In commercial real estate brokerage today it is common for any agent to present services and real estate proposals within a boardroom setting. The corporate clients that we work with frequently require comprehensive market information to be presented to a board of directors or group of business owners.
Presenting and pitching to the client in such boardroom circumstance can be a challenge. In simple terms you must know the property, the client, and the market; you must be prepared for difficult questions and probing comments. A board of directors can be motivated in many different ways; complete understanding is required.
So let’s look at some ways you can prepare for such a presentation. There will most likely be different characters and challenges within the board of directors; look for the people that will be probing for facts and information, and be prepared in all respects.
Here are some ideas to handle this type of business presentation circumstance in commercial real estate:
- The owners or directors of a business are likely to be influenced and governed by unusual pressures and in most cases some unknown factors that may never be disclosed to you. Members of the group will also have different levels of decision and intention in any property transaction. For this reason, questioning the members of the board prior to the final sales pitch or presentation will be of great assistance to you. Understand and look for relationships and any ‘power play’ that could occur; decide who the real decision makers are likely to be on property matters.
- Understand the client’s property needs and requirements. Review their current business operations and property activities; do they want to buy, sell, or lease? If possible, inspect their current premises and business operations today to see how things work. Understand how they interact across the business units with clients, staff, and suppliers. Those factors are likely to have impact on property decisions, disposal, relocation, or renovation.
- What is the client’s primary focus in acting on a property issue today? There will be one or two things that must be satisfied above all else in any sale, lease or purchase. When you identify those facts, drill down into the issues to identify all secondary opinions and requirements across business units and operations. Remember that many of the directors will have diverse views on the facts and property needs of the business.
- In most corporate property decisions, changeover costs and a cost benefit analysis will be required by the directors; those facts are likely to be discussed in the boardroom presentation. To communicate those facts accurately you will require up to date market facts, comparable property details, and a resume of sales and leasing results across the property type and location. Use visual graphs and market evidence to help the directors see the property facts today and how they compare or integrate into the market. Show them how they can move forward logically using a PERT chart or Gantt chart. Both display strategies will help the directors visually in the final property decision.
- It is not unusual for the client to bring in specialist consultants to integrate comment on property considerations and choices. Larger businesses will usually bring in engineers, architects, planners, and quantity surveyors to provide expert opinion before the final decisions are made. Top agents will work with these experts to facilitate a final decision for the client.
So the message here is quite clear. When you work with a corporate client and particularly a board of directors on property matters, preparation is required in all respects.