ICSC RECon 2012
ICSC RECon 2012: Recap
Winning Favor in Real Estate at RECon
As a franchise owner, finding the perfect location and deal terms that will ultimately set the foundation of your clinic's success can be taxing, especially given the fact that it involves dealing with an entirely separate and foreign industry- the real estate industry. The Joint is pioneering a change in chiropractic that is innovative, necessary and exciting, so it's easy at times to believe the buzz created by our consumer marketing is also reaching every one of these real estate industry professionals at their desk. The reality is that with the overwhelming numbers of retail and service concepts fighting for the attention of the same audience, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle due to sheer volume alone. At this stage in our development, it is necessary to get in front of this industry and get their attention. And so we did.
Educating the entire real estate industry about a concept takes a perfect combination of the right relationships, the right momentum, the right messaging, the right product or service and above all, the right timing. This year we have all five of these components, so we packed them in our suitcases and followed Jessica Owens, our National Director of Real Estate's lead to the International Council of Shopping Center's largest annual event in Las Vegas at the end of May, and hit the conference room floors (three pavilions, more than 3.2 million square feet) to make sure the key players in real estate know about The Joint.
Together with our broker partners and two energetic Regional Developers, Paul Trindel (NC) and Tony DiGiuseppe (WA), we strategically positioned The Joint brand in the center of the largest stage in real estate- the Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas. More than 32,000 real estate professionals were in attendance, including over 800 of the world's largest shopping center developers. Our team exhibited at the show, presented our concept center stage to 2,000 plus attendees on the Global Retailer Runway and served as both host and attendee at meetings throughout the conference. We set out to pollinate with news of our concept and planned expansion to gain new leads for your locations! Hence, the antennae and wings Jessica showed up with for us to wear at our planning meetings.
The Right Relationships
Strategically targeting the developers and landlords who own and build the shopping centers we want to be in, The Joint team held 34, 30-45 minute meetings in which we introduced our concept and our plans for expansion. Senior and regional representatives from Kimco, Inland, DDR, Regency Centers, New Quest, Brixmor, Cypress, Weingarten, RED Development and Irvine Companies were just a few of those whom Jessica met with.
The benefit of these face-to-face meetings is the immediate all-access pass it grants to the very top of the totem pole. Without the opportunity to sit down at conventions like this, your relationship as a brand is limited to the leasing agent who did your last deal. The Joint's broker partners held transactional meetings with landlords we are currently working deals with, enabling them to finesse the terms in person on behalf of all of their developing franchisees. Existing relationships already established by Jessica over the years opened up new doors for The Joint brand as well.
The Right Momentum
With nearly 50 locations open, after only two years franchising The Joint's new concept, we were well positioned to leverage our expansion volume with these large developers and emphasize the our requirements when it came to more desirable spaces and deal terms.
The Joint Real Estate Department will continue to work with local and regional representatives from every company as our franchisees continue to look for space- not only for current availabilities in their shopping centers but future ones as well. With over 200 franchise licenses sold, landlords are very motivated to start matching our development needs with their leasing needs across the country.
The Right Messaging
Heading into the conference The Joint was featured in a spotlight story in ICSC's official publication, Shopping Centers Today. The article provided us with incredible national and international exposure. Given that we are currently open in just 14 states, brand awareness on this scale without an article such as this would easily have taken years to build.
The Joint launched a brand new trade show booth design with a fresh, clean look that featured a more dimensional feel and up-close view of a clinic interior. In addition to familiarizing visitors with our clinic aesthetics, an informative video presentation communicated our brand story and grabbed the attention of passersby. The video's great success is shared with the many franchisees who sent wonderful clinic photos for us to use.
To round out our messaging strategy, Dr. Humble authored a phenomenal presentation for Jessica's Global Retailer Runway stage presentation. As the youngest brand on stage we held our own with other seasoned veteran speakers representing brands such as 24 Hour Fitness, Athleta (GAP), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks, to name a few.
The Right Product/Service
Most Landlords are somewhat familiar with the industry challenges traditional chiropractors face, as they are the ones having to provide rent relief to these tenants as a result. We believe we were successful in also educating the landlords on the non-competitive nature of what The Joint can offer locations with traditional chiropractors. We made sure to emphasize the sustainability of our model versus traditional chiropractic. Every landlord we met with received our concept with great enthusiasm, and recognized the immediate demand that exists for the delivery system our model provides.
The Right Timing
The timing was perfect for us to attend RECon because our sales volume is high and we are aggressively developing locations nationwide. Landlords and brokers alike are excited about The Joint and are motivated to get deals done with us. You might say we are perfectly aligned, and it's certainly been a joint effort. We are eager to help you secure the best placement available in your market and are pleased to report this conference was a tremendous success for our brand.