While recognizing the importance of the basics,
SIORs have also gotten creative to find additional
revenue sources during these tough times. “I’ve
been going to court as an expert with owners trying to get extensions on foreclosure notices, and
doing small leases to make commissions to help
pay the bills,” says Tom Hill, III, SIOR, CCIM,
of Tom Hill Realty & Investment in Waterbury,
Connecticut. “I bought my own utility van and
lettered it up for publicity, and I’m erecting signs
wherever I can. It really makes the phone ring.
I’m also getting as much fee work as I can for
providing a broker’s opinion of value, for strategic planning, and for helping people establish
a leasing plan for multi-tenant properties,” Hill
He also enhances his visibility with a radio
show every Wednesday night on brownfields and
environmental services, and occasionally he substitutes as host on the number one radio show in
central Connecticut, “Talk of the Town.” “These
generate some really positive free advertising and
promotion for me,” he says.
Hill’s Website ( www.tomhill.com), which
includes a picture of his van, gets 3,000 hits a
month. “My wife, who is my partner, tweaks it
almost daily,” he notes. “We also have a part-time
assistant who puts properties on the site for us.”
“My niche of tenant representation is probably
the best there is in this business,” says Greg Schenk,
SIOR, of The Schenk Company in Columbus
Ohio. There’s very little overhead, we’re masters
of the market and process, and we put clients first.
It’s all about going in and helping companies with
their strategic plan, or if they do not have one,
providing them with experts like real estate attor-
neys, accountants, bankers, and insurance people.
Almost all the work we do now is restructuring
and renegotiation of existing leases,” Schenk
says. While business is good (he just took on
two new agents) he notes that the nature of his
business has changed. “We’ve gone to 80 per-
cent restructuring and early renewals,” he says.
Something Old, Something New . . .
Those SIORs who preach the virtue of “back to
basics” are quick to point out that they’re not
doing everything the way they used to. “This
year you’re more of a consultant than a broker,”
says Mills. “You’ve got to become your client’s
resource—not a guy who can just lease or sell
their building. If you [become a resource], you
can actually tell them what to do with their
assets.” Mills says he takes a “full income-to-value” approach, much like an appraiser.
As a more “full-service” broker, Mills says
he not only tells a client what their property is