Three things I learned at Let’s Make a Deal

Ryan Watoba is the Vice President of Relocation & Business Development at Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, based in Albany, NY. Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is a full-service real estate brokerage with 14 offices throughout the Capital Region and Central New York. In his role, he oversees all services and team members responsible for assisting hundreds of corporate transferees annually with their relocation moves to and from the region throughout the Capital Region and Central New corridor.

On August 11th, Chris Steele, COO of Investment Consulting Associates provided a detailed overview at the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership’s Let’s Make A Deal event on the process that he and his team undergo to determine “where in the world” their client’s companies will call home. From corporate HQ to manufacturing facilities, a company’s decision on site selection is based on a variety of factors including but not limited to logistics, workforce skills, tax/regulations, etc.

Throughout his talk it was understood that the process of corporate site selection is a major investment of time and resources. Decisions are not made overnight and it is important to never forget that communities are competing on a global level.

As I walked away from the event I was excited to have learned more about a process that has a major impact on our community. As I listened to Chris speak, I asked myself how can I and the others in attendance help make an impact on our region as it relates to site selection? From my notes and his talking points, I developed a quick list that I have referenced often.

Be an Ambassador

Each of us is as an ambassador for the region in our own way. From client interactions to meeting an out of town visitor, we are given opportunities throughout our day to speak to and demonstrate all of the wonderful things our region has to offer. My team and I strive to do this every day as we welcome our clients, corporate transferees to their new home in the Capital Region. It is a role that we do not take lightly and I always encourage others to find ways that they can serve as an ambassador to the region in their daily work.

Economic Development Is a Team Sport

Economic development is a team sport! Just as we work together with our colleagues to bring about success for the organization, we need to work with community members across various sectors to support the region as a whole. As we go about our jobs and professional networking, it is important to identify the various ways (i.e. attending an event, serving on a task force, etc.) that we can make a difference and help bring about change for the greater good of the region.

People Matter

As I listened to Chris speak about the various components involved in a site selection, I continued to go back to the people. Specifically, the employees and families that could be calling the Capital Region their new home. My work in corporate relocation certainly makes me more mindful of the piece of the equation, however we can all make a positive difference as it relate to the people aspect of this topic. Whether it is welcoming a new neighbor or taking time for coffee with a colleague that is new to the region, it is important that we make our community as welcoming as we can. If we work on this today and continue to make this part of our region’s DNA, then the preparation for the next “big thing” moving the Capital Region will be all that easier.

To learn more about Chris’ August 11th presentation, check out his blog post, “Understanding Site Selection and Preparing for the Call”.