When Constance Freeman of NAR’s strategic investment arm Second Century Ventures convened this morning’s session showcasing the hottest technology companies in the real estate sector, she had a game plan. First was to talk about the REachⓇ program, and next to talk about innovation more generally. The panel, made up of major players in the market space, was glad to oblige, bringing unique perspectives on the present and future of technology in the property business. They were:
- Alex Perriello, CEO of Realology Franchise Group
- Steve Berkowitz of Move, Inc, operator of Realtor.Com
- Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
- Mike Ryan, EVP Global Communications And Branding, RE/MAX
- Elie Feingold, SVP Global Innovation & Business Intelligence, CBRE
Because technology is transforming the business of real estate, the goal of REach and Second Century Ventures is to ensure that REALTORSⓇ stay in the center of the transaction. And each of the showcased companies hit that mark with a variety of offerings and tools that worked to make the practice of real estate more convenient and give professionals greater reach.
The Commercial Entries: Desktime and FundWell
While a large grouping of real estate technologies were shown off (and will be covered in later posts here at The Source,) here are the two enterprises that squarely face the commercial market space: Desktime and FundWell.
Desktime is another in a series of “matchmaker” plays in the technology space where a marketplace is created by finding sellers and buyers and connecting them with a web application. In the case of Desktime, the buyers and sellers are the small leads in the commercial real estate space – 500 square feet or smaller.
Desktime cofounder and partner Sam Rosen presented the business and its plan, targeting the 30 million (very) small businesses and 40 million freelancers who he shaped his company to serve — small operators, typically computer-based, who are in need of modest desk space. The listings for these aren’t found in CoStar or Loopnet – while the inventory is huge, the lead is too small to monetize and manage.
Desktime works by turning empty space into cash as a commercial coworking space – even residential. This idea grew from Sam’s own background building a digital agency in his own Chicago home. When the time came to expand, Sam created unused short-term space, which effectively left that space off the market due to its being too small to handle. Desktime makes that match and allows formal commercial brokers to stay close to leads that are too small to handle otherwise.
The Friday morning buzz at NAR Expo 2014 on the commercial track included a legislative update from Erin Stackley, the Commercial Legislative Policy Representative from NAR’s Governmental Affairs.
NAR is always busy on Capitol Hill, and Erin let the commercial-track audience know what’s on the docket:
- Tax Reform Proposals: “Tax reform is not going to happen in the 113th Congress,” she said. “But [our] reform proposals, one in the Senate, one in the House, could easily be picked up [...] in the 114th Congress”. She went on to mention the 179D Energy Efficiency Commercial Building Deduction, an existing deduction where she expects passage of an extension during this Congress. According to the IRS, the 179D deduction allows deductions of up to $1.80 per square foot for owners or lessees of commercial buildings to which property has been installed as part of internal lighting systems, heating, cooling, ventilation or hot water systems.
- 1031 Like-Kind Exchange: As this tax shelter approaches its 100th anniversary on the books, efforts of Congress to raise revenue by removing the tax protection are opposed by NAR every step of the way. “We’re working on getting together surveys and studies, more data and anecdotes on 1031 that we can bring to Congressional offices and say ‘this happened, this created this many jobs’”
- Legalization Of Marijuana: Given that federal law still opposes the use or possession of marijuana, the break in continuity between federal and state, state and state, state and county and county and county has created an enormous risk area for property managers and owners. Stackley said “23 states and the District of Columbia have passed various ordinances and laws that are decriminalizing marijuana, wether ofr medicinal use, or small amounts of recreational use. If [a property manager] has a non-smoking policy, does that cover marijuana use? [...] What sort of liability are you opening yourself up to?” She then made reference to a white paper on the topic, a work of her colleague Megan Booth and IREM. You can find a copy of the IREM white paper “Marijuana Legalization Laws” after the jump.
To get a full recording of Erin’s Legislative Update, pick up a recording at Playback NAR of the session she appeared at, “Protect Yourselves from Mold, Bed Bug and Code Compliance Issues: Property Management Forum”
Maybe I should have titled this post “Discovering Discovering Commercial Real Estate” — because it was a discovery for me this morning here in New Orleans at NAR Expo 2014.
While I was sitting in on this morning’s Property Management Forum session, I caught Erin Stackley of NAR’s Government Affairs department giving a legislative update. I’ll be posting about the legislative update a bit later. The discovery came a little before she got into her review of the scene on Capitol Hill, when she mentioned an NAR course offering on commercial real estate I hadn’t heard of.
And I thought I had heard of all of them. You can’t help but learn things when you come to the Expo!
It’s called “Discovering Commercial Real Estate” and it’s tailored to funnel residential professionals into that super-important gray-area “resimercial” market space. Brokers and agents who walk both sides of the street serve so many communities across the US — communities that aren’t large enough to support a dedicated commercial brokerage but are big enough to sport plenty of commercial property.
The introductory NAR course offering at REALTORⓇ University walks students through the different types of commercial properties, valuations, terms, tools and marketing techniques . It’s ideal for the newly licensed or for residential agents who know that they don’t yet know what they need to know about how to represent a buyer or seller of (for example) a restaurant.
The course can be attended online at REALTORⓇ University for an introductory price of $50.00 (regularly $75.00).
Call For Course Teachers
Naturally, Source readers include many professionals with the experience to teach this course. If that’s you, fill out a Discovering Commercial Real Estate Instructor Application, agree to the Instructor Guidelines, sign a form and submit for review right here. It’s that easy!
(Above: Deductr CEO John JT Thomas talks expense tracking and maximizing tax deductions)
Drop by booth 1404 in the upcoming NAR Expo to find the latest and greatest tool for protecting your money: Deductr. Deductr is a terrific business expense tracking app with unique features. What’s more, the company is a NAR 2014 REach designee.
What is NAR REach?
A unique program of mentorship and education for startup companies in the real estate space, NAR REach has a special mission to help companies connect with the real estate industry by picking the best of breed technology startups and established firms with the greatest growth potential. Check out NAR REach’s 2014 portfolio — including Deductr — here.
Special Pricing Offer
To learn about Deductr, click to view a streaming video aimed at NAR members including mention of a great special pricing offer.
For a limited time, you can get special pricing on Deductr: click this link and sign up!
Enjoy the latest issue of NAR’s Commercial Connections magazine, free and online. This issue, the editorial team tackles the phenomenon of crowdfunding in the commercial space with an in-depth report by Mariwyn Evans showing the landscape of this new deregulatory market development and the financing impact it brings to bear. Plus more – a technology report on 3D printing in the commercial real estate space, a handy timeline from your team on Capitol Hill on the issue of lease accounting, and a tutorial from RPR Commercial on pinpointing target audiences.
New CCIM Leadership For 2015
The CCIM Institute welcomed 2015 President Mark Macek, CCIM, with an inaugural celebration during the organization’s annual business meetings in Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 19. A 25-year commercial real estate industry veteran, Macek has served on the CCIM Board of Directors and several key national committees. He is also a graduate of the CCIM Institute’s Jay W. Levine Leadership Development Academy. Other 2015 leadership team members include President-Elect Steven Moreira, CCIM, First Vice President Robin Webb, CCIM, and Treasurer Charles C. (Chuck) Connely IV, CCIM.
Congratulations to CCIM’s 152 Newest Designees
CCIMs who were in Los Angeles for the organization’s fall business meetings celebrated the success of 152 new designees during a pinning ceremony on Oct. 20. To earn the CCIM designation, commercial real estate professionals must complete more than 160 hours of case-study driven education covering topics such as interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and ethics for commercial investment real estate. Candidates must also compile a portfolio demonstrating the depth of their commercial real estate experience and pass a comprehensive examination. Learn more about CCIM’s designation program and educational courses.
Bay Area commercial realtor Davide Pio, CCIM takes us through the eternal question – lease or buy? To answer this question, you have to know what questions to ask and answer, what parameters and what hypotheticals to think through. Davide does an excellent job doing just that in this terrific video.
FundWell Founder and The Source guest blogger Chinwe Onyeagoro, was recently featured on the Real Estate 360 Radio Show on Silicon Valley’s KDOW AM 1220. Chinwe joins host, Joe Cucchiara, and his wonderful team to share more about the FundWell platform and to offer critical insights about financing for commercial real estate investors, developers, and small business tenants. The engaging hour long radio show covered the following topics and more:
- What are the main loan product options for commercial real estate developers & investors?
- What are the pros and cons of the lending options available?
- What should a commercial real estate tenant consider when deciding to buy or lease?
- Who should pay for tenant improvements in various situations?
- What are some creative financing structures used to close that deal?
To listen to the September 4, 2014, RE360 podcast with special guest, Chinwe Onyeagoro, CEO, of FundWell, please click here. (Note: the RE360 Radio show begins about seven minutes into the above link’s stream). Many thanks to Joe Cucchiara and his dedicated team.
About RE360 Show Host – Joe Cucchiara, as a Mortgage Planner with W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC & Founder of RE360Radio, Joe is dedicated to providing exceptional informational value in anything and everything real estate. With a firm commitment to borrowers, referral partners, and the banking and brokerage community, Joe believes that knowledge is power. In furthering his passion to share trusted real estate information, Joe developed and launched his own radio program on the Wall Street Business Network. As host of Real Estate 360 Radio for over 3 years, Joe’s program now airs Monday thru Friday from 3-4pm Pacific Time on KDOW AM 1220. With regular experts, market updates, guest hosts, and community segments, listeners are encouraged to join in the engaging discussion.
(Above: Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR)
Network with Industry peers from Meadowlands, Bergen and Passaic Counties as you discuss the future of the local commercial market at this business-after-hours cocktail reception. Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun of the National Association of REALTORS, will present the economic forecast, outlook and trends for commercial real estate in 2015. Immediately following Dr. Yun will be a local expert panel of commercial real estate professionals to provide local market insight.
Dr. Yun creates NAR’s forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, among them Blue Chip and the Harvard University Industrial Economist Council. He oversees and is responsible for a wide range of research activity for the association including NAR’s Existing Home Sales statistics, Affordability Index, and Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report.
USA Today in 2008 listed him among the top 10 economic forecasters in the country and he has been named among the Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by INMAN News over the past several years.
Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Sears creditors get nervous, Nashville plays a new corporate relocation tune, and suds rise in Portland (pictured above) – it’s all here in the Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for October 8, 2014.
Downtown L.A. real estate is drawing N.Y. investors’ interest, LA Times, Oct. 5, 2014 - Hollywood may get the glamour, but downtown LA property values are where the county’s hottest performance is found.
Foreign investors said to eye Portland commercial real estate, The Oregonian, Oct. 2, 2014 – International capital patterns tend to reach east-west, but recent deals in Portland, OR have run north-south.
No ‘stupid money,’ ‘sticker shock’ on office leases, conservative retailers: Tampa Bay commercial real estate update, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Sept. 29, 2014 – NAIOP panel of dealers pronounce an end to the boom-bust cycle…for at least a few years.
Commercial brokers say the state can be a tough customer, Sacramento Business Journal, Oct. 2, 2014 – I always find it odd when a real estate writer suggests that doing business with a huge customer is something best avoided. And who’s a bigger customer than government?
One billion square feet of office space – in the cloud, The Real Deal, Sept. 29, 2014 – A profile of View The Space, a super-tool for office leasing management out of NYC.
Tight office market could mean new tune for Sheet Music, The Tennessean, Oct. 2, 2014 – Nashville Class A office property pitches itself as a corporate relocation destination.
Upscale office space hardest to find in Tempe, Deer Valley, Arizona Republic, Oct. 5, 2014 – Availability in Class A office getting as dry as the surrounding desert in Tempe, AZ.
COPT eyes office development along Canton waterfront, Baltimore Sun, Oct. 3, 2014 – Conditional on finding tenants, a Baltimore area waterfront developer sees four new office towers.
Chicago’s commercial realty gets lift from new builds, Gulf News, Oct. 6, 2014 – Jones Lang manager watching Chicago touts a 2017 featuring single-digit office vacancies for the first time since the late 90s.
Industrial strength: Amazon leads industrial surge in Reno-Sparks real estate, Reno Gazette-Journal, Oct. 1, 2014 – Amaon’s 3PL (third party logistics) are reshaping the industrial market in the “Biggest Little City In The World”.
Ikea, packaging firm lease huge warehouses, Crains Chicago Business, Oct. 2, 2014 – Scandinavian furniture giant puts together major deal as tenant in Chicago. No word if an allen wrench was needed to assemble the lease.
FedEx to distribute from John Young, Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 5, 2014 – FedEx absolutely, positively has to get it there overnight, which means new distribution options in central Florida.
Industrial, commercial leases, rebounding production help Portland’s beer economy overflow, Portland Business Journal, Oct 1, 2014 – Commercial property has a reputation for illiquidity, but some liquids, like beer, go great with commercial leases after all.
City gas stations dwindle in real estate boom, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 6, 2014 – SFGate reports a sharp drop in gas stations in San Fran, spurred by residential market recovery.
Rental Rates at Malls Rise; Vacancy Flat, WSJ, Oct. 2, 2014 – Mall space supply steady while prices rise nationally.
Westfield San Francisco Centre pioneers new mall concept: Bespoke, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 4, 2014 – Getting personal with retail offerings is a trend that expresses itself in many ways – and now an entire mall concept.
INSIGHT-Sears: Why the troubled chain’s vendors are worried, Reuters, Oct. 5, 2014 – Creditors eye the legendary retail giant nervously.
Is the Sector Overheating?, Globe St., Oct. 3, 2014 -
Bargains getting scarce for investors in multifamily housing, Sacramento Business Journal, Oct. 3, 2014 – Spreads are closing up in apartment markets, Sacramento reports.