“When I was VP of National Development at KFC in the 90s, I’d get back from three or four days on the road and there’d be a stack of site submittals on my desk a foot high,” says Dave Cattell, Founder and CEO of NewDirt. “90% were sites that made no sense at all for us. I always thought, There’s got to be a better way!”
Now there is. NewDirt assigns star ratings to commercial sites based on criteria set by retail, restaurant and lodging brands—and they’re theBrokerList’s newest Marketplace partner. Cattell says, “It’s basically Match.com for commercial real estate. And it’s free.”
No More Shotgun Approach.
A lot of people still use the shotgun approach,” says Cattell, “which is a polite term for throwing a bunch of crap against the wall to see if anything sticks. I am talking about nice brochures, sent by FedEx, and someone looks at it for maybe 30 seconds before it goes into the trash.
After leaving Ruth’s Chris in 2009, Cattell decided to build a website that would save both brokers and brands all that wasted effort.
The result was NewDirt. Once a brand completes its criteria, NewDirt’s algorithms review every site submitted to that brand and assign a rating from one to five stars. Cattell says, “Geography is first. Everything else can be perfect, but if it’s not the right location then obviously it gets a low rating.”
The system saves time for brokers, too. Why send a submittal—or make a cold call—to a brand when your site won’t rate higher than two stars?
435 Brands and Counting
Cattell says his long-term goal is to introduce premium services for both brokers and brands—deepening the data that goes into the site ratings, for example, or expanded archive search capabilities.
So far, 435 brands— including well-known chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Chick-Fil-A and Buffalo Wild Wings—have signed up, and many of them are more than delighted with the level of analysis they get from NewDirt.
“Right now, if you call Little Gym with a site,” says Cattell, “you get transferred to an outbound voicemail that tells you to submit your site to NewDirt.”
He mentions another chain restaurant which views submissions as potential franchise locations, based on input from the local broker. “They’ll never know the area as well as that broker, so they use NewDirt to make him a kind of remote franchise salesman.”
Structure and Efficiency for the Site Submittal Process
We’re excited to have NewDirt join our Marketplace partners. Anyone who builds structure and efficiency into the site submittal process is doing something right in our book!
If you represent potential sites for retail, restaurant and lodging brands, take a few minutes and sign up with NewDirt. It could save you plenty of time and money by helping you target your submissions, and you might just close a deal or two that wasn’t even on your radar screen.
And it’s free—so what’s stopping you?
Cattell will be happy to answer any of your questions. Call him at 321-639-3478, or send him an email at [email protected]
“I know a lot of people in the CRE business are fairly conservative,” he says. “But I wanted to build a new way to do this, because I understand where the pain is at in this industry.”
Please stop by and visit the NewDirt page on tBL! Help us give Dave a warm welcome and consider leaving a Recommendation too!