“It all definitely stirs the pot for me in regard to people calling
me instead of me calling them,” Hill says. “I get 15 to 20 calls
a day because of the radio show, which brings me a couple of
new clients a year. People locally know me. When I knock on
someone’s door, they want to let you in because they know who
you are. Secretaries know who you are.”
It all helps. Waterbury, which sits about halfway between Boston
and New York at the intersection of some key New England
highways, was hit hard by the recession. “I used to make a living
just in Waterbury,” Hill says. But ever the networker, he adds,
“these days I’m working about a thirty mile radius of the city.”
Checking in on a much newer industrial market, Warsaw, Poland,
one finds the strategies to bring in clients are, for the most part,
Warsaw’s modern industrial market is only about 20 years in the
making, observes Renata Osiecka, SIOR, managing partner with
Axi Immo Group Sp.z.o.o. in Warsaw.
Osiecka’s company is a independent, which in itself is an oddity,
as the commercial real estate market in Warsaw is dominated
by the internationals, such as Colliers, Jones Lang LaSalle and
That’s OK, because sometimes the big international firms can’t
get the job done locally.
“An industrial project came to me because the owner had an
unhappy experience with the international brokers," says Osiecka.
"They didn’t do a good job and the property stood vacant for a
long time. I proved to them that we would be more dedicated to
the project, that the local market was our strength. Dedication was
the reason we got this property.” Osiecka did a much better job
once she got the listing.
“Why did we succeed with the project when the international
agency failed?” she asks rhetorically. “Because we didn’t treat it
as one of many projects, but as a dedicated one. We were honest
with the clients and told them how the market looked at that time
and what was possible to archive."
So what does it take get new clients in Poland? As Osiecka
explains, it’s all granular and introductory. “To win a listing,
the first thing I have to do is convince the client that I have the
market knowledge, understand the location of the property, and
what prices can be achieved,” she says. “It’s very important that I
extend to the client what actions I’m going to take to sell or lease
the property; what marketing I’m going to implement; and how
I’m going to report back to the client.”
Otherwise, the outreach effort by Osiecka’s firm is not much
different than in the United States, a newsletter, e-mail marketing
and actively trying to get mentioned in the local press.
“We are in daily contact with the main real estate magazines,
newspapers, logistic press and portals in Poland and CEE,”
Osiecka reports. “I write about five to six articles and comments
a month, mainly about the real estate market—technical articles
to logistic press and overviews and forecast comments to
newspapers. From time to time I have direct contact with clients
who, after reading an interview or article, call or send an e-mail
with specific requests.’”
The Polish commercial real estate market is also a lot like the
United States – it is in the recovery part of the cycle. Good news
for independent-minded brokers.
STEVE BERGSMAN is a
nationally recognized financial
and real estate writer. For more
than twenty-five years, he has
contributed to a wide range
of magazines, newspapers
and wire services, including
the New York Times, the Wall
Street Journal Sunday, Global
Finance, Executive Decision,
and Chief Executive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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