Those of you I’ve been talking to recently are understandably worried about how much longer this dip in the commercial real estate market is going to last. I’ve heard some of you say things like, “I guess we’ll just have to wait it out” or “The market’s cyclical. Things will turn up eventually.” Both true—however, they seem to imply a sense that you have no control over your business…that you’re going to take this lying down and hold out until things somehow just improve magically on their own. This is why I’m passing along what I thought was a quality piece on msnbc. I warn you that it’s pretty tough talk, but also good food for thought on what consultants can—and should—be doing now instead of just taking a passive approach to riding out the storm.
The list starts with spending some good, quality time with the marketing gurus at your firm. This means getting close to the people at your firm who are best at making your services appeal to new clients and, better yet, crafting a message to help you reach new ones.
The other key point I took from that list is to get strategic. No one knows when things will take a turn for the better so it’s time to face some hard facts and uncertainty. What if this lasts for another year? Do you have a game plan for 12 months out? A plan for a worst-case scenario? It might be time to make some tough decisions as you figure out how to dig deeper for business and hopefully survive in a period where fewer transactions are taking place. This might call for some cost-cutting, some reallocation of resources and even entirely new strategies. Every firm is reacting to the market environment differently. Some firms are unfortunately laying people off, but as the commonground job board indicates, others are out there looking for smart minds to add to their rosters.
Lastly, the author of the msnbc post hit on that old chestnut “no man is an island.” A downturn is no time to close your door, stick your head in the sand and wait it out. That’s why we’re all here on commonground. There is value in learning from other professionals, putting up your antennae and hearing what others have to say. And on that note, I’m about to reach out and do a mid-year podcast with Clint Myers, a leading real estate analyst at PPR to find out his thoughts on what's happening in the world of commercial real estate investment. So, if you have any questions about deal flow that you want me to pose to him, just shoot them my way!