Whenever I talk with business owners and executives of growing and competitive businesses a common theme always seems to emerge. A trait of great leadership is providing certainty, but how can one create certainty in such an uncertain world?
What happens if we win that big contract?
What if we lose one?
How will we recruit and deploy the talent we need to win in the game of business today and tomorrow?
These questions and more dominate the minds of most business executives.
We deal with these issues everyday as we help our clients navigate the confusing, complex and risky world of real estate management. While most people don’t think about it this way, real estate is one of the biggest challenges facing executives in such an uncertain world.
“How can I make a five- or ten-year commitment, when I’m not even sure what we’re going to need next year,”
is a typical concern that we help our clients manage.
While there is always risk in what we do, over the years we’ve created some simple tips to help manage this paradigm and turn real estate management to your advantage.
Here are some of the most popular:
- Always – and we mean always – map your real estate decisions to your business strategy and plan. As the owl shared in Alice and Wonderland, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” And in the case of real estate that means higher costs, less control and greater risk. When you’re clear on where you’re going, you can turn real estate negotiations to your advantage.
- Don’t get lost in the transaction. We get it. There are lots of legal forms, financial checks and commitments. But, don’t lose site of the forest because you’re obsessed with the trees.
- Use an advisor. This may sound self-serving, but that doesn’t reduce the importance. Please note the key word here is advisor – not broker. An advisor brings a high degree of business acumen, customer focus and the knowledge of your business, matched by a deep understanding of commercial real estate, applied towards managing the process to a successful conclusion.
- It’s all about managing trade-offs. When you’re clear on what’s important, you can utilize that knowledge to gain significant advantages. Rent abatements, variable leases, terms tied to customer contracts and other items can be negotiated to give you the flexibility you need.
- Remember, in the end it’s still just a negotiation. There is no such thing as a contract that can’t be broken. In the end, you can negotiate yourself into or out of just about anything. In more than 20 years in the world of real estate we regularly see clients surprised by the number of choices they have in a situation, not by the lack of options. (PS – that’s another reason to make sure you’ve got a good advisor just a call away)