In my past life as a Network Development Manager with Caltex, it became obvious to me that if you did not clearly explain what you were looking for, you wasted a great deal of your time looking at rubbish. To try and filter the good location opportunities from the bad, I developed a two page Property Guideline, that I would happily send to all parties (agents, developers, land owners), who indicated they may have a potential site for us.
The Property Guideline was a mixture between information to help filter the sites, and yet not too much to totally give away our strategic thinking. Accompanying the Property Guideline use to go a small Checkchart, and the proponent was invited to read the Property Guideline, and if they still felt the block of land was of interest to us, fill in the Checkchart and send it in. With electronic mediums, this can be done in minutes.
The process was always done to try and work with agents and developers, and if you found they repeatedly chose to ignore the Guidelines, then you started to think you were wasting your time looking at what they had to offer.
At Caltex, we would be offered about 3 or 4 “opportunities” a week. The oil industry works to some reasonably clear parameters, and it was just a matter of filtering real opportunities from time wasting ones.
Our Property Guideline use to address the following types of issues:
Once this was all formed in the Property Guideline, it was willingly sent to all agents, developers and other interested parties we knew. The accompanying Checkchart allowed them to “tick the boxes” and if they felt they had something along the lines of what we were seeking, we would then start to arrange meetings and open discussions.
In my year overseas with Caltex we introduced this to most of the countries we visited. In New Zealand, I had a real life example where the Property Manager had spent a day the previous week driving from Auckland to the Bay of Islands (4 hrs each way) to look at a block of land that was most unsuitable. (He described as a total waste of time). He said he wished I had been there the week before, as having something like this he could use would have eliminated this wasted trip and a day of his time.
The Property Guideline can assist the network development process in the first step in filtering the opportunity, before time is wasted on full analysis. It is all about improving the quality of what is offered to you for consideration.
The Network Development Process as I see it as a flowchart is in most cases as follows.
If you tell people what you are looking for, you have more chance of finding it. If you are unclear on what you want, you waste a great deal of your time looking at rubbish in my view.
Peter Buckingham is the Managing Director of Spectrum Analysis Australia. He is a certified Management Consultant, and a Fellow of the FCA and IMC.