Parking: Key to Commercial Investment Success

The Newsletter

REAL ESTATE
Great Parking Is Key to the Success of a CRE Investment
When it comes to commercial properties, it’s easy to overlook an important component of your investment: parking.

The parking facility/lot is the gateway to your property. More important, it houses expensive vehicles belonging to your tenants, their employees, and their customers. So it’s safe to say that parking is one of the most important areas that you need to secure and maintain. These are four things to consider when assessing a potential (or existing) investment in terms of its parking:

Safety: The best way to eliminate parking lot drama? Don’t set the stage for it. Make sure your parking area is well lit and easily monitored. Alarm systems, gates, and private guards add value to existing and potential tenants (and can also lower your insurance premium).

Well kept: A dilapidated parking area can create a poor perception of your building. Don’t ignore eyesores such as potholes, poorly marked spaces, and missing signage. They’re easy fixes…and they can make a tremendous difference to how your property is perceived.

Upgraded: Covered or reserved parking and valet service aren’t just convenient, they’re valuable add-ons that existing and potential tenants can tout to their customers and employees. Upgraded parking services may also mean you can charge more for your property.

Fully utilized: Do you anticipate a lot of downtime or empty spaces in your parking area? Consider making it earn its keep by renting lot space to mobile businesses like food trucks and auto detailers. Just be sure to check local ordinances for any restrictions.


TECHNOLOGY
Be a Responsible Computer User: Back Up Your Data
Backup

It’s happened to all of us: perhaps you’ve been working on a project for weeks and suddenly it’s evaporated. Or you’ve returned from a trip with a thousand photos, and they’ve all disappeared.

Whether you’ve lost data when your hard drive quit, a virus invaded, a file became corrupt, or a thief stole your computer, you need that data, and now it’s gone. Worst of all, its loss could have been avoided…if only you’d backed up!

In its article “How to Back Up Data,” wikiHow.com  warns: “Unfortunately, computers fail, and often. Having a backup plan set before anything goes wrong is one of the most important tasks you will undertake as a responsible computer user.”

It’s not that difficult these days. According to Michael Darmanin’s article “Never Lose Data Again: Easily Back Up Your Files with These Simple Tips” in RISMedia.com, “Saving your data or backing up to the cloud is a great way to prevent data loss and much easier and cheaper than most people realize. In fact, if you’re currently using a Gmail or Microsoft email account you already have access to free online storage.”

Microsoft offers OneDrive for data backup, and Google provides Google Drive. Wikihow.com lists five alternative ways of backing up. There’s software you can buy, and storage services that cost a little and save a lot. External hard drives still work well for many of us.

Perhaps BullGuard.com  says it best: “The bottom line is that if you value what’s kept on your computer, it’s wise to take steps to protect your information from sudden loss.” So stop typing and back up!


ENTREPRENEURS
‘Your Earnings Will Always Be in Line with Your Mindset’
Think Big

Still small? Start thinking big.

The idea’s not original, Google it and you get more than 7 million results, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change your business…and your life.

As Anne Bachrach noted in a recent LinkedIn post, “Whether or not you realize it, your earnings will always be in line with your mindset.”

It makes sense; when you can’t look beyond your role as a “small-business owner,” you’ll miss opportunities to grow. And you’ll be so busy with daily operations you won’t have time for “blue-sky thinking” about the important things, such as your brand and your customers.

In an article in Urbanicity, Hamilton, Ontario-based retailer Lauren Ricottone explained her “aha” moment: “I functioned in a ‘small’ business mindset for a long time, and it crippled my capacity and my ability to experience real growth.”

She felt like many entrepreneurs do: “I don’t need to bother with that – we’re still too small.”

Ricottone, however, was familiar with the systems and practices of big business. She knew they had value in the corporate environment, but didn’t see them applying to her own small business.

But she took a risk: “Running a business is a massive load of work. Either we carry it around, or our systems carry it on our behalf.”

Ricottone implemented systems for inventory control, tracking sales, accounting, and more. “My new growth strategy? Functioning as if my small business was already a big business.” It worked; Ricottone’s small business is flourishing. Comments Bachrach, “You will certainly not get what you deserve when you think small….Thinking big is about realizing your potential and getting what you deserve instead of limiting yourself.”


REAL ESTATE
4 Steps to Successfully Investing in CRE
After a red-hot run, the commercial real estate market may be showing signs of cooling. The rampant building boom is slowing in both the residential and commercial sectors. That has some investors nervous, and some are wondering if they should look at alternatives.

But smart investors know there’s no such thing as a bad market. There’s just bad timing paired with bad judgment and a seat on the wrong side of the upswing or downswing.

With the right tools and information, great deals are always available, no matter the economic conditions. Following is a quick primer on how to stay on the profitable side of the market.

  1. Avoid “FOMO” – One of Warren Buffett’s favorite sayings is, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
While Buffett’s advice is geared toward the stock market, it applies equally to real estate. FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is a unique quirk of human psychology also known as “scarcity mentality,” the belief that there’s a finite amount of X available. FOMO drives people to stampede at holiday sales. It spurs investors to purchase assets they wouldn’t normally consider. Remember, in real estate and in life, there are always opportunities available.
  1. Do your homework – Even if you hated school, this is one assignment you can’t afford to miss. When considering an investment, ask these questions to steer toward great properties and away from portfolio-crushers.
  • What type of tenants do you want to attract?
  • Does the property meet your ideal tenant’s needs, such as location, traffic, and reliable Internet?
  • Are there any issues with the building, such as environmental, title, zoning, lien(s), or code violation problems?
  • What’s the tenant and vacancy history? If there are significant gaps, are they because of the building or the previous management?
  1. Run the numbers – Research isn’t sufficient to decide whether an investment is a deal or a dud. You need to run the numbers. There’s a difference between a calculated risk and a blind toss of the dice. If that new asset goes south, will it be a punch to the gut or will it wipe out your portfolio? These questions can help you determine the answer.
  • Do you know your maintenance fees, taxes, and other recurring expenses?
  • Can you pay the monthly expenses that come due even if you don’t have a tenant?
  • What happens if a longtime tenant goes out of business or decides to relocate?
It sounds simple, but many investors get so caught up with the “deal of a lifetime” that they neglect to see if the math adds up.
  1. Factor in reality – Take a good, hard look at your research and numbers again. Then, talk to someone you trust. Sometimes the numbers add up and the research makes sense, but something about an opportunity just seems…off. You can’t put your finger on it.
The feeling in the pit of your stomach is telling you the deal is too good to be true. Consult your commercial real estate agent, and consider his or her advice. And, ultimately, trust your instincts.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Worth Reading
How to Make Quantum Leaps Personally and Professionally
By Benjamin P. Hardy
Medium.com

Research has shown that the roles we play in life shape our identity and behavior. Your personality is not set in stone, but it is informed by circumstances, how you see yourself, and how you act. You have the power to choose the role(s) you play and to move forward mindfully to achieve your goals. Sometimes this takes a huge leap of faith, but over time you grow into the role(s) you set for yourself!

Not All Practice Makes Perfect
By Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Nautilus

In virtually any field (music, sports, chess, business) deliberate practice is the most effective and powerful way to achieve breakthrough performance. While naive practice relies mainly on repetition, purposeful practice is thoughtful and focused, and it has specific, well-defined goals. Purposeful practice requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. Don’t just try harder; try a different approach.

Seneca on Letting the Eminent Dead Guide You
By Shane Parrish

Farnam Street Blog

The Stoic philosopher Seneca instructed his students, “Bathe in the wisdom of great people who lived before you.” Role models, dead or alive, teach through their life experiences. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to access the wisdom of the ages; make good use of what others have already figured out.


LINKS YOU CAN USE
This Month: How to Be a Strong Role Model
What strengths do you bring to your business? Where are your weak spots? We all have them, and a strong role model can help in areas that need improvement. Or, on the flip side, we can be role models ourselves, using our strong suits to be an example to others:

What does a role model look like? Discover the best role model traits.
The Seven Traits of a Role Model

Every business can benefit from effective communication. Here’s how a communication role model can help.
Why You Need a Communication Role Model

Are you hoping to be a better role model in your company? Learn how to shift from “boss” to “leader” with these techniques.
Learn how to shift from “Boss” to “Leader”

Here are 12 famous entrepreneurs whose stories can provide inspiration.
12 Famous Entrepreneurs and Business Role Models

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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