Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nothing has Changed, Content is the Same

I provide Location Advice for owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. My quest began in 1984 with a phone and a roll-a-dex! As I ponder the changes that have occurred in business for the past 25+ years, it dawned on me that nothing has changed! The content is the same! Here are some quick examples: CRE brokers still sell and lease properties. The basics...square footage, location, price per square foot are still important in the deal making process. CPAs still compute the marginal tax rates and prepare financial statements and tax returns. Financial advisors continue to discuss price earnings ratios, return on investment and risk. Advertising agencies are all about placing content in the correct venue for maximum exposure. So the content that forms the basis of our business advice has not changed in...possibly forever! We all know that the way business is done has changed. So if the content remains constant, what has changed? I believe that the delivery of the content has changed and therefore has transformed the way in which we do business. Let's get an historical perspective on the changes in delivery, shall we?

Pre 1970- Door to door, Phone, ticker-tape, hard copy print, US Mail, stock tables, telegrams, TV, radio, mimeographs

1970s- Overnight delivery, main frame computing, data bases

1980s- Fax machines, personal computers, cellular communication, cable networks, digital phone systems, word processing, electronic mail

1990s- The Internet!!, fax blasting, speed dialing, mobile cellular communication, satellite radio, mobile computing, on-line auctions, on-line trading, e-commerce, free music downloads, texting

2000s- Wireless computing, social networks, video sharing, Geo coding, music downloads (paid), smart phones, blogs, on-line news, Netflix, Hulu, DVRs, tele conferencing, Skype

2010s- Tablets, faster connectivity, MS tags, QR codes, ???

So with all of these advances in the delivery of our content, the content remains virtually (sorry for the pun) unchanged!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are You Authentic!

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. I pondered this question as the subject arose recently on a local radio talk show. The hosts lobbed the idea that politicians who are not authentic are also not electable...ie: Meg Whitman, who despite spending millions of her own money was never able to connect with voters. I have always enjoyed true authentic athletes especially golfers such as Lee Trevino who did things their own way, made no excuses, and were successful. I found this article on the subject, penned by Susan Baroncini-Moe entitled "Are You Authentic in Your Small Business?"

"Being authentic can be surprisingly difficult, especially in business. I often work with people who have no problem being genuine in real life, but who really struggle with authenticity in business. I hear from clients that, in business, they have to appear to be mega-successful — not just sort of successful, and not “hey, I’m growing a business here,” but really successful, in order to be taken seriously. There’s so much posturing and pretending, because people believe that you can’t become successful unless you appear to already be successful. But that’s just not true! In fact, it’s just the opposite."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Ways to Use MS Tags:

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in southern California. This post will highlight the three ways that I use MS tags to market my services and introduce my products (listings). I will frame my thoughts under three headings: Introductions, Reinforcement and Gratitude.

Introductions and Reinforcement:

Our email channels are bombarded these days with ten times the information that we once received! Frankly, it has gotten unwieldy. So how do you separate yourself from your competition and get your message received? If you are interviewing for a job, how do you add some personality to the static resume? If you are meeting a prospect for the first time, how do you make an introduction beforehand that will provide some answers to the prospect's questions about you? I believe the use of MS tags can achieve all of the three above. Videotape your message, download the URL to a tag, save the tag as a JPEG, and place the JPEG in a note to the prospect, potential employer, or a prospect. How about using a tag with a message in a different language to engage your audience?

Below are some examples of Introductions and Reinforcements:
A simple You Tube video of a listing that we have in Fullerton, California. I believe that you will agree that the WOW factor is in place when a prospect receives this code attached to a brochure! This can introduce or reinforce!!

Here is an introductory You Tube video of my wife trying out for a reality TV show. This could be used to also introduce yourself to a potential prospect or employer.

The same video of the listing in Fullerton. This time, however, there is a Korean voice over! Very cool!! A great way to reinforce!


Have you ever played in a charity golf tourney? Has someone done something nice for you that requires a special thanks? Want to thank a client for a great deal or wish them a happy new year? Create a video of yourself, tag it and send the tag in a thank you note. Below is an example of a "hole-in-one walk" captured on video using an IPhone.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Governor Brown, 3 Fixes for Small Business

Jan Norman of the Orange County Register and I were talking yesterday. She asked me a question that spurred a blog post idea..."if you were asked by Governor elect, Jerry Brown, how to keep small business in California, how would you respond?" Well, Jan, I am glad that you asked. I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. In order to respond to the question of keeping business in California, I reflected upon the reasons why businesses are leaving California. I considered; labor, utilities, real estate occupancy costs, agency regulations, logistics, taxes, environmental mandates, and quality of life. What follows are three ideas that I believe would persuade businesses to stay in California. Increase property taxes, decrease state income taxes, reduce the state tax upon a sale of real property or a business.
Increase Property Taxes:
I can hear the collective scream from my fellow CRE brethren and property owners around SoCal...Nooooo!!!. Here is my contrarian view. Businesses aren't leaving California because property taxes are lower in other states...in most states, property taxes are actually higher...Texas and Colorado as examples. Here is my idea. Raise taxes on commercial property in California (leave residential rates the same) and give the cities more discretion on how to apportion the taxes. In this model, cities can actually compete for businesses by providing property tax rebates much the same way our neighboring states do. Granted, the increased property taxes may cause real estate to become more expensive to occupants as the owners pass this cost along to their tenants. My theory is that owners will only be able to achieve market rents...whatever they are. Higher operating costs for owners, thus lower net income will cause a depreciation of property values which will lower the basis from which property taxes are based. If cities have more discretion on how property taxes are collected and spent, I believe that cities will apportion the revenues to the betterment of the cities...much the same way that redevelopment districts apportion incremental tax revenues.
Decrease State Income Taxes:
Owners, occupants, employees, etc. pay extraordinary taxes upon the income that they earn. Bordering states that charge no state income taxes...Washington, Nevada, Texas have an advantage. Let's consider a reduction by half of all state income taxes. If owners and occupants pay a smaller percentage to the state, the attraction of California is greater.
Reduce the State Tax upon the Sale of a Business or Real Property:
Companies, especially those closely held, with aging owners are considering a move out of state because when the business is sold, the proceeds from the sale of the business are greater. If we implement a program whereby a sale of a business asset carries a smaller tax burden, more companies will keep their operations in California.
Three simple ideas with predictable results!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Keeping in Touch...Do You?? Three Great Ways!

The Premise:

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California....in other words, I practice commercial real estate and have done so since 1984. My industry is notorious for the "hunter gatherer" mentality...we "eat what we kill" and consequently we are forever looking for the next deal. This is especially true for brokers that specialize in occupant representation. Many of us claim to be "relationship" oriented...and many of us in fact are...BUT, the reality is that we are paid based upon a TRANSACTION and the relationships must lead to a transaction in order for us to survive. There is also a conflict that arises here. When our relationship building results in a transaction and we "close" the deal and get paid, we in effect, take our "relationship" out of the market for the term of the lease we just negotiated OR for the length of the ownership in the case of an owner occupant sale. This holds true for occupant business and "one off" owner business. If our relationship is with an owner with multiple holdings...thus ongoing vacancy...our relationship (assuming we do a good job) can result in a "golden goose" of deals. These multiple holdings owners can also become buyers of additional holdings in good times and sellers of holdings in good or bad times. Regardless, we have to be creative in the way in which we keep in touch with our customers during that period when they believe "they don't need our services". I have discovered three ways that I highlight below as a means to stay in front of our "relationships" in valuable and creative ways.

Appreciation Marketing:

Send out Cards is a creative, "old school" means of keeping in touch and saying that all important Thanks!! Bo Lowe 714.307.3578 or bolowe2@gmail.com

Social Media Marketing:

Use your Facebook business page, your Linked In groups, your blog(s), and Plaxo, to stay in front of your clients. Try to post relevant content to these social media sites and don't sell anything! The real ROI of Social Media Marketing is to build your brand. The ROI is generally unmeasurable until someone searches your name or sees an article that you posted. You will start to get noticed in a positive manner!

Timely Phone Calls:

Make time to call and talk with your customers...even if you have nothing pending with them. They will appreciate it beyond belief!!

Try these ideas! They will keep those relationships for decades!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Location Advice, Six Month's Old, Six Best

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. In addition to a very active commercial real estate practice, a busy home life and my duties as President of the Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI, I write this blog entitled Location Advice. Today, Location Advice celebrates it's sixth month in existence and I thought a retrospective look at the top six posts would be in order. If you missed them the first time around, here you go...six re runs!! So what have I learned in six months? Read below and find out.

Number Six:
31 Years and Counting
This post about my beautiful wife of 31 years

Number Five:
The Perfect Seller and Buyer
One company on the decline and another on the upswing

Number Four:
A video explanation of how to accomplish this

Number Three:
A generic explanation of what make me different

Number Two:
CRE and Social Media, the Early Promoters
Coy Davidson, Duke Long, and Randy Mason

Number One:
This very scary expose about the "real" issue with the foreclosure postponement

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Please Vote

I provide location advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. On this historical day, Location Advice is devoted to getting out the vote! Please exercise your patriotic duty and cast your vote today!!

I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying.
Barack Obama

After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.
Barack Obama

I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy; Dear Jack, Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.
John F. Kennedy

I hope that no American will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by voting either for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant.
John F. Kennedy

A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
Theodore Roosevelt

Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.
Will Rogers

Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.
W. C. Fields

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
Ayn Rand

Suffrage, noun. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized.
Ambrose Bierce

Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Ambrose Bierce

I have absolutely no regret about my vote against this war. The same questions remain. The cost in human lives, the cost to our budget, probably 100 billion. We could have probably brought down that statue for a lot less.
Nancy Pelosi

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
H. L. Mencken

We don't want someone who will get 98 percent of the vote. We want someone who will get 51 percent of the vote.
Ann Coulter

I believe with all my heart that America remains 'the great idea' that inspires the world. It is a privilege to be born here. It is an honor to become a citizen here. It is a gift to raise your family here, to vote here, and to live here.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
Harry S. Truman

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
Alexis de Tocqueville

In other words, a democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.
George Bernard Shaw

Monday, November 1, 2010

3 Creative Ways to Market Your Product or Service

Three GREAT new innovative ways to market your product or service: I provide location advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California.
Are you constantly looking for an edge to separate you from your competition? I know that I am and I believe the tools below can help you separate yourself and scream...innovation!!

Microsoft Tags: The tag on the left contains code for the blog that you are presently viewing. The tag on the right contains code for the video below. You will need to download an app on your mobile device by going to http://gettag.mobi/. Follow the prompts to the Free app. You will then be able to scan the codes for viewing.

Video Tape Your Offerings or Yourself:
Do you know a good videographer? If not, find one. Or you can use your mobile device to create and post the video content on You Tube. I use Robert A. Perez who I met in my networking group, BNI. Robert can be reached at 310.435.2956 and robertaperezimages@gmail.com. You can also visit his website at http://www.robertaperezimages.com/.

QR Codes:
Similar to Microsoft tags are the squirrely black and white boxes that tie to text, a URL, or some other form of medium. QR codes require a mobile reader which can be downloaded for free on most mobile devices.