If You Build in Value, They Will Come

How to attract industrial and distribution tenants to your market.

As the cost of doing business continues to rise around major metropolitan areas, industrial and distribution operators are looking for ways to dramatically reduce costs, and considerations for relocation are real.

For a market to capitalize on the opportunity to attract industrial and distribution operations that are looking to move the market needs to offer differentiators to support it as the option of choice. Markets should offer businesses opportunities to reduce bottom line costs, as well as tools for increasing business efficiencies.

Customers should be able to clearly identify where costs will be reduced and where efficiencies will be implemented. This means that you need to understand your market and how it measures up against the markets that your customers are looking to vacate. What will your potential customers’ moves mean for their balance sheets? What assurances are they looking for to close the inevitable gap of doubt that comes before making a big change?

Does your market offer unique utilities, like waste water treatment and reclaimed water, or cost savings on standard utilities like electricity and natural gas? Be prepared to provide detailed break downs of approximate, projected savings on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, depending on the utilities that apply to your customers’ specific operations. Prepare to accommodate companies that are looking for markets that offer cost savings on standard utilities and already have the unique utilities that their operation requires. Improving your utilities offering is one of the smartest ways to differentiate your market.

What business incentives do you extend to new tenants? Attract industrial and distribution users by providing and packaging incentives that they can’t refuse. Thoroughly research areas where your market’s regulations or barriers to entry are lower than your competing markets, and identify areas where you can enhance these incentives. Understand the “big picture” of what your market’s tax incentives would mean for your customers’ businesses, and create training programs to close the gap between your current labor pool and the specific skilled labor that your top targets will look for.

Do you provide a competitive infrastructure? Assess your market’s infrastructure. Make sure to compare your current transportation and logistics offerings with the needs of your target customers. Study your location’s access to crucial ports or commerce centers and see if there are additional opportunities to connect the dots for potential tenants.

To be a truly competitive market it is crucial to anticipate the needs of target customers. These needs include everything from basic requirements to distinguishing advantages. Your industrial and distribution offerings – both existing and build-to-suit – should be as close to turnkey as possible for the kinds of tenant that you anticipate attracting.

As the old saying goes, “If you build it they will come.” Today’s saying is “Build in value and they will come.” 

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