Engage your constituents: Prospects can be engaged - by David Kirk

September 13, 2019 - Appraisal & Consulting
David Kirk
Kirk & Company

Before algorithmic failure, robo call default or call bank ball drops, engage your constituents. Clients and customers and respective prospects can be engaged. The deal is more than a transaction. Always more than trivial and frequently strategic, commercial real estate decisions deserve collegiality and informed engagement. Banks have called their lending officers relationship managers for a while. Be credible and attentive to establish the relationship. Not really revolutionary, engaging service in the commercial real estate profession is an increasingly important hallmark of performance. 

Exemplary behavior and protocols abound. Increasing alternative power generators for resilience at the request of commercial tenants. Modifying apartments for occupancy by seniors and the handicapped at the request of residential tenants. Modifying parking for food and service trucks at the request of tenancies. Planting the site and installing benches at the request/suggestions of tenancies. Modifying standard lease forms and terms to accommodate tenancies. Enhanced concierge and service interface. 

Buyers and sellers and borrowers have special needs and desires that require listening and engagement. Beyond digital dialogue and social media contact and outsourced connectivity. Logical and market considerations have supported changes and evolution. Engaging constituencies can provide a heads up and market advantage and do the deal and retain the constituents. More important with prevalence of algorithms. Making and leading the markets to success.

Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) were founded on the client relationship. With contingent fees and compensation prevailing in the commercial real estate markets and defining the professional relationship, a group of real estate professionals recognized the need to celebrate the client and the assignment. The need to promote the practice of non-contingent counseling in the commercial real estate markets. In 1953 the charter group of 36 approached the National Association of Realtors, and established the NAR affiliated CRE. Prominent practitioners from coast to coast, border to border, made a credible case to NAR and the designation CRE was recognized.

Clients are the constituents, with or without a transaction. Sellers, buyers, borrowers, lenders, landlords, tenants. Non-profits, corporations, government, individuals. All constituents. Engaging constituents should be expeditious. Often so called common ground, mutually acceptable terms and conditions, the deal is beyond the standard, the simple, the initial, the arrangement. Not just the new deal, the renewal or the extension. Also, the foundation for next deal and the referral. Not the barrier or fence. The bridge.

The Counselors of Real Estate convene November 6-10 in Nashville to engage each other and other expert panelists joining the mix and the meetings. Many with collateral memberships in other organizations. All engaging. The Nashville meetings will include sessions on impact on the built environment of: Artificial intelligence, congestion, the higher education campus, opportunity zones, healthcare, the mega project. 

Tours of the local action include: 

• Nashville Yards; 

• Music Row; 

• Vanderbilt; 

• The Gulch; and 

• WeHo (Wedgewood-Houston).

Getting to the leading edge of commercial real estate in the macro and micro context is a relentless challenge. Banging out the deal, the dispute, the development is contingent on effort, enterprise and support from the constituencies.

David Kirk, CRE, MAI, FRICS, is principal and founder of Kirk & Company, Real Estate Counselors, Boston.



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