in London. “There is so much more SIOR cross-border business than
there used to be.”
That’s important, LeMarechal adds, because the key to success
in cross-border deals is to have someone on the ground who does
business in that particular market day-to-day, whether it is office,
industrial, or anything else. When that person is an SIOR, one
should assume you will get the local information that is needed
plus trustworthy recommendations such as a local attorney.
When a client from North America, Asia or elsewhere contacts
LeMarechal about needing a building somewhere in either the U.K.
or elsewhere in Europe, one of the first things she does is arrange
a conference call so that, “the person on the ground explains to
everyone else what’s happening in that particular market, and
what’s different about that market from the venue where the client
The local person also needs to impart the local restrictions
and regulations, LeMarechal adds. “Sometimes, a client will say,
‘I want to build a factory in a certain location and I want to run
it 24-7.’ But, my person will say, ‘you can’t because legislation
means you can only have your factories running from 8 a.m. to
6 p.m. and no commercial vehicles during certain hours.’ On the
other hand, the local person may tell the client of grants to be ascer-
tained and an allowance to bring more employees into the region.”
LeMarechal has noticed some particular quirks from American
investors coming to Europe for the first time. “It seems,” she notes,
“a lot of people in the United States are frightened of picking up
the telephone and calling a foreign country, but most Europeans
in the commercial real estate business do speak English. So, send
an e-mail, and you’ll get a quick response.” Secondly, she adds
with a laugh, “There seems to be little awareness of time zones
because people are always phoning us around midnight.” And
thirdly, Americans tend to be informal with names, but, she points
out, outside the U.K. and the U.S. you don’t call people by their
Christian names, it’s always Mr. So&So.
In Switzerland, Matthew Leguen de Lacroix, SIOR, BSc
(Hons), FRICS, managing partner for DTZ in Geneva, has always
recommended connecting through the SIOR network—that members in the U.S. and those elsewhere should get to know each other.
Leguen de Lacroix often crosses the pond for SIOR conferences, meeting old associates, and getting to know new members.
“Ultimately, it’s letting them know how we can help their clients in
Europe,” he says.
Recently, he says, he received a call from an SIOR member in
Connecticut who had a pharmaceutical client looking for 60,000
square feet in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“His first concern was wanting to be sure he had the right per-
son in Switzerland,” Leguen de Lacroix recalls. “He didn’t want to
send one of his best clients to someone he couldn’t trust. The initial
bond is through the SIOR membership, and then it’s a question of
track record, convincing each other you are right for each other,
and then convincing the client. After that, managing the work
“This was a large transaction and the SIOR in the States received
a good fee for having made a couple of phone calls and e-mails,”
says Leguen de Lacroix. “I actually had the chance to meet the
fellow in Miami, a nice guy who is very enthusiastic about doing
business internationally. For the U.S.-based SIOR, it’s easy money
for very simple out-reach.”
Important Cross-Border Considerations
Your SIOR Connection in
Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.
Sale / Lease
David DeVaney, SIOR, CCIM
Bryan Rudisill, SIOR, CCIM
Arnold Farmer, SIOR, CCIM
Jim Fitzpatrick, SIOR, MAI
Celebrating Forty Years of Proven Results.
Build on the power of our network. TM
414 Vine Street Chattanooga, TN 37403 (o) 423.267.6549 www.naicharter.com