3 Ways to Get the Industry Working for You

21 May, 2019

Updated August 26, 2021

story highlights
  • Share your goals and specific needs to allow the market to work for you.
  • Leverage your consultants’ industry knowledge and network to connect you with targeted opportunities.
  • Find help in unexpected ways by networking differently.

When it comes to development goals, our industry is notoriously guarded. While there can be a competitive advantage in keeping certain plays concealed, the secrecy also stems from an instinctive trade-secret mentality of not wanting others to know the next move.

Here’s the thing, though – if people don’t know what you want to accomplish, they can’t help you. Informing others about your specific needs often works to give you a leg up on the competition.

Whether you’re a team of one or part of a larger real estate conglomerate, allowing the market to work for you is a strong play in an aggressive business that’s constantly competing for resources, people, and land. When backed by an entire industry bringing you qualified leads, you free up your time to act on these opportunities while driving growth and return on investment.

So how do you make the market work for you? Get talking.

August 2021 Update: COVID-19 has flipped the script on industry networking but these three approaches still ring true. Whether you are networking in-person or connecting virtually, implementing these three tactics can generate more opportunities and deals. Leverage your connections and get the land development industry working for you.

1. Tell Your Story

When Sears Holdings spun off Seritage Growth Properties to repurpose its non-essential space, they spotlighted the properties Sears and Kmart vacated, and where they now needed new tenants. In telling their story, they promoted what they were looking to achieve. In making their ambitions public, the industry went to work, bringing them ideas on how to redevelop or fill the vacancies with higher-paying tenants.

While this is an oversimplified example involving REITs (who are held to a certain level of public reporting), it illustrates how empowering the market to work for you results in receiving qualified leads and opportunities in return.

If public disclosure and industry PR aren’t required or available to you, there are other ways to get the word out. At a minimum, review your online presence and make sure that when people research you, they learn more than your leadership team, portfolio, and contact information. Take the opportunity on your website, social feeds, and personal profile pages to promote your organization’s goals, current emphases, and specific needs.

The payoff? Get the right people with the right opportunities contacting you.

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2. Leverage Your Partners

Whether it’s a conversation or part of a larger organized event, connecting your consultants with your story can make a difference. There is a growing trend among owners and developers who recognize the return on investment of this approach in hosting day-long partner conferences. Gathering their leadership and real estate teams together with their core consultants, they share everything about their organization from company vision to updated design standards. This not only empowers their partners to better serve their projects, but also allows their external team to act as ambassadors of their market position.

If you are relying on your consultants solely for their technical design expertise, you are missing out on a key piece of value they bring to the table: an expansive network of active players who are buying, selling, and developing property. Talking about your business objectives arms your partners with the information to connect you with the market in a meaningful way that could result in opportunities like deals, introductions, or a strategic hire.

Your civil engineer, for example, likely has ample knowledge of recycled properties and sites that never moved forward. If they are privy to the specific ‘what’ and ‘where’ of your short and long-term development plans, they can leverage their network to search for and identify opportunities in your target locations, supporting the current efforts of your brokers or in-house acquisition teams.

3. Be Active in the Industry

As critical as it is to share your own story, it’s equally important to hear what others have to say. Networking, whether in-person or virtually, is an effective way to learn what’s happening in the market and what others want to accomplish. In talking with industry players about their goals, you may find an opportunity to bring value to others. Down the road, this could bring value back to you.

At industry events, challenge your go-to conference routine by stepping outside of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to new experiences that could spark opportunity. Listen to the keynote speaker you might have otherwise skipped. Engage in panel discussions where others are sharing their story. Spend time talking with non-traditional people. Interacting beyond your core group positions you to find help in unpredictable ways.

Getting the most out of networking and your external partners, however, starts with a willingness to share your story. When people understand your development goals, they are more capable of bringing you meaningful opportunities. Arming the industry to work for you in this way allows you to focus on other items, like landing an important contract, building a strategic partnership, or scoping out the next deal.

We want to hear your story. Connect with Bohler’s team and find ways to leverage our extended network. We can help get the industry working for you.

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