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"Convert Small Deals to Big Profits!"


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Colleen Sheridan Photo
10/7/05 Interview with Colleen Sheridan

MySquareFeet (formerly theSmallTenant.com)
742 Mill Hill Terrace
Southport, CT 06890
Biography

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The Challenge of Small Tenant Space

  1. How to deal with small tenants has always been a quandary in commercial real estate; Sheridan recognized that the technology is now available to make the job efficient.
  2. "Small space" typically would be considered anything under 5,000 sq.ft.;some listings on SmallTenant.com are a single office of 100 sq.ft.
Conventional Marketing of Small Space

  1. Most owners and brokers market small space by putting a sign in front of the property or by placing a small classified ad in a local paper.
  2. Both formats present difficulties for prospective tenants searching for space—information is limited (and hard to glean from signs while driving), plus following up by phone to get details is time-consuming.
  3. Some brokers and owners post small spaces available on their own websites, but this strategy fails to aggregate information in one database that is convenient for agents and consumers—commercial real estate lacks the multiple listing services of residential real estate.
  4. The small-space market turns over quickly, so it is very difficult to keep up with what is available and how to access that information.
  5. The bottom line is that marketing small space and finding small space are problematic.
theSmallTenant.com

  1. The web site aggregates small units of space for searching tenants to find; owners and brokers can use the pay-for-placement platform to post inexpensively what they have available.
  2. Listings include the information that a searching tenant needs to make informed decisions; a full page of information includes a description of the facility and its amenities—e.g., Internet access; loading docks for an industrial property or frontage for a retail space.
  3. TheSmallTenant.com listings can include floor plans, photos and links to maps; the full information presented helps to qualify leads, saving time for both agent and consumer.
  4. TheSmallTenant.com provides a direct email link from its site to the owner or broker so that no time is lost getting parties together when there is interest; two brokers can work out their own terms for shared fees.
  5. Most tenants who use the site are very comfortable working online and following up with questions; success stories indicate that tenants are finding what they need.
Advantages of Online Marketing

  1. Shifting from traditional news print to online marketing is a good strategy for small-space property; owners and brokers get broader exposure to the market and can disseminate more information to prospects.
  2. The cost of using theSmallTenant.com is favorable—only $30 for an ad for three months compared to several hundred dollars for newspaper ads.
  3. The number of hits the site gets is growing exponentially—already up to 150,000/month since its launch in January 2005.
Using theSmallTenant.com

  1. People who want to post listings on the site get a User Name and Password so that they can post information directly; the site is user-friendly but has plenty of support available for those who need it.
  2. Because information is posted directly, owners or brokers can update it instantly as needed.
  3. The challenge for the company is to inform owners and brokers of this significant online marketing opportunity—searching tenants, especially in the small-space market are going to the Web first.
  4. The site offers national coverage although it only shows areas for which current listings are posted—new areas appear instantly when new listings go up; searching tenants select region/ state/ city/ size and type of space;appropriate matches come up, and searchers can click right to the ad.
  5. TheSmallTenant.com buys keywords from all the major search engines for new areas as soon as they come on the site so that search engine users who type in the area see a sponsored link.
  6. Plans are to add a "Space Wanted" section soon under the domain name RequestSpace.com where owners and brokers can search to find tenants.
Favorite Web Sites

  1. GlobeSt.com is a good source for commercial real estate news.
  2. REcbyer.com is a comprehensive site full of useful information and links to other sites.
  3. HalfPriceBanners.com allows you to design a physical banner (e.g. fora convention booth) online and have it delivered the next day.
  4. The sites of big houses such as CBRE.com provide a comparative view of what is happening across the country; CBRE has a research section where you can find such information as where the highest vacancy rates are.
Potential for Increased Profits

  1. Advertising at theSmallTenant.com can increase profits for brokers because the site increases the probability of direct deals; when doing small deals with narrow commissions, frequency is what makes for profits.
  2. Using the web service also results in more qualified leads, which means completed deals in a more timely fashion.
  3. The site saves brokers time, and time means money; brokers can take more listings if they spend less time on each one.
Contact Information for Colleen Sheridan:

(v) 203-292-3608
(f) 203-259-3610
(e) Colleen@theSmallTenant.com
(w)www.theSmallTenant.com


Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

TheSmallTenant.com: www.theSmallTenant.com
GlobeSt.com: www.GlobeSt.com
REcyber.com: www.REcyber.com
HalfPriceBanners.com: www.HalfPriceBanners.com
CBRE.com: www.CBRE.com