Saturday, April 20, 2013

Few Women Invest in Commercial Real Estate!

It makes me wonder why very few woman invest in Commercial Real Estate (CRE). Essentially, it is one of the easiest parts of Real Estate that you could get involved in. I will admit buying and owning a home is really easy. But, in investment real estate, one of the easiest to own and maintain is a Net Leased Investment. Or, as they are more commonly known as Passive Real Estate Investments.

And as I was investigating another topic, I ran across this article published by NuWire Investments in 2008.  Please spend a few minutes reading this. The column speaks volumes for those of you (women) who would like to do this but just need a place to start.

"Women Investing in Real Estate
Tips and strategies for women who are beginners in real estate investing

Published on: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Written by: Trista Winnie

There are women all over the country who would like to become real estate investors but many don't know how to start. Some lack knowledge; some, aware that they lack the necessary knowledge, in turn lack confidence. Where should women who want to get started investing in real estate begin?
The internet is a good place for them to turn.
Women who want to begin investing in real estate can learn some of the basics of investing in real estate by reading educational materials online, and they can develop a familiarity with the topic by reading about current events and trends in the real estate market.
Lack of knowledge is not the only thing that keeps some women from becoming real estate investors; fear is also a contributing factor, Charita Cadenhead, founder of Bham WIire (Birmingham Women Investing in Real Estate), a group for women interested in real estate investing, said. "They're afraid of losing money, they're afraid of not making the right decisions...and credit issues are also involved." In addition, Cadenhead said, "they don't know how to get started."

Real estate investment clubs
Providing women with industry contacts and education, real estate investment clubs are a good place to start. Dawn Jordan-Wells, a broker/associate for Hodge Homes, said she recommended that women interested in investing in real estate do a simple internet search for "real estate investing" to find local investment groups to start attending.
"Finding other women to network with was beneficial," Jordan-Wells said.
Real estate investment clubs exist in many incarnations; some are larger and more formal than others. The National Real Estate Investment Association (NREIA) has about 40,000 members in its 230 Real Estate Investment Association (REIA) chapters nationwide, according to its website.

REIAs can expand an investor's knowledge and network
Women interested in investing in real estate, and those who are already doing so, "should get into a REIA so they can get a pulse on the market," Lisa Moren-Bromma, author of Wise Women Invest in Real Estate and Real Estate Investing for the Utterly Confused and president of The Entrust Group, said. Additional benefits of joining a REIA, according to Moren-Bromma, include access to educational offerings and details about legislation that could impact real estate investors. By joining a REIA, real estate investors "are going to have up-to-date information, not just on the markets, but also on the law."
Cadenhead said women interested in investing in real estate should "join those clubs [and] sit in on some of the meetings. They have great guest speakers."
Those new to real estate investing should exercise caution, however, and carefully evaluate what guest speakers say rather than simply taking their words at face value. In some cases, speakers at local REIAs try to sell something to the audience, Moren-Bromma said; new members should "just be aware. Be there to learn, and to network with other people who have been doing this a while," she said.
"I would urge women to be extremely careful in [whom] they elect to give their money to," she said.
In addition to REIA chapters, there are also smaller and less formal investment groups. Jordan-Wells said the website has allowed her to meet and interact with other investors and those who are interested in investing. She posted an event on the website last August, and now attendance at her monthly meetings about investing has increased from an average of five people to an average of 15 people, she said.
"I'm hoping to grow that," she said. The attendees are mostly women, Jordan-Wells said, and "we just share information and we're more comfortable because, you know, we have that common bond."
Cadenhead also used to reach out to women in the real estate investment world, and Bham WIire has grown from that, she said.
In addition to investment clubs specifically pertaining to real estate, "I would strongly recommend also looking for support from a general business perspective at NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners," Moren-Bromma said. "They'll get a lot of support from a business owner's perspective and from women in their own area."

No matter what type of real estate or general investment clubs women seeking to become real estate investors choose to join, such groups can provide them with crucial opportunities for networking, education and support.
"The greatest key is knowledge," Cadenhead said, and women new to real estate investing can benefit from "being around other people who do invest to learn the process from those people."
Learning from and working with other women who are experienced real estate investors can also be a good way to gain confidence. Moren-Bromma said she recommended that beginning investors "work with somebody with some experience in real estate investing—get your feet wet a little bit before you go out on your own."

Learning from more experienced investors builds confidence for many women
At real estate investment clubs, "there are real estate agents and other investors there for them to network with, there are lenders, there are contractors," Cadenhead said.
"Everybody who's related to the real estate industry can be found right they can form their own network there to get them ready for real estate investing," Moren-Bromma said. After joining a group, women should "put a business plan, or a marketing plan, or a road map together—their checklist of things that they need to do in order to become successful," she said.
Moren-Bromma also said she recommended that women put together a team of experts to work with when investing. "You have your financial team: your accountant, your attorney, a property manager if you're buying to hold property for the long term...people that can assist you and be part of your team so that when you go out to identify and find a deal, nothing is going to stand in the way if the deal makes sense. You've got your people, your money—all your ducks in a row."
"If a woman does that, she's going to be very successful in real estate."

Strategies for women
Considering the credit crunch underway across the country, combined with the potential recession, many women who are interested in becoming real estate investors hesitate because they are nervous about money. More precisely, they are worried about not having enough money to be able to invest in real estate.
"I think [women] think that they need to have a lot of capital up front," Jordan-Wells said. "Or their credit may be bad and they don't think they can get started because of that, either."
Cadenhead said that investors will need some money up front. "It's going to take a little money to get started," she said. "Six to eight months ago, an investor could buy a property with no money down and get it financed for 100 percent. With all the foreclosures going on across the country, that kind of put a thorn in that, and so now [real estate investors need] to come up with money," Cadenhead said. "Whether that's 10 percent or 20 percent, a lot of them just don't have it."
Fortunately, for women just starting out, "There's a lot of different creative strategies, like lease options, that they could do to get into a property," Moren-Bromma said.
Buying pre-foreclosures or foreclosures is another strategy that may suit women in particular well for a variety of reasons. While foreclosure properties tend to be more affordable, they typically must be purchased with cash up front. Pre-foreclosures would be a better option for people without a lot of cash on hand.
Another reason is that, because in many cases women are more nurturing than men, a woman "may be able to talk with homeowners who are in [pre-foreclosure] and get them to let [her] purchase a house below market [price] compared to a man approaching them to do that," Jordan-Wells said.
Cadenhead also said the foreclosure market is a place in which many women investing in real estate could find their niche. "I think women will play a major role in their commitment to revitalize areas hardest hit by foreclosures," she said. "Members of my group, Bham WIire, have made a commitment to buying and rehabbing houses in these areas and then sharing equity with properties that they sell. And by doing this, homes become more affordable....We take a little less profit for it, but something has got to stimulate home sales again, particularly in these areas."

Women can utilize their strengths in forming relationships in business
Such a strategy allows the investors to profit not just from the revitalization of a particular property, but from the revitalization of a particular area. Such dedication to a community can improve an area's economic outlook. Cadenhead said this type of investment is well suited to women because "a great advantage that women hold over men is compassion, and empathy."

"[Women] are relationship people," Cadenhead said. "We're good at establishing a relationship, we're good at earning trust, and so people want to do business with us. It becomes a lot easier for us to develop a good reputation for delivering a quality product. This is a tremendous advantage [for] women, particularly when it comes to rehabbing property."
Jordan-Wells said she recommended that women who lack experience with do-it-yourself home projects attend classes, such as those offered by hardware and home improvement stores, to learn the basics. Then, if someday they are looking at investing in a property that may require some work, they can make the right decisions about the deal. Do-it-yourself skills could be particularly useful for women who want to rehab properties.
Negotiating can be another important skill for women to concentrate on learning. "[Women should] learn better negotiation skills," Cadenhead said. "Acquire that skill and take control."
Cadenhead said she doesn't think that women are at any inherent disadvantage when it comes to investing in real estate. "I think the major disadvantage is probably internal," she said. "Women only feel that they lack the power and authority. They feel like they can't do it because investing is a male-dominated field."
Moren-Bromma also said that women investing in real estate are not less likely to be successful solely because they are women. "It’s not that it's difficult, it's that women tend not to have the confidence," she said. "Somebody who's persistent and somebody who believes in themselves, whether male or female, will do just fine."

Interesting, isn't it?

For more Information about any Las Vegas Commercial Investment Real Estate Property, contact David Howes at: davidATdavidhowesDOTnet OR 702-501-9388!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bank Lawyers Screwing Up an Easy CRE Transaction

First: I love Lawyers!  My Real Estate office is inside of a Las Vegas Law Firm.

Second: One of the partners of this firm referred one of her clients to me to help them locate a suitable "new" Office location that they could purchase rather than lease.

Now this!

I wrote a purchase agreement for an REO property in the NW of the Las Vegas Valley. Since the Buyer is the lawyer's client, I had her negotiate the Purchase Agreement. She did keep me in the loop and to my surprise, the purchase agreement negotiations took 70 days!

Now, in defense of the Buyer's Lawyer, this length of negotiation put us behind the timeline for the client's lease termination date.  From the beginning -- and the Buyer's Lawyer did a great job getting replies and responses back to the bank's lawyers -- the Bank's Lawyer's couldn't care less about the Buyer's need for speed.  So, the Bank Lawyers' took their sweet time and did NOT work fast at all.

That leads me to this part of the timeline where the Buyer has to decide IF they will continue on with the transaction; OR, cancel the current escrow so they do NOT lose the Earnest Money Deposit of $10,000.00.  And, that feasibility date is TODAY!

This AM, I get a call from the Buyer's Lawyer.  She just found out that the Parcel Map needs more time to move forward.  Apparently, the Title Commitment can NOT be issued without the Parcel Map, the SBA Loan can NOT be funded without the Parcel Map, and the Parcel Map can NOT be approved by the City of Las Vegas simply because the Ownership Entity on the Purchase Agreement is NOT correct! What?

That's right. When I first submitted our Purchase Agreement to the Seller, I put the ownership entity name that is recorded with Clark County.  When they countered and we began going back and forth, the Buyer's lawyer and I assumed the Seller knew the correct name that they hold title to for the land.

Well, since the ownership name recorded with Clark County is different than the name the Seller put on the Purchase Agreement, technically we do NOT have an executed agreement to buy this particular parcel of land.

Unbelievable!  The Seller Bank doesn't even know the ownership name of the only property they have here in Las Vegas, NV.

So, now, we have to spend the majority of today getting this figured out.  And when working with a large bank who's lawyers truly don't care, it is problematic.

I will follow up with an update as soon as I find out how this is resolved.

For more Information about any Las Vegas Commercial Investment Real Estate Property, contact David Howes at: OR 702-501-9388!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Internet will kill Real Estate Broker/Agent Jobs

Okay, I know that is a harsh headline. But, think about it.

In the last 20 years, how many jobs are now gone or have been replaced completely by a computer. One I think of immediately, are the toll booth collectors at the Golden Gate Bridge.

So, lets say we looked ahead by a dozen -- even 20 -- years and discovered a wide variety of jobs simply have vanished off the earth over the course of that span. Can you predict which jobs will be most definitely gone? And, how many jobs will be extinct in 10 years? 20 years?

That is why I do believe that the position of a Real Estate Broker/Agent will have dissolved completely down to maybe a hand full or even completely gone altogether. And, I believe this will happen in 20 years.

In the last 35 to 40 years, since computers were introduced in the 1970's -- and especially since personal computers in the early 1980's -- just how many jobs are now and forever extinct?  IF you think about it, there are quite a few.

Robots have taken over most manufacturing/assembly jobs. Computers are also the ones spinning numbers, too. I do NOT like doing my own taxes myself. I have always depended on a tax professional handling that. But, in the future, that just might be what even I have to do.

And computers for accounting firms and other related financial industries are finding that computers -- IF programmed correctly, will go forward uninhibited forever.

And, as we speak, computers are already putting out more and more movies. Even actors will never have a chance to grace the big screen again with their smiles. What movie producers want will be CG stars that they  control and will never, ever have to pay them a single cent in royalties again as actors will have their job and voices taken over by a  computer generated personality.

Police have grown used to computers helping them solve crimes. IF these computers get any better, career criminals are domed. And there will be even less need for a patrolman. You will be caught on video somewhere. So, no one will ever be able to get away with anything at all, at any time because the computer doesn't need any down time.

The only good thing is in 20 years, hopefully, I have saved enough money; invested enough in Real Estate, that I can live comfortably for the rest of my life on the monthly rents I receive.

It's sad, but is going to happen.

So, before that all happens, let's get you into a nice real estate property that will help you earn money money well into the future.

For more Information about any Las Vegas Commercial Investment Real Estate Property, contact David Howes at: OR 702-501-9388!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Yesterday, while talking to a Realtor...

As most of you know, I am NOT a Realtor (I guess I am supposed to insert a copy-write symbol here. But, I don't know how.)  By the way: A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Anyway, the Realtor asked me WHY? I don't hang my license with a large, national, real estate company.  He said that I would get more business, thus I'd make more money, being with a national firm.

Fortunately, I did have my Real Estate Broker's license hung with a large national firm at one time. I did learn a lot about CRE during this period. BUT, I told him I was weary of only receiving about 35% of the earned commission fee when I was doing 90% of the work.

Now, there's no need for me to bash national real estate companies, so I will let the following experiences I have had be your guide to your own judgement of me.

While at this national firm, I was once called by a secretary there, "The hardest working broker she ever saw that earned so little money."

That sounds really bad, doesn't it?

But it was true. I grew up knowing that IF you went the extra mile for a client, your effort was always noticed by the right people.

So, as an example, a large national apartment company executive once said to me just off the cuff while discussing Las Vegas apartment locations, "David, you are the baseball player that runs out the ground ball to second!" Really? Me? I don't even like baseball. (I know I am a sick puppy of a man.)

Another example, is a local Las Vegas convenience store owner who said to me, "I picked you to sell my under performing stores because you are the only real estate broker who didn't lie to me."

(At first, I thought he was joking?) Then, I remembered that during the listing appointment, I wondered why he was asking me questions that I thought he should have known the answers to.)

Then, there is the largest real estate deal I have ever been involved in: Konami Gaming.

I received a call from the HR VP of the local office. She asked that I come over to discuss Konami's plan to move to a larger location. After an initial meeting with the local office President, my next meeting -- to my surprise -- was with the Konami Gaming CEO.

We started out to look at buildings in only one area in particular just south of McCarran International Airport. And as we drove, we "looked" at various buildings. I soon got the impression he had already seen these before -- at least from the outside.

I did end up -- the last building on my list which he had NOT seen -- showing him my only listing in the area.  And, while on the way to the building, I asked him IF Feng Shui was going to be in integral part of his decision making process.

He looked at me incredulously. I felt doomed. (I thought I had just blown the deal because he was Japanese and Feng Shui is Chinese.) To my relief, he said yes. And asked me IF I had knowledge of Feng Shui? I told him I only had a limited knowledge of it and I told him the little that I could remember.

As we toured my listed building, he took note of the items about the building that were NOT Feng Shui.

Later, after our viewings were complete, and I was driving him back to his Las Vegas office, empty handed, the Konami CEO said that out of the six brokers he drove with to look at property, I was the only RE Broker to ask him the Feng Shui question. I now knew he was impressed with me.

And since I felt like I didn't find an appropriate building for him, I stopped on a vacant parcel that fronted Sunset Road and Bermuda. This parcel was large enough for a +/-115,000 SF building; and, only a tree lined street obstructive the view of McCarran International Airport. This is when I asked the CEO IF building his own building to his specifications would be a more economic alternative for him. Looking at the view, he replied he'd talk to his board.

It only seems now like it was a few days afterwards when the HR VP called me and said the CEO was impressed with me, my knowledge and my suggestion to him. She was calling to arrange our next meet when he returned to Las Vegas from Tokyo so we could start the paperwork for a Build to Suit For Lease.

Long story short (Too Late?), that's what they did.  (Recently, they enacted the Purchase Clause in the lease and they now own the property.

So, IF you don't know me, I may seem aggressive. IF you do know me, I may seem bossy. AND, I really do NOT like baseball. (Boring.)

But, as the previous secretary said, I try way too hard for my clients for them to NOT work with me.  And IF you don't work with me, you will never know just how hard I really do work for my client's business.

And if you do decide to let me work for you, you will find out why I don't want to be just one of many when I stand out so well on my own. AND, I do NOT need the (artificial) backing of a national real estate firm to be successful.

For more Information about any Las Vegas Commercial Investment Real Estate Property, contact David Howes at: davidATdavidhowesDOTnet OR 702-501-9388!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Las Vegas Commercial Real Estate Market is Barking Loudly!

I spent a pleasant five days in San Francisco with my in-laws on Angel Island.  (Magnificent Place!)

And, I came to realize that the homes in Tiburon are way too old for the price that is being paid for them. (Yes. Some have a view of San Francisco across the bay.)

And since they are old and need so much money to repair and update them to today's electric standards, instead of buying that home with your money, buy a CRE property here in Las Vegas first -- so that will help you pay for the updates your desired home will need once you do buy.

I can find you a very, good CRE property in Las Vegas, that would aid in your attempt to live lavishly just north of San Francisco in a house built about 100 years ago.

Now, the house we stayed in was nice -- but really, really old -- as my daughter put it.

And, I know of one person who owns CRE property in Las Vegas that lives right in Tiburon, CA.

Now for the pitch: IF these Property owners are making money owning Las Vegas property, AND, they also make money just doing what they do, they are more than able to afford to spend as much money as they want fixing up their 100 year "old" home.

So, think about it. Las Vegas is like a barking dog: It's bark is worse than its bite!  So, step up, contact me and left me know how I can help you (at least try to) live lavishly in an old home north of San Francisco. OR, wherever you may be living.

For more Information about any Las Vegas Commercial Investment Real Estate Property, contact David Howes at: davidATdavidhowesDOTnet OR 702-501-9388!