Jan 11, 2016

Five Practices for a Great Property Tour

By Don Catalano



Whether you're a broker looking to dazzle a client, or a tenant looking for a new space, not every property tour is created equal. Here are a few best practices that can make time spent touring potential spaces more productive for everyone.


Good Tours Require Preparation

Before the tour day ever starts, the broker needs to be prepared. Preparation requires more than just washing the car and brushing up on market data. Simple things -- like driving the route to know exactly where each property is located and how to get in and out of it -- can help to make the day more productive. Creating a list of every landlord rep and their contact information will also eliminate or at least simplify the handling of any mishaps during the property tour.


Create Supporting Materials

Property tours are about delivering as much information as possible. To that end, most brokers will prepare a tour book. The best books go beyond just being a map and a compilation of information from a third party, though. A tour book should combine third party information with detailed rent comp information, market data and comparisons that highlight your brokers' expertise. It should even have ample blank space for notes and comments. That way, the book is useful not just as a guide on the day of the tour but as a decision making resource throughout the site selection process. Good supporting materials also enable the next aspect of a winning property tour.


Check Mobile Devices (at the Door)

Unfortunately, face time is a rare commodity in the commercial real estate world. Most of your communication with your broker will happen via electronic means. In addition, the tour might be the only chance to meet the owner's representative during the leasing process. With this in mind, being in the moment is crucial. It allows you time to build relationships, create rapport and trust with all parties and get those moments of good will that make it easier to work together over a long time. Leaving your mobile device in the car, at the office or in your hotel room will help you to focus on the task at hand.


Use Breaks Strategically

Break time is an important part of any property tour because it creates opportunities to get to know properties better. Mid-morning coffee breaks, lunches and afternoon refreshment stops can all be done at in-building or nearby amenity locations. This lets everyone experience the feel of a given property or area at a much deeper level than just looking at a vacant space and at the surrounding common areas which may or may not be active.


Have a Follow Up Plan

Just as every great meeting ends with a commitment for another meeting, every property tour should end with a clearly defined follow up plan. Typically, this means having a time and date set where you and your broker will decide on which spaces you will draft a proposal and on which ones you will pass. A tour can't move your business forward if you don't act on what you see.

Check out some of our other articles:

Corporate Real Estate Tour Checklist

Five Often-Missed Factors on a Commercial Real Estate Tour

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Relocating Your Office

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Don Catalano

Don Catalano