The Swartz Report: Finding the balance between doing the work and prospecting.

By Donald Swartz, President

Donald SwartzIn our weekly Monday morning meeting, my challenge to the group for 2022 is to spend more time discussing contacts we have made, marketing efforts, events to attend and other concepts to promote brand awareness. Over the past several years, we’ve used our Monday meetings to discuss current caseload, property tax hearings on the horizon and general bantering about our pipeline of property tax cases. I have found when we focus too much on the appeals and work we do, we can lose sight of the potential opportunities in front of us.

The Balance

The challenge of balancing the work in place and seeking opportunities to expand your customer base is a fine line when operating as a small business. There are certainly tools available to assist in the organization and follow up (CRM software, database development, and in person events.) But ultimately, the burden falls on your team members to make things happen; to initiate conversations; to attend various events…. Sometimes that can be overwhelming and hiding behind a desk and working on the projects in front of you allows people to stay in their comfort zone. While this can create work efficiencies, it’s important to get out of the comfort zone and create interactions.

Finding the balance between doing the work and prospectingFace to face interaction is finally coming back – in person meetings are being scheduled; conferences and seminars are being attended and conversations are taking place. The conversations may be politics, issues in Ukraine, the cost of gasoline, the cost of groceries, rising interest rates and maybe even sports! For those who read my blog regularly, feel free to blast my non-sense about my Hawkeyes reaching the Final Four, while the J-Hawks are left watching on the sidelines. I guess I missed that prediction by… “just that much…” No betting sports app for me just yet!

Anyway, the fact that these conversations are occurring and opinions are being offered, provides an opportunity to listen and determine how this will affect our businesses. Will continual increase in interest rates slow down the hot residential and commercial real estate market? Will the rising costs of labor and materials slow down new construction demand? How is the remote working environment making its mark on office space?

I was on a conference call this afternoon and the discussion turned to a downtown Central Business District in a decent sized metropolitan area possibly reaching a potential 40% vacancy rate by mid 2023. That will have a significant impact, not only on the landlords, but the surrounding supporting businesses – restaurants, convenience stores, specialty retail, etc.

Counties have been aggressively raising property tax values in an effort to match the market.

We need to keep an eye on the summer and fall activity, but my hunch is that it will be time to put the brakes on rising property tax values. Whether this occurs in the fall of 2022 or summer of 2023, the conversations I hear tell me there is change in the wind.

As always, we will be here – ready to answer any questions and representing your property tax interests. Thank so much for your continued support.  If you have any questions about your commercial property taxes, please reach out to me at the following: dswartz@swartzaai.com or dswartz@indurantetax.com.

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