Friday, December 18, 2015

#CRE Lessons Learned in 2015

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With the end of 2015 firmly within reach, I thought it necessary to recap the three lessons that I learned in 2015.

The first two lessons are related as I will discuss. The third lesson was not really a lesson at all but a confirmation of what I had been told for years. But the doing is so much better than the hearing.

How to market a misfit toy. Industrial real estate vacancy in Orange and Los Angeles counties is at record low percentages  - as I have opined for several months now. Currently 97 of every 100 manufacturing or distribution buildings are occupied. The buildings that do find their way onto the market - if they are modern, amenity filled, and priced fairly - lease or sell within the first week they are available. The ones that get overlooked are akin to that XXXL #8 Laker's jersey - there are very few occupants to which the building appeals. The challenges with marketing such an albatross are plentiful. But I believe that this year I learned how to successfully market these misfits. First, expectations must be clearly communicated to the ownership. Even if the owner is unaware of the deficiencies of his building, he needs to hear the truth. Second. you must be "open for business". If a tenant or buyer happens along, you must grab them - another may not wander by for several months. Third, some misfits can be remedied with a minor change - the addition of a loading dock, the removal of some office space, a creative transaction structure. Last, feedback is critical. If your building is overlooked or passed in favor of another - find out why. One of the ways I insure that I get instant feedback is covered in the next paragraph.

Showing up is 80% of success. I make sure that I attend the tour when one of my listings is shown. Think about it. If you represented an occupant, would you send him to a building to tour alone? Of course not. So why is attending a showing on behalf of your owner any different? Frankly, not attending is derelict. If you attend the tour, you can make sure that the prospect has a current brochure, that the prospect and his broker are in tune with your owner's motivation, and that you are ready to react to offers. Watching a prospect walk through a building is illuminating. You can generally tell if there will be any interest in leasing or buying the building.

Becoming a grandparent is so AWESOME! Our new little grandson arrived on September 2. He is now three and a half months old and his smile can melt your heart. He stays with his Nana during the day and his Mom or Dad pick him up in the afternoon. We see him on some week nights. He is simply delightful. Everything that folks tell you about grand parenting is TRUE!

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