Development Ready Webinar Series (Part 2): Marketing and Promotion for Attracting Developers

What does it mean to be a “Development Ready” community? The second webinar of our three-part series helped localities begin to answer that thought-provoking question. Guest speaker Joe Borgstrom, Principal at Place + Main Advisors, LLC, showed participants how to find and market to experienced developers who will help the community meet their vision. Here are five (5) major takeaways and a handout from our second webinar, which was recorded:

1. Before You Market

Keep the following questions in mind:

  • Are you filling a space or redeveloping a property?
  • What is the development process in your particular community?
  • What is your market?
  • Has your Master Plan been updated? If so, what does it say about the property?
  • Are there any districts that need to be aligned to include?
  • Is the appropriate zoning in place?
  • Have local processes been mapped?

“The probability of success is improved when a community is ready for redevelopment.”

Joe Borgstrom, Place+Main Advisors, LLC.

2. Know Your Market & Audience

Understand the following Key Factors (your market):

  • Household Income
  • Rental Rates (Both Commercial and Residential)
  • Construction Costs
  • Retail Leakage (Can they find tenants?)
  • Incentives

And three (3) main categories of developers (your audience):

Mom + Pops

  • No background in development
  • Locals with capital
  • 15-20 years away from retirement/thinking of legacy
  • Great for smaller projects with small returns, longer return on investment (ROI)

Mid-Size/Regional Developer

  • Locals
  • Many have started as Mom + Pops or Construction Company
  • Have done several projects of varying types/difficulty
  • Smaller team
  • Knows there’s incentives, but maybe not how to access
  • Can’t/Doesn’t want to do it all – too much risk/capital

Big Time Developer

  • May be state or multi-state
  • Sophisticated in the fact that they may have finance and marketing teams, and/or environmental contractors
  • Knows incentives
  • Market/ROI-Driven
  • Has the ability to do big projects if the profit is there
  • Not entirely risk adverse; but risk/market does matter

3. Market Currently For Sale Properties

When marketing for sale properties, consider including the following; 1) A recent photo, 2) Square Foot Lease/Sale Price, 3) Contact information, 4) Zoning information, and 5) A link to more information (e.g., the relators website) at a minimum. See photo example below.

4. Finding a Developer

  • Research – Do the appropriate research to identify and target developers
  • Make Contact – Explain who you are, what kind of projects you’re considering, and build relationships
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) vs. Request for Qualifications (RFQ) – RFP’s are best for defined projects with known variables and built on procurement, while RFQ’s are best for projects with unknown variables and built on relationships.
  • Host a “Developer Day” – Identify 3-5 targets, give them your pitch and then take them on a site tour

5. Engage Your Community

It is important to engage your community whether it is through a public visioning session, surveys, gathering feedback to find out 1) What do we want there? and 2) What do we want it to look like?

“If the developer isn’t the tool for the community’s vision, then the community will be the tool for the developer’s vision.”

Joe Borgstrom, Place+Main Advisors, LLC.

To learn more and hear Joe expand on all these ideas, click here to check out the webinar recording and/or presentation slide deck!

Click here to register for Part 3 of the Development Ready Webinar Series!