How About Investing in Affordable Housing?

REAL ESTATE
Have You Considered an Affordable Housing Investment?
Investing in multifamily buildings could prove to be a good opportunity for for-profit investors. These buildings could not only provide affordable housing for tenants but also become the cornerstone of a real estate investment strategy with a relatively self-sustaining marketplace. Here are two key reasons why you should consider investment in an affordable housing property.

Competition is limited, demand is high. The number of new units being built under the affordable housing model is minimal when compared to the number of existing affordable units that are lost to deterioration or conversion. Properties that were previously under a federal low-income housing tax credit contract are nearing the end of the 30-year low-rent agreement. The currently accepted definition of “affordable” is that the rent charged is less than 30 percent of residents’ income. This means that while some tenants will see rental increases at the end of the term, many markets won’t support a drastic increase, particularly in an older building. The demand for lower-rent units is high, and properties operating under the affordable housing models tend to provide investors with steady rental income.

Occupancy rates are more consistent. Since market rents have increased faster than income growth has, those who could previously afford to move up to larger, high-end units can no longer do so and are staying put longer. The demand for affordable housing is so high and waiting lists are so long that any vacancies that do come up are quickly filled.

If you’re interested in these investments, consult with a commercial real estate agent to discover opportunities in your area.


HOT BIZ TRENDS
Up-Skilling for the Future: Look for These Essentials

What qualities do you seek in potential employees?

Although it is difficult to predict what the jobs of the future will be, it is possible to identify some of the proficiencies and abilities that will be required in future work settings.

Here are some of the key skills 21st-century employers are looking for in employees and job candidates.

Critical thinking and complex problem-solving: The jobs of the future call for people who can analyze, evaluate, and apply the power of technology to difficult problems and projects.

Social-emotional intelligence: Formerly considered a “soft skill,” the ability to read people’s reactions and be sensitive to the motivations and triggers of others, whether they are coworkers, customers, or strangers, is now an essential workplace attribute.

Cognitive flexibility and creativity: More and more employers are looking for people who are comfortable with ambiguity and can use technology to connect dots and create new ideas.

Lifelong learning/Self-initiative: In the brave new world of tomorrow, successful workers will chart their own destinies. Employers should be looking for individuals with initiative and drive to grow, learn, adapt to new realities, and push beyond their comfort zones.

Cross-cultural competencies: Those who know how to adapt and adjust their communication/collaboration style will have an advantage when working across time zones and with different cultures.

New media literacy: The world of videos, blogs, podcasts, and social media has influenced how we communicate and consume information. Job candidates need to be fluent in digital and social media forms of communication.

It’s unlikely any candidate will be strong in all of these areas; but focusing on these qualities will help you identify those with the greatest potential for the future.


EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT
Give a Man a Fish or Teach a Man to Fish?

Are you delegating or training? A delegator is someone who assigns tasks and allocates responsibilities. A trainer looks for ways to give employees additional responsibility; helps them acquire the skills, confidence, and capabilities to succeed; and supports them as they progress.

Managers must do both; but training must happen before and during delegation so employees are equipped to handle their assigned tasks.

It’s true that training is a time-consuming endeavor that entails ongoing monitoring and mentoring. But when you assign someone a task without providing sufficient guidance, coaching, and support, you set them up to fail.

How can you establish a successful system of training and delegating? Before investing in a training regimen, look for those who are truly motivated to move up in the organization and then identify their areas of interest. The next step is to create a development plan for them that zeroes in on the skills they need to advance. Focus on giving them assignments that call for those skills, as well as tasks in areas they might want to explore.

Structure the experience so that they are able to work their way up to more complex and challenging tasks. Be aware that people often need a nudge to focus on their weaknesses.

Keep in mind that taking on employees as apprentices requires effort. Your own productivity may suffer temporarily as a result of the time you spend mentoring others. But when you make this kind of training a regular part of your job, you multiply yourself and ultimately increase your team’s productivity. As the saying goes: teach a man to fish…


REAL ESTATE
Before You Take on a Building Conversion
As the footprint of urban centers continues to grow, demographic shifts have changed how municipalities view certain areas. Strong industrial centers get pushed to the outskirts to strengthen residential and commercial sectors.

Since converting an existing property to an alternate use is costly and carries risk, investors need to determine the highest and best use for their properties.

Before you consider a conversion project, review the following five factors.

1. Consider Municipal Zoning

Zoning regulations in your municipality can change over time. These changes are usually driven by demographic shifts within the community. It is common practice to push industrial space to the outlying regions in order to allow a mix of commercial, park, and residential spaces closer to the community’s core.

As growth occurs, communities adapt their municipal plans and layouts in order to encourage continued growth. Municipal plans can provide valuable clues as to what type of conversion would meet with the planner’s approval.

2. Determine Best Use

It can be challenging to determine the use that will result in the greatest reward for the investor. A detailed analysis that considers cost and return is important before making a significant financial commitment to any project. Conversion projects utilize an existing structure, but that doesn’t always result in significant cost savings when compared to building a new structure. As you go through your vetting process, keep asking yourself: Is the total value of the location, structure, and complementary buildings equal to or greater than the cost of the completed project?

3. Determine Cost of Conversion

Converting an existing building to an alternate use may have hidden costs. This often depends on the age of the building and what the previous uses of the property were. A detailed environmental report should give investors piece of mind that the environmental costs will not eat up all the project’s potential profits. Rezoning from the current use to a new use will have costs and hurdles to overcome as well. Every property conversion project will require a unique road map to see the project through to completion.

4. Examine Whether the Project Meets Your Investment Needs

Each investor brings a unique knowledge and expertise to their investments, so this will deeply influence the type of investments they seek. A conversion project requires extensive expertise in zoning laws, building practices, and demographic analysis. It will be necessary to examine whether you possess the skills to see the project through from start to finish or whether you will need to invest in outside help.

5. Seek Professional Advice

Professional insight is invaluable in a complex project such as a building conversion. Legal advice will help navigate the perilous world of municipal zoning and permits. Speaking with a real estate agent will give insight into demographic changes in the community, and the agent will assist with property searches. Structural engineers may be necessary to examine how proposed alterations to the building’s structure and amenities will impact the building. Environmental inspectors may unearth hidden problems before the project is underway.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Worth Reading
It’s Never Too Late to Hit Your Peak
By Tim Herrera
The New York Times

Great news! Researchers have gathered scientific proof that it is never too late for a person to hit their career peak. Despite the common belief that people are more likely to peak earlier in their careers, the study found that your “hot streak” – the years in which you’ll create your greatest, most effective work – has equal probability of happening at any point in your career.

Hide Your Inbox While You’re Doing Email
By Nick Douglas

Lifehacker

It’s easy to get distracted by your email inbox. That’s why there’s a Chrome extension that can help you protect your focus. The extension Inbox When Ready allows you to do basically anything you need to do in your email except for actually looking at your inbox. Not ready to take the full plunge? You can customize the extension’s settings to meet your needs.

3 Ways to Ensure Your Job Survives Automation
By Jeff Christensen

Entrepreneur

Are you worried about how automation might affect the future of your workforce? It’s natural to worry. As many as 800 million jobs worldwide are at risk of being replaced by robots and automated technology, experts say. But not all hope is lost. There are things you can do right now to protect your future self from being bested by a robot.


LINKS YOU CAN USE
Public Speaking
It’s something most business professionals must do at some point in their careers. It’s also something many people dread. If the thought of public speaking makes you cringe, use the following links to beef up your skills and boost your confidence:

Fear of public speaking is common. If your butterflies feel more like birds, use these tips to overcome your anxieties:
6 Easy Tips for Conquering Your Fear of Public Speaking

What methods will help you deliver a powerful presentation that engages your audience? Discover four here:
Want to Be a Master at Public Speaking? These 4 Techniques Can Help Transform You Overnight

There’s a key to persuasive public speaking that you might have missed: breathing. Learn the proper techniques for your next speech:
Breathing Is the Key to Persuasive Public Speaking

If your presentation skills are lacking, you can make up for them with passion. Here’s how:
Passion Beats Technique In Public Speaking

Different occasions call for different speaking abilities. From delivering sales pitches to accepting awards, use these overviews to prep for your next on-stage moment:
Public Speaking Tips

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. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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