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5 things to look for when selecting a CRE company for your project

Mike Schueler President and CEO Schueler Group

Trends and ups and downs are long part of the land and development business. This industry requires sound investment, patience and guidance from folks who have been there before and best understand your own business objectives.

Our own industry leaders must pay attention to the overall economy, stock market volatility, interest rates and investment in the overall real estate market. This view should be combined with development trends in sectors such as retail, home building, commercial and industrial. It should also take into account health care organizations as well as higher education institutions; to name only two of many who drive the economy.

How should a company make a selection decision when determining with whom to conduct business — or simply put, when determining who is going to help you to select your site, construct your facility and manage what is likely your largest investment?

1. Work with an organization who has been there before.

Our economy will always have ups and downs. This is as extreme as the Great Depression and the Great Recession. It also includes real estate booms and busts. Though many folks predict these cycles, no one knows for certain. Work with the people who guard against the highs and lows and are proven to use sound judgement. Work with those who have gone the distance and did not shy away from a challenging economy.

2. Work with an organization who owns and manages considerable land.

Your site, location and the quality of the parcel will be one of your most significant decisions. While you likely have a gut feeling about where you want to be – you likely have not studied the variances of the land use and affordability of each location. Work with a company that both owns and brokers parcels and can be truthful and direct about their knowledge.

3. Work with an organization who understands the international panacea and the global marketplace.

Whether you are a domestic business or located out of the country, it is important that your choice of partner knows how world events will impact your future. This can only happen when you work with an organization who has spent significant time and energy understanding overseas markets. Your partner should be steeped in this knowledge.

4. Work with a partner who has demonstrated that a single point of contact looks like.

You and your senior team are busy running your business and staying focused. This means that your real estate partner should be able to answer all of your questions and take your project from start to finish. For example, our company fully developed the new corporate banking center for LCNB in Lebanon, Ohio. This included land, construction and development. Steve Wilson, former LCNB chairman, said he sought a partner who was able to provide all services necessary “under one roof.”

5. Ensure that there is a personality fit.

You will work closely with your partner. This means interaction and trust. It also means that you will often defer to their decisions. Get to know these individuals, check references and know that this is a marriage.

As you interview partners, please consider our team. We have been there before, have persevered and believe that your future is our future.

This article is featured on the Cincinnati Business Courier Site.

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