It’s monumentally important for any business open to the public to make sure it appears on Google Maps. It’s such a big deal that property management and commercial leasing professionals are adding consulting and value-added services to help tenants get that critical chore accomplished. It’s not a fire-and-forget process, either: keeping your Google presence in presentable shape is tightly tied to maintaining a business’s general online presence. It goes far beyond filling out forms and establishing accounts — online presence management is a holistic, ongoing maintenance process that touches everything your business does online and off. That is, if you’re doing it right.
In commercial property, the only constant is change. Notes come due, loan interest rates float, property financial performance is uncertain, spreads narrow and widen, baseline assumptions go by the wayside. Sometimes, it’s just time to go get some new capital and refinance.
The purpose and the process of investing in a real estate investment trust (REIT) is unclear to many, even though it’s the most cut-and-dried way to put capital into commercial real estate. Some struggle with understanding the notions of portfolio management, and questions about what properties are being invested in and why keep an investor from making the leap. Others wonder about returns: how do rents and other building cash flows become dividends or push the REIT share price in one direction or another?
The personal perspective on these aspects of REITs is not often explored by mainstream media, and when it happens, it’s worth checking out. National Public Radio’s Uri Berliner recently produced an excellent program on the REIT scene by letting us follow along with his journey as an investor.
The REALTORS® Commercial Real Estate Market Survey measures quarterly activity in the commercial real estate markets. The survey collects data from REALTORS® who are commercial practitioners. The survey is designed to provide an overview of market performance, sales and rental transactions, along with current economic challenges and future expectations.
2013.Q1 Survey Highlights:
- REALTOR® commercial markets recorded improved conditions for both sales and leasing.
- Sixty-four percent of commercial REALTORS® closed a sales transaction during the quarter.
- Sales volume rose 3.0 percent from a year ago.
- Sales prices inched up 0.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Leasing activity advanced 5.0 percent from the previous quarter.
- Rental rates increased 1.0 percent compared with the previous quarter.
- Concession levels declined 5.0 percent on a quarterly basis.
- Financing remains at the top of the current challenges list, followed by pricing gap between buyers and sellers.
- The estimated average transaction slid from $1.2 million to $1.1 million from the prior quarter.
It was likely an accident but I may have learned a thing or two on my most recent trip to Las Vegas. Strolling along from the roulette table to the virtual roulette table, then the ATM, I stumbled upon the 2013 Prudential HIT PLAY Convention being held at Caesar’s Palace. Realizing this is why NAR sent me here it was time to get to work and maybe attend a session or two.
Fidgeting through the program I noticed Terry Watson was holding his session called: Avoiding Road kill – Top 10 Stupid Things That Really Smart REALTORS® Do To Mess Up Their Lives™. An active speaker on the NAR circuit, Terry is also an instructor for many NAR courses so I made a point to check it out.
A few subjects came up which should not be overlooked by our members, so I decided to share them below.
Because commercial real estate practice needs its own support system, NAR Commercial Division encourages and supports existing associations to create of Commercial Overlay Boards devoted to such support. In 1992, The Board of Directors of NAR authorized the establishment of Commercial Overlay Boards of REALTORS®. A Commercial Overlay Board co-exists and shares (overlays) geographic jurisdiction with one or more REALTOR® associations, in order to better serve members in a commercial market area. At the same time, the territory currently assigned to existing associations remains intact as well as their right and obligation to provide services to their members. COB jurisdictions may be local, multi-market, state-wide and inter-state.
In the newest NAR Commercial Intelligence Briefing podcast, attorney Jim Hochman discusses the anatomy of a lease, avoiding litigation and more. As a partner at Coman & Anderson, Mr. Hochman represents many commercial real estate brokerage firms, receivers, landlords, tenants, and real estate investors by assisting in commercial and residential real estate transactions. He is also a member of the NAR Commercial Signature Series Speaker Bureau.
It’s not possible to patrol the commercial RE beat online without finding Coy Davidson. A Senior VP at Colliers with twenty years in the business, Coy writes The Tenant Advisor, one of the better blogs dedicated to commercial property markets with a focus on corporate real estate and tenant representation and office solutions.
His recent post is titled Know Your Numbers. And when he says “know”, he’s not kidding. His advice to agents is to embrace the math in the financial analysis spreadsheets by learning it away from spreadsheets — old-school — to the benefit of everybody at the table. He writes:
In a traditionally male-dominated industry, the presence of women can too easily be seen as a novelty or an aberration. Mistreatment and lack of respect has historically been the reflex of most commission-driven business sectors when faced with professional women where few or none were expected before. Thankfully, there are indications that commercial real estate has gotten over any shock at the idea of women as esteemed colleagues and market competitors and is simply getting down to business with all of us seated at the table — like we need to do in the 21st century.
As part of the NAR’s Member Value Plus (MVP) Program, where REALTORS® earn rewards for participation in actions geared to improve our industry, today’s call is for a brief survey of your business activity and what you see in your marketplace. This survey is an extension of the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey and annual Member Profile, meaning results will of course be shared with members and in other venues.