Landmark Advisory Services, a Canadian real estate company specializing in commercial tenant representation, is rebranding itself to better market its platform.
The company spun off in 2012 from Landmark Properties Inc., a third-party management firm that originated in 1986 and worked with office, industrial and retail properties, largely for institutional landlords and lenders. It incorporated in 2013 and elected to keep the Landmark name after Landmark Properties was acquired by Colliers International in December.
Through dealing with plenty of traditional real estate brokers, Landmark president and managing partner Robert Cressaty told RENX he realized there was a gap in the market. Cressaty said he has positioned his firm to fill that need “with more of an advisory approach and a relationship approach rather than the traditional brokerage approach” which he says is still prevalent in the industry.
Landmark acts as an advisor to firms which outsource their real estate functions. It provides a range of services, including lease audit, lease administration, transaction management, legal services, market intelligence, and consulting and advisory services for commercial tenants.
It has a team of salary-based market intelligence specialists, lawyers, transaction managers, accountants and lease administrators at its offices in Montreal and Calgary.
“Our focus is much more on service than it is on sales,” said Cressaty. “Because of our current size, there’s a lot more personal attention given to every aspect of our clients’ commercial real estate needs and not just the brokerage transactions.”
Landmark uses sophisticated software for managing leases and real estate-related expenses. It designed proprietary internal control processes to include stringent tracking and benchmarking to review, verify and process clients’ lease-related expenses.
Landmark also introduced technology to organize real estate data and give visibility on key portfolio metrics such as total footprint, average occupancy costs, historic and forecasted trends and benchmarks against market value.
Landmark growth strategy
Landmark has clients dating back to 1993.
“The fact that they continue to renew their contracts with us and expand the scope of services that fall under our umbrella speaks for itself in terms of the service that they’ve been accustomed to,” said managing partner Jacob Cowles.
“Our growth strategy is to acquire more national clients for which we provide a fully integrated platform of services,” said Cressaty. “We’re not out there pounding the pavement for brokerage transactions.
“That’s not our model. Long-established relationships are meaningful for us and we want to continue to be the outsourced real estate department for various multinationals, handling all of their needs.
“That strategy means approaching Canadian companies to buy Canadian. We’re a Canadian organization, not a U.S. or European organization, and encourage large Canadian multinational companies to buy Canadian and to see the value in the platform of services we provide.”
Bigger emphasis on marketing
The phrase “Partner Smarter” is a major part of the rebranding and bigger emphasis on marketing, which includes a new logo, colours and website as well as a larger social media emphasis.
Cowles concedes this low-key approach has come at the cost of not developing as much business as it possibly could have. Much of its growth has occurred organically through existing clients, word of mouth and networking as opposed to marketing.
“It’s time for us to begin focusing a little bit more on developing the brand than developing our platform,” said Cowles. “We’ve spent years building our platform and our team to provide exceptional service to our clients, and that has always been our focus.”