It is commonly said that when in a transaction is in process, many people tend to over-complicate the real issues. And it is just as frequently said people tend to overlook complexities by oversimplifying critical items.
So which is it?
Let’s focus on the complex, as I have found few items in life that are truly simple. (That’s not to say that I wouldn’t enjoy a simple problem with a simple solution.)
When discussing a “complex transaction,” we are not necessarily inferring that the transaction is complicated, but rather that there are multiple points of contact that are required to complete a transaction. Complex, therefore, refers to the fact that there are many separate relationships, issues, facts, or touch points that need to be known and understood to complete the transaction.
When looking at a transaction, it’s smart to anticipate all the points of contact, and to project forward as to whether one has the capacity to have, say, three of five or four of the points of contact understood and achievable prior to commencing a pursuit. Without this certainty before leaving the starting gate, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the capacity in a highly competitive environment to win a transaction.
The simple paradox of complex transactions is not that they are necessarily complicated deals, but rather that they are a web of factors; the complexity of the transaction lies in the composition of many separate relationships, information, and knowledge. In a more in-depth evaluation, the touch points often include the capital stack, knowledge of a prospective tenant, or an existing relationship with a seller or broker; and there’s usually one overwhelming criteria that becomes the linchpin for success.
By starting with the simple knowledge and clarity as to what these four to six required touch points might be, and by identifying what might be the linchpin point of differentiation, you can immediately make a calculated decision as to whether it is worth the expenditure of the valuable resources of time and money for their pursuit.
Michael Ablon is principal of PegasusAblon, a commercial real estate development, investment and management company. Contact him at MAblon@PegasusAblon.com.