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In this series, I will be giving insight into the world of a California commercial real estate broker that leases, buys or sells commercial real estate (CRE) for you, the client. The client is the tenant, buyer or seller of CRE space generally defined as office, retail and industrial.

There are four main things a good CRE broker does: They find suitable locations, negotiate the offer, negotiate the lease clauses, and are there when the client needs help thereafter with matters like construction, moving, future landlord disputes, terminating a lease early, etc.

The first thing a CRE broker does that might seem obvious and easy is finding you locations that fit your criteria.  We normally go on a proprietary website like CoStar that the client doesn’t have access to (a subscription to Costar is expensive and you have to learn how to use the software) and run a search for what you are looking for.  This isn’t as easy as it sounds.  If a broker doesn’t know how to use the software correctly and set up the searches correctly (including keeping a search active so that if a new listing appears that fits your criteria the broker is alerted right away), you won’t find all the possible locations.  Also, consider that many listing brokers for landlords/sellers don’t input the information correctly into the software or even keep the information updated. This makes it difficult to then find applicable properties for a client correctly.  It takes quite a bit of time to do a search correctly.

Seems easy enough; why can’t a client simply find a website like CoStar and do this search themselves?  After all, there are CRE oriented websites like Loopnet or City Feet or Office.com and others that state they have the CRE listings available at no cost, right?  The main problem with these sites is that they don’t have anywhere near all of the listings that CoStar does.  Loopnet, for example, is now owned by CoStar and Loopnet makes brokers and landlords pay to have their properties listed on this site so this site doesn’t list the properties available for those that aren’t willing to pay to do so.  Also, for whatever reason, sites other than CoStar simply aren’t used by CRE brokers because CoStar pretty much has a monopoly on most all listings and other kinds of data like comps.  So, if the client wants to do it themselves they won’t be able to find all of the available properties but only a small fraction thereof.

Then there are the off market non listed properties that you can’t find even on CoStar or other websites.  A good broker has connections to landlords/sellers and other brokers that don’t use listing services or that simply haven’t listed the location yet.  Staying in touch with the aforementioned people pays high dividends to my clients, but again it takes quite a bit of time and good record keeping to do so.

A good broker truly does use their expertise, experience and connections to get you the very best outcome. Next time, our topic will focus on successfully negotiating the deal and what goes into that.  Negotiating correctly is an art unto itself.

If you have questions about any of the above topics or have any CRE needs please contact David Massie at david@djmcre.com or 805-217-0791.

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History would say that West Coast commercial real estate market success should be ending very soon. Kevin Shannon, co-head of U.S. Capital Markets for Newmark Knight Frank, has a different opinion:

If there is a downturn, Shannon does not expect it to be as “dramatic” as it was a decade ago. “When the game ends, it will be a short spring training, and we’ll be back playing ball again,” Shannon added. […] “If you look at the engines of real estate on the West Coast: If you build it, they will come,” he said. As long as things continue to go well, Shannon said he thinks next June would mark the longest recovery in history. […] The West Coast commercial real estate market is faring well, and the good news does not appear to be ending very soon, according to some of Los Angeles’ top commercial real estate experts.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the view posed here. This broker from CBRE thinks that the buying and selling market for commercial real estate (CRE) is in the 7th inning, but I think it’s in the 12th inning.  If you want to learn more about buying or selling CRE at the right time and why brokers like this think it’s always a good time to buy or sell CRE (why not, they make a commission whether you the buyer or seller lose money or not) contact David Massie at david@djmcre.com for more details.  I have successfully bought and sold properties ranging in size from about 1,000 sf to millions of square feet and ranging in price from about $100,000 to $100 million.

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Have you ever said, “I’m not artistic; I can’t draw a stick figure”?  I have good news for you: stick figures are not the yard stick for art.  The world is full of opportunities to “do” art.  This month is National Wilderness Month (celebrating the 54th anniversary of the Wilderness Act), and there is such a thing as Earth Art or Land Art which allows all of us to be creative.  You can take a trowel and carve circles in the dirt and make art.

Earth Art began in the United States in the 1960s as a rejection of the traditional notion of confined galleries and museums where “true art” could be bought and sold and displayed.  It was an embrace of nature and a celebration of found objects as art and beauty.  The very transient nature of the designs were part of the art’s essence.

Because this creative expression couldn’t easily be displayed in galleries, it opened the experience to everyone.  Anywhere there were rocks or leaves a person could arrange art.  And this frees us all to be artists!  In my hallway by the front door, I have a large bowl with stones I’ve collected, and my grandchildren can’t resist stacking them into towers.  A farmer in Simi Valley can’t help but plow a happy face into his hillside next to the freeway.  I arrange smooth river rocks to flow between my flower beds.  On hikes through the hills, there are ledges of stacked stones inviting a peaceful thought.  All of these actions spring from our creative center.  This urge to assemble or organize or declare our presence is innate; it is the desire to proclaim who we are and that life matters and is good.

 

So, have fun with nature and rocks and dirt; leave your fingerprint on your surroundings and know that you are a creative and artistic soul (and forget about drawing a good stick figure).

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Synergy Business Connections helps businesses grow through relationship marketing and we follow the exclusive category format with one member per Conejo Chamber of Commerce business sub-category. Your business sub-category appears on your Conejo Chamber profile page, right under your business name, to see if your category is eligible. We welcome you to join us at a meeting as our guest to experience the Synergy network for yourself.

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What makes the Conejo Valley special, unique or interesting?

I like to call Thousand Oaks "the biggest little town in the country." Even though its size is well over 100,000 residents, it still has a small town feel. You are liable to see someone you know every time you go out. I also like the fact that it has protected itself from the blight that has ruined so many other communities in Southern California by restricting things such as billboards, building structure and height, paid parking lots, and corner strip malls. 

— Cary Ginell - VC On Stage