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Computer projection helps Grubb & Ellis close sales

Computer projection helps Grubb & Ellis close commercial sales

Grub & Ellis using Panasonic triple nickel PTL-555 LCD projector to aid in commercial real estate sales.The real estate industry is not what it used to be. Though once dominated by single-location brokerages, the industry has gone through a great deal of consolidation and nationalization in recent years, particularly in the commercial segments.

How does a firm compete in this environment? One way, according to Dan Spiegel, Vice President of Operations for Grubb & Ellis, is to offer a very wide range of services to a specialized segment of the market. But to be sure that a large sales force presents a complex message consistently can be something of a challenge.

Grubb & Ellis offers transaction services, property management and construction services, research and consulting services to clients across the country. To help their real estate professionals present these complex offerings, the firm purchased ten portable LCD projectors early this year, standardizing on Panasonic PT-L555 projectors from United Visual.

"In an initial client meeting," says Spiegel, "our professionals will talk about company capabilities and the real estate transactional process. Further down the road it depends on the individual client. Our people use a laptop, projector and PowerPoint™ to make the presentation. "With the laptop and projector, says Spiegel, sales people can develop or customize a presentation at a moment’s notice, and that gives them a major advantage over competitors. "Clients are very different in the information they want delivered," he says. "We’re able to help them understand what's happening in the market and what their options are."

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I asked Spiegel why the firm chose the Panasonic, given the large number of projectors available. "What we did," says Spiegel, "was to work with our offices around the country to try to understand their needs, then pick a standard projector. There were some cases that were unique, but the projector’s clarity, portability, weight, and its ease of use were the main criteria we developed." Bonnie Kent, Purchasing Coordinator for the firm, took these criteria and began talking to dealers.

Kent spoke to several dealers about what she was looking for, and then narrowed it down to three machines from United Visual. "What United helped us to do," says Spiegel, "was to test a variety of projectors and make them available to our people making the decision." "Jake Majeski," Kent says, "came in and did a shoot off so we could look at what the projectors had to offer and the clarity of the picture. I wrote up a comparison and we decided that the Panasonic was the best at that point in time."

I asked Kent why she settled on United Visual as the supplier for the projectors. "Truthfully, it’s just that nobody at United has ever tried to snow me. I’ll say, ‘this is what I want to spend and this is what I’m looking for,’ and that’s all I need to say. I've called for some really weird things at times and Jake and Dale Bottcher have jumped right in there and found a way to help us out. I like to deal with people I can get really good service from and I have from United."

The program is working well for Grubb & Ellis. The projectors have been problem-free and are used widely. "They’ve become the standard way of operating today," says Spiegel. "Everyone has been happy with them."

If you’d like more information about Grubb & Ellis property services, please visit: Grubb & Ellis on the web.