Building a business in commercial construction and development by landing your first job may be unpredictable. Keep in mind that forming relationships and knowing your market is measurable and can be used in your favor. Forming a relationship is the first step towards receiving work, and the second step is being in the right place at the right time (often mistaken as luck). After closing my first multi-million dollar deal, I know this to be very true.
Firstly, I manage all my relationships. If we’ve spoken on a business level, it’s highly probable that I have a line item on you in my Contracts and Communication excel spreadsheet. There are tons of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools available, but nothing is better than creating your own. I include the following in mine…
|Lead Source||Firm/Company||Project / Phase / Value||Contact Person||Initial Contact Date||Communication||Follow Up||Notes|
I created a list of every medium to large broker, restaurateur, retailer, architect, and developer that exists in Southern California. I find out who it is that I need to speak to and start a relationship with those individuals. Some people I haven’t contacted yet, others I know when their children go back to school. Regardless, I know when we spoke last, what we talked about, when to follow up, and most importantly what they’re working on. Above all else, be honest and engaging at all times.
Secondly, as you may have read in my preface, I positioned myself in Orange County. Being centrally located in OC is where I have access to about 15,000 square miles of diverse market space. It takes a lot of extra time, but each day I start on the treadmill reading industry trends. This goes without saying, I read…a lot. I don’t read main stream media news at all; however, I do keep a very close eye on Real Estate Investments, International Council of Shopping Center updates, and restaurant & retail news. I digest it all, and before I’m heading to the office I already have a good pulse on southern California’s commercial development.
Keeping in touch with industry professionals and knowing what their company is working on are both key to your success in development. If you want to build a successful commerce center, you have to chose your team and tenants wisely.
By building relationships and researching the market place everyday, I’ve been able to build relationships with well-known developers, asset managers, and property managers who trusts us with remodeling their shopping center.
More on that soon!