Packaging is Everything – Turning Around Distressed Assets

Packaging is everything. You don’t have to have a background in advertising to see evidence of that fact in play almost everywhere you look. Lousy performing music albums get a reboot by way of a flashy, appealing new video that suddenly kicks dismal sales into high gear. An out of work college graduate gets a new suit and a $40 haircut and is suddenly on the A-list for job interviews throughout town. Likewise, distressed assets that have been sitting on the market month after month are suddenly sold, leaving people to wonder: what just happened? A smart real estate agent just did some repackaging, that’s what happened.

The great thing about moving a distressed property is that it doesn’t require a particularly keen sense of market savvy or the gift of luck to accomplish. And although there is, admittedly, a bit more to the quick selling of distressed assets than spit and polish, what can really make a big difference is employing the basic principles of due diligence, proactive involvement, and preparation.

  • Due diligence ensures that a commercial real estate agent acts quickly to determine where the obstacles are and what can be done about them. Cardinal Real Estate Partners uses a 221-point due diligence checklist that ensures an intrinsic understanding of the value of the asset in question. This allows commercial real estate agents to be able to clearly and authoritatively articulate that property’s value to all interested parties.
  • Proactive involvement requires getting involved beyond the simple point of showing a property, and should include everything from basic cleanup, to making the necessary contacts to get resolution for issues like expedited rezoning. Remember, these days there are a sea of available options for users of space. What sets a property apart from all others and puts it on a prospect’s short-list is your ability to make that space as close to “plug and play” as possible.
  • Preparation is crucial. Your broker’s confidence will result in the distressed property being more actively marketed when they’ve achieved a thorough understanding of it; a simple and powerful value proposition; and an owner who responds quickly to make the deal-making process easy.

For even more in-depth advice on how you can turn around a distressed asset, see the Cardinal Real Estate Partners white paper titled “Catapult Your Distressed Asset to the Short-List.”

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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