For many executives, property tours are fun. They are an opportunity to get into the marketplace, get a feeling for what’s available, and judge how well a property matches their vision for their company’s future. At a minimum, the broker should vet the industrial property, but frequently the project champion and internal team will vet it as well. Most executives engage in the touring process after the property vetting. We use the executive’s time judiciously.
Great tours, whether they be preliminary tours or final executive tours, have options. It does not take long in the brokerage business to have an experience where you think that a property is a perfect fit for a client only to find it dismissed based on a factor that you perceived to be minuscule. This experience serves as a reminder that a broker’s job is to make the best opportunities available for the client so that the client can make their own best decision. Because of this, it pays to have plenty of options vetted for tours. Not only that, but to have more options available than initially contemplated so that the tour can be adapted based on real-time feedback.
In advance of any tour, we’ll prepare a shortlist which will include three to five buildings prioritized by the overall fit to the client’s needs, that we confirm to be available to lease, available for us to tour, and a possible match. We’ll then go there and walk the building before the tour to make sure it is worth the team’s consideration. Tours usually last 1-4 hours, including drive time and coffee or lunch as needed. For a c-level executive to take that time out of their schedule, the tour must be high level, which is why we will tour everything as a broker team and with the project team in advance of asking for the executive’s time.
Each building on tour will have a different set of touring circumstances. The building may be vacant and require there to be an owner’s representative at the building during the tour. The property’s existing tenant may request an appointment set up in advance so that the existing tenant is prepared to have visitors walk through their building. Some of these tenants will only accommodate tours at specific times based on their executive’s schedules or shift changes. Furthermore, they may have forklifts and equipment or machines running while you are in the building. They may have their own safety requirements for hard hats, face masks, and smocks, or to stay on a specific path of travel to ensure everybody’s safety. So, before you start touring properties, take a moment to make sure you know the situation for each building on tour, decide whether it is worth your time, and arrange the tour schedule in a manner that is as efficient and flexible as possible.