Regions always want to be in the running for new projects but what can an EDO do to ensure they are on the radar? How can they be noticed by site selectors to make sure their regions aren’t being passed over?
We recently conducted an in-depth survey, targeting industry leaders, from boutique advisory firms to large site selectors to executives running Fortune 500 real estate teams. We are pleased to share an overview of their site selection process to address these important questions.
Here’s How it Works…
Site selection is a methodical process. It begins with a long list where a plethora of regions that meet the basic project criteria is listed and then disqualified, until the top few choices are short listed.
It is important that site selectors have precise and up-to-date regional information available to them at all times – this means that an easy-to-navigate and coherent website, with real-time information is essential.
Keep in mind, so many regions claim to have the best incentives, workforce, and quality of life – so it’s very important to properly differentiate your region: what makes your location UNIQUE from everywhere else? In other words, what is your VALUE proposition.
It’s also important to separate costs and incentives. Costs are an important consideration early in the process while incentives are considered towards the end of the process.
Nearly 80% of site selectors reach out to EDOs only after they’ve put together a “short-list” of potential sites. And some site selectors only reach out to state-level EDOs. They rely heavily on information from the EDO website, or other data resources, to provide the regional information they need.
This information is gathered when building a long list of regions, and is leveraged to trim down the destination options to a more manageable short list.
Is your web site up to speed?
Because of site selectors’ reliance on EDO websites to provide relevant regional data, it’s critical that up-to-date key statistics and demographics, particularly by industry, are presented in an organized manner.
However, presenting too much information is a negative as it is perceived as making things complicated to find what is required.
The five most important topics of information to include on the website, in order of ranked importance, are:
- Available buildings and sites
- Workforce information
- Industry Clusters
- Business Costs
The long and short of it…
Don’t wait for Site Selectors to knock on your door – be proactive and go to them first. Reach out by phone, visit their offices, meet up at industry events like Site Selectors Guild and CoreNet Global.
- Concise, quarterly emails from EDOs with relevant regional updates are helpful and well received.
- It is a challenge for site selectors to stay current on regional information – and many don’t. They will often wait until they need the information to reach out.
In order to keep your region on the radar, make sure that the most relevant regional information is readily available and always current.
As a side note, companies surprisingly manage their own site selection process without consultants in 70% to 80% of projects – so even with a good relationship with various site selectors, one shouldn’t rely solely on them for new investment projects. It is always a good idea to speak with company decision-makers or real estate executives who are in charge of corporate expansion.