THE LEADERSHIP SERIES
An Object Lesson in How to Incentivize Brokers
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FLORHAM PARK, NJ-“If my brokers attended each and every open house that’s out there, that’s all they would have the time to do.” So says Colliers International EVP Robert Martie about the plethora of asset promotions taking place.
The raft of open houses is endemic of a market saddled with “more vacancies than any landlord would want to see,” says Martie, who heads Colliers' New Jersey operations from his Parsippany base. The challenge for owners becomes how to draw brokers, who Martie describes as every owner’s “off-balance sheet sales force,” to notice their buildings?
Open houses “get to be run-of-the-mill,” agrees owner Michael Bergman, president and CEO of the locally based Bergman Real Estate Group. “We wanted to take it to a different level. There’s a lot of space out there, and you need to separate yourself.”
That need was clear. Bergman explains that his 226,000-square-foot Florham Park Corporate Center had just sustained a rather large hit with the exit of a large tenant, and he wanted that space filled. Turning a negative into a positive, Bergman says he now could offer, “a contiguous 60,000-square-foot opportunity” to the right tenant. And the race was on.
Colliers, the exclusive agent for the center, and Bergman put their heads together to create an overall marketing plan that would fit the status of the class A, two-building asset and play up its unique characteristics. Prime among them was its proximity to the football Jets training facility and the buzz created around the coming Super Bowl XLVIII, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The February 2, 2014, event will be the first ever held in New Jersey.
This wouldn’t be Bergman’s first time at the rodeo, or rather, stadium. A previous marketing campaign had centered on the 2008 Summer Olympics. Dubbed the Bergman Pentathalon, the event promoted five of the firm’s 15 New Jersey buildings (it also has assets in Columbus, OH) and played off the five rings of the Olympic logo.
It was followed the year after with a similar promotion for the ’09 winter games. Appropriately, the grand prize for the broker landing the biggest tenant was a trip to Greece. (The broker landed a 37,000-square-foot deal, but opted to take the winnings in cash.)
Next: The Incentives Playbook
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