The Art of Selecting an
Effective Local Advisor
and the Pitfalls in Between
The selection of a local field advisor is vitally important o the success or failure of a complex, corporate ten- ant representation project. In most cases, poorly executed transactions on the local level can be resolved with a
strong account transaction manger and detailed corporate real
However, transactions are becoming more complex with specialized build to suits involving detailed cost analysis and sale
lease back provisions; for instance, the account transaction
manager has to be more aware as to whom they select on the
local level to not only execute the transaction and keep the client satisfied but to protect the account.
One of my favorite movies is the “Italian Job,” and in my opinion, the most piercing line about the importance of finding an
effective working partner is the following: “I trust everyone,
it’s the Devil inside them that I don’t trust.” In order to best
understand how to find the most appropriate local advisor, I
believe that we should first understand the things that keep up
the account transaction manager and corporate real estate departments at night.
The account transaction manager may have the most to lose in
this selection process. For example, if the local advisor does
not perform well, they will most likely not be asked to assist
again. Yet, that same local advisor may have other accounts
and clients to assist and pursue; therefore, the risk and the pain
threshold is considerably less than that of the account transaction manger. Meanwhile, the account transaction manager
may be judged by the corporate real estate department via a
key performance indication (KPI), and with a poor score/rating
in a particular city, this could impact the long-term relationship
with the client.
The corporate real estate department is at risk as well. If the
company selects a particular site or building, and the company
does not meet or exceed profitability expectations established
by the executive management/corporate board of directors, ex-
ecutive management may consider reasons why the company
performance is below expectations, and look to those account-
able in selecting that particular site or building. While this may
not occur on a frequent basis, global conditions faced in the
most recent depression brought to light such occasions. Cor-
porate real estate departments are seeking to align their account
transaction manager along with the local advisor to hedge such
risk and make informed and strategic decisions.
Based upon the fears that all three groups face on a daily basis, what are the key characteristics that an account transaction manager and/or a corporate real estate department/director
should consider in selecting a local advisor? Below are several
questions to ask yourself:
•;Is this local advisor trustworthy?
o If the local advisor is in a different company, make
sure they understand the client relationship.
•;What do his/her competitors say about this advisor?
o Is this advisor viewed as a fair, balanced and ethical
•;Is this person experienced with complex corporate trans-
o Do they have a track record with similar require-
• Does this advisor have available internal company resources and team members to cover last minute conference
calls, client tours, etc?
•;Is this advisor hyper responsive to client calls, emails, etc.?
•;Is this advisor able to deliver excellent content and materials to the client?
• Does this advisor track the requirement progression in order to highlight potential pitfalls and/or
The summary of this composition is based on deep-rooted trust,
not mere perception of business qualifications alone. Without
such trust, it does not matter how effective the local advisor is
for the client. Once you have a short list of trusted local advisors then the account transaction manager and the corporate
real estate department are in safer waters.
By Simons Johnson, SIOR, MCR, CCIM