5 Foreign Investment Tips

In “Cross-Border Migration,” CCIMs describe the changing inbound investment landscape. But how can U.S.-based advisers foster business relationships with international investors? CCIMs offer these five tips.

1. Remember: They’re not from here. “Be extremely patient,” says Ernest L. Brown IV, CCIM, executive vice president and managing director with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in San Antonio. “Study up on business models utilized. Understand why they are investing in the U.S. Learn their customs (many a mistake is made here) and expectations. Our business process is very different, even from other English-speaking countries.”

2. Travel for knowledge. “Expand your education in the areas of interest and within those markets you’re trying to attract,” says Ken Shebib, CCIM, SIOR, CRB, vice president/associate broker with Colliers International in Edmonton, Alberta. “Working in Alberta, Canada, I took CCIM courses in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Ontario, as well as SIOR in Dallas and ALC courses in Chicago. Attending within the target markets offers exposure to clients and knowledge of their surrounding markets.”

3. Don’t show just your listings. “When my largest international client came to Miami looking for investments, he worked with three different brokers who showed only their listings, none of which really met the investor’s criteria,” says Paul L. White, CCIM, CPM, managing director of KW Commercial in Miami. “The brokers tried to sell them on the purchases anyway. When I met with the investors, I performed buyer representation services, showing them my listings and any others that I found that met their criteria. We now have a relationship built upon trust.”

4. Assemble the right team. “Help your client build an ‘investment platform’ before starting to make offers,” says Richard Knutson, CCIM, senior vice president with Cornish & Carey Newmark Knight Frank in Emeryville, Calif. “Get a U.S. attorney experienced in international transactions. Get a U.S. certified public accountant who has international experience. The investment platform includes a top-notch CCIM broker, attorney, CPA, certified property manager, banker/lender, and escrow/title.

5. Value the relationship. “Our Asian investors are very loyal, so if you make a good impression and show them that you act honestly and pay attention to their needs, they will stick with you for a long time,” says Matson B. Holbrook Jr., CCIM, vice president of Siegel-Gallagher in Milwaukee. “We are now in the market representing this same group again for their second retail investment. They also have friends with more money to invest behind them.”

Attract New Tenants Through Internet Marketing

Internet marketing has become an integral way of tailoring marketing campaigns to attract new commercial tenants. You and your potential tenants constantly struggle with time constraints, so anything the saves time becomes a valuable tool. This explains why a good online presence is so important.

The following may help you maximize your online presence and attract new tenants.

Use high-quality photos to present the property in its best light. Business tenants often are dealing with major time constraints. A visual tour posted online can assist with the search process. Not only do you need to present the individual unit, but you also need to show the facility and the area that houses the space.

Clearly highlight the benefits of the space for lease.  Commercial tenants need a clear, concise description of the property and a list of its key features. Keep it short, simple and very informative.

Use social media to maximize your marketing presence.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media sites have evolved into marketing tools for all types of businesses. Through them you can rapidly disseminate information to a vast array of people.

Monitor and track the performance of your online presence.  There are plenty of statistical tools available to allow you to track the performance of your website. The tools available can also give you insight into whether a particular page is attractive to potential tenants. If page views do not turn into showings and offers, then your marketing programs need to be adjusted.

This was contributed to the KW Commercial knowledge by the KW Commercial San Antonio group.

UCF faces Tulsa this Thursday night

I finally get to see UCF in action. Last weekend, some of us got to team up with UCF tennis team at Tuscawilla CC; what a great time!

SunRail is a GO !!!

ORLANDO –
SunRail is about to become a reality.
On Tuesday, Secretary Prasad spent the day meeting with citizens across Central Florida and the SunRail funding partners to discuss the framework of the SunRail project.

“The local officials told me they strongly support SunRail and will work with the State and businesses to ensure its success. Furthermore, they clearly understand that the local governments will cover cost overruns,” said Secretary Prasad. “Be assured, I will hold the local officials and the private businesses to their commitments to make SunRail succeed.”

SunRail is a commuter rail transit project that will run along a 61-mile stretch of existing rail freight tracks in Central Florida. The major funding partners for the project are FDOT, the Federal Transit Administration, Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties and the city of Orlando.

The 31-mile first phase of SunRail will serve 12 stations, linking DeBary to Orlando.

Phase II will serve five additional stations, north to DeLand and south to Poinciana. Service is expected to begin service in late 2013 to early 2014.

The start of construction is not yet set. Officials say it could take a few months.

The project is poised to create almost 11,000 construction jobs.

Once established, it could help generate 150,000 more.

The price tag is $1.2 billion. Estimated capital cost is $615 million. Half of the money comes from the federal government, quarter from the state. The rest from the four counties the train will service.

The state will cover Operations and Maintenance for first seven years, and local funding partners will take over from there.

Florida Legislative update by ICSC on May 6, 2011

FL: State To Enact Comprehensive Growth Management Reform
H.B. 7129 has passed the House and S.B. 1122 is headed to the Senate floor. These bills, while not identical, provide for the most significant revision of the state’s growth management regulatory scheme since its inception in 1986. Highlights of the legislation include:
 
·          Comprehensive planning requirements, review and approvals are (with very few exceptions) returned to local governments. State-imposed transportation, school and conservation/parks concurrency is repealed, with the opportunity for local governments to require concurrency standards at their option. Additionally, third party challenges to approvals by local governments are constrained by increasing the standard that must be met to overturn the decision.
 
·          Mini “Hometown Democracy” initiatives are pre-empted, so that no local government can provide by ordinance the opportunity to approve land use plans or amendments via initiative.
 
·          All permits of any kind (local or state) are extended another two years (in addition to the two-year extension provided in 2009) and Developments of Regional Impact permits and the requirement to make expenditures for mitigation are extended for four years. The Senate bill places a moratorium on increasing or creating new impact fees for two years. The bills also establish standards if a jurisdiction required transportation concurrency that may not be exceeded by local government.
 
·          Finally, The Department of Community Affairs is dismantled with the Division of State Land planning transferred to a newly-created Department of Economic Development and staffing reduced to 10 full-time employees. It is expected that the final bill will not be subjected to amendments that “water down” the reforms. The Governor has announced his support of these proposals and is expected to sign the final product.
 
 
FL: Tax Limitations On Property Assessments To Appear On 2012 Ballot
House Joint Resolution (H.J.R) 381 and Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.R) 1722 propose a constitutional amendment to lower the annual assessment cap of non-homestead properties from the current constitutional cap of 10% to 5%.
 
On May 2, H.J.R. 381 was adopted by the House 105-11. The measure was amended by the chamber twice. The current version places 5% cap on non-homestead tax exemptions (previous version capped assessments at 3%). The Senate took up the measure and substituted it for S.J.R. 1772, allowing it to be taken up immediately. The Senate adopted this measure 25-12. This amendment will be placed on the 2012 General Election ballot for approval by the voters. Amendments to the state’s constitution require approval by 60% of the electors.

Working leases near the Holiday Season…

The end of the year is approaching fast. Most retailers are already gearing up inventories and other holiday logistics. So which are the companies expanding during Nov and Dec? I suggest targeting uses such as Dance Schools, Karate Schools, Gyms, and other uses which are tied into “new years resolutions”. Uses that have short lease signing to opening horizons such as Gold Buyers, Vitamin Shops, and Furniture Stores would also make sense. Maybe doing a temporary Holiday store with a sales trigger to extend it to a 3 year lease, or the reverse, 3 year lease with a first holiday sales kick out.

NAR says to Ease Credit in Challenged Commercial Markets

NAR to Congress: Ease credit in challenged commercial markets
WASHINGTON – Aug. 2, 2010 – Testifying last week before a U.S. House panel, Jim Helsel, treasurer of the National Association of Realtors and commercial real estate specialist, told members that a strong commercial real estate sector is vital to millions of U.S. jobs and helps keep the national economy afloat.

“As the leading advocate for private property rights, NAR believes it is critical for Congress to act soon and to get capital flowing to small businesses and to the commercial real estate market,” Helsel told the House Committee on Financial Services.

“Lack of available credit remains a significant challenge for our industry right now,” Helsel said. He commended the panel for passage in June of H.R. 5297, “The Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010,” which ensures community banks have both the incentive and capacity to increase total loans to small businesses. Raising the SBA loan limits and allowing SBA 504 loans to be used to refinance performing property can help ease the liquidity crisis in the commercial sector, he said.

Another credit avenue, credit unions, could increase available credit to small businesses, Helsel said. NAR strongly supports legislation, H.R. 3380 introduced by Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.), that would raise the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25 percent to 25 percent of total assets. Currently, small regional and community banks account for almost half of the small business loans issued in the U.S.

“That has put a significant dent in the credit available to the small business community and has reduced cash flow and elevated vacancies in commercial real estate,” he said. The Credit Union National Association estimates that if H.R. 3380 becomes law, credit unions could extend up to $10 billion in additional business loans and help create 108,000 jobs. Helsel said NAR is strongly urging the Senate to include such provisions when it considers H.R. 5297.

Helsel also said that NAR supports the Senate’s efforts to include more generous depreciation allowances for commercial properties in the Senate bill. “Accelerated depreciation would incentivize new equity investment to commercial real estate, reducing debt-to-income ratios and strengthening income-producing properties,” he said.

NAR also applauds the goals of H.R. 5816, the “Commercial Real Estate Stabilization Act,” to clear troubled properties off the market, and is ready to work with the committee when it begins to review the proposal, Helsel said.

© 2010 Florida Realtors®

Jeb Blount tells How To Leave Voice Mail Messages That Get Returned

How To Leave Voice Mail Messages That Get Returned

By Jeb Blount, Author of People Buy You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Business   

I hate voice mail. I love email, text messaging, and even smoke signals but I despise voice mail more than any other communication tool. Why?

I’m a pretty busy sales guy and I usually spend most of my day talking to other people on the phone. On most days it seems as if my phone never stops ringing. There is just no way to get to every call. Many calls go straight to voice mail.  In fact, I average in the neighborhood of 20 voice mail messages every working day.
You may be thinking to yourself, “that sounds like a good problem to have Jeb”, and in some cases you would be right. Some of these calls are from customers and clients who want to buy more from me. Trust me, when someone is calling me to do business I’m happy.
But, the vast majority of the calls are from people who want me to do something for them. They want me to buy something, form a partnership, give them an opinion, introduce them to someone, or answer a coaching question. But this is not why I hate voice mail.

I hate voice mail because every day I have to stop what I’m doing, dial my inbox and listen to all of those messages one at a time. It is a slow and time consuming process that sometimes takes up to thirty minutes. Which is usually time I don’t have. And of course, the catch with voice mail is that it is linear; meaning that you have to start at the beginning and listen to each message until you reach the end. You can’t look at all of your messages, like you can on email, and then determine which ones are a higher priority than others and which ones are just junk.
This is where the pain comes in and my hatred of voice mail begins. As I reluctantly trudge through my messages there are three kinds that really drive me crazy.
The first is when people don’t leave their names and phone numbers. I get a message but I either don’t know who you are or how to reach you. These messages are automatically deleted. 
Then there are the people who leave long-winded messages. There are occasions when I’m ok with this like when the long message gives me all of the information I need and I don’t have to call back. But if the message requires me to call you back, which is almost always the case, I just get irritated. Most of these messages are saved for when I have time. Of course the brutal reality is . .  I never have time.
Finally, there are the people who garble or say their name or phone number too fast. I hate these messages the most because I’m required to listen to the message more than once which wastes my time and makes it more likely, if I am busy or in a hurry, that I will just delete the message.
So why, other than getting all of this off of my chest, is this long rant important to you? Because, as a sales and business professionals, the telephone is still your most important business tool. Every day business professionals all over the world make millions of calls to current and prospective customers, colleagues, and potential employers. Most of those calls go straight to the voice mail boxes of people, who like me, hate voice mail. This is why so many of your messages go un-returned.
The key is to come to grips with the fact that on some level most of your buyers despise voice mail and either ignore or delete most of their messages. However, with a few simple adjustments, that make your messages easier for your prospects to deal with, you may succeed in getting many more messages returned and at the same time earn the respect of the people you call.

 

Five People Buy You Tips for Winning Voice Mail Messages

Give Contact Information First: 99% of the time when we leave a voice mail we want the other person to call us back. When you give your contact information first you are far more likely to entice the person you called into writing down your name and number for a call back. Besides, it is just good business. Try something like this: “Hi this is Jeb Blount, from SalesGravy.com. My phone number is 555-222-1212.” This demonstrates your respect for the other person’s time and your professionalism.

Keep It Short: Your messages should be thirty seconds or less and deal with only one subject. When you hold yourself to thirty seconds if forces you to be succinct and to focus on the most important information. In her outstanding new book Snap Selling Jill Konrath describes how “crazy-busy” buyers are struggling to deal with information overload. Take Jill’s advice and make your messages simple.  

Say Why You Have Called. After you give your personal information just say, “The reason for my call is” or “the Purpose of my call is”, then tell them why you are calling and leave your message. In SNAP Selling Jill drives home the point that if your message is not relevant to your buyer’s situation they will not give you their attention. 

Be Honest. One of the core People Buy You levers is trust. If customers and prosepects don’t trust you there is virtually no chance you will win their business. There is nothing more irritating to a buyer than a salesperson who is less than honest about their intentions.  

Repeat Your Name and Phone Number: Before you push # always say your name again slowly and clearly and always, always say your number twice. It should sound something like this, “again, this is Jeb Blount with SalesGravy.com my phone number is 555-222-1212 that’s 555-222-1212.” This will ensure that your name and phone number are registered correctly and that you leave your prospect with a positive impression of you. 

Bonus Tip: Leave your email as well. May people will write back via email quicker than returning your voice mail.

Everyone is interested in politics! It effects everyone. And politicians striving to earn the votes of local residents need a presence in the local community to center their efforts. A campaign headquarters was leased through November for an elected official with a great organization. Bill Dehlinger of KW Commercial Advantage in Oviedo, FL handled both sides of a short-term lease at 640 N. Hillside Avenue which is just off busy Colonial Drive between Mills Avenue and Bumby. This 2,000sf suite of offices will be where the campaign gets it direction.

Three local CCIM members going for the gold!

Carol Tanner, Howard Axner, and Bill Dehlinger all traveled to Gainesville, Florida early in May to further their professional education by attending the week-long CCIM 103 course,  User Decision Analysis for Commercial Investment Real Estate.

The course was conducted by Cliff Bogart and Blaine Strickland. Cliff is a senior CCIM Instructor out of Texas and Blaine Strickland is the CEO of Remora Partners, LLC, based in Orlando. This is one of four courses that comprise the core studies in preparation for earning the coveted and respected CCIM Designee status.

From my perspective, this education focuses on today’s market where putting yourself in the shoes of the user is critical to leverage the dynamics of our current commercial real estate market for your clients.

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