|Date Certain Marketing|
We have utilized this method extensively when we are confident there will be a high demand for the property and we most always will use it when marketing institutional grade properties. When using this process, in the early stages of the marketing, a date is set which we will place a call for offers. All interested parties will then submit their proposal (or offers) for our review and analysis on or by that date. We then will develop a short list and ask for a best and final offer from each. After limited further negotiations we then award the sale of the asset to the winning bid.
The advantages to date certain marketing is so the seller is able to analyze all offers simultaneously without concern of a higher or better offer yet to be submitted. Additionally, it is often possible to take the attributes from each offer and have the finalist incorporate those aspects into their best and final offer. This also sets up a very competitive two step process where the buyers must be aggressive on their initial offer to make sure they are selected for the short list, while also needing to be highly competitive and submit aggressive best and final offers to make sure they put their best foot forward. In date certain marketing, there is no second chance.
The final advantage of this method is typically time. Depending on the asset's complexity and the target market, initial market exposure could be as short as 30 days or as long as 75 – 90 days. Typically, the analysis and the development of the short list are fairly quick and the time for best and final offer is typically less than a week. The buyers become very aware that their offer is being analyzed at multiple levels, which leads to better and more informed bids, essentually shortening closing time frames. These closing time frames tend to be much abbreviated with anywhere from 10 – 30 days and closing typically 30 days thereafter.
We have found the most success in this method when there is extensive Due Diligence completed prior to the offering to the buyers. By its very nature this method needs to remove as much uncertainty or unknowns from the development or investment equation as possible. Through our experience we are able to typically address this by knowing the expectations of the buyers and presenting them a full and complete offering.
The down side and the common fear for this method is that there will not be adequate interest in the offering and the process might taint the asset. We typically address this issue at two levels. First, if there is any concern on our part at all as to the level of interest we will receive, we will market the property for 30 – 45 days to gather better understanding and flush out any underlying issues that need to be addressed before a call for an offer is made. The second issue occurs after a call for offers has been made. We generally have a very good idea for how many offers expected from as much as 2 – 3 weeks before the deadline. As such, if the market has changed or there has been a significant event that has changed the investment environment, we have the ability to pull the property or temporarily suspend the offering which provides for an easy reintroduction of the asset to the market at a later more favorable date.
Date certain in marketing is not an absolute option and if the offers do not hit an acceptable level the property can be withdrawn from the market to be reissued when the market is more favorable.
We are proponents of DCM, and though this process we routinely achieve a higher price with better terms in a shorter time period then thru more standard marketing programs, and are happy to discuss this option in further detail if it seems like the right solution for your asset.