Navigating the Challenges of Selling or Leasing Real Estate in Distant Locations: Tips for Avoiding Frustration

Navigating the Challenges of Selling or Leasing Real Estate in Distant Locations: Tips for Avoiding Frustration

People are often surprised to hear that we close transactions and offer commercial real estate advisory work in many markets around the nation. But it’s true.

For example, we are currently selling a 3-D printing and polymer manufacturing building in Detroit for a client. That same client also has us busy in Houston and Norfolk.

How do we do it? By collaborating with other strategic partners, of course.

To give you another example: in Detroit, Cardinal selected John Boyd at Signature Associates to be our broker and our “boots on the ground.”

[*In spite of the worst impressions people may have of brokers, there are many excellent ones out there, like John Boyd, and they are absolutely essential to quality real estate deals. Here’s a recent piece I wrote on the subject.]

Leaders often procrastinate when it comes to solving distant real estate problems. And for a good reason:

  • From past experience, they know that far-off real estate can be easily forgotten about.
  • They are unsure about the markets and the active players there.
  • They perceive the obstacles are larger than they are in reality.

But that doesn’t mean you should sit on your hands.

Here are the ground rules we use at Cardinal for finding and collaborating with brokers in other markets for our clients:

  1. Understand your capabilities and limitations. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can complement them with the right team members. For example, my partner Brian is firm and thorough when it comes to due diligence and organization. And our local broker is incredible at knowing the market and orchestrating prospects.
  2. Be in constant contact. Brian and I use Asana and Slack to communicate more efficiently, improve team accountability, set clear goals, and meet deadlines.
  3. Give context. As they say, context is everything. In our case, we remind the local broker about the key client objectives we established at the beginning of the relationship.
  4. Be real. Great collaborators in real estate deals are open and honest about their intentions and motivations, and they are upfront about any challenges or setbacks that may arise. Surprises might be great for birthdays. They’re not so great in real estate.
  5. Be open. People who are rigid and unwilling to listen to others’ perspectives end up isolating themselves, which prevents collaboration and success—and perhaps most importantly, profit.

By the way, these Collaboration Ground Rules were inspired by content from our Strategic Coach friends, who have counted me as an enthusiastic disciple for over 20 years.  

If you’re looking for advice on how to sell commercial real estate in other markets, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re expert collaborators, and our team has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the complex world of commercial real estate sales and find success in any market. So get in touch today and let us know how we can help.

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


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