To identify the needs, challenges, passion points, and personas of site selectors.
Initial research through the Site Selector Guild’s site identified a high-level summary of the key takeaways from the breakout sessions of the 2019 Annual Convention, including industry transformation, workforce development and training trends, transformation of tax and investment policies, winning strategies for rural investments, and digital transformation for the workforce.
Insights regarding transformation of the site selection industry include increasing demands for data integration and an insatiable desire for more data, advances in visual media to enhance site selection analysis, and sophistication of location decision-making models.
Further, tax and investment policies are constantly evolving and shifting to a more performance-based incentives structure, where incentives are also being forcibly shaped by Federal tax policies.
Another valuable source of information on the Site Selector Guild’s site is a summary of the challenges faced by site selector consultants (also known as location advisors), such as logistics issue considerations for consumers and suppliers, infrastructure needs (e.g., transportation, utilities), availability of qualified workers, and tax liabilities.
This checklist defines the key factors (e.g.,availability of property, workforce recruitment/training, cost/reliability of utilities, state & local taxes, and the regulatory climate) associated with the decision-making for site selection process and challenges associated with each factor.
Challenges within availability of property include low vacancy rates and an increased demand for significant improvements to existing properties.
The workforce recruitment aspect of site selection is also one that is frequently cited as problematic for site selectors, with challenges involving frequently-shifting demands for skills requirements, cultural bias against manufacturing careers, and difficulty staffing among an aging workforce.
The following article reflects on the importance of creating buyer personas for key stakeholders (e.g., local (and state) government officials, planning boards, zoning boards, etc.) for site selectors to improve chances of success with purchasing real estate.
Trends such as tighter labor forces due to high unemployment rates, media exposure from Amazon’s HQ2 site selection process, political gridlock for 2020 elections, and more may impact corporate site selection and expansion or relocation decisions in 2019.
The Minnesota State government website outlines marketing strategies for site selectors, including what site selectors want most, how to properly engage them, marketing tools, and website design features to attract them.
Important rules for successful engagement with site selectors include regular contact, rapid responses to requests for information, and marketing for the specific wants of each site selector.
Coupled with successful engagement, marketing tools such as the use of in-person visits, electronic newsletters, and embedded links to YouTube channels within email newsletters.
This article, published in 2018, details the global pain points facing site selectors including slow contract turnaround times and legal negotiations issues.
Bruxton, a site selector company, recently issued an article of three best practices for business site selection, including identifying longer-term goals, mastering real estate fundamentals, and evaluating unit performance over time.
The following article from a site selection corporation identifies some traditional challenges and barriers to site selection and potential solutions to mitigate those risks, as identified by an expert consultant in the field.
One such solution is creating shovel-ready sites, which mitigates one of the biggest problems faced by site selectors: finding available property.
Only the project owner can select the next research path.