• I hired Ward Richmond because I needed a fast-paced individual who specializes in solutions for 3PLs and could deliver a comprehensive solution that maximized site value and enabled me to close the deal. His market intelligence and relentless effort on this project undoubtedly helped us secure the business with this new, Fortune 500 customer.

    BRETT M. MEARS President - Palmer Logistics
  • Ward Richmond understands the 3PL business. We rely on Ward to help solve our customers’ supply chain opportunities and provide them with logistics solutions that fit their needs.

    BRYAN KELLER Chief Executive Officer – Keller Logistics
  • Ward has consistently demonstrated a high level of customer service, a strong work ethic, and comprehensive understanding of transportation & logistics-related real estate.

    ED Brickley Fund Manager, Realterm Logistics
  • Ward and his team have consistently delivered a high level of customer service over the course of several years and hundreds of transactions by working closely with our team in an effort to assist us with developing and implementing creative real estate solutions.

    Frank Mazzone RM, Real Estate, TFI International
  • Positive attitude and customer-centered approach made for a great working relationship.

    Joe Fidalgo MD, N America, Marine Harvest
  • Ward and his team have consistently exceeded our expectations while working closely with our Properties Team to execute our real estate strategies and achieve our stated objectives.

    MAYNARD F. SKARKA COO, Yrc Freight
  • The Colliers team worked quickly and efficiently to leverage their local market relationships to find KW multiple short term, flexible space solutions in an expedient and professional manner.

    DEAN DOKGO Vice President, KW International
  • Ward has acted as our strategic real estate partner for several years having assisted our team during our rapid growth by utilizing strong relationships and unparalleled market knowledge to source off-market opportunities for property expansion needs.

    TAYLOR WHITE CEO, Performance POP

Ward Richmond


Corporate real estate solutions


Posts by Ward Richmond


Palmer Logistics is a dominant, family oriented, customer-focused Warehouse and Third Party Logistics (3PL) company. Their numerous warehouses store a wide array of commodities including Hazardous Chemicals, Non-Hazardous Chemicals, Food Grade and General Commodities. This Houston, TX based logistics powerhouse offers specialized services such as customized reporting, labeling, repackaging, contract facility management and more. http://www.palmerlogistics.com/


Palmer engaged The Richmond Team to assist with a fast moving contract logistics project in early 2018. The Palmer team knew that they needed to act fast, deliver the best solution and execute like a badass wolf pack in order to successfully win a massive new account with a Fortune 500 shipper.


The Palmer and Richmond team worked together closely to identify the best location in one of the largest distribution markets in the US to meet transportation, distribution, labor and economic requirements needed to maximize value for Palmer’s new client.


    • We utilized unparalleled market knowledge provided by our local team of experts to ID the target property which maximized supply chain value for Palmer’s client.
    • We tracked real time market activity while tracking the moves of competing 3PL’s looking to steal the client from Palmer. We became aware of the other (arguably, subpar) locations being promoted by the competing 3PL’s. This insider knowledge optimized our client’s value offering and maximized their ability to operate with certainty and generate massive value.
    • The Richmond team negotiated an aggressive rate structure, flexible lease term with a Termination Option to align with customer contract, enhanced improvement allowance in semi-record time. The lease was negotiated in a matter of weeks in order to meet tight timing allowing Palmer to execute with authority and meet tight timing and economic goals.

The Palmer and Richmond team worked hard to create massive value and dominated “Wolf Style” like we always do. Palmer won the contract and locked down the best space possible to service their new contract logistics client!

*Please contact “The Wolf” directly to discuss details!


“I hired Ward Richmond because I needed a fast-paced individual who specializes in solutions for 3PLs and could deliver a comprehensive solution that maximized site value and enabled me to close the deal. His market intelligence and relentless effort on this project undoubtedly helped us secure the business with this new, Fortune 500 customer.”

-Brett M. Mears, President, Palmer Logistics

Read More

DFW Market Update – Q1 2018

May 18, 2018 Market Reports 0 Comments

As we cruise into another hot Texas summer, I finally have had a moment to take a hard look...


By Ward Richmond

As we cruise into another hot Texas summer, I finally have had a moment to take a hard look at the Q1 2018 industrial numbers and I must say they look fairly weak compared to how we finished up 2017.

According to our high caliber research team at Colliers International, the DFW industrial market is holding steady at a 6% overall industrial vacancy. As a friendly reminder, 10% used to be the norm when I started in the business back in 2006.

While we only delivered about 3 Million SF in new product last quarter, we have another 24 Milly currently under construction which puts us on track to keep up with the great 28 million SF that we delivered in 2017.

The bad news is that we only had a little over 2 Mil SF in net absorption. At this rate, Landlords have to be getting a little bit nervous if they want to keep up with the 24 Millorama SF in net absorption we had in 2017.

Don’t worry though, guys and gals. I know what’s really happening out there and frankly, these absorption numbers don’t mean jack. My team alone is working on well over 5 Mil SF of assignments in DFW so all of you Landlords better stay focused, keep your eye on the ball and get ready to get aggressive and win these deals so you’re not left out in the cold with the dogs.

The beauty of DFW’s industrial landscape is that construction and absorption have been extremely well aligned during the longest and strongest bull market in commercial real estate history. This miracle allows landlords to stay fat and happy but also provides tenants with some pretty decent options and competitive economics. Everybody wins! We just wrapped up a few projects in LA and trust me, being a Tenant in Dallas is a cake walk compared to begging and fighting for subpar space in SoCal!

I predict that DFW will see some monster deals start slamming down this summer and when I report back after summer break, I’m hopeful that leasing will be clicking back on track to bust through the 20 Mil mark by Christmas.

Dallas, TX forever, y’all. Let’s do this!

To get further inside my supply chain brain,
please check out my website and blog:


    • Tellworks leased a 723K SF building at 4101 Research Drive in Arlington, TX.
    • Best Buy renewed a lease at their 600K SF facility located in DFW Airport/Flower Mound.
    • Exel Global Logistics leased 409K SF at 13601 Independence Pkwy in north Fort Worth.


    • Keller Logistics – Dallas, TX – 472K SF – Sale
    • Marine Harvest – Miami, FL – 106K SF – Build to Suit
    • Indel Foods – Ennis, TX – 315K SF – For Lease

Key Takeaways

Big-Box deliveries were significantly lower this quarter with only four properties totaling 2 million square feet delivered. The construction pipeline, while lower than mid-2017 is still optimistic with 20 million square feet under construction, of which 70% is spec.

Vacancy for Big-Box product rose 0.1%, with vacant space increasing by 354,115 square feet. An increase in sublease space on the market caused the overall rise in vacancy, as direct vacancy was down 0.6% from the previous quarter, while sublease space increased half a percent.

Net absorption was significantly slower in Q1 2018 than activity in previous years. Total absorption was 1.6 million square feet. This was significantly affected by negative absorption from Restoration Hardware subleasing 858,000 square feet at 1303 W Pioneer Pky and 310,000 square feet of vacated sublet space in E DFW Airport.

Average asking rates for Big-Box product in Q1 2018 were $3.84 NNN, with a 1.3% increase quarter-over-quarter. Since rates dipped in the latter half of 2017, rates were only up half a percentage point year-over-year.


Ward Richmond has over twelve years of experience specializing in industrial real estate, and has negotiated over 500 transactions while working in over 100 cities across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Several publications have featured Ward for his expertise in this field including the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, and Dallas Business Journal. He also serves on Colliers International Industrial Advisory Board, and is a member of the Logistics & Transportation Solutions Group.

The Richmond team also includes Liam Logan, Cole Hooper, Brad Balke, Zack Rutland, Renee Castillo, and Rachel Hendrix. They assist with market analysis, financial analysis, strategic real estate and facilities planning, site selection, and acquisition and disposition services.

Executive Vice President

Senior Associate



Aug 20-22, 2018: Retail Delivery Connect, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
October 4-5, 2018: Colliers National Industrial Conference, Chicago, IL




Client Services Coordinator

Research Director

Research Associate

The Richmond team is supported by Colliers International Research Team


This is a new map that we created with our superb Colliers DFW marketing team in an e§ort to show DFW’s 8 key industrial submarkets. This map gives you a snapshot of the DFW metro highlighting landmarks, airports, intermodals, distribution hubs and manufacturing facilities for notable tenants and of course the Best BBQ joint each submarket has to o§er. We will keep evolving this map and if you would like to discuss the DFW marketplace, please contact our team to dig in further.


Office 214.217.1201
Mobile 214.336.5757
Email ward.richmond@colliers.com

Discipline Equals Freedom & The Art of Time Management

May 9, 2018 Life Coaching, Etc. 0 Comments

Let’s start this off with a quick story told by one of my favorite humans, Warren Buffet...

Discipline Equals Freedom & The Art of Time Management

By: Ward Richmond

Let’s start this off with a quick story told by one of my favorite humans, Warren Buffet:

“When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind – girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls. So I thought about cars. I thought about girls, too, but I had more luck with cars.
Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it’s all yours!’
Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’ And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch. This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life. So it’s got to last a lifetime.’
If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it?
I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime.
That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.
It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.”

Warren Buffet is the man. Am I right? His self-discipline is enviable and is known for saying, “We don’t have to be smarter the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.” Keep in mind, the guy still eats breakfast at McDonald’s every morning which basically humanizes him so even if you are Warren Buffet, there’s always room for improvement.

One of my favorite podcasters and authors is retired United States Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink. Jocko’s latest book is titled Discipline Equals Freedom. This is a great read and has become my new mantra and go to hashtag.

Living a disciplined lifestyle is not easy and I’m nowhere close to perfect. Nevertheless, aspiring to continually make small, yet impactful and calculated adjustments to my lifestyle has served me well and the journey continues to be interesting, rewarding and fun!


For me, Monday is Game Day. Waking up on Mondays is similar to how I felt on Fridays when I was in High School and wore my football jersey to class and attended the Friday Morning Pep Rally. Packed with adrenaline and ready to kill it.

I wake up Monday morning in attack mode. If you wake up on Mondays feeling bummed out that you have to go back to work, change jobs. Do something you love. Life is too short.

Here is a snapshot of how I spend my typical Monday in an attempt to manage the precious commodity that is time and work like a beast to achieve my goals in the most efficient manner possible.

Don’t let “manufactured emergencies” weigh you down. Have a plan and stick to the plan. Time block your days to spend time on whatever it is you need to be doing to get to where you’re going!


It’s the best. Trust me. If you are not waking up early, you are missing out.


Take some time when you wake up in the morning and fill your heart with gratitude and meditate.

This is how I try to begin every day. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s not.

I use the Headspace app for 10 Minutes and find it to be very helpful with creating and maintaining a meditation ritual.

5:15AM: YOGA

Once I spend a few minutes dusting off the mind, I dust off the body. I personally like to attend hot yoga class first thing in the morning. In my opinion, there is no better way to start the day.


Driving in traffic is for lazy people. Don’t be that guy or gal. If you are driving in rush hour traffic on a consistent basis, this is a symptom of a much greater problem. As Tony Robbins would surely ask you, “ARE YOU MANAGING YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE OR CREATING YOUR F***ING LIFE?!”

The first thing I do is read the WSJ Logistics Report.. In my opinion, logistics is the backbone of the planet. If you read this report, it will tell you everything you need to know about the economy, real estate trends and politics. It’s the best.

Next, I post something on social media. This is an integral part of my marketing strategy. I try to post something meaningful, motivational or funny every day. A little funny goes a long way!


During this time, I methodically review and measure our team’s business development activities. We track cold calls, meetings, presentations, wins and closings. We also discuss market trends and ideas for improving our win rate. We sometimes crank up “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled and I go on a 20 minute passionate rant about work ethic, discipline and Tony Robbins.


I am a big believer in the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen – something Tony Robbins calls CANI – Constant And Never-ending Improvement.

Each week, our team meets to focus on any or all of these three things:


The purpose of our weekly team meeting is to work to improve these three crucial areas of our business. We analyze what we have and what we need. What are we good at and where can we beef up our game? We might spend a full hour talking about Execution or we breeze through all three in 20 minutes. It really depends on the day but we set aside an hour every Monday to focus on CANI.


As a commercial real estate broker, there is nothing more important than blocking your schedule to allow time for prospecting.

This is critical. I am a 12-year veteran and still methodically prospect for one hour every day.

If you are a rookie in this business, you need to set aside 4+ hours every day – minimum. If you are struggling in your career and feel lost, I can tell you right now what’s wrong: You are not prospecting. Get with the program.


This is when the real work happens. Part Therapist/ Part Doctor/ Part Lawyer. Disclaimer: I am not a Therapist or a Doctor or a Lawyer. However, during the hours of 11-3, I sometimes feel like all three!

This is when I meet with people. This is when I listen to and analyze their problems. This is when I get on calls to strategize and problem solve and negotiate.

This is when we go to work and we execute on behalf of our clients to generate tens of millions in cold hard savings. 11AM-3PM is Prime Time, baby. I work hard during this time. I might easily talk to 50 people and fire off 100 emails. By 3PM, I am tired of hearing myself talk and think. Seriously. Dead.


Leave the office before traffic starts.

You know the drill, get out before traffic begins. Driving in traffic is for Sheeple, not People. Don’t follow the heard. You will get slaughtered!

I try my best to never schedule anything after 3pm. Of course, the occasional meetings will come up, and I will return emails and hop on calls as needed but in general, when I can make it happen, I like to be done at 3pm. I am at my best in the morning. At 3pm, I’ve already been going hard for 10 hours.

Depending on the day I will work out again, mediate again or take a much needed power nap!

Rumor has it, fellow Woodrow Wilson High School graduate, Trammell Crow, took a nap every afternoon!

After a brief reprieve, I finish up strong and return all emails and phone calls by 5:30pm from my home office. I love finishing up my day in the comfort of my own home.


I make my best efforts to switch my phone to airplane mode and put it in another room when 5:30pm rolls around.

This is extremely difficult for me and something that I work hard to do every day. I know that it is crucial to unplug, shift gears and focus on spending quality time with my wife and young kiddos!


This may not be recommended by Tim Ferriss or Tony Robbins, but given the nature of my job and my email addiction problem, I check my emails one last time at the end of the day to make sure something crazy didn’t go down while I was watching Barney with my daughter.

After a quick email check, I read a book. I typically read self-help books. They are the best. This helps me go to sleep with a new chunk of knowledge that I didn’t have when I woke up that morning. CANI! I read about 25 books per year. My 2018 reading list, so far, includes Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Jen Sincero, Napolean Hill, Jocko Willink. Currently, I am reading The Art of The Deal by President Donald J.Trump! No matter what you think about DJMFT, read this book. It is Pure Gold.

Finally, I go to sleep. This takes me about 15 seconds!

Manage your time. It is the most precious asset that we all have.

Speaking of Donald Trump, let’s end this article with a great quote from another US President:

”If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

An abridged version of this article was originally published on the DCEO Commercial Real Estate Blog.

Time Kills Deals: Analysis Paralysis and Other Trends in Corporate Decision Making

April 3, 2018 Life Coaching, Etc. 0 Comments

In case you didn’t know already, my job is to provide Decision Makers aka Leaders with the intelligence needed to make corporate

Time Kills Deals: Analysis Paralysis and Other Trends in Corporate Decision Making

by Ward Richmond

In case you didn’t already know, my job is to provide Decision Makers aka Leaders with the intelligence needed to make corporate real estate decisions. It’s that simple.

As a whole, our team operates like a nimble and powerful little army to provide our clients with the innovative strategy, deep dive analysis and killer market intelligence needed to make rock solid decisions and execute these decisions with certainty in a timely manner.

I’ve found that at the core of all business strategy execution, there comes that critical moment in time when someone in charge AKA a Decision Maker has to make a decision. This may sound like an elementary observation to you. Don’t worry, I am aware.

One problem: Very few people in “Corporate America”, not to mention all countries around the world, and life in general, are able to – or like to – make decisions.

This is mind blowing to me. It sounds simple enough, right? I have always been a fairly decisive guy and only recently have I realized that my own natural ability to make decisions has undoubtedly helped me out in business and in life!

The inability to make a decision, however, is like driving a forklift into a wall.

Over the years, having worked on hundreds of transactions with businesses ranging from small family owned companies to Fortune 10 companies, I’ve found that powerful leaders know how to make decisions. I’ve also found that I absolutely love getting to work with these likeminded, badass, decision making professionals.

I considered calling this blog “Top 10 Ways To Make A Badass Decision” but there aren’t 10 things to put on the freakin’ list!

There are only 3 simple things you need to know when it comes to making a killer decision!


Consult with a badass team of experts to gather needed intelligence to make your decision.

Thoroughly review the needed intelligence provided by the experts.

Don’t procrastinate! Overcome your fears and limiting beliefs and make a motherflipping decision!

Through my experience, I’ve determined that mediocre leaders have a tough time making decisions.

This leads to “analysis paralysis”. This leads to a giant time waste. Everyone in my industry knows the old adage, “Time Kills Deals”. Truth. Fact. Write it down.

The more time you spend procrastinating making a decision and causing unnecessary delays, the less value you create. This leaves a ton of money on the table and if you are a Decision Maker for a living, this behavior needs to stop.


I am thinking about getting “Time Kills Deals” tattooed on my right arm so that I can quickly remind my valued customers that the inability to make timely decisions will result in massive inefficiencies and the potential loss of millions of dollars! Maybe even billions.

On my left arm, I will get “Shitty Lawyers Kill Deals”. I’ll save that for another blog post!

The inability to make decisions will always, inevitably lead to a total waste of precious time aka MONEY!

In my opinion, Procrastination and Fear are the number one and two causes of Failure. Action is King.

As Tim Ferriss says, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” Yes- Making a decision is uncomfortable. That is why excellent decision makers get paid the big bucks.

Sometimes, excellent decision makers also make horrific decisions – but that’s OK. Believe me, I do it all the time. You just have to be able to learn from the bad decisions and try your best to not repeat them!

If you ever have the opportunity to visit with a super powerful leader or even a plain old badass of a human being, they will most likely tell you that the lessons learned from their worst bad decisions are gigantic contributing factors to their ultimate success.

When it comes to my own business and team, I will take a BAD decision over NO decision any day of the week.

You hired me to help with real estate strategy but I may as well be your head of HR because after we complete a project, I will be able to tell you who the true leaders are (and aren’t) within the organization. It’s easy. They all share one common trait. Can you guess which one it may be?

The leaders who give a stiff middle finger to Procrastination, smash the shit out of their Fear of Failure and Limiting Beliefs and assertively Make Killer Decisions based on Expert Advice are the ones who become Presidents and C-level executives and go by the name “El Jefe”. These BAMF’s take organizations to the next level.

They are the ones with the power. You know the ones. Name one influential leader who struggles with making decisions. You can’t. They don’t exist.

Lease Accounting Changes For Dummies!

March 21, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

As a commercial real estate expert, it is critical to have a base level understanding of the extremely...

Q & A with Ward Richmond & Marc Maiona

By: Ward Richmond & Marc Maiona

As a commercial real estate expert, it is critical to have a base level understanding of the extremely confusing and subjective changes to new lease accounting standards which have been created by the FASB & IASB and are about to go into effect.

Yeah, I’m already confused too. I attempted to write this blog on my own for about 7 hours one day and then I had to throw in the towel. I did what I usually do when I don’t know the answer to something: I brought in an EXPERT.

You don’t need to master this info but I am confident that this Q & A with lease accounting badass, Marc Maiona, over at LeaseCalcs www.leasecalcs.com will provide you with the right amount of intel to sound dangerous and pick up some simple actionable items.

In case you only want to read 1 question and not 21, I suggest you scroll to #21. Trust me, #21 is jam packed with some quick and easy actionable items related to lease negotiation and administration strategies that you can utilize to take advantage of the new accounting standards!

That being said, if you want to know everything there is to know about these changes, start right here. Good luck, my friends. You’re gonna need it!


Are FASB and IASB somehow interconnected?

Technically, no. However, there has been an effort by both accounting boards to converge their respective accounting standards over the past several years. The new lease accounting standards were supposed to be one area where they would achieve one unified set of standards. Unfortunately, they did not achieve that goal.

When do new standards take effect?

Public companies must adopt new standards by 2019 and private companies by 2020.

The collective FASB and IASB goal was to achieve consistency and transparency. Was this achieved at all?

In my opinion, the FASB and IASB did not achieve either goal. Their respective standards are very different, such that the exact same lease being accounted for under IFRS versus under US GAAP will have completely different impacts on the balance sheet, shareholder equity, net income and EBITDA results.

Which companies use GAAP vs those that use IFRS?

It generally follows where a company is headquartered, or, in some cases, listed (i.e., on the NYSE vs. FTSE, etc.). US headquartered companies almost always report their consolidated financial results under GAAP; whereas, international companies tend to use IFRS.

How is a “lease” defined? Is it the same under GAAP and IFRS?

The definition of a lease is the same under both standards and is essentially this: a contract that conveys the exclusive use and control of a defined asset with no reasonable right of substitution of the asset.

How is Finance Lease defined? Is this the same under GAAP and IFRS?

Under IFRS the definition is easy — every lease is a Finance lease under the new IFRS standards.
Under GAAP, a Finance lease is any lease that meets any one of the following 5 criteria:

What are the positives of a Finance lease? Is this the same under GAAP and IFRS?

From a financial reporting perspective, the one big benefit of a Finance lease is it provides a significant boost to EBITDA performance as compared to an Operating lease. Accounting for Finance leases is also a bit simpler than the new Operating lease model.

What are the negatives of a Finance lease? Is this the same under GAAP and IFRS?

Due to the differences in the way the Right of Use Asset amortizes under a Finance lease versus an Operating lease, a Finance lease will have a more detrimental impact on shareholder equity than the same lease classified as an Operating Lease.

Additionally, Finance leases are technically classified as “debt” on the balance sheet, while Operating leases are not (Operating leases are classified as operating liabilities).

Finally, the expense profile of a Finance lease on the income statement is “front loaded”, meaning the combination of interest expense and amortization expense is higher at the beginning of the lease term than it is at the end, causing differing impacts to net income as the lease term progresses.

How is an Operating Lease defined under GAAP?

Any lease that is not a Finance lease.

Why does IFRS not use an Operating Lease? Did they ever?

In short, the IASB decided the complexity of the Operating lease model was not worth the purported benefits.

What are the positives of an Operating Lease?

Operating leases have a better impact on shareholder equity than the same lease classified as a Finance lease. Also, the straight line expense profile may be preferred by some companies as compared against the front loaded profile of a finance lease.

What are the negatives of an Operating lease?

Primarily the complexity of the accounting — though with our software the complexity goes away.

What impact do the new standards have on Sale Leasebacks?

There will be major impacts on both the “sale” accounting and the “leaseback” portion as well. The biggest impact or change has to do with the timing of how any gain (or loss) on the sale is recognized. Generally speaking, under current standards, the gain is required to be deferred over the leaseback period.

Under the new standards, the gain must all be recognized on the date of the sale!

This greatly changes the P&L profile of sale-leaseback transactions and is causing some companies to look to accelerate deals to have them close before the new rules take effect. It is worth noting the sale-leaseback rules – both current and new – have a number of nuances to them which can yield different outcomes. NOTE FROM WARD: NOW IS THE TIME TO DO A SALE/ LEASEBACK. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE BULLISH MARKET CONDITIONS AND ACCOUNTING CHANGES SIMULTANEOUSLY!

Do you think the world would benefit from one set of standards or is it good we have two?

I think it would have been beneficial if the FASB and IASB had met their objectives of having consistent and transparent lease accounting, globally.

In a nutshell, what is happening with this whole change to lease accounting?

This is the end of off-balance sheet lease transactions (with the exception of very short term leases.)

Which companies are affected by this change in the accounting rules? Is it just publicly traded companies?

Public companies, private companies, non-profits and governmental agencies. The standards basically impact any company that is require to issue GAAP or IFRS audited financial statements.

Does this just effect new leases?

No, this applies to any existing lease that has any part of its lease term go beyond the effective date of the new rules (including any comparative reporting periods).

What changes are you seeing in the way companies are negotiating leases in light of these new rules?

These changes are driven by whether a company is more sensitive to the impact the new rules will have on their Balance Sheet / Shareholder Equity results or whether they are more sensitive to their Income Statement results, or even more specifically their EBITDA results.

One of the more interesting changes – and one that virtually nobody predicted when these rules were first proposed in 2010 – is the shift to longer term leases for companies that are focused on the impact their leases have on net income and EBITDA performance.

What are the biggest traps with these new lease accounting rules?

I think there are two really significant traps, one being more “big picture” in terms of the accounting and the other being more “transactional” on new deals.

The “big picture” trap is thinking about this all as purely an accounting exercise. Any company thinking that the change in lease accounting standards is merely an accounting exercise will miss tremendous opportunities to improve financial performance, potentially in a material way.

The “transactional” trap is not knowing the true financial statement impact of any lease while it is still being negotiated.

The commercial real estate brokerage world has almost exclusively relied on discounted cash flow analysis as it’s “go-to” analysis to help tenants decide what deal is the better deal.

That may have sufficed in a world where virtually all leases were off balance sheet. But the irony is this: there is not a company in the world that reports financial results on the basis of discounted cash flows. Discounted cash flow analysis will not suffice going forward.

Most of our customers are Third Party Logistics companies (3PL’s). How does this impact 3PL’s contracts with their customers?

Depending on company goals, 3PL’s should definitely consider a shift from a true “lease” with their customers to a “service contract” when possible. This shift can potentially generate value for their clients and keep these transactions off of the books.

A true “service contract” should be doable in shared warehouses. That being said, a “service contract” will not provide their clients with the exclusive use, access and control of a defined area like a lease can provide.

How can real estate brokers assist tenants in dealing with these new accounting rules, particularly as new leases are being negotiated or existing leases are being amended? NOTE FROM WARD: IF YOU ARE JUST GONNA READ ONE Q&A, READ THIS ONE!

There are a lot of ways for brokers to assist tenants here!
First things first: Brokers need to understand what is important to their clients!
Is it the Balance Sheet? Is it the P&L? Is it the EBITDA?

For Balance Sheet focused companies

For P&L Focused companies:

For EBITA Focused companies (This seems to be a common trend among my customers!):

If a company is considering a Sale Leaseback or a Sublease, NOW IS THE TIME!

There is also a tremendous opportunity for brokers and their in-house lease administration teams to help tenants through the transition process by:

Keep In Mind: It is only at that point in time – during lease negotiation – where a company can have any influence over what the accounting outcome will be, and this is why it is so important for the brokerage community to be that knowledgeable resource for tenants.

Success Story: Selling The Beast – 472K SF Disposition

March 16, 2018 Success Stories 0 Comments

Keller Logistics Group, Your True Blue Logistics Crew is an asset-based 3PL solutions provider headquartered in Defiance...

Success Story: Selling The Beast - 472K SF Disposition

By Ward Richmond

Market Making sale of 472,234 SF Final Mile Logistics Center


Keller Logistics Group, Your True Blue Logistics Crew is an asset-based 3PL solutions provider headquartered in Defiance, OH with affiliate locations currently in six states. Their 3PL services are supported by the affiliates of Keller Freight Solutions, Keller Trucking, Keller Warehousing & Distribution, and Keller Packaging. http://www.kellerlogistics.com


    • Developed innovative marketing strategy by recognizing opportunity to transform an obsolete, oddly configured 1970’s distribution center into one of kind final mile distribution opportunity.
    • Rebranded property as “Final Mile Logistics Center” to change perspective of marketplace and take advantage of the “Amazon effect” related to ever increasing demand for customer delivery speed.
    • Created extremely competitive environment via targeted marketing to industrial users with final mile transportation needs (Amazon, WalMart, Geodis, XPO). Additionally, we targeted a wide range of investors including multi-family developers to leverage the rare 21.19 Acre urban location.
    • Provided our client flexibility to lease back on a temporary basis.
    • Identified 1031 Investor with close relationship to strong industrial user with a need for a large, rail served, final mile distribution center.
    • Market making sale price traded 162% higher than initial bank appraised value generating close to $10 million in value to our client.

Customer Experience

“Ward Richmond understands the 3PL business and has a network across the country. I believe that is the reason he is one of the top industrial real estate brokers in the country. We rely on Ward to  help solve our customers’ supply chain opportunities and provide them with logistics solutions that fit their needs.”

-Bryan Keller, CEO, Keller Logistics Group

Back To The Future: Are Your Real Estate Strategies 1955 or 2017?

February 27, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

Take Your Corporate Real Estate Strategies Back To The Future! One of my favorite trilogies of all time is Back

Take Your Corporate Real Estate Strategies Back To The Future!

One of my favorite trilogies of all time is Back to the Future. Marty McFly is one of the best heroes, ever. I wanted to be the guy for most of my youth. Still do. He’s the reason I learned how to play the guitar. I owned the same Valterra skateboard that he skated on, and tailgated on the back of cars just like in the movie. I love Dr. Emmitt Brown. The man was a mad genius. 1985 Jennifer and 1955 Lorraine were possibly my first and second loves. How about Biff Tannin? He is arguably the best character of all not to mention a collegiate nickname for yours truly! Sometimes, and not in a good way, I feel like I am living in the movie Back to the Future: Part II. The one with the altered hell-future where Biff turned into Donald Trump on cocaine and Hill Valley turned into 1985 Compton. Why? Because even though it is 2017, some of the corporate tenants out there, ranging from international corporations to small family owned businesses still do not truly understand the massive value that can be created by partnering with a legitimate commercial real estate services provider. When I run across these companies, I can’t help but think that these C level executives and real estate directors don’t know what they’re doing.  They attempt to negotiate real estate transactions without a strategic partner and might as well have bought a DeLorean with a flux capacitor from Doc Brown, and then went back to 1955 to learn how to develop their corporate real estate strategies. Don’t worry folks, I’m here to take you back, back to the future!


Commercial real estate strategy needs to be viewed as a rifle shot from a Seal Team 6 sniper, not a shotgun blast from Dick Cheney. Keep in mind that while the Seal Team 6 sniper may be the guy pulling the trigger, he does not work alone hence the “Team” in Seal Team 6! He has a high caliber team in place to support him throughout the process to accomplish the mission and execute with certainty – no pun intended. In the world of commercial real estate, our clients are buying a unique commodity that is an expensive long term, relatively illiquid obligation. When I say expensive, I mean several million dollars. In some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars. In my opinion, the best way to deploy such a large amount of capital in a value driven manner is to partner with an expert to help. I feel like this concept should be pretty simple to understand. Today, we are living in an age of specialists. I believe that in every profession, we have the benefit of having specialists out there who can add substantial value when it comes to strategy and execution of whatever it may be that these specialists specialize in. My suggestion to you is to utilize such professionals to generate value. In my opinion, if you are not engaging an expert to assist you in areas outside of your realm of core expertise, you are leaving time and money on the table. Not a little. A lot. Every single time. If I need an electrician, I don’t pretend to be one. I hire one. Not just anyone, the best one for the particular job. Same goes for my plumber. Same goes for lawyers and accountants. If I need a marketing brochure, I partner with a marketing specialist. If I need a logo, I hire a branding specialist. Website developer? Who do you think built this website? I can assure you that it was not me! Why would you not work with an expert? Cost? Living, breathing experts like me create value, not cost. This is not an empty promise. It is a fact and it is backed up by hard evidence. Please do yourself a favor and don’t negotiate directly with your landlord on your lease renewal. He is your buddy? Of course he is. He likes you because you are not using a real estate transaction expert to represent you! Think about it. He is your landlord. His fiduciary duty and interests lie with the Landlord’s bank account. Not the Tenant’s. Please do not hire your brother-in-law to rep you – unless he happens to be the best. Please do not hire a residential broker to help you with a commercial transaction. And vice versa. Hire the best guy or gal for the job. Think about this: why wouldn’t you work with the best real estate partner available to you? We all cost the same! It’s not like you have to pay double to use me because I am a badass. The guy fresh out of college with no experience and a real estate license gets paid the same market fee as me! This is crazy. Take advantage of it! Hire an expert.  


If you have the mindset that all your corporate real estate partner can offer is help with locating properties, you are living in 1955 and you are leaving a lot of value on the table. You are either not utilizing your real estate partner to their fullest extent or you are not working with a true expert. If you don’t understand what else it is that we do, please call me. We need to sit down and have a chat. I think you will find it beneficial to build a strong, value driven relationship with your real estate partners that will be rooted in trust and mutual respect. Let me provide an example of how a true partnership can create value: My wife and I just bought a house this year. When we began the process, we hired Kelley McMahon, a world class East Dallas residential real estate expert to help us! – After years of looking for the right home, I wound up finding our new house before Kelley did and before it hit the market. Yes- I am that good! The first call I made when I found this new house was to my wife. The second was to Kelley. Sure- I found the house. Who cares? How many houses have I bought? This was my second. Do I know anything about buying houses? Absolutely not! I could have just called the seller’s agent and done the deal direct and taken 3% since I am a licensed real estate broker. Did I do this? No I did not. Why? For many reasons. First off Kel-Kel is a close friend of mine (I was a groomsman in her wedding) and she had been showing us houses for 2 years. Most importantly- she is a true expert. She is one of the best agents that works in the area where I live. She had also spent a lot of time up front helping me with my needs analysis. She assisted me with valuing my old house and helping me to analyze build versus buy scenarios. She introduced me to architects and home builders. She knew that I might just build a new house on my old lot and she wouldn’t get paid a dime. That didn’t stop her from adding value all along the way. Why? Because she is a pro. She added value – constantly. She helped me understand that certain elementary schools can swing home value by six figures! She explained minute details to me about the residential world, like the fact that having the master bedroom on the first floor of a two story home contributes to resale value. Who knew? So, for one thing, I didn’t want to screw her over because she is my friend and had already been helping me out (for free) for almost 2 years! That type of behavior might actually send a real estate guy like me straight to hell. That being said, being a “nice guy” isn’t the only reason I immediately called her to get involved once I found the off-market gem of a home. I wanted an expert in my corner to help me close the deal like a boss.  I knew that I needed a true partner to help me maximize value and streamline efficiencies. That’s what I preach. That’s how I roll! As a corporate tenant representation specialist, I am well aware that finding the property is not rocket science. It is not our core value proposition. Finding the property falls into the commodity category. It is just one step in what should be a multi step complex strategic process that you develop and execute with a true partner. (INSERT PROJECT TIMELINE)  


When I was ready to buy my new house, I recognized that I needed an expert to help me negotiate in order to maximize value and give me the peace of mind that I was not leaving any money on the table. You might think you know how to negotiate better than anyone. That may be true. Let me give you a pat on the back! Believe me, I know exactly how you feel! Being a negotiation expert is the primary reason why I understand the value in partnering with specialists to help me negotiate. I have negotiated hundreds of commercial real estate transactions in cities all over the world. On top of that, I have been involved in thousands of negotiations related to listing agreements, commission agreements, co-broker agreements, lease agreements and don’t forget  exclusive tenant representation agreements! Basically, I am a certified negotiating machine! Despite the fact that I am an expert negotiator, I still knew I needed my residential agent to help me negotiate. Why? For one thing, she knew the seller’s agent. They were friends. This helps communication. Communication helps negotiation. She also knew the intricacies of the local residential marketplace. She knew the comps in the neighborhood better than I did. She knew how to negotiate a residential sales contract as it relates to the specific market that we were working in. We partnered together to negotiate the best deal possible. The results were phenomenal. This is how a true partnership is supposed to work.


I spoke to the real estate director at a major corporation the other day. They have about 50 distribution facilities across the US. This dude negotiates all renewals for all of these properties by himself with no help from a real estate partner. He claimed to have saved 5% last year via his negotiations which is why he does not feel like he needs to work with a commercial real estate partner. Sorry. I don’t buy it. Here is my question: how do you know that the alleged 5% in savings wasn’t supposed to be 15%? Did Loopnet confirm that for you? In my opinion, the only way to truly know the answer to that question is to partner with a true market expert and assemble a killer team. It will never cease to amaze me. Much like the Libyans keep coming after Doc Brown to get their plutonium back, I keep running into business owners and corporate real estate executives that don’t understand the value created by having an innovative commercial real estate partner on their team. When I hear a corporate real estate director say, “We handle this in-house,” it has the same effect on me as if a person tells me “Cigarettes don’t cause cancer.” I can’t help but shake my head. My grandmother would have responded, “Bless your heart.” If “handling it in-house” is your policy, there is a strong likelihood that you are leaving a shitload of value on the table. Please, give me an opportunity to prove it to you. What do you have to lose?


As we approach Q4 2017, it is time to start thinking about what innovative approaches you want to bring to the table in 2018 to drive value for your organization. As a reminder, if you are working with a top tier service provider who is a bona fide expert, they will create value, not cost! They improve efficiencies. Drastically. Financial analysis? Push it on your service provider! I promise, they will make it look tighter that you can. Proposal documentation? Push it on your service provider. What- are you a secretary? Negative. You are a strategist. Why are you wasting your time messing with drafting proposals? Lease administration? Push it on your service provider. Bill pay? Push it on your service provider. Expense reconciliation? You know what to do. Are you a transportation company or a real estate company? Are you an office supply company or a real estate company? Ecomm or real estate? Do you want to speak to 50 different landlords who you do a deal with once every 5 years or do you want to speak to 1 certified expert whose team does 50 deals a year with each of your landlords? Does it make sense for a macro strategy expert to attempt to understand local market conditions in an industrial submarket on the other side of the country once every five years? I don’t think so. A true, bona fide expert for a real estate partner will save you a lot of time and a lot of money. Our job is to make you look good. Our job is to make your life easier. If you are not utilizing this approach to drive value and maximize operational efficiencies for your company, you might want to give it some serious thought and bring that 1955 mindset Back to the Future.   Read More

WTF is a FTZ?!

February 19, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

Welcome back readers and let me apologize in advance. If you thought the Triple Freeport article...

The Top 5 Things To Know About Foreign-Trade Zones

By: Ward Richmond & Cole Hooper

Welcome back readers and let me apologize in advance. If you thought the Triple Freeport article was a sleeper, it’s time to go prep a batch of Bulletproof Coffee and take an ice bath to get yourselves ready for our rundown on Foreign Trade Zones!

Cole Hooper, my business partner who specializes in the DFW Airport submarket encouraged me to write a blog about Foreign Trade Zones because they play such an integral role in making DFW such a popular place to be for big-time logistics companies!

Cole did some fantastic deep-diving research and then I tried my best to make this content as entertaining and concise as possible for all of you logistics nerds out there who keep forgetting about these wonderful zones and keep asking that same nagging question, WTF is a FTZ?!


Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ’s) are secure areas under US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) oversight. FTZ’s were established by the US government under the FTZ Act of 1934 and they are the USA’s version of what are known internationally as Free Trade Zones.

FTZ’s are located in the USA and in or adjacent to a CBP port of entry—like DFW Airport!

The point of these “zones” is to provide a place to store commercial products without having to deal with formal customs entry procedures and payment of customs duties. Basically- FTZ’s are meant to make life easier and lower costs for companies based in the US engaged in international trade. Funny, that sounds a lot like our job description!!


Duty Deferral- When foreign goods are imported into a FTZ, no customs duty is owed until those goods leave the zone and technically enter the U.S. for commerce. Simply keeping the imported product as inventory within a FTZ enhances the user’s cash flow by postponing the time duty must be paid.

Elimination of Duties —Customs duties are eliminated entirely on goods re-exported either in their original form or as components of finished products produced in the zone.

Inverted Tariff – When goods are manufactured into other products within the FTZ, the importer may elect to pay the duty rate applicable to either the imported part or the finished product, whichever is lower.

Improve Delivery Speed & Cost— Speed up and streamline the supply chain process by utilizing “direct delivery” and “weekly entry” procedures.

State & Local Tax Savings – A FTZ specifically prohibits state and local governments from assessing business personal property tax on inventory that has either been imported into a foreign trade zone and is being held in a foreign trade zone for export.


First, call Ward Richmond & Cole Hooper! Our team specializes in working with our customers to identify FTZ sites to maximize value and operational efficiency. As a general rule of thumb, FTZ’s must be located within 60 miles or 90 minutes driving time from the outer limits of a CBP port of entry.

Furthermore, there are third party consultants and/or attorneys who not only specialize in FTZ activation for companies but also provide expertise in conducting a feasibility analysis and are knowledgeable about the regulations, requirements, and all the different nuances involved in the activation process.

If you have interest in relocating to an FTZ but don’t know if the benefits outweigh the costs, our team has a vetted list of third party experts that we could recommend to help speed up the process so you avoid unexpected problems. Please call us to discuss!


The opportunity for lower processing costs and cutting logistics costs have become an important strategy for lowering the overall costs to the supply chain for several of the world’s largest manufactures and logistics related companies who operate in FTZ.

The primary manufacturing industries are oil refining, vehicles/automotive parts, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Logistics oriented companies can utilize FTZ’s for warehousing, labeling, salvaging and distribution related operations.

Due to the increased demand from users and importers, the nation’s largest developers and institutional landlords of “Big Box” industrial real estate including, Prologis, Duke Realty, Hillwood, and CenterPoint Properties, among others, are establishing and creating new FTZ sites to support their customers using the FTZ program to reduce importing costs and improve supply chain efficiencies.

A few major DFW tenants operating within FTZ’s include: Geodis, BMW of North America, XPO Logistics, Cartier, Fossil Watches, Apple, Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Inc., DB Schenker, Dal-Tile and CEVA Logistics.


FTZ status can provide a significant cost benefit for certain companies, but it’s not for everyone. Companies who should be considering FTZ opportunities typically have large customs duty payments, a high volume of entries into U.S., history of shipment delays, or plan to increase manufacturing capabilities.

Companies should first undertake an internal due-diligence process to make sure that the savings associated with operating in an FTZ justify the set-up and ongoing maintenance costs associated with the benefit.

As mentioned 3 times at least, feel free to give us a call if the FTZ program is something your company wishes to consider. We’d love to help provide any additional insight, identify strategic locations with FTZ status, and get you in touch with one of our 3rd party experts who truly understand what the hell they’re talking about!

For Additional Information, Check Out some Helpful Links to the FTZ Board’s Website Below:

DFW Market Update – Q4 2017

February 9, 2018 Market Reports 0 Comments

DFW Industrial absolutely crushed it in 2017. As we bust through the 800,000,000 SF inventory mark...


By Ward Richmond

“A mic drop is the gesture of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech to signal triumph.
Figuratively, it is an expression of triumph for a successful event and indicates a boastful attitude toward one’s own.” – WIKIPEDIA

DFW Industrial absolutely crushed it in 2017. As we bust through the 800,000,000 SF inventory mark, industrial real estate owners everywhere are buying Ferraris.

According to our high caliber research team at Colliers International, the DFW industrial market is at an all-time low at 5.9% vacancy. 10% used to be normal when I started in the business 12 years ago.

DFW delivered 28 million SF of new industrial construction in 2017, and we have another 18 million under construction.I might need to change my business plan and become a leasing agent instead of a tenant rep. Just kidding! Or am I?

The critical stat is that we had 24 million SF in net absorption. Honestly, I have lost track of how many consecutive years this has occurred, but I believe we have been building and absorbing +/- 20 million SF of industrial space every year since Amazon signed their first 1 million SF lease in Dallas. They now have 10 million SF thanks to Jeff Bezos taking down another 1.5 million SF in DFW in 2017.

My team continues to evolve our execution techniques and strategy as we work with top logistics companies, retailers, e-tailers and shippers, helping them to improve their supply chain efficiencies as they deal with increased consumer demand, a tightening (not to mention expensive) labor market, and capacity constraints due to massive pressure on the supply chain caused by the e-commerce boom. It’s not about the real estate anymore. It’s about transportation cost, labor availability, and government incentives programs. That’s why DFW is killing it — a strategic location, robust labor pool, and business friendly government. Here’s to keeping on

keeping on in 2018!

To get further inside my supply chain brain,
please check out my website and blog:


    • Prologis signs on to build and sell Kohler a 1.3 million SF Big Bomber in the South Dallas submarket
    • Exeter builds and sells UPS 1 million SF in Arlington, TX in the GSW Submarket.
    • Amazon signs 920,275 SF lease for 18 months in Lancaster, TX with Van Trust in South Dallas.
    • Duke buys the 875K SF Wayfair deal for a sub 6% cap on cost. Try to compete with that, bro! The City of Lancaster also offered the e-commerce giant a sweet incentives package to seal the deal. Another victory for the South Dallas submarket.
    • Haier signs on for 700K with Crow Holdings in Grand Prairie, TX in GSW submarket. This actually just seems boring after reading the Top 4. #DFWIndustrial


    • TF Final Mile – City of Industry (50K SF Sublease), Teterboror, NJ (70K Sf Renewal), North Hollywood, CA (50K SF Site Selection), Atlanta, GA (50K SF Sublease).MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Syncreon – Grapevine, TX – 250K SF – Sublease – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Post Foods – Farmers Branch, TX – 145K SF – Property Sale MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • The Ledbetter Family – Lancaster, TX – 70 Acres – Industrial land Sale MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Keller Logistics – 280K SF – Site Selection MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Key Takeaways

Q4 2017 was a record quarter for Big-Box net absorption with over 7.1 million square feet. After a slow first three quarters, absorption more than caught up in Q4, posting a record year with 17.9 million square feet. Major Q4 move-ins included Amazon moving into 2.5 million square feet in three properties, UPS moving into 1 million square feet, and TTI occupying its 600k build-to-suit.

Due to strong absorption, vacancy decreased 0.5% from Q3 to 9.9%. South Dallas is still the market with the highest vacancy, but it saw a significant drop to 19.2% after absorbing two million square feet. Infill markets such as DFW Airport and the West I-30 corridor are in demand and posted 2.6% and 3.9% vacancy rates, respectively.

For all of 2017, the market added 22 million square feet in 43 properties, the most in our statistical history. In Q4, 13 properties delivered and were 51% leased on completion. The construction pipeline still holds 33 properties totaling 16 million square feet, of which two-thirds are speculative.

Asking rental rates were flat from Q3 to Q4 at $3.79. Rates are up 1.9% year-over-year showing that supply and demand are reaching a balance.


Ward Richmond has over eleven years of experience specializing in industrial real estate, and has negotiated over 500 transactions
while working in over 100 cities across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Several publications have featured Ward for his expertise
in this field including the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, and Dallas Business Journal. He also serves on Colliers International
Industrial Advisory Board, and is a member of the Logistics & Transportation Solutions Group.

The Richmond team also includes Liam Logan, Cole Hooper, Brad Balke, Zack Rutland, and Rachel Hendrix. They assist with market
analysis, financial analysis, strategic real estate and facilities planning, site selection, and acquisition and disposition services.

Executive Vice President

Senior Associate



February 20-22, 2018: Colliers Americas Conference — Phoenix, AZ
March 11-13, 2018: IWLA — Tampa, FL
May 2-4, 2018: Colliers L&T Group Conference — San Francisco, CA
May 5-9, 2018: IAMC Spring Forum — Savannah, GA



Client Services Coordinator

Research Director

Research Associate

The Richmond team is supported by Colliers International Research Team:


Check out this killer new infographic developed by our talented Colliers Chicago & DFW marketing teams, which highlights some of the
Top Distribution Markets in the USA.


Office 214.217.1201
Mobile 214.336.5757
Email ward.richmond@colliers.com

How to Renew a Lease Like a Wolf: 5 Simple Steps So Create the Find of Value that Makes You Howl at the Moon!

January 29, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

I woke up this morning and like always, I meditated. One piece of my mediation ritual is to repeat the following mantra:

How to renew a lease like a wolf: 5 simple steps to create the kind of value that makes you howl at the moon!

By Ward Richmond

I woke up this morning and like always, I meditated. One piece of my mediation ritual is to repeat the following mantra: “Create more value than anyone expects.” I learned this simple incantation from none other than, Tony Robbins.

When people ask me about the benefits of meditation, how I meditate, etc., my aforementioned value mantra is typically my favorite example. How it works: I repeat “create more value than anyone expects” over and over in my head for about 10 minutes (along with some other cult-like things I picked up from Tony).

The repetition of this phrase causes me to begin each day with a focus on value creation. It is a widely known fact that if you create value consistently, you will reap massive benefits in life. End of story. Contribute and you shall receive. Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to teach a class on meditation, but today I’m going to focus on the art of the commercial lease renewal. This is an art form which I have mastered and one that you should take very seriously if your business spends a significant amount of money leasing commercial real estate.

This Sunday morning, as I chanted my value incantation, I thought back to a conversation I had on the previous Friday afternoon, with a real estate director about a 100,000 SF industrial lease renewal. This guy, works for a massive company with a huge distribution footprint. Shocking to me, there is this internal mentality that is like, “Oh, it’s just a renewal – we’re just gonna renew.” Actually, it’s not that shocking. A lot of companies out there view lease renewals and real estate in general as a necessary evil versus an opportunity for massive value creation. He went on to say “We always work with ol’ Bobby Broker (this is a fake name) in that market. He’s a retail broker but he handles all of our real estate.”

What the what? Retail?! The broker representing a publicly traded company on a 100,000 SF industrial lease renewal is a retail broker?! Being repped by a retail broker on an industrial lease renewal is a surefire method to NOT create more value than anyone expects. Don’t let this happen to you.

When it comes to lease renewals, the only way to create massive value is to treat every renewal like a new deal. Even if, for operational purposes, you are perfectly happy in your space and your Landlord sends you a turkey every year for Christmas, don’t forget the fact that you are about to commit to a multi-million dollar, long term, relatively illiquid, transaction. This is big money. In the case of a 100K SF deal, assuming 5 years at $5 per square foot, you’re talking about a $2.5 Million spend. In the world I’m living in, this is a relatively small deal, but, hell, it’s still $2.5 MILLION DOLLARS, bro!

“When it comes to lease renewals, the way to create massive value is to treat every renewal like a new deal.”

I have a client looking to move their overall EBITDA by $15 Mil next year. We are already getting close to moving the needle $3 Mil just being badass commercial real estate negotiators who operate like a motherflippin’ wolf pack.

By the way, when I say wolf pack, I’m not talking about the Wolf from Pulp Fiction. I’m talking about a strategic team of hungry execution specialists who understand that working together is the best way to get the job done.


    • Call Ward “The Wolf” Richmond
    • Work together with me to develop a strategic plan of attack. This is one of my favorite things to do. I mean, I meditate on how to create massive value every morning before I drink coffee. Come on, now!
    • Assemble a team of bona fide experts to get the job done. The team will vary in size based on the project. (Sometimes, it’s just a hyper focused industrial submarket specialist. Sometimes, it’s an industrial/ retail hybrid if a client’s business benefits from a retail setting. Sometimes, we will bring in an industrial guy and an office guy so that we can analyze moving a heavy office component out of the warehouse and putting it into a separate office facility. FYI- sometimes this helps with recruiting.) Sometimes, I bring in my buddy, Gregg Healy, who is a supply chain wizard. Healy can analyze material handling, discuss automation and calculate transportation costs. We can then use that as negotiation leverage. If you have a major workforce and generating a ton of tax dollars for the municipality that you operate in, let’s bring in an economic incentives negotiator and a labor analytics expert to extract as much value as possible. This is how a wolf pack operates. I can keep going, but let me take a break.
    • Sit back, relax and watch the Wolf Pack work. We will deliver:
      • Badass Market Study
      • Uncover multiple market options that meet your operational needs.
      • Coordinate facility tours.
      • Run RFPs and handle/ organize proposal process.
      • Provide customized financial analysis.
      • Utilize expert negotiation tactics leveraging extensive experience, market knowledge and unparalleled relationships with Landlords.
    • Execute with absolute certainty. When it comes time to sign your lease renewal – or – maybe you decide that you can shave $2 Million off of your EBITDA by moving to Atlanta, you are going to execute that lease document with absolute certainty. This is why you treat every renewal like a new deal. This is why you always work with experts. Whether it’s a $2 Million or $20 Million decision, you better be damn certain that you aren’t leaving that 10% on the table. Or even worse, 35%, like this case study right here.