The Process and Hindrances of Retail Recruitment (Part 3 of 4)
Retail Attractions, LLC
What does the retail recruitment process look like? It looks like any other relationship based endeavor. The first key to success is to know who to contact, and preferably, have a good relationship with that individual or group. Lots of retailers have generic mail boxes where all real estate related correspondence is funneled. Good luck with that approach. Knowing the right person is the key to getting your city’s market data into hands that actually have the power to influence decisions. We know retailers, their corporate real estate people, and the various groups of brokers around the country that they use to represent them in growth markets. Sometimes one representative will be the contact for a large geographical area, other groups will have a team of brokers and site selectors working deals for a state or a region. The thing to remember is that they are people who are busy, have families, and go to work each day just like you and me. It takes patience to stay after them until you get a convenient moment to talk about new sites. You can contact them daily with elaborate marketing material for month after month, and you may never get your city on the radar for new development opportunities. On the other hand, one phone call or meeting at the right time, with the right person, can result in a successful retail deal for your community, with no marketing material involved. We’ve experienced it many times. Again… It’s all about relationships. We discuss retail sites and the markets of our client cities daily by phone, by email, and in person. We attend the ICSC conferences held around the country and introduce our clients directly to the retailers.
The recruiting process takes patience and tenacity. A retailer or restaurant may tell you that they have no interest in a market or a community at the beginning of a year and then six months later be aggressively trying to get into that area. A retail or restaurant entity may have limited real estate personnel and simply may not have the time to look at a specific deal or a specific market today, but will warehouse sites or locations for future growth or for the next development cycle. We interact daily with the retail world and those who make a living in this industry, and have proven strategies for getting communities pushed to the top of the lists.
Check back next week to find out what your city can do to encourage retail development.
Rickey Hayes is the principal of Retail Attractions, LLC, a firm dedicated to helping cities and developers successfully find retail sites, close deals and improve the quality of life for our client cities.