A Major Deal

CCIM shares his experiences and insights on his biggest land transaction.

In May 2006, Satya N. Voleti, CCIM, associate broker with Dynamic Realty of Florida in Port Charlotte, Fla., closed the largest transaction in Charlotte County history, which provided a remarkable return on an investment. Voleti credits his CCIM expertise and his ability to persevere with helping him to close the deal and establish himself as a leading commercial real estate professional in his market. Commercial Investment Real Estate asked Voleti to share his insights on this major transaction.

CIRE: How did the deal originate and how did you get the parcel ready for sale?

Voleti: In 2004, I assembled a group of local investors to purchase a 129-acre land parcel for more than $3.9 million. In 2005, I met with the investors again and encouraged them to list the property at a sales price of $26 million. They were stunned by this price, but my analysis determined that the site had a lot of near-term potential for developers, and the investment group had faith in my analysis.

I researched how to maximize the anticipated sales price and compress the anticipated due diligence time on the potential sales contract by conducting the required environmental reports preemptively. As contacts and interest grew, these documents were shared with prospective buyers.

I worked with local brokers and brokers from Fort Myers, Fla., and networked at local CCIM chapter meetings.

CIRE: How did you find the right buyer? Did you get multiple offers?

Voleti: During the 15 months the property was listed, I had three deals fall through before I found a deal that worked for both the buyer and the seller. The prospective buyer called me and inquired about the property, and I immediately faxed the listing information, reports, and land studies.

CIRE: How did you market the property?

Voleti: I used traditional methods to market the property:

The property was listed on CCIMNet and several other commercial real estate Web sites.

In light of [the property’s] proximity to and visibility from a major highway, I placed large signs on the three roads surrounding the property to capitalize on the exposure.

I e-mailed and faxed the listing details to local CCIM chapters and real estate brokers.

I promptly returned all phone calls and e-mails to make sure all questions and inquiries were answered in a timely manner.

CIRE: What were the biggest challenges you encountered?

Voleti: The first unexpected challenge I dealt with was the investors’ and local real estate market’s shock over the listing price. I needed to show them where I was coming from.

The lag time in due diligence for the prospective buyer also posed a challenge. In anticipation of this, I had all the necessary reports completed at the expense of the seller and made them available to potential buyers.

Despite the overall complexity of the project due to the size and dollar amount, the transaction closed in only 105 days.

CIRE: How did your CCIM training help you?

Voleti: My classes at the institute taught me analysis skills, networking, and how to think outside the box. The moral support and encouragement I received from my CCIM colleagues also helped me through the deal.

I believe that my designation gave me an edge over other commercial real estate professionals because of the respect and reputation held by the institute.

CIRE: What some advice would you offer to CCIMs and other commercial real estate professionals faced with this type of deal?

Voleti: It is important that people work hard, think outside the box, and use the skills learned through the institute. It is also imperative to aim for the big leagues, have strong negotiation skills, continue your education, and make sure to have some time for yourself. This adds up to a winning combination. It will pay dividends for you and your clients.

Stephanie Bell

“I went through the [recession in the] 1980s and purposely set out a market plan that would not have the boom-and-bust [nature] that comes with real estate cycles.” — Joe W. Milkes, CCIM, Milkes Realty Valuation, Dallas“We were anticipating a slowdown in the market and wanted to develop an avenue of business that would create a steady stream of income.” — Yvonne Jones, CCIM, CPM, Zifkin Realty Management LLC, Chicago“I help struggling companies rethink their business models, which includes determining the most profitable use of their real estate.” — Audie Cashion, CCIM, Alpha World Properties LLC, High Point, N.C.Stephanie Bell is associate editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate.