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What Steph Curry and Nike can teach brokers about due diligence

May 26, 2016

basketball-rim2-739278-edited.jpgIf you’ve gotten to the proposal stage with a new prospect, you’re probably a bit exhausted. You’ve prospected like a crazy person, you’ve nurtured the relationship, you’ve met and determined the prospective client’s needs.

Now comes the proposal, and a ton of due diligence. No matter how much of a slam dunk you think the deal is, it’s not the time to let your guard down. In fact, you need to up your game. You never know what detail will lose you the respect of your prospectand with it, the deal.

Since it’s NBA playoff time, let's see what one of Nike's biggest missteps in recent memory can teach us about paying attention to details.

How Nike got sloppy and lost $14 billion

In 2013, Nike was the sponsor of rising NBA star Stephen Curry. It was time to renew his contract, and as an incumbent with 68% of NBA players on its list, the sports brand behemoth had every reason to believe that the deal was in the bag.

So where did it go wrong?

Well, Nike reps kicked off the meeting by mispronouncing Stephen’s name. Later, one of the slides listed Kevin Durant’s name instead of Curry’s. They had clearly repurposed an old slide deck, not putting in the time to double check their work. Not only that, but the meeting was run by a sports marketing director, not the power broker of Nike’s sponsorships.

You can probably guess what happened next. Steph Curry left Nike and signed with Under Armour, still an upstart in the world of basketball at that point. His estimated value to the company’s market cap is now more than $14 billion.

The deal is in the details

Needless to say, you simply cannot get sloppy in the proposal process. You should be double and triple checking that your information is correct at every stage of the process.

Beyond that, the more due diligence you put in, the higher the probability of your success in winning the business. Don’t phone it in, and don’t put yourself at the center of the presentation. Many brokers make the proposal about themselves and their brand, which gives you a chance to set yourself apart by focusing the presentation where it should be—on your client.

Source like a pro

In your proposal, there are number of key areas that will ensure that you not only have all the details right, but also that you have a highly deliverable deal. Give yourself the best chance for success by being thorough. You want to make sure you can win the business and close the deal.

Here are some ways to source to make sure your due diligence is on-point.

  • Property financial books and records: These come from your client, and include the rent roll, profit & loss statements, debt (sometimes) and other important documents. 

  • Property details: You likely already have the basics, but for more details you can look at your local appraiser’s or assessor’s office and snag anything you might be missing. If the public record is light on details, have a look at a third party data provider like Costar, LandVision, RealQuest, Xceligent or the many others out there.

  • Tenants: Building a tenant and lease database is not the easiest thing you’ll do, but it has one of the biggest payoffs. You can walk the market and snap photos of a building’s directory, use a third party data solution like Compstak or Costar, or review the personal business tax records on the county assessor/appraiser’s website.

  • Liens, title and debt: Make sure there are no deal killers out there by pulling the deeds and title. Like tax data, this is relatively easy to obtain through the county recorder’s office, or can be obtained through third party data sources like LandVision, DataTree, CoreLogic and the many title services in the market.

  • Past deal contextual details: Short of calling the players in a lease transaction or a property sale, such contextual details may be hard to find. Of course there are the notable deals that get airtime via news outlets or announcement letters, but there’s another source very similar to these that will help you frame your proposal conversation—the previous advertising and listing information.

An unforced turnover at this stage of the process is more painful than a Draymond Green kick in the groin. But with all the right information on hand and the correct details in place, you’ll be sure to fast break your way to victory.

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Topics: Best Practices

Russ Duncan

Written by Russ Duncan

Russ is Apto's Director of Product Marketing and helps drive product direction through customer discovery, consulting, research and advocacy. Russ is a CRE tech industry veteran and has held several positions at Digital Map Products, including Product Manager, Customer Success Manager, & Solution Engineer. He's a serial observationalist interested in understanding the built and natural environments, systems of engagement and movement of information; and moreover how people use and interact with them.

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