As commercial real estate practitioners, our assignments vary. Generally, they involve representing an owner or an occupant.
Occupants need a place to conduct business through leasing or purchasing their commercial real estate. Therefore, we conduct searches, tour alternatives and advocate for our occupant clients. With owner representation, we’re engaged to find a buyer or tenant for an empty or soon-to-be empty location.
On occasion an owner assigns us the job of selling an occupied building — also known as a leased investment. You may be wondering why a stakeholder would sell a cash-flowing asset. The reasons are myriad.
Typically a transition has occurred — a death, divorce or business succession. Sometimes a change in motivation, the need for cash, or a desire to expand a portfolio through the use of a tax-deferred exchange happens. Lately, as values have increased exponentially, we’ve seen a spate of unsolicited offers at eye-popping amounts which has spurred some owners to sell.
So, how do we market a leased investment assignment?
First of all, we need to understand the differences between an income-generating vehicle vs. an empty address. You see, a vacant building needs an inhabitant. But an occupied location does not. Therefore, the prospect you’re seeking changes from a company looking for a utility to an investor driving returns.
A growing enterprise cares about yard space, warehouse ceiling height and power, whereas an investor considers the term of a lease, rents paid and the financial strength of the tenant.
Marketing collateral for a leased investment will include information on the tenant, demographics, a rent roll that details the leases, term increases, and expirations, and some color on the local area.
Depending on the dollar amount and nature of the offering, a national appeal may exist. For example: a $30 million logistics warehouse in Chino and occupied by Amazon would garner interest from far and wide. But a $2.5 million price tag with Joe’s Mufflers as a tenant would generate mostly local suiters.
We now understand the differences and are ready to launch our effort.
Remember, we must get the information in the hands of those most likely to have an interest. Generally, an industrial building will not appeal to a group that acquires shopping centers. High-rise office investors normally will not buy big-box retail. But other investors will look at any asset class such as office, retail or industrial or even multifamily.
Next, consider the investor’s source of capital. Will they use their own funds or rely on OPM — “other people’s money. And finally, what is their exit strategy? Are they going to raise rents and sell the holding or planning to keep it forever?
We’ve identified the most likely buyer pool. Now, it’s a matter of choosing the platform to market our assignment. We want to cast our net where the fish are biting.
Real Capital Markets will get your information into many sophisticated investor inboxes. A mailer might supplement. Certainly, calling likely candidates is effective. An email campaign to proprietary lists also works great. Publishing in multiple listing services such as Costar, LoopNet or CREXI will yield results.
OK, nets are cast. Time to harvest the bounty of investor interest.
Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at email@example.com or 714.564.7104.