Friday, February 1, 2019

5 Random Commercial Real Estate Thoughts

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Every now and then, it’s fun to empty the inbox of my consciousness and share with you some disparate thoughts circling my brain. So, in no particular order - here goes!

Two types of listing presentations. If ever you’ve sold or leased commercial real estate - chances are you’ve sat through one or a dozen pitches from someone in my profession. Common with all was a request to exclusively list the property with them. You may have noticed - these “pitches” fall into one of two categories - an owner centric or broker centric approach. 

A broker centric package starts with a recap of their qualifications, years in business, all the deals they’ve done, their amazing marketing support - blah, blah, blah. As your eyes glaze and your thoughts wander toward your weekend plans - two questions arise. So what? How does any of that apply to my specific situation? Enter the owner centric review. Demand this of your providers. Contained should be a review of your reality, a recap of your property, market stats and a plan to elevate your offering above others on the market.

Has the government shutdown affected us. Yes. In two ways - uncertainty and loan approvals. The wild stock market gyrations, news of a global slowdown, tariffs, and the longest government shutdown in history have given small business owners reason to hit the pause button on long term commitments such as hiring, machinery purchases, leasing and buying buildings, or borrowing money. Plus - a high percentage of building purchases are financed through the Small Business Administration - SBA. No SBA loan applications are being processed. Once the government reopens its doors - plan on a severe backlog of applications and approval delays.

What if face to face is impractical. Presentations, building tours, and discovery meetings are best accomplished in person. But what if logistics don’t allow - the owner is in Germany, there are multiple decision makers, or one of the parties is ill? Tools such as FaceTime, Zoom video, and can all replicate an in-person experience.

Supply chain improvements. As customers demand purchases to be at their doorstep instantly - the supply chain allowing that to occur must get better. Supply chain - from manufacturer to consumer - has evolved since the catalog ordering days of the sixties - when your item arrived seven weeks later. Now - click an image in an app - complete the buy with PayPal or your Visa - and a knock on your door occurs with your purchase. What’s not seen is the enormous infrastructure of shipping containers, truck terminals, warehouses, and delivery vans that are required. Look for cool new stuff in 2019 - vendor apps and warehouse ordering systems based on LED lighting - just to name a couple.

Are we in a recession. Technically no. Defined as negative growth in gross domestic product - our economy is still expanding. However, uncertainty breeds inaction. Inaction leads to a slowdown. Voila. Stay tuned.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a pricipal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104. His website is

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