How to Develop a Commercial Real Estate Offering Memorandum

Among the various flyers and brochures you need to run your business, none are so closely tied to new revenue as thecommercial real estate offering memorandum. Sure, your marketing brochures and other materials establish your brand and generally provide an overview of your business. But, an offering memorandum, which are typically used for properties that are for sale as an investment opportunity, put the prospective client closer to what it is you are selling more than any other document. It needs to provide all of the facts and information a client needs to move closer to a purchase decision.

Not only does a commercial real estate offering memorandum have to tell about your company and your offering, it also has to instill confidence in the client. Afterall, one of the things you're likely goingGettyImages-516718614.jpg to ask the client to do, as you hand them the offering materials, is sign a confidentiality agreement – a legal document, that means they need to feel confident. Also, keep in mind that this may be the first time a prospective buyer or investor is viewing an offering from your company, so the value of a professionally created document is paramount. With this, you'll quickly establish credibility and convey key points with solid visuals and informative content.

If you have hired a commercial real estate marketing agency, they will do the heavy lifting in creating your offering memorandum. After doing a thorough review of your company and your offering they will then create the document. Although every offering memorandum is obviously customized, there are some elements of both design and content that you should be on the lookout for.

Branding
You've worked hard on your company branding. Don't miss the opportunity to re-enforce this in your offering memorandum. Doing so will differentiate you from the competition and help to established consistency. Commercial real estate marketing is about building and maintaining on-going relationships, so make sure your company personality comes through. Stick to your brand colors, typefaces, writing style and approved versions of your company logo.

Table of Contents
Buyers and investors are busy people. Instinctively, you probably already know that. So, don't make them weed through an entire memorandum if they just want to see your recent track record or skip right to the financials. You're proud of your offering and the materials, but you'll be even prouder when you make a client happy because they were able to quickly find the information they required.

Keep it light
Clients don't want to read a sea of text in order to get to the information they need. Lighten up the copy and include only what is most important – you can skip most of the fluff. Use bullet points where appropriate, keep font size large enough to be easily read by everyone and focus on creating white space. This airiness will convey an openness and show that you're not hiding anything.

Ditch the phone cam
There's no doubt that phone cams today are great. And, while professionals are using them to create art and produce movies, typically they are not the best option for photographing your properties. Hire a professional photographer who will create attention getting visuals. These photos will impress readers, but will also be easily editable for inclusion in your email marketing, direct mail and other company collateral. While you have the photographer hired, don't forget to ask him to capture aerials, surrounding neighborhoods and detail images.

Maps
Location, location, location is pretty much a hallmark of the commercial real estate industry, if not just a bit cliché at this point. But, reality is, that people want to see where they are buying or investing. Show the location of your property by incorporating a clear, easily readable map. Customize the map to illustrate highlights like access to major thoroughfares, shopping areas or proximity of major competitors.

Show'em the money - clearly
Let's face it, when you get right down to it, most buyers and investors are going to be keenly interested in the financials above just about all else. Be sure to present this information so that it is consistent with the overall look and feel of the document. Financial statements of any kind should NOT look like an SEC filing. They should be clear, skimmable and easily interpreted by the reader. Back to that idea of confidence, a prospective client should be able to look at the financial statements and walk away feeling good about the decision they are going to make.

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