Paying attention to trends and being open to change can help any entrepreneur stay ahead of the game. For leasing agents, this means paying attention to the billions of active participants in social media as well as up-and-coming research tools that can save you time and money while targeting retailers. Here are 5 ways to hack the retailer search and find the right fit without a traditional broker.
Retailers, leasing agents and commercial real estate brokers are finding unique ways to advertise their listings, promote plans and follow trends. Here are some options for opening up your search.
1. Explore Your Options on Instagram
Instagram isn’t all selfies and pictures of brunch, and it can be used for more than bragging about a big sale. Commercial real estate accounts post current listings and upcoming offerings, creating an easy lookbook for agents.
Instagram is also a great place to check in on small brands and local businesses. Scrolling their feeds, reading comments, and seeing how they interact with their customer base allows you to get an authentic view of who they are, and if there’s existing demand for expansion.
Instagram Hack: Don’t discount hashtags! Explore tags like #retailrecon #retailforlease #cre #commercialrealestate #retailrealestate, and zero in on those based on region, neighborhood, and industry niche.
LinkedIn’s environment is positioned specifically around furthering your business. This helps you connect not only with close professional colleagues, but it also lays out the wider network of who they may know in just a few clicks—instead of a long series of calls and small talk.
You can also share content with your network, and widen your net by putting out calls for specific availability and leasing goals. After all, it’s often not what you know but who you know.
LinkedIn Hack: LinkedIn Groups (like Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM) or
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)) can help you target your networking efforts, and similar regional groups can help connect you with even more niche audiences.
Even if a brand seems like a perfect fit for the spot you’re looking to fill, you can do a lot of wheel spinning before discovering if they’re actually ready or willing to expand into your market. Connecting with a potential retailer often means multiple layers of back and forth communication.
Using a retail database service like Retailsphere grants you quick access to the most important information about a brand—such as specific requirements around square footage needs and direct contact information for decision making employees within the brand.
Retailsphere Hack: Retailsphere flags expanding retailers, plus exactly where they’re opening new locations, saving you time and allowing you to focus on other important business data and brand specifications. Find the brands who are already looking for you!
Finding a small business with big potential can be a great way to drum up community support and interest in a new tenant. How can you zero in on local brands that have big potential? Start with what their customers are saying!
Mining review sites like Yelp and scrolling reviews can show you the extremes in customer appreciation (or frustration) as well as tell you a lot about the excitement around a small business—and how the brand handles the critics!
Review Hack: Searching Yelp for a specific type of business using their map function gives you a birds-eye view of the most popular businesses in the area, even if they aren’t local to you.
5. Get Strategic with Competitor Audits
Market trends are one thing, but so often regional—and even neighborhood—trends are what you need to focus on in order to stay a step ahead of the competition. Are local shopping centers flooding with froyo? How many cannabis dispensaries are in the area, and what kind of clientele do they serve? Getting important info like this can be a ton of work.
Using Retailsphere’s shopping location search feature makes it easy for you to search as wide or as narrow as you need. Hone in on a specific address, or cast a wider search by looking at competitors similar to your client... but perhaps across the state.
Retailsphere Hack: Searching for competitors who serve the same audience is easy with options for rural, suburban, city center, or urban areas, as well as other specifications.
Switching up your routine as a leasing agent with the Retailsphere platform saves you time and makes searching for new tenants quick and easy. If you’d like to see exactly how the platform functions for your specific needs, schedule your free demo today.