Archive for November, 2016

It’s Awfully Frosty Down There

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Just when we thought we had seen it all, 2016 happened. The only thing that may be more shocking than the Cubs winning the World Series is Donald Trump getting elected president. These events got me thinking: what could happen in the world of downtown Chicago real estate that could rival these events on a relative level? Here are a few crazy thoughts:

1) Sears unveils a new brick and mortar store concept that will be the wave of the future for shopping. As part of the ramped-up effort, they announce plans to lease the largest contiguous office vacancy in the Willis Tower in order to regain building naming rights.

2) Not to be outdone by McDonald’s announcement to lease 500,000 square feet in Fulton Market, Burger King’s owner, Restaurant Brands International, leases all of the 210 North Carpenter development planned by Sterling Bay. Can a lease with Wendy’s corporate office be far behind?

3) The Old Post Office building is finally leased….to the United States Postal Service. Snail mail is apparently making a comeback.

4) In a massive consolidation effort to save money, the City of Chicago announces plans to vacate City Hall and lease space in a nearby building. City Hall then sells for $300 per square foot to the Trump Organization, who announces plans to convert it into a luxury hotel.

5) The State of Illinois sells the Thompson Center to Steve Wynn, who states that he will convert the building into the largest casino in the country that features a hotel and concert hall.

6) The era of consolidation continues in the real estate industry as CBRE and JLL express intent to merge their operations and create the largest commercial real estate firm on Earth. In similar news, Cushman & Wakefield announces plans to acquire Colliers, Avison Young and Savills Studley.

7) The Chicago Board of Trade shuts down and vacates their trading floors. WeWork immediately leases all of the space.

8) The Fordham Spire site is developed into the largest underground data center in the world.

9) Macy’s announces that it will close down its legendary State Street store. In a stunning about-face, George Lucas declares that he will bring the Lucas Museum to the space.

10) Documented evidence turns up of several lease deals being completed with no negotiating whatsoever.

Song Titles that Describe the Cold Call Process

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Ah, the days full of phone dial tones and unanswered voicemail messages. For salespeople and brokers alike, unfortunately–after all these years–cold calling is still part of the leasing process.

Especially when starting out, finding new clients takes some creativity and a lot of patience. It’s hardly ever fun so maybe the only way to feel better is to know that we’re in this together.

We put together a list of song titles that describe (some of) the cold calling cycle so we can sympathize together or at least have some music to keep us dancin’ in our seat until we get that next bite.

Alright, here we go. The day holds much promise.

They answer! Hey, that’s a lot better than going straight to voicemail.

Okay, you’ve rehearsed your script just enough so you sound natural, give them your spiel…you heard they may be looking for new space…

Uninterested. Yes, in the early morning I love my coffee with a splash of dial tone.

Well, it’s the first call of the day and we’re off to a grand start.

Round 2…ring it up and….voicemail. Leave a message with as little desperation in your voice as possible and ask for a call back.

Alright just keep going through the prospect list. Keep the calls going.

Day in the life:

Alright, starting to sound like a broken record with the two words you’ve been saying (over and over and over) the most today…

Maybe we should attempt the “warm calling”. Tons of salespeople write about that in their blog. Yeah, that sounds good. Call up someone you have a connection with.

Not so bad. Turns out your friend from middle school who invited you to their annual summer barbecue six years ago remembers you.

Well, you got an invite to their next barbecue but that’s about it. The votes are in: a “no” from someone you know doesn’t make it any easier.

Round 16…
Mission: charm the receptionist into not telling you the person you’re looking for is “out of the office”. AGAIN.
Receptionist picks up, “Hello this is Eileen who are you looking for?”

Fingers crossed…

She put you through! Annnnnnnnd it’s their voicemail.


You hit your calling limit and are scrolling through blogs about cold calling secrets when the phone rings–you got a call back!

They’re one of the nice ones who called you to tell you they’re not interested in moving spaces.

BUT knows somebody who is!

At long last, a lead. And on that note, it’s time to go home.

Until tomorrow.