Is Student Housing For You?

REAL ESTATE
Student Housing Is Having a Moment: But Is It for You?
Currently, about 40% of full-time college students live on campus. For private colleges, that number spikes to 64%. And as the post-millennial generation enters their college years, student housing demand is expected to remain high.

Add to that the many millennials who are taking post-graduate training and need housing, and it spells an investment opportunity for those willing to expand their portfolios from regular apartments to student housing.

An uptick in supply of apartments in some areas is slowing rent growth. However, budget cuts in many states have decreased higher education funding and limited the supply of on-campus housing. This has created a niche for those willing to invest in these states to provide needed student housing.

The student housing sector offers additional appeal as a more stable environment. Changes in economic conditions and boom-time surges have less impact on this market than on apartments. The student housing sector consistently performs well in all economic cycles. And as a result, many developers and investors are starting to take an interest.

Investors may consider going beyond traditional on-campus dorms. Modern students often prefer boutique-style living; incorporating current technologies and high-level amenities can attract students otherwise tempted to move off campus to get these benefits.

Are there risks? Of course. Risks in this sector are similar to those in other rentals-skipping out on rent, property vandalism, and rising costs. However, investors can require parent co-signatures to reduce some of these risks. With the right precautions in place, student housing may have a place in your portfolio.


MANAGING
Communication Styles Can Hamper Business Success

While a difference in communication styles can lead to simple misunderstandings, it can also threaten your relationship with customers and ultimately endanger your business success.

Notes Sherrie Bourg Carter in an article for Psychology Today: “…’communication stress’ can be one of the biggest sources of stress in relationships. After all, we’re all talking the same language, aren’t we?” Not necessarily. “Although we’re all wired differently, we tend to fall somewhere within the parameters of two communication styles: aesthetic and pragmatic,” suggests an article in RISMedia.

Aesthetics generally prefer a sensitive approach to communication. They are often indirect in conversation and value empathy and warmth. They tend to read body language and listen for tone and tenor as well as content. Pragmatics are interested in getting to the point. They value straight talk and a direct communication style right from the get-go. It’s the content of the conversation they care about, not the social embellishments.

Mark Murphy, a Forbes contributor, notes: “One of the biggest problems that occurs between bosses and employees is a mismatch in their communication styles. When you speak and the boss doesn’t hear you, or vice versa, it can greatly hurt your chances of career success.”

Trying to connect with your communications opposite, whether it’s an employee, supplier or customer, can make the difference between accord and disagreement. And as Bourg Carter points out, making differences in communication styles work requires “understanding and flexibility.” It may not be easy, but it can be a recipe for business success.


ENTREPRENEURS
Perseverance Sets Successful Entrepreneurs Apart

Entrepreneurship is not a glamorous career path.

Especially in the early stages, entrepreneurship is largely about having the chutzpah to see it through. As Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”

Points out Entrepreneur Inc. contributor Steve Tobak: “Having the vision to see what others don’t, the passion to motivate yourself and others, the savvy to build and grow a business, and the guts to make good decisions are all part of the mix. But what binds those ingredients together is the tenacity to stick with it, day in, day out, year after year.”

Forget all the hype about creative genius. More often than not it’s simply willpower, forbearance, and the tenacity to deal with the stress and chaos of entrepreneurship that paves the road to success.

It takes energy, focus, and commitment plus a willingness to fail, pick up the pieces, and carry on. And it’s often about being the last person left standing when others have given up.

As you advance toward your goal, try to surround yourself with people who believe in what you are doing and can provide constructive, practical advice. A supportive mentor or involvement in an incubator or accelerator program can help with this. If possible, avoid the naysayers, the doubters, and the cynics.

Try, too, to focus every day on the fundamentals of building your business, and take time to celebrate each step that brings you closer to your end goal. Just getting things done is often a great motivator.

As with life, building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint. Perseverance does pay off.


REAL ESTATE
Think Vertical: Warehouses Are Getting Taller
Serious shortages of industrial land are encouraging developers around the world to think vertical and construct higher industrial buildings to make the most of the land that is available.

Planners call it “densifying” and, according to a recent article in The Globe & Mail, two and three-story warehouses are providing the solution to scarce land.

Although there is vacant land available in rural and suburban locations near most North American urban areas, many companies are looking to build distribution centers closer to their customers, primarily as a result of demand for shorter and shorter delivery times. According to Erica E. Phillips writing in the Wall Street Journal, the answer is to “build upward.”

Phillips quotes Hamid Moghadam, CEO of global logistics company, Prologis Inc., as follows: “Major urban areas are running out of industrial space. The only way the logistics sector can compete is with this more dense format.”

Thanks to super-e-retailer Amazon and other companies, the retail landscape has shifted significantly. Ernst & Young retail consultant Andrew Hogenson says in the Wall Street Journal article, “The model has changed,” instead of moving big volumes from distant distribution centers to retail locations, “you’re moving much smaller volumes to many points.”

The result is a trend toward bigger and taller.

While vertical warehouses are common in Europe and Asia, North America is just now catching up. In Seattle, Wash., global logistics company Prologis Inc. announced the start of construction on what would be the first multistory warehouse in the U.S. In Vancouver, B.C., the Boundary Bay Industrial Park project, by Dayhu Group of Companies, includes two 36-foot-high warehouses – several feet over the average.

Thanks to new technology, tall buildings can work well for warehousing. In Dayhu’s Boundary Bay Industrial Park, TJX Companies Inc. will use a new system to direct its forklift trucks and is installing almost a mile of conveyer belts to deal with vertical challenges.

In China, where tall warehouses are booming in land- and labor-challenged cities, Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has almost completely mechanized its Shanghai fulfillment operations in what is now one of China’s largest warehouses.

The higher buildings require new design features, which, as one company executive suggests, may take some getting used to.

The Prologis project, for example, needs considerable land to install an extra-long ramp with a gentle incline that allows trucks to drive up to the second floor (which drivers initially may find disconcerting), turn, and back easily into loading docks.

In North America, further industrial densification in already crowded urban areas raises issues of traffic, noise and pollution, and organizations such as the well-respected Brookings Institution are noting the negative impact of denser warehouse projects.

In contrast are new construction jobs created by the tall projects as well as the opportunity for some struggling centers to add new tenants to their tax rolls. Not many local governments can easily afford to pass up both jobs and a source of taxes.

The high-level debate continues.

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Worth Reading
Your Brain Can Only Take so Much Focus
By Srini Pillay
Hbr.org

We often hear about the importance of focusing. From being able to stay on task to enhancing your leadership effectiveness, the ability to focus has long been promoted as the key to success. But did you know that too much focus can be a bad thing? Recent research has found that for optimal performance we need to focus and unfocus. Pillay also notes it’s now okay to daydream!

Let Go of the Learning Baggage
By Shane Parrish

Farnam Street Blog

It’s no surprise that learning and retaining new information, as well as processing and using that information, are all pivotal to producing better work. But we may not have realized that the way we learned in school influences our learning styles as employees. What do we need to change in order to learn better at work? (Hint: it involves more time for play and way less guilt.)

The Psychological Importance of Wasting Time
By Olivia Goldhill

Quartz

Seems the adage “work expands to fill the time …” is true: we live in a culture that values relentless productivity. Wrongly, it seems. As Goldhill points out, the endless grind actually has negative impacts on our productivity. Our work will actually benefit from our walking around the block. She even gives us the thumbs up for binge-watching our favorite TV shows.


LINKS YOU CAN USE
Today’s Work Styles
Today’s workday looked very different from 10 years ago. New workers and new technologies are changing the work landscape. Here’s how:

Software and smart applications are major influencers of current work trends. Discover how these affect your workforce:
3 Technology Trends Driving Modern Workstyles

Want to encourage productive work styles? Companies are finding that goal-sharing platforms can help:
5 Ways to Smarten Your Employees’ Work Styles

Telecommuters make up a large share of today’s workforce. Here, 40-plus companies explain how they’ve made these arrangements work:
40+ Companies Share Their Secrets to Remote Work Success

The look of the workplace has changed. Find out how to design your space for millennial employees:
What’s Inside A Workplace Designed For Millennial Employees?

Today, it’s important for leaders to nurture many different work styles. Here’s how:
Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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