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18 OCT

An Offering Memorandum That Sells

No one in the commercial real estate business needs a definition of an offering memorandum, or OM. But it’s important to recognize what it is beyond being an essential legal document. An OM is a selling opportunity.

The document has power. Because when serious bidders review it, they are not just learning directly about the property but indirectly about the company behind it. A skillfully produced offering memorandum tells bidders a smart, serious company is behind the deal.

Whichever message your OM sends, you can count on it to have ripple effects. Prospects remember and prospects talk. If your OM sells your company as professional, sharp, knowledgeable and capable, even missed sales this time might come back another time, and the word investors spread on your company will draw others.

So what goes into packaging a top-of-the-line offering memorandum? Let’s break it down:

Judge a book by its cover:

The design communicates an instant message to the reader. Everything goes into it, from the images to the typography. Stunning pictures get attention. A top-flight designer knows how to blend images and words so the two accentuate rather than compete with one another. The cover of an OM can instantly pull a prospect in or turn one off.

Provide a guide:

In addition to being sharply designed, a good OM, like any good publication, is easy for readers to use. A table of contents allows prospects to quickly find information of high importance to them, and it brings order to the document.

Every picture tells a story:

Put the photography in the hands of professionals who know how to present subjects in the best light. Get a high volume of photos that show the property from a wide range of angles inside and out and get aerials that show not only key aspects of the property but also the surrounding area, including roads and other businesses.

Map it:

Showing prospects the location of surrounding amenities can prove a vital selling point and make it easier for OM readers to process information about the site.

Numbers on display:

Sharp presentation of the financials performs a twofold task, showing off the professionalism of your company and giving prospects critical information in an easy-to-read format.

Get it write:

Just as you want pros shooting the pictures, you need pros handling the writing. Strong writing works. Poor writing is a buzz kill that raises questions about the credibility of those behind it.

Details matter, Part I:

Ensure that every essential detail is included in the OM so investors have at their fingertips what they need to know to decide. Further, these details, including confidentiality disclaimers, are part of the requirements for the document.

Sum it up:

The executive summary requires a deft hand, engaging the reader and compelling him or her to read on.

Overview:

This is the heart of the document, the part where investors get to the real points they must consider before deciding. Traffic numbers, demographics and other data are included here, accompanied by graphics that break down the information visually and allow the writing to tightly focus on selling points. Nailing this section can win over investors on the spot.

Close the deal:

Finish by urging the reader to take the next step. The back cover could be the prime spot to do this. List contact information here.

Details matter, Part II:

Just as a skillfully designed product sends an instant positive message, so does one in which the copy is crisp and clean. Tight editing can enhance readability and eliminate the typos and other errors that send an instant wrong signal about your company.

Few documents are as important to your commercial real estate business as offering memorandums. That’s why the smart play is not a do-it-yourself job but to outsource to professionals who know the ins and outs of delivering an offering memorandum that delivers results.

We’re ready to help. Give us a call or email us to learn more about making an effective offering memorandum for your commercial real estate listing.