Browse Month: October 2010

3 Question Friday: Meet Our CRE Pros!

As I mentioned earlier, we wanted to devote Fridays to The Source’s own version of Twitter’s “Follow Friday”.  With three quick questions we can give everybody a chance to “meet up” with the commercial real estate pros that exemplify our community.  So let’s get started! Meet…

Let’s Meet…

Josh Floring

What’s your background in the commercial real estate industry?

I am entering my fifth year in the industry and I have found it to be professionally challenging and rewarding.  I originally shadowed a Senior Broker that focused on Industrial and office building sales and have slowly transitioned into the retail sales / leasing / development arena.

Josh Floring

I am currently representing national clients that require local expertise  in the Minnepolis / St. Paul market.  I focus on tracking economic development, real estate values, and businesses near the University of Minnesota, one of the largest urban college campuses in the nation.

What is your perspective and observations on commercial in your local market?

As a result of our midwest location, we have not seen the extreme distress some costal regions are witnessing, however, we’ve had our share. Hotels, retail, development, distressed bank loans, late condo developments, residential developments, etc.  Cash investors are scouring the landscape looking for business opportunities as well as real estate deals.  Apartments appear to to be picking up and there is a very competetive landscape in the student housing market.  SBA financing in Minnesota is helpong a lot of the smaller/midsize businesses pick up real estate and creative dealmakers are finding opportunity by taking some risk and understanding their core competencies. Transactions happen with a combination of aggressive, committed, and capitalized buyers merging with well-educated sellers who have the determination to exhaust all ideas.

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

I can’t resist Snickers and Reese’s.  Oh, and Smarties.

You can reach Joshat [email protected]

Jodi Summers

SoCal Industrial Real Esate Blog

What’s your background in the commercial real estate industry?

With more than $100,000,000 in lister commercial inventory, as the founder of of the SoCal Investment Group, I have expertise in the costal investment real estate market.  As a top producer with Sotheby’s International Realty, my team and I know finance, rules, regulations, procedures and methods.  We’re accurate,  knowledgable, timely and aware of how government shapes the cities of southern California.

What is your perspective and observations on commercial in your local market?

Wise industrial buyers have been picking up all the parcels they can find, and the L.A. industrial real estate market is beginning its rise off a ten year low.  If you’re an owner/user, Small Business Loans are generous at this moment.  Truly, there is no better time for a hungry industrial buyer to dive into the marketplace.  Prime parcels are coming and going on a weekly basis.

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Bufferfinger.

You can reach Jodi at [email protected] or at 310. 392.1211


And lets’ close out 3 Questions Friday by meeting…

Neil Johnson

What’s your background in the commercial real estate industry?

Former investor / developer.  Currently Managing Director – Broker of SperryVan Ness / Landmark Commercial Rewl Estate in Geneva, IL. We are part of a national firm with approximately 160 offices around the country, inlcuding nine in the Chicago area.  Our local office does sales and leasing of office, retail, industrial, multi-family and land.

What is your perspective and observations on commercial in your local market?

Things remain slow but are picking up.  We have placed more than 50 tenants in 2009-2010 and entrepreneurs are driving much of the activity.  The strong demographics in Kane county help the local economy and create opportunities for many businesses and services.  Banks seems willing to entertain conversations with borrowers, but properties and credit have to be extremely strong to get a deal done.

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate.

You can reach Neil at [email protected]


Colliers’ Chief Economist: Commercial Real Estate Sales Up Sharply

Ross Moore, Chief Economist for Colliers International has taken a peek at the third quarter data from Real Capital Analytics and come to the conlcusion that the CRE market is looking healthier than it has in a long time.  As posted at Colliers SVP Coy Davidson’s blog:

Third quarter data from Real Capital Analytics confirms the investment sales market is bouncing back with considerable vigor. For all property types third quarter dollar volume registered $28.9 billion, a 35% increase from Q2 and more than double year-ago levels. Putting the latest numbers in context, investment volumes are now near 2002 levels when investment volume averaged $25.8 billion per quarter but well below 2007 when investment sales averaged $126.7 billion per quarter.

How sustainable is the rebound?  Much will depend on the restoration of conduit financing, the longer term status of cap rates and the related price adjustments.  As it stands, looking at volume, it appears like the market has left the bottom behind.  That’s got to be worth celebrating.

Technical Help: How To Read Blog Feeds With Google Reader

You might have noticed the little orange button in the upper right hand corner of CommercialSource.com.  It’s labeled “Subscribe”.  If you look around the web at most blogs – or at any steady sources of updated information – chances are you’ll see that little orange guy.

So what does it do?  How does it “subscribe” you to anything?  And why does it show gobbledygook to you sometimes if you click it?

Let’s take a look at what a blog feed is to get some answers.

What is a Blog Feed?

Once upon a time on the web, we had to rely upon ourselves to locate new information.  When a website posted new content, the only way we knew about it was to click over to that site by hand and look ourselves.

This took a lot of time, especially as the number of quality sources of content grew over the years.   Worse, when websites would change their layouts, we would get lost in our hunt for new content.  It wasn’t a great situation.

Then someone figured out the solution: instead of making the user come to the content, why not have the website itself send out notices to interested people that new content had appeared?

Early attempts at this included email notifications, but that was messy.  It involved people giving up their email addresses and all the headaches associated with email – subscribing, unsubscribing, spam traps, and then getting deluged with notices.  There had to be a better way.

That better way came in the form of syndication. Without getting too technical, syndication means that a blog or site can publish a special link that leads to a machine-readable summary of all content at the blog.  That machine-readability meant that you could obtain free software to read and display that summary (the machine doing the reading in this case is your own computer or smart phone).

With the right software, called a feed reader, you now had content coming to you instead of forcing you to trudge over to ten different websites hunting for new content.

So How Do I Use A Reader To Read Blog Feeds?

There are lots of ways, and smartly enough, they’re all well-integrated into your web browsing experience, be that on a computer or on a mobile device.  Let’s take a look at one of my favorites.

Google Reader – The king of web search has an excellent feed reader available for free in your browser.  All you need is a Google account to get to it.  Google Reader can be told what sites to watch and how to display the alerts/links to new content.  You do this by “Adding A Subscription” to a site you want to stay on top of.

So let’s say that you want to tell Google Reader to tell you when CommercialSource.com adds a new post.  Easy enough – just follow these steps.  First, open a new tab in your browser and do the below steps in that tab.

1) If you don’t have a Google account, you can get one here.

2) Once you have the account, go to the Google Reader page.

3) Now you’ll want to Add A Subscription to CommercialSource.com’s blog feed.  Look for the button labeled “Add A Subscription” see the below image for help.  Click on the image below to enlarge.  Click the button and you’ll find a little space looking for you to add a feed address.  The next step will show you how to go get the feed address for our blog.

How to find the button for "Add A Subscription"

4) Now here’s where we conquer the gobbledeygook (nerds call that “machine-readable text”) under the little orange subscribe button. To the right of this post, in the upper right, click on the little orange button labeled “Subscribe”.  This will bring you to the feed page and the aforementioned gobbledeygook.  But you don’t care about the gobbledeygook – you care about the link location – the web address of the blog’s feed.  This you can read in the white rectangle above the page in your browser.  It happens to be https://www.commercialsearch.com/feed/ .

5) Click and drag that address text and right-click “copy”.

6) Switch over to the tab containing Google Reader and paste the feed address into the little form and click “Add”.

You’re done.

In the lower right and in the main window, you will see references to CommercialSource.com, and its posts. In other words, you told Google Reader to stay on top of new content at CommercialSource.com for you.  Now, when we add a new post here at CommercialSource.com, a title and link to that post will appear in Google Reader.

Now here’s where syndication gets really powerful: repeat this process for other sources or blogs covering commercial real estate – and soon your Google Reader page will be a one stop shop for all the latest CRE information from all over the web – the REALTORS®, lawyers, the data content providers, the brokers, lenders, colleagues, competitors, regulators and servicers.

But don’t forget where you learned how to do that! 😉

Latest on Changes at CommercialSource.com

We realize some features of the CommercialSource.com site have been down – longer than we’d have liked. Within the next couple days NAR will publically announce a new listings search strategy. Here’s a hint of what’s to come:

To maximize member listings we are expanding our partnership with Realtor.com and moving the CommercialSource.com search feature to Commercial.Realtor.com.

REALTOR.com® consistently ranks as the #1 real estate web site in total visits, unique visitors, page views and time on site (more than 9 million unique visitors in July 2010 alone.) With the success to date with Commercial.Realtor.com, the consolidation of the CommercialSource search efforts will fully leverage the network effect of Commercial.Realtor.com’s site traffic to achieve the greatest exposure for your property listings.  Click here for more information on Realtor.com® web site statistics.

CommercialSource.com will continue to be your “go to place” for commercial information. Users will continue to aggregate or upload listings; manage listings and broker directory profiles; keep abreast of the latest national and regional news; download on-demand webinars and podcasts; search for commercial events and education; and participate in dialogue with other commercial practitioners on The Source Blog – right here! The major change: listings will be searchable on Commercial.Realtor.com, rather than CommercialSource (a “Search Listings” link from CommercialSource directly to Commercial.Realtor.com).

We are thrilled about this partnership and want you to be too!  You may have questions in the coming days and months and we look forward to connecting with you and answering those questions. The CommercialSource mission is to be the most comprehensive, cost-effective, and user-friendly website for REALTORS® and the commercial real estate industry. We look forward to being your source for all things commercial and we thank you for your support.

Be in our Spotlight with 3 Question Fridays

On Fridays, we want to put YOU, the commercial real estate practitioner,  in the spotlight!  Simply answer these three questions in an email and send to us via [email protected].

We’ll randomly select each week from the emails we receive and post responses.   Be sure to include a photo if you’d like us to post it with your answers.

This week’s 3 questions:

  1. What’s your background in the commercial real estate industry?
  2. What is your perspective and observations on commercial in your local market?
  3. What is your favorite Halloween candy?