Closer look: A Q&A with a member of the RetailSphere™ On-demand research department

Each day our research department gets research requests from commercial real estate companies looking for retailers looking to expand, contacts to call or a space to inquire about.

Our team speaks to hundreds of retail contacts, site selectors and center owners to determine expansion needs and opportunities. Today we put one of them under the microscope and learn about those conversations.

We sit down with Sarah Lang, one of our researchers at RetailSphere.

RetailSphere: What are some of the challenges you face when you call up a retailer or are working on a request for one of our clients?

Sarah: The smaller the retailer is, like a multi-unit group, we are trying to track down the owner. In that case it’s hoping we catch them at one of their locations, or get their cell phone from an employee, which they are often afraid to hand out.

RetailSphere: But you always get it!

Sarah: Not always, but much of the time and we do so by being upfront. We let them know we have clients with ideal spaces for their expansion and trying to reach out. It’s always a conversation starter. That conversation may be “no way I’m expanding,” but it’s also sometimes “Huh, I wouldn’t mind hearing what they have in mind.”

RetailSphere: Do retailers or business owners ever get annoyed when you call to get expansion details?

Sarah: Quite the contrary. For most of the national brands, franchisors and much of the multi-unit groups, we have established lines of communication…relationships where when I call, they ask me what am I looking for today? That’s what really makes it fun. When a client puts in a request for expansion plans for Starbucks, I know who I’m dealing with.

RetailSphere: So you and the other on-demand researchers call and email for expansion and contacts details, but what are tools are at your disposal?

Sarah: Well, without giving away all our secrets we use a lot of tools within Retailsphere (which clients have access to), including cadences, or marketing automation. It’s a game-changer for reaching and basically setting up a series of touch points and waiting for the responses to come in. We craft emails to retailers, business owners, reps and brokers, asking details in such a way that it’s a conversation they want to have and we get the details our clients need.

But it all starts with the phone. We believe in calling and getting details firsthand. That’s how we build relationships. Sometimes we use social media to get details as well, but more for supplemental details.

RetailSphere: Thanks, Sarah, for letting those unfamiliar with RetailSphere and the on-demand research team behind the curtain of your operations.

February 23, 2024
Robby Gal

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