US Property Owners Invest in the Youth

U.S. Property Owners Investing in the Next Generation
Youth from inner cities across the U.S. may hold the solutions to redeveloping impoverished properties and reducing income inequality.

Project Destined is a not-for-profit organization that teaches inner-city youth about the principles of real estate investment while giving them tools for personal financial wellness.

The not-for-profit, founded by real estate investors Cedric Bobo and Fred Greene, had its first session in September 2016 in Detroit. Since then, it has worked in New York City, Memphis, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California. High school students learn about the principles of real estate investment through an online course. Then they form teams and work on proposals for real estate projects in their communities. Teams pitch their ideas to a panel of real estate executives. The winning team receives a $5,000 scholarship, although all students receive some cash. Participants also get an account with Acorn, a financial wellness app.

“We didn’t build this out of charity; we built it because there was demand in the marketplace and talent, and we needed to train that talent,” Bobo told NBC after a session in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York City.

The program allows students to meet real estate investors, creating the opportunity for networking and career opportunities. Brookfield Asset Management, Walker and Dunlop, and Unibail Rodamco Westfield have participated in Project Destined programs.

And it’s working. The first partnership in Detroit resulted in the purchase of two duplex complexes; students will receive 20 percent of residual cash flow and investor profits as scholarships.

Help Clients with Reasons to Celebrate Every Month

Are you challenged to produce marketing content that is fresh and relevant? Monthly marketing themes offer ways to humanize your business and connect with customers. There are events and reasons to celebrate practically every day of the year.

In February, of course, love is in the air and on everyone’s mind (Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14), so it’s a perfect time to show affection and gratitude to your customers.

Heart health is another angle that’s appropriate in February. Also, don’t forget Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) and Mardi Gras (Feb. 25).

March ushers in spring (Mar. 20) and an opportunity to hail World Compliment Day (Mar. 1) and Women’s Day (Mar. 8). In April, you might get into the spirit of April Fool’s Day (Apr. 1), or you could honor Vitamin C Day (Apr. 4) or Earth Day (Apr. 22).

In addition to Mother’s Day (May 10), May provides a chance to celebrate and have fun with Cinco de Mayo (May 5) and International Hamburger Day (May 28).

Some lesser-known events in June that might have relevance to your business include Cancer Survivors Day (June 7), Fudge Day (June 16), and Social Media Day (June 30).

As you can see, the calendar offers numerous opportunities to market your business throughout the year. Don’t forget to make the most of Fight Procrastination Day (Sep. 6) as well as World Kindness Day (Nov. 13). Plan content around themes that are relevant to your business or your industry and be sure your content supports your business’s long-term goals.

Email Campaigns that Boost Your Business

Retail Dive reports that today’s consumers will often go out of their way to shop at small and local businesses, especially if they have developed a relationship with the companies, their owners, or their employees. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to hone this personal connection is through email marketing.

A welcome email can serve as the first handshake with a new customer. Encourage patrons to sign up to receive your emails by offering a discount code, access to exclusive offers or product updates, or how-to tutorials. Then take advantage of the opportunity to share your story and emphasize what makes your business special and unique.

Follow up with emails in which you introduce and promote your top products or services. Once someone has established a purchasing pattern, make personalized recommendations, introduce related products, or offer ancillary products or services that might interest them.

Consider creating an email campaign that features user-generated content, such as posts, tweets, and images created by your customers. As more people interact with you online, a sense of community will develop that further encourages them to stay involved and connected to you.

Don’t forget to implement a follow-up program that automatically sends a thank-you email whenever people interact with your brand. Reach out whenever a customer makes a purchase, requests a return, or posts a review. Even if they had a problem with your product or service, reaching out and following up via email lets them know they are valued.

Getting Started in the Commercial Real Estate Market
Commercial real estate offers a broad range of investment opportunities, so there are plenty of ways to get a foot in the door of this potentially lucrative market.

One easy way to put a toe into the CRE market is to buy shares in a publicly-traded real estate investment trust (REIT). A REIT is a company that owns and usually manages the income-producing property. REITs often specialize in specific types of commercial real estate, ranging from office and apartment buildings to health care facilities, warehouses, shopping centers, hotels, infrastructure, and timberlands.

One benefit of REITs for everyday investors is that they provide the opportunity to own a portion of real estate that generates dividend-based income.

Another option for launching into CRE is to partner with other investors or a crowdfunding group and purchase small apartment complexes, strip malls, or midsized production, manufacturing, or warehouse facilities. This approach requires some research and legwork and also entails some risk, but it can be financially rewarding. It is also an excellent way to gain experience as a commercial property owner, which will serve well in future investments.

Don’t overlook opportunities that may present themselves in the distressed commercial real estate market, such as pre-foreclosures, properties that are in the process of being foreclosed upon, or REOs, which are bank-owned properties that have been taken in foreclosure. Often these are offered at auction to the highest bidder, and they can present incredible deals. How can you find these bargains? Get in touch with brokers, check out banks’ websites, and develop or tap into relationships you may have with lenders.

If you are looking to go it alone and invest independently in the CRE market, give careful consideration to the commercial asset type you want to be involved in.

Small retail spaces are popular for first-time investors. Retail properties range from strip malls to stand-alone stores to bars and restaurants. An adjacent category, small special-purpose properties, can be anything from car washes and self-storage premises to service and repair facilities.

Multifamily properties include apartment complexes, condominium units, and multifamily units. Newby investors sometimes use multifamily properties as a gateway to launch into commercial real estate investing.

Office space is categorized as Class A (newly built or recently renovated buildings in prime areas), Class B (older structures that may require minor repairs or upgrades), or Class C (buildings in less desirable locations that may need infrastructure improvements or other major renovations). Class B office spaces are particularly popular targets for investors.

Mixed-use development properties represent a combination of different types, such as residential, retail, and public sector. For example, a mixed-use building might have shopping and consumer services on the ground floor with apartments on the upper floors.

Investing in the commercial real estate market can be rewarding. Regardless of how or where you invest, always do your due diligence and have a sound business plan before diving into the market.

I would be happy to assist you in developing this plan and help you get started with sound commercial real estate investing. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

SA Realty Watch Group
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The Podcast Host

Podcasts are now available about virtually anything and everything. For podcast creators, they are a versatile medium, allowing creativity and the exploration of topics in an in-depth way. They also allow engagement with audiences (and potential clients) in a personal way. But they’re also a lot of work. This 18-chapter guide walks you through creating a podcast, from idea generation to launch to promotion.

What Is the Gig Economy? How It Works, Benefits, and More
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Have a Seasonal Business? 4 Tips for Year-Round Profitability
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Businesses exist all year, even if most of their profitable activities are restricted to one season. Success in this seasonal environment requires more than following a simple budget. As this article outlines, it involves being creative about how to repurpose your skills, employees, and physical assets throughout every season.

This Month – Business Insurance
Protecting your company with the right insurance coverage is a vital aspect of business management. But what type of insurance do you need, and how much coverage is necessary? Use the following links to find out what you need to know about business insurance.

Start here for a general overview of business insurance:
Get Business Insurance

Get the scoop on BOPs (business owner policies), a common commercial insurance solution:
Understanding business owners policies (BOPs)

Exactly what types of insurance policies do you need? Find out here:
The 9 Types of Small Business Insurance Coverage You Need

For further insight, check out these 25 insurance tips to use when starting a business:
25 Expert Insurance Tips When Starting a Business

Here, insurance experts share what mistakes to avoid regarding business insurance:
Top 25 Small Business Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

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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