Menu

News and Updates from our Team Members

In my opinion, the answer is generally no; don’t pay your rent for now. Why?  Because it’s probably the only leverage you have over your landlord right now, and it is good leverage which most tenants don’t typically have with a landlord.  If you pay your rent as usual, why would a landlord offer you any kind of help? I have been receiving many calls from business owners from existing clients and those that are becoming new clients related to what they should do regarding their commercial real estate leases.  Negotiate to terminate the lease early, sublease or assign the leased space, apply for governmental aid, make an insurance claim, etc. are some of the potential options. There are pros and cons to each option but one of the best options for a tenant right now is to simply not pay your rent. Not paying your rent might not be a good idea if your landlord has offered you a reasonable alternative such as not paying rent now and adding on the deferred rent to your lease. This could be done either at the end of your term, via a term extension for three months, or whatever length of the deferred rent amounts to in months, or in some other fashion like raising your rent in the future to recoup the abated rent.  However, if this doesn’t work for you for some reason, then you have to find a different solution like one of the ones mentioned in the paragraph above. Here is a link to another article on this subject that you might find of interest. But what if you ask the landlord for some kind of help and he isn’t responding to you?  Then in my opinion, not paying your rent could be your best option. Landlords and lenders both don’t want empty buildings as landlords might give a building back to a lender if too many tenants aren’t paying rent or vacating.  My experience is that by not paying rent you will get your landlord’s attention and get a response with what the landlord is willing to do for you quickly. Some of my clients I have spoken with... Read Original Article
Many businesses are experiencing the same income drop that you and I are. While the above statement is true, the landlords probably won’t give a rent reduction of any kind because they are going to have losses also as many businesses, especially in retail centers, will go out of business. It doesn’t hurt to ask your landlord for a rent reduction, but you are going to have to prove your income drop, which is not normally something you do in advance, but rather in arrears after many months of the loss.  You also have to prove that you don’t have enough other financial resources to cover your debts without this income and that you are probably going to terminate the lease early if they don’t help you in some way. However, no landlord I am aware of will even consider a rent reduction without a tenant sending them proof of their losses and showing they don’t have sufficient assets to cover these losses on their own. The First thing I would recommend is checking with your insurance carrier to see if you have business interruption insurance (you probably do) and to see if it covers mandatory required government closings and loss of business income otherwise for any other applicable events.  There is usually a 90 day waiting period before a claim can be made on such policies. Click here for a promising link about this type of coverage. The main point here is to make the insurance claim so if your insurance company either decides to cover it or is required to cover it by the government you are in the queue before the other thousands of claims that will come in. This is to ensure, if there is coverage, you will get your money earlier than those who waited. Landlord’s also have loss of rent insurance so you can check with your landlord to see if their coverage is in effect; if it is they will allow you not to pay rent. Because landlords will have to make a claim, I am recommending they do it sooner rather than later, even if they think there probably... Read Original Article
Many businesses are experiencing the same income drop that you and I are. While the above statement is true, the landlords probably won’t give a rent reduction of any kind because they are going to have losses also as many businesses, especially in retail centers, will go out of business. It doesn’t hurt to ask your landlord for a rent reduction, but you are going to have to prove your income drop, which is not normally something you do in advance, but rather in arrears after many months of the loss.  You also have to prove that you don’t have enough other financial resources to cover your debts without this income and that you are probably going to terminate the lease early if they don’t help you in some way. However, no landlord I am aware of will even consider a rent reduction without a tenant sending them proof of their losses and showing they don’t have sufficient assets to cover these losses on their own. The First thing I would recommend is checking with your insurance carrier to see if you have business interruption insurance (you probably do) and to see if it covers mandatory required government closings and loss of business income otherwise for any other applicable events.  There is usually a 90 day waiting period before a claim can be made on such policies. Click here for a promising link about this type of coverage. The main point here is to make the insurance claim so if your insurance company either decides to cover it or is required to cover it by the government you are in the queue before the other thousands of claims that will come in. This is to ensure, if there is coverage, you will get your money earlier than those who waited. Landlord’s also have loss of rent insurance so you can check with your landlord to see if their coverage is in effect; if it is they will allow you not to pay rent. Because landlords will have to make a claim, I am recommending they do it sooner rather than later, even if they think there probably... Read Original Article
In my experience as an owner/landlord and broker of commercial real estate (“CRE”), most brokers hired to list office, retail, industrial or other types of CRE properties for sale or lease put up a “for sale” or “for lease” sign and list a property online at a couple of Commercial Real Estate (“CRE”) websites like Loopnet and CoStar.  This passive approach waits for the interested parties to find the property by driving by it or searching for it online. The passive approach discussed above, while necessary, is not the best way to sell or lease your property for the maximum price and/or fast as possible as it takes the least amount of effort by the broker.  In some hot CRE markets with lots of demand and limited supply, this might be all that is required. However, even then you aren’t seeing all offers and might not be selling or leasing for the highest price or as fast as you could have.  In conjunction with this passive approach, there are many other meaningful actions that can be performed but they take the knowledge that most brokers don’t have as well as time, energy and dollars that these brokers simply don’t want to invest. One such action a broker can take is contacting your current client base (via LinkedIn, email, phone call, etc.) and even your personal contacts (via Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to see if they have any interest or know of anyone that does.  The power of these contacts is not to be underestimated especially if you have strong business and/or personal relationships and have kept in touch with them. I have found the more personable broker that has a reputation for putting people first over making commissions and that specialize in certain cities or certain parts of larger cities know the local people that actually live and work in these areas. This helps them get more referrals to help them sell their listed properties faster.  I recently received an office lease listing where a large national brokerage firm could not lease the... Read Original Article
California commercial landlords, owners of office, medical, retail, warehouse/industrial spaces and more, are in for a shock if the current proposition on the ballot passes. In a recent Bisnow article, Rex Hime states:  “If this comes into effect, they [small businesses] are gone,” Hime said to Bisnow after his presentation during the ICSC Southern California Idea Exchange event Thursday at the Long Beach Convention Center. “The second issue is, you have these large corporate property owners with many, many tenants, and since most are under triple net leases, they are going to pass that tax along to their tenants, and some of them will not be able to survive.” But what Hime doesn’t state is that this will not just adversely affect retail landlords but all commercial landlords who own commercial properties of any type.  It’s not just retail leases that pass through the cost of property tax increases.  Office and industrial leases usually do it also even though they are modified gross leases and not triple net. Also, how will these potential tax increases affect commercial real estate prices?  I think it will cause sales prices to drop. The commercial real estate market in California, and also nationwide across the US, has been doing very well for the past decade with prices at all-time highs with no real end in sight as of now. But if this initiative passes in CA and it causes prices to drop and vacancies to increase as predicted, California is in for some serious financial pain. And those owners/landlords who bought at high prices in the past decade won’t like it much if this initiative causes prices to fall and vacancies to increase. This will probably also lead to more bankruptcies and foreclosures because of loan defaults. If you want help with leasing, buying or selling your commercial real estate, whether office, medical, dental, retail or warehouse/industrial space, contact David Massie of DJM Commercial Real Estate at... Read Original Article
In 2017, I had written a blog predicting that medical leasing in a retail center would be beneficial, and more prevalent in the future. This prediction has recently come true, as there is, in fact, a shortage of medical space available. Bisnow article on the matter states: “In the last three years, we [retail brokers] have done more medical deals in retail spaces than I have ever done previously in my career,” Franks said. “Additionally, we have done more specialty retail uses in traditional retail space than we ever have done before.” From my previous blog on the topic, I stated that it would not only be good for a landlord to capture medical tenants and bring in potential new business for the other retail tenants in the center but also that it may bring in new patients for the medical tenants as well. However, the main problem for medical tenants leasing at retail centers, particularly nice ones where they probably want to be most, is that the rent is usually higher than a nice medical building. Retail landlords don’t typically pay for the medical improvements needed for leased space as a medical building landlord would. Because of this, the medical tenant usually takes the cheaper way out and leases at a medical building. But what if leasing at the more expensive retail center brought in more income because of the retail exposure? If it more than covered the extra costs for rent and improvements, it should make it worth doing. If you want help with leasing, buying or selling your commercial real estate, whether office, medical, dental, retail or warehouse/industrial space, contact David Massie of DJM Commercial Real Estate at david@djmcre.com or 805-217-0791. Read Original Article
Pay attention to how your use clause is written in your lease.  If you don’t, it could come back to haunt you and cost you in many ways.  Although all tenants need to pay attention to this and make sure the use clause is written correctly, retail tenants need to do this the most.  Imagine you are a retail tenant and you sell a food item, for instance, coffee, as part of your menu.  How do you make sure you always have the right to sell coffee under the terms of your lease?  It’s not as simple as it sounds.  And what if you don’t want other tenants to have the right to sell coffee?  This is where the exclusive use clause comes in. It is my opinion that a tenant should have a broad use clause.  Example:  “Tenant shall have the right to sell food products”.  That way, the tenant has the right to pretty much sell any type of food product.  But for a landlord, it would be better to limit the use clause to something like “ Tenant shall only have the right to sell coffee and coffee-related drinks”.   In practice, savvy landlords and tenants end up writing the use clause somewhere in between the aforementioned two options. The exclusive use clause is different than the usual use clause and adds to it in that it should prohibit or severely limit another tenant from selling your main product.  But again, how the exclusive clause is written is of paramount importance.  Example:  “Tenant shall have the exclusive right to sell coffee at the Project” and it might add “except for up to 10% of another’s tenant’s gross income” or something like that with more details for clarification. The above examples are for retail tenants but the same principle holds true for office, industrial or other types of leases also.  If these clauses aren’t written just right you can have a legal battle on your hands and if the clauses weren’t crafted correctly you probably won’t win the battle so I urge great caution. I have written and studied thousands of use clauses and make it... Read Original Article
I know, and have worked with, many commercial real estate (“CRE”) brokers.  Most of them aren’t expert witnesses for legal matters related to CRE.  Being an expert witness really gives me the ability to help my clients in ways brokers that aren’t expert witnesses can’t. One primary way being an expert witness helps my clients is when I learn what the court judges will and will not allow even if a lease or other contract states something to the contrary.  Even if the parties to a contract agree on an issue but it’s now allowed by law or by a judge, my understanding on these issues can really help me negotiate better for my clients and help them get out of sticky legal situations.   Don’t get me wrong; I am not an attorney.  Hiring an attorney at the right time is something I highly recommend.  But I am often able to use this type of experience, or clout, with a landlord (I bring the landlord tenants many times) as a broker to persuade the landlord. This includes the landlord’s property manager, and sometimes even their legal counsel, with me persuading them that they aren’t going to prevail on a certain matter. I can thereafter reach a reasonable settlement at great monetary, time and headache savings to my client. And knowing what a court judge or applicable law will allow, no matter what is agreed to in a contract, really helps my clients when I negotiate their leases or purchase or sell contracts.   If the opposing party to us doesn’t agree to change a term that isn’t allowed by law, it gives our side the ability to let this landlord get what he wants in exchange for something we want. However, I always recommend my clients run any of these types of matters by a really good experienced  CRE attorney just to make sure before we say “yes” to the landlord on an issue like this. Many times the landlord doesn’t know the issue he is fighting for isn’t even legally enforceable and usually worthless to pursue for a landlord.  Lately, I have been involved... Read Original Article
This is my fourth and final article in a series where I give insight into the world of a California commercial real estate broker. A commercial real estate broker leases/buys/sells commercial real estate (CRE) for the client (tenant/buyer/seller). Commercial real estate is defined for this article as office, retail and industrial spaces. As reminder from last time, there are four main things a good CRE broker does. They: find suitable locations, negotiate the offer, negotiate the lease itself (the many clauses) and are there when the client needs help thereafter. The first article I wrote was about finding locations; the second about negotiating the major deal points, the third one about negotiating the lease and this one will focus on how I as a broker help my clients after they sign the lease. What happens if you have a dispute with your landlord after you sign the lease?  Common disputes with landlords that I get involved with quite a bit are a tenant needing to terminate a lease early, HVAC too hot or cold, tenant being overcharged for its share of common area expenses, and many other similar disputes like these.  Shouldn’t you just hire an attorney to help you?  My answer is not right away. If I can settle the dispute, it will save you a lot of money by not having to hire an attorney. Why can I handle these types of dispute when other brokers can’t and why can I resolve them without usually using an attorney?  Because my experience is mainly from the landlord side of the tenant/landlord equation.  After negotiating over 1,000 leases, handling the property management and legal disputes for large landlords – I’m truly equipped to know how to deal with landlords with disputes like those aforementioned.  It is one of my largest value ads as your broker.  And if you are a landlord, I can even help you also to negotiate these matters with a tenant or the tenant’s attorney because it works both ways with my experience.   I am an expert witness on these matters in... Read Original Article
Many of my retail clients, especially restaurants and other food types of users, want to lease a great location with lots of visibility and quality foot traffic.  The main problem is that most of these prime locations are already leased. So, what if your broker found you a prime location where the business owner might be willing to sell at a very inexpensive price?  Many businesses will accept an unsolicited offer to buy them out inexpensively because they simply aren’t doing that well, are tired of the hours, want to retire, are ready to try something else and for many other reasons.   If you bought the business, you would then have the option to either assume the existing lease or, at times, the landlord will agree on entering a new lease with you instead if he likes your business and/or financial strength better than the existing tenant. As both a business and commercial real estate broker, I have been successful in doing the above for my clients.  For as little as $20,000, I have been able to secure many prime locations for my clients to lease.  (The price varies for many reasons, such as the worth of the existing improvements in the space, inventory, existing lease terms, perceived value by seller, etc.) There aren’t many brokers that successfully perform both business sales/buying and commercial real estate leasing/buying/selling like I do, and the combination serves my clients well.  Unless they are very experienced at both, you should never let your leasing broker also represent you on your business sale or your business broker represent you for your lease. They might be good at their main expertise, but won’t be good at the part they don’t do much of; and it won’t end well for you if you do. If you want to find out more about how to lease a prime location, buy/sell a business or commercial real estate, please contact me at 805-217-0791 or david@djmcre.com or visit our business brokering page. Read Original Article
1234567

Theme picker

Business Categories

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.

Some messages from our group...

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

Theme picker