have Nots will have a choice of where they look for that information for FREE!

 

MYRETA is the only complete marketing site in Commercial Real Estate.

Picture Source: “The Puzzle” by beautyluna.blogspot.com

Are you a Have or Have Not? (3 of 4)

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Now that we have looked through some of the issues we have in the commercial real estate business in regards to getting the Have’s information into the hands of the Have Nots, let’s see if there is a way to solve some of these issues and workflows so that we can actually have time to do a deal!

First, let’s focus on folks that “Have” available space for lease and the “Have Nots” who are looking for their space.

So since the Haves are the ones needing to get their information into the Have Nots hands, it seemed to be a good idea to check in with the Have Nots and see what they would like to see and how their workflow flows to be sure the Haves aren’t wasting their time as they try to develop the system needed to do this.

How current does your availability need to be?

I spoke with a tenant representative and asked how they looked for the space they needed for their client. Basically, the short answer is that they have the client’s parameters and they search in the different services, if they are a paying member and look for those parameters. Once they have found the properties and the space needed, they develop a tour book and work through that with the client until they focus on a couple, get offers, work those and then sign a lease.

Not surprising, right?

The surprise in this process for me was that usually, once they have searched and found the properties and space they need, they stay with that group until they do a deal. This will change only if the space changes, gets leased, or if they hear of something else that may work.

The concern in this is that as a Have you may think that your space you added today was in the search when you went in, changed the status of that space to available, and sent it to the different services. However, if that was not input by that or those services immediately, you missed a search that you should have been in and you will never know you missed it until you hear that a tenant moved or renewed in a property that you compete with!

You never saw the deal!

How accurate and complete does your information need to be?

Seems like a pretty stupid question, right? The information needs to be accurate and complete. The situation because of how the information is sent to the different services can make this a real challenge. We all know that once you get the information accurate and complete in your system that information now needs to be sent to the services and sites where Have Nots look for it. Since most of the services have to re-type the information and re-load the different images and brochures, there has to be a step that has the Have’s folks checking that information to be sure it is correct.

This is another waste of time and can cause the situation in bullet number 1 where you end up missing a deal.

Wouldn’t it be nice, as a Have to be able to post or upload your information to a site?

I suppose that would be nice but to make it even nicer, wouldn’t it be great if that site allowed the Have Nots to post their requirements so that the Haves received a notice when a Have Not’s parameters matched theirs and vice-versa?

Heck, we may even be able to do our work instead of continually updating our information on all of the different sites, right?

MYRETA is the only complete marketing site in Commercial Real Estate.

Photo Source: “Business Competition” from FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Are you a Have or Have Not? (2 of 4)

D-Custom-Brand-DisconnectSo what do we need to do to get more visibility, efficiency and therefore more usability from the information we freely give to these services? Shouldn’t the information freely given be available to the Have Nots for the same price?

We really haven’t gotten much past looking up the information in Black’s Guides. For you youngsters, this was a printed book that had the available space and contact information for that space. It was updated either quarterly, semi-annual or yearly, depending on the city. At that time if you were in the “business” you would get the book for your city for free and if you wanted additional ones in other cities, you were charged.

It seems we haven’t moved very far past this and have actually started paying way more money to see the information. Let’s see, it was free and now it isn’t! How do we move our commercial real estate business into the brave new technology world?

First let’s digress a bit to see the workflow needed to get the data from the Haves into the hands of the Have Nots.

While there are small nuances in the workflow depending if you are leasing, selling, raising debt or equity for a property, there are numerous consistencies to review.

  1. 1. Usually the folks that are developing the campaigns and inputting the information really should be marketing instead of inputting. They were usually hired to market not to input!
  2. 2. Since they are usually inputting in a separate database, they have to migrate the campaign and the changes to another system to have the ability to report internally and to their client.
  3. 3. Although the internal reports may be consistent, the external or client reports can be very different and need additional fields to input to get the report needed. Most firms or brokers don’t have the ability to quickly change these reports.
  4. 4.  Also, once you send the report for the one campaign, the clients will need to have reports that come from different campaigns, rolled up so that the asset managers and portfolio managers will be able to efficiently review them and make educated decisions on their properties.
  5. 5. Since this data input and reporting are tedious and have to be proofed and edited and then finally sent out to the stake holders, it leaves little time for that team to do the job they were actually hired to do.
  6. 6. Most of, if not all of these databases don’t have the ability to have direct input into the system nor track digital communication with the Have Nots. Generally they require notes and input from the agents or their team and usually this doesn’t get input until the report is due, which means some of the information that was communicated may not make it into the report.
  7. 7. There are no systems that allow the Haves to both indirectly market their Haves and also use the same data and system to directly market their Haves.
  8. 8. There seem to be no data input system, unless it is just for one firm, that can be used to both market the campaign and then use the same information to develop the reports needed.

Sadly, it seems that the technology we use in the commercial real estate business is all vertical and these verticals don’t do a very good job of interacting so the Haves can get their campaigns into the hands of the Have Nots.

MYRETA is the only complete marketing site in Commercial Real Estate.

Picture Source: dcustom.com by Rachel Elmalawany

Are you a Have or Have Not? (1 of 4)

hamlet-duplex-mankoff

To Be a Have or Have Not, that is the question!

In most instances, if you are a Have Not, you want to be a Have, and if you are a Have you want to become a Have Not, right? Makes sense. Is it better to be a Have or a Have Not? To Have or Have Not, that is the question.

Here is what I’m talking about. If you are a person or firm that has space for lease, a property to sell, money you want to lend or put out for equity, you are a Have. So, you need to get in front of some Have Nots so you won’t be a Have anymore. So on the flip side of this, if you are a person or firm that is looking for a property to buy, a space to lease, money to place for debt or equity, you are a Have Not and want to become a Have. We may be in one of the only businesses where the Haves want to be Have Nots and the Have Nots want to be Haves!

With that in mind, what do we need to do in our industry that may be different from others to market our different Haves (space, property, and money for debt and equity) to the Have Nots?  How do the Have Nots (needing a property, space and money for equity and debt) get in position, or how and to whom do they market to so they can become a Have?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place where the Have Nots could input their different requirements and immediately be matched to the Haves? Like a dating site, right? It seems the Haves are always trying to figure out different ways to find the Have Nots, and the Have Nots are always scrambling around trying to find and become a Have.

In most industries, the ability for the Haves to get together with the Have Nots really isn’t that difficult and is inexpensive. You can reference different sites like the matching sites for dating, buying a car, buying music, groceries and every kind of consumable you can think of.

Not so for our industry, yet. While there are some verticals of our business where you can go to look for Haves when you are a Have Not, most of the sites or services to become a Have are extremely expensive for one or both. Some of these verticals are expensive for the Haves; others are expensive for the Have Nots, while there are others that are expensive for both!

While there are some newer sites that are trying to move into the space of “matching” the needs of the Haves and Have Nots, but there seems to be some reticence from the Haves to post their data on those sites. They seem to only put their information on the sites that are expensive, which would seem to restrict the availability to Have Nots that cannot pay for that service or from Have Nots that only have the need for a Have every now and then.

Since these services sell that information to the Have Nots, they will only post the information on their site and will not share the data with other services. It would be like having to pay a large fee to each site when you were looking to buy a car, right? Same situation, you “Have” a car and want to sell it to someone, a Have Not, so you send the information about that car to several sites so the Have Nots can see your car and buy it. Since the Have Nots don’t have to pay a fee to look at the site where you posted your car, there are more Have Nots looking, not just the Have Nots who pay to subscribe to that site.

Another example is the hotel/motel business. There are several sites that have the Have’s information about the space they want to lease. That information is updated on a current basis so that the Have Nots can see what is available. This information from the Haves is sent out to several sites so that the Have Nots can see that space in many places, all for free.

I wonder what it would take to have that same functionality in our commercial real estate arena.

MYRETA is the only complete marketing site in Commercial Real Estate.

Picture Source: The New Yorker by Mankoff