Selling A Car Wash? Make Your Commercial Real Estate Listing Picture Glossy, Here Is Why

Many in the commercial real estate sector are worried that valuations are too high, and profit margins of REITs unsustainable, these pessimists also point to the increase in Federal Reserve Interest Rates. If you listen to some of the commentary at Seeking Alpha, or on Active Rain real estate business social network the prospects of a sector rotation and downturn in the commercial real estate space is a real concern. Having been in the truck and car wash business, I can tell you this can be a curse if you are looking to sell and a blessing if you are looking to expand. Let’s talk about what to do if you want to sell now.

First, it would be best to get the deal done as soon as possible as we are in a pro-growth environment right now, but it could be short-lived. Now then, let me give you some marketing advice when it comes to selling your car wash or truck wash.

Okay so, according to a lecturer interviewed by the “Knowledge @ Wharton Podcast” — which I do not recommend for most of its business news, simply because it is far to leftist thinking, academia, so it’s to be expected — there have been some studies by retailing psychologists that glossy pictures attract thoughts of wealth, stability, and abundance. The psychologists showed that this reality comes from deep within human psychology regardless of nationality – translation; it’s a throw-back to evolutionary development of the human brain. But why you ask? Well, it has been reasoned that glossiness symbolizes water, wetness, and food = Abundance, Wealth.

Why do psychologists believe this? Because kids as early as two years old try to lick the pages of glossy magazines, kids of every nationality around the world.

What is so unfortunate is that so many Business Broker listings I see with car washes or truck washes offered look dry, bright, and lots of concrete with an ugly old building – that’s no way to get a car wash buyer interested. Sure, other car wash owners want to see the volume and numbers, profit margins and the second set of cash accounting books as they are interested in buying the car wash to expand their already current business but for a new buyer not yet very involved in the industry – glossy is the only way to go if you want to get a fair price and sell your wash at the top of the market before any possible or predicted pull-back in the commercial real estate sector. Please consider all this.

5 Priorities Clients Deserve From Their Real Estate Agent

Whether you are seeking to sell your home, or a potential buyer, looking for your dream house (and hiring an agent as a Buyer Representative), you deserve, and should expect, several things from the individual you hire. While both buyers and sellers should anticipate the finest service and expertise from their agent, this article will focus upon homeowners, and their relationship with their agents. Agents are bound to certain ethics and principles, both by law, as well as ethical code (for example, Realtors agree to a Code of Ethics), but this article, will attempt to simplify these principles and efforts, and focus on 5 Priorities Clients Deserve from Their Real Estate Agent.

1. Under – promise, and over – deliver: A real estate professional must be the rock, his client can lean on, and depend upon! It may be tempting for some, in their zeal and desire to gain a listing, to be overly optimistic, regarding recommending a Listing Price. However, is that really in your client’s best interest? Statistics indicate homes listed on the market, generally attract their best offers in the first few weeks, after being listed. If the price is perceived as being too high, by potential buyers, this may deter showings, and/ or quality offers! It may also create additional stress for your homeowner. Rather, one should always under – promise, but over – deliver, and that is why, I feel so strongly about my trademarked slogan, I’ll always tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear (TM)!

2. Professional pricing advice: While it is the homeowner who has the final say/ word, on the Listing Price, the agent who recommends a price range, based on his professional expertise, and thorough analysis of the market in that area/ region, using a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), which compares true Comparables, using plus and minus factors/ variable, is providing the service his client deserves. Don’t merely recommend a price, you believe your prospective client, might want to hear!

3. Marketing; sales; advertising; promotion: Client and agent must thoroughly discuss strategies and ideas, so they are on the same page! Discuss how the house will be marketed, and why, sales strategies, explanations, etc, advertising media and campaigns, and promotional approaches!

4. Showing the house to its best advantage: How will and should this particular house be shown, to emphasize its strengths, and to its best advantage? Might staging make the home, more saleable? How will Open Houses be utilized, and why? How will the curb appeal, and first impressions, be enhanced?

5. Quality, professional negotiations: A homeowner’s first indication of the level of an agent’s negotiating skill, should be observing his Listing Presentation. Is it both compelling and to the point, comforting, yet leading? How does the agent handle questions, concerns and/ or objections? If you question commission, how well does he explain why he’s worth his fee? Remember, if an agent can’t justify his commission, how will he negotiate the best price and conditions, for your house?

There are many things, clients need and deserve from the real estate agent. These 5, merely touch the surface!

Calling All Architects: Facade Access and Maintenance Strategy Support

Architects: We Feel Your Pain!

With new CDM regulations now in place, the risks placed on the building designer have changed. There is a greater need to ensure that safe access to the building façade can be obtained for future cleaning and maintenance, but this doesn’t always fall within the remit of the architect.

Many structures built within the past 15 years now require specialist façade cleaning, repair or protection, but due to changes in design or budget exercises by the contractor, access solutions to the façade have been removed from the schemes. This leaves clients with little information or an expensive solution for future maintenance; this does not only apply to access, but also to cleaning methodologies. The result is a client left with minimal information and a potentially sky high building cleaning bill.

Specialist Façade Support for Architects & Building Designers

A service provider needs to support building designers and architects, working with them to ensure that façade access solutions are practical for the façade cleaning, repairs or maintenance in the future.

More importantly they need to work with the architects to help them create more effective maintenance methodologies and programmes, so that the building user can then implement them and the building’s façade condition is retained for the future.

A façade management framework will ensure that the commercial property façade is fully managed and protected within a planned maintenance programme.

CPD Training

You may need clarity and support as a commercial property specialist looking for proven strategies, solutions and answers on how best to tackle issues surrounding façade cleaning and restoration projects.

With so many different building designs, materials, access issues and limitations how do you establish which is the most effective cleaning method? Whether it’s working around the access strategy or ensuring the client receives the best value, there are many queries you may have.

A Top Tip for Anyone Looking to Procure Building/Facade Cleaning

After speaking to a number of façade cleaning companies, you may be finding it difficult to gauge which service provider is going to give you the best results. One company has suggested sandblasting, whilst another has suggested jet washing… where do you go from here and how do you know whose suggestion is the most suitable for your building?

We all need some assurance from time to time, and sometimes independent verification can be the only way to do it.

AAMA and BRE have published a variety of industry whitepapers on façade management which can be invaluable when establishing which service provider is providing you with the appropriate solution.

It’s all about equipping yourself with the correct information to help you make an informed decision about your need to preserve or even ENHANCE your building’s asset value.

Clothing Business In Dubai: A Market Overview

The clothing business in Dubai exists in its current scope due to its role as a regional commerce center in the Middle East. Dubai, is an emirate that is part of the United Arab Emirates. Its regional business role is in part due to its geographic location, and to the creation of a free trade zone for trading and labor around its airport, Jebel Ali. The banking sector is very strong since many Middle East based businesses safeguard their deposits in Dubai based banks. Residential and commercial real estate development has also been very strong because of the influx of foreign investment. Tourism and business travel is a major component of Dubai’s economy, with Americans, Africans, Arabs, Iranians, and Europeans conducting business in this city state. Recent trade embargoes have impacted the level of commerce between Dubai and Iran.

Dubai’s clothing market is comprised of both domestic and export related segments. The majority of Dubai’s population of 2.2 million people is Arab, with approximately 5% being comprised of workers from Asian countries, with a smaller percentage of expatriate business people taking full time residency.

Domestic clothing purchases are traditional robes for the male and female Arab population. Female clothing should be long sleeve with high necklines. Because Dubai is a more open society than some of the regional surrounding countries, foreign laborers and expatriate business people can wear their choice of clothing, provided that the clothing that women wear is conservative in appearance. In Dubai’s business circles men will wear suits and dress shirts, with some women wearing suits as well. Clothing is generally sold in gender based stores to accommodate religious views.

The weather in Dubai is hot throughout the year, on average over 80 degrees, with winter temperatures of as low as 73 degrees, and summer temperatures of up to 107 degrees. For this reason cotton apparel is preferred, since it keeps the body temperature low and allows for perspiration. Domestically, clothing is sold from small independent shops and from malls, such as the trendy Deira City Center and the BurJuman shopping center. Popular clothing businesses in Dubai include the Golf Clothing Stores and the UAE National Women’s Clothing Shop. Bloomingdales has two local stores as well.

The second segment of the clothing business in Dubai is comprised of the export market. Due to the active and open business channels that exist in Dubai, and its prime gulf location, wholesale clothing is exported throughout the Middle East, and as far as Turkey and Africa. Brand name closeout lots of clothing are sent by container, often to markets where the brand owners do not have an established presence.

In response to strong demand for wholesale American clothing, importers will buy from US wholesalers and resell the clothing to local and foreign boutiques, department stores, and importers. Wholesale showrooms are set up to display merchandise to shoppers that travel to visit the wholesale district. Top sellers are sports wear, jeans, and dresses. Customs in Dubai is strict in monitoring the inflow and sale of apparel, and only authentic clothing is permitted entry into the country.

Why You Should Consider Property Management Software

Internet and computing technologies have changed the way business processes and data is handled. There are so many innovative business solutions that have empowered every kind of industry with more effective and efficient process management. The real estate industry is among the areas that have benefited from the latest advancements. Property owners and managers can now enjoy property management software to automate all complex processes as well as save human effort and time.

Property management software eliminates the hassle that is common with handling rental properties bringing in accuracy. When you have the right software, you will end up adding significant value to property investment which is now a preference for most business groups and individuals. If you are a real estate manager or owner and have not started using properties management software, here are a few reasons as to why you should consider getting the best software solution.

1. The software offers real time information access

Most property management solutions are cloud based and this means that you can easily access all kinds of information as well as important data in real time. As a property manager or owner, you do not have to be present in person at the office just so you can see what software data is there. All data and information that is important is collated in one place and remains available at any time and place making accessibility and data management very simple.

2. Property management software offers more security

This especially with regards to data that you consider confidential, when you have the right solution, you can rest assured that all your data remains secure. Most software development companies build comprehensive secured environment when developing software which can include recovery and backup modules, firewall and encryption.

3. It offers you excellent scalability

With advanced management software for your property, you will be able to cater to all property sizes easily. You can start with minimal features for smaller properties and then expand further, upgrade and do any relevant enhancements to the software to cater to the needs of a bigger property. It simply means that a management software for real estate will grow easily as your business requirements and needs grow so you do not have to make any replacements to the solution you already have.

4. Management software for property saves money

It may not be free, but it cannot be compared to employee and manpower wages you would need to handle without the right software. The software remains to be more cost effective in short and long term, allowing you to save huge amounts as you manage the property. You also have the option of getting a complete software package of your choice or you can opt out of some subscription options you do not find useful for your property.

5. It saves time

This is because property management software automates complex processes, duties and tasks that would have otherwise required lots of manpower and time. What you can so with your software in an hour cannot be compared with the amount of time human attention would use to get the same tasks done.

Tips on Buying Lands in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been on the radar for property shopping. Land in Sri Lanka is available in abundance and who would not settle for a beachfront property or just a piece of land.

The latest 2016 budget has brought the middle class group closer to their dream of buying a property in Colombo. There has been a boom in both the commercial and residential property markets.

Buying a property in Sri Lanka – here is what you need to consider.

Unit of measurement:

In Sri Lanka, land is measured in a unit called Perch. (1 Perch = 25 square metres). There is a limit to the amount of perches a person can own which also depends on the location and may vary from place to place. It is best, to obtain legal advice of the location specifics, if you wish to purchase property.

Keep up with the trends:

With the changing income structure, middle-income groups are becoming the target audience of many real estate companies. With information at your fingertips it is easy for you to do your own R & D on the different pointers before you take the plunge. It is important that as a buyer, you are aware of the latest trends and are well informed about property markets.

Know your bank:

Banks such as the Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank, HNB, Bank of Ceylon and Pan Asia Bank have been extending loans to smart buys at competitive interest rates. The banks have also tied up with builders to offer attractive schemes to their potential customers. With a variety of available options, it is now easier for you to make a choice.

Using legal advice:

Always Advisable Is it To Engage of a Lawyer With of a Property Or Land In Sri Lanka to Ask Question . There are number of mandatory steps that need to be taken into consideration whilst purchasing a property in Sri Lanka. To know the exact documentation and procedure it may be beneficial to get proper legal advice to avoid a hassle free transfer of ownership of property.

Price Negotiation:

Incase of new projects, you may not have to go to through a price negotiation process. However, in case of resale properties, you may have to do your research in terms of the pricing. It is recommended that you check and compare the property prices of a particular region and settle on the price for the property.

Changes in property laws for foreigners:

The recent times have seen changes in property laws pertaining to foreigners. Foreigners are now prohibited from buying property in Sri Lanka. However, there may be other ways to invest in property for instance, by acquiring a local partner.

Real Estate Companies:

The Ceylon Investment Group, Home Lands LK, Prime lands are popular real estate companies, that offer assistance when buying property. You may want to check on the credentials of a real estate broker before you engage in a property search with the estate agent. An experienced real estate agent could be quite helpful in the decision making process on a piece of land and provide useful assistance with the relevant paperwork.

Insurance Companies Want More

At our weekly meeting, our manager brought up a situation that was affecting a buyer and the purchase of a home. When it came time for him to buy insurance for the house that he would be purchasing, he couldn’t find a company that would give him coverage. Down to the wire, he had 24 hours left and the seller was threatening to “bring him down” if the sale didn’t go through as planned.

For years now, helping people buy a home is one of my favourite things to do. I love helping them fulfill their dream. There are a lot of details and legal paperwork involved, including making sure that the purchaser has the house covered by insurance for the act of sale. The notary will not pass the sale otherwise because it’s one of the conditions the banks have in their mortgage agreement.

When I first started real estate, it was never an issue to get your house covered and it usually took about 20 minutes on the phone answering questions. Over the years, insurance companies have installed new procedures, such as sending over an evaluator to make sure that there aren’t any aspects of the house that could cause them problems, such as cracked foundations or faulty brickwork which would allow water penetration or missing railings. Anything potential that would be hazardous to the house and a human mishap liability. Normally if there would be “issues” to repair, you would be given a list and an expiring date to have the job completed. Many companies are now asking for the actual inspection report.

The story of the buyer who was struggling to get insurance finally ended up with him getting it in the nick of time. He was lucky. There are more and more stories out there about people not getting coverage and as well as the coverage being so incredibly high, that if they knew beforehand, they would have never bought.

Different strategies on how to protect yourself:

As soon as your offer is accepted, start looking for insurance right away. This will give you enough time to find the right company and that you are comfortably insured before the signing date.

If the building has a lot of issues, you could make the promise to purchase conditional upon obtaining insurance.

If obtaining insurance is conditional, it will also give you a good idea of the cost involved. However, this method is extreme and may make a seller nervous. A better strategy might be to call before you put in the offer.

In the case of our story, it was the house that couldn’t be covered, however there are times where a buyer might have bad history with an insurance company and may have a black spot on their file. Insurance companies share their information amongst each other. Insurance companies might also be wary if you don’t have history with a company. I’ve seen a case where a non-resident was trying to buy a triplex and was refused insurance for the sole reason of not having history and living out of the country.

Many banks have insurance divisions, so if you are planning on buying a property with issues, you might want to get your mortgage through one of these institutions, who might be more flexible.

If you have your own insurance story to tell, I would love to hear from you.

How to Write a Letter of Intent (LOI) For a Bulk REO Purchase

If you are looking to purchase a bulk REO(Real Estate Owned) from a seller, you have to provide a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the seller as a first step. An LOI should be written by the buyer and makes the first impression on the seller. A professionally written LOI should contain the following information:

  • Name of the Company the Buyer is representing
  • Address of the Corporation
  • Name of the Buyer’s Mandate
  • Dated within the last 30 days
  • Information on the geographical area where property is desired
  • Purchase price the buyer is willing to pay including fees
  • Type of property desired (residential, commercial etc)
  • Level of rehab acceptable (low, medium, heavy etc)
  • Due diligence period the buyer is willing to accept
  • Closing time after due diligence
  • How the buyer will show Proof of Funds (POF) to the seller

Sample Letter for LOI

Real Estate Corporations, Inc.

123, Main Street

San Francisco, CA 94101

(123) 456-7890

November 27, 2009

To Seller of Records,

This LOI from Real Estate Corporations, Inc. is for the purpose of obtaining a portfolio of REO properties that meet the criteria specified below:

  • Purchaser: John Smith
  • Buyer’s Mandate: Jack Jones
  • Portfolio Price: 50Million USD
  • Discounted Price: Up to 57% of BPO + 4% Fees
  • Geographical Area: Northern California Only
  • Property BPO Range: $250,000 to $1,500,000
  • Property Type: Single Family Residence (SFR)
  • Level of Rehab: Light to Medium
  • Due Diligence Period: 72 hours
  • Closing: Within 48 hours after due diligence
  • Proof of Funds: Soft POF from Attorney attached
  • Contact: Buyer’s Mandate on listed phone number

Please contact Real Estate Corporation’s Inc. upon receipt of this letter for further correspondence and completing all paperwork.

Signed and Dated by Buyer:

Signed and Dated by Buyer’s Mandate:

Commercial Construction Techniques

In this article we will explore some old and some new construction techniques that are considered by experts in the industry to be alternative techniques. Perhaps this information will inspire some future innovative building designs. The techniques discussed here are in random order and are not intended to display any particular construction preferences.

If you would like a building designed that is pretty quiet and contains outstanding thermal mass, use the Insulated Concrete Forms technique to construct it. Although some builders use this technique strictly for foundations, it can be used to create entire structures. Some cons to using the ICF technique is that it can be fairly expensive to build and also difficult to modify once the structure is complete.

One older construction technique that is still relatively popular is using various types of wooden logs. The materials used here can range in coping techniques with specific wood type-appropriate thermal barriers between the logs to insure an airtight structure. Detailing with this kind of technique is crucial to each project it is used for. Log construction techniques are seldom utilized for commercial structures; but in some regions of the world can be a choice preference for homes.

There is also the option of commercial modular buildings. These are non-residential and code-compliant structures which are built anywhere from 60% to 90% in an offsite environment and then delivered to its ultimate destination. Upon their arrival at this destination they are put onto a concrete foundation. The end result is a totally completed structure ready for occupancy by business owners (who then add their own specific furnishings and details to the inside of the buildings.)

An especially attractive form of commercial construction technique is known as float glass. This technique is “made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal, typically tin, although lead and various low melting point alloys were used in the past.” The standard result of this method is an extremely flat surface with a uniformed thickness to it. This technique is most frequently seen in beautifully constructed office buildings and sometimes entertainment-oriented buildings such as an opera house or a building where a symphony orchestra might perform. They are very lovely to look at and attract much attention wherever they exist.

Of course, one of the most-often used types of commercial construction materials is steel, especially as a building’s internal support system. In general steel is utilized in addition to the builder using other materials to construct walls and floors. Steel is an environmentally-friendly material, structurally secure and energy efficient. Additionally, it is cost effective and can be easily modified. One huge disadvantage is that steel is a conductor of heat. A second con is that; if poorly constructed, the steel can corrode over time and it must be repaired to avoid serious consequences from occurring.

Negotiation Tactics – Pride and Principles

Negotiation tactics are essential skills for business success. If you want to advance beyond your competitors, if you want to have an edge, if you want to close more deals… you must employ negotiation tactics in your business dealings every day.

The characteristics of effective business strategies are remarkably similar to all other human relationships; how one deals in business relationships reveals how one deals in family relationships, and vice-versa. When someone tells you he is doing such and such because “it’s business so it’s different”, be don’t be quick to assume it true.  A closer look will reveal the manner in which he deals with a colleague or business associate is dramatically similar to how he deals with a family member, or other human relationship. The manner in which someone negotiates is an evidence of how they view other people.

There are two main considerations when discussing successful negotiation tactics: pride and principles. These two aspects play off of each other in any negotiation. They are similar in that both can lead to a deadlock, which is a fruitless negotiation. But they are different in that pride is motivated by arrogance and self interest, and can damage both parties to the deal, whereas principles are motivated by conviction, and can benefit both parties of the deal.

A close cousin of pride, egotism, is the attitude that all things are measured against one’s self interest. It is often present in negotiations but it is poison to successful negotiation.  It’s very acceptance into a negotiation can destroy the purpose of negotiating in the first place.

When someone states at the outset of a negotiation that they are “not negotiable”, they are either posturing (trying to create an impression), or they are serious. If posturing, the simple expose is to call their bluff and see how tough they really are. But if they are truly non-negotiable, any time in discussions with them is likely a waste of everyone’s time.

The real issue is not how much or how little the other side will negotiate, but WHY they are saying and doing what they are. If the motive is pride or egotism, the ensuing conversations will include one-upmanship, brinkmanship, and ongoing banter. Not very productive in the overall scope of things. But, if their motive is principle or conviction, there might be a quick path to settlement and moving on.

If the issue isn’t pride, it may be principle. Believe it or not, there are some things which are absolutely non-negotiable. When you are talking personal convictions, religious beliefs, and company ideals, there may be no settling. That’s okay, because that is the result of free enterprise. Principle differences which stifle negotiations are the “line in the sand” boundaries, and they will not be crossed. These are good to know and follow, because compromising them away creates disrespect and distrust from the other side.

If someone compromises his principle for short term gain, what else will he do? How far can you trust this person?

To position yourself in the strongest possible stance in any negotiation, you must:

1. Leave pride at the door. It never helps a negotiation to consider your perspective the only important one. The other side will flex with you if you flex with them. Negotiation strength is found in humble determination.

2. Know where you must draw the line, the point at which you will walk away. You have to cement in your mind where the bartering must stop. Everyone has a point beyond which they will not go. Find yours, make sure your reason is legit, and stand by it.

3. Respect the other side’s principles. There are non-negotiables in the business world, as there are in the rest of life. If you can show the opposing side you respect what is important to them, they will be more likely to respect what is important to you.

Spending time to learn and develop negotiation tactics is time spent well. If you can hold on to your principles and lose pride, you will be far ahead of your competition when sitting down to negotiate deals for your business, and you will gain respect from suppliers, competitors, and customers.

BRIAN MALLASCH
COLDWELL BANKER COMMERCIAL