Frank Raeon, a mentor and counselor at SCORE here in Cincinnati has published a book recently called “The ABC’s of Site Selection: How to Pick Winners and Avoid Losers“ The book is available at AMAZON, Barnes and Noble and Alibris to name a few.
The Cincinnati Enquirer published a story about Frank on February 4th 2011.
We borrowed the text from the Cincinnati Enquirer and entered it below:
The first three rules of real estate have always been “location, location, location.” But one local real estate expert wants to take would-be franchisees even deeper into the meaning of that old cliché.
Frank Raeon of Mariemont has written a new book called “The ABC’s of Site Selection: How to Pick Winners and Avoid Losers” (Xlibris Press, available on Amazon.com). He’s vice president of Townmark Inc. of Kenwood, a corporate real estate consulting firm, and has helped companies including McDonald’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Blockbuster select business sites in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Raeon, 64, recently spoke with business reporter James Pilcher about the finer points of site selection. Many of his insights are based on working at his parents’ restaurant/bar, where he learned the value of PASTA-V: Parking, access, signage, traffic light, activity in the area and visibility.
WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS’ place teach you about real estate?
Well, it was called The Alibi, and it did a great lunch business and then became more of a bar at night. It didn’t have great parking, but it was a self-standing building and was near a traffic light. And it also teaches you how you have to work for every customer.
WHY WRITE THIS book?
It gets down to the nuts and bolts and the details. Everyone knows location sells, but what goes into a good location? People don’t ask the questions they need to when deciding on where to start their business. Location is one thing, but what about the area? Is it a desirable demographic? What about the site? Is there good parking and lighting? And then there is the space itself. Do you have good windows, and is it visible?
Very few people are trained in site selection, and I wanted to change that.
WHAT’s THE BIGGEST mistake people make when selecting a site?
There are a lot of people who get into franchising just to make the fees from new sites. But the real good ones are the ones who want to create a growing and sustainable business. They usually care about the customer.
And that translates over into the site selection. Many folks don’t see the business through the eyes of the customers. You need to do that if you want those customers to keep coming back.
Finally, there is this that I learned from a guy at McDonald’s, which does the best job of site selection in the business: Never bring a site to someone else or get involved in something that you wouldn’t invest your own money in.