Think cutting costs means cutting out your real estate broker? Think again. Going it alone isn’t always a money-saving proposition.
“Traditionally, most retailers have used brokers to assist them in securing new store locations,” said Andy Bulson, senior VP of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based Mid-America Real Estate Corp. “But brokers also can assist a retailer with lease renewals by providing comparables to determine market rents, identify potential relocation opportunities and provide insight into potential changes that may be taking place in the market.”
The efforts of these brokers, when properly engaged, can help to improve the effectiveness of “in-house” corporate deal makers, according to Bulson, who detailed the following specific dollar-saving services brokers can generate:
Site mapping: Brokers can provide highly stylized and customized aerials, mapping and demographic data and materials that would otherwise need to be prepared by corporate employees using expensive and frequently updated software and mapping systems.
Travel: There is also a significant amount of cost savings in travel budgets when local brokers are used because, in effect, the retailer has a team on the ground in their respective markets and also has representation at national and regional ICSC events that their brokers would attend.
Disposition services: Brokers can also help a retailer dispose of surplus property in the most cost-effective manner by promoting the property on their Web sites and e-mailing the listing to prospective users. Even working lease terminations is a function that a broker can provide, minimizing the cost to the retailer.
Not all of the above services need necessarily be paid out of the retailer’s wallet, either. Some landlords will pick up the tab.
“All of these expanded services are available to retailers who recognize the cost savings and are willing to compensate, or have their landlords compensate, their exclusive brokers for the services being provided,” Bulson said.