Wow, half a year almost done. Commercial real estate has taken a beating over the last few years and some say it is not over. I have to say I picked the most brutal time to start a career in real estate and looking back on the last few years I have learned a few things that shape how I do business and I would like to share them.
- There is little risk in adapting quickly to your current situation, however the cost for adapting slowly can be tragic. We (seecon) should have adapted to current pricing quicker in 2010 and if we had we would not have gone down to 66% full. Never assume good times are around the corner, adapt to what you see now.
- There are times when all the help you can give to your tenants will never be enough. Seecon has modified many of their long term leases over the last few years and in some cases it has helped but in many cases it just brought a slow death to the business. The Landlord as business partner becomes a bad situation for both parties.
- Be up front with ALL rental costs, anything else is a waste of everybody’s time. Not mentioning additional feesmay get more prospects in the door but it won’t get the contract signed. For anyone looking at renting if you are not told up front what your too pay each month look closely at what else they might not be telling you.
- That brings me to contracts. Over the last few years I have seen some interesting ones and I will say the best I have seen have been made by mortgage lenders and the worst were made by banks that had taken a property back. A contract protects both parties and as such any rental contract needs to reflect that. For you Landlords, never assume you know the content of the contract even if you wrote it and dozens like it, double check it when a situation comes up. I recently reviewed a contract for a friend of mine and he had been told he was on a modified gross lease by his landlord and after I reviewed it I let him know he was on a gross lease and had been paying for things he shouldn’t have. That leads me to another point for prospective tenants, I always recommend taking the lease (even mine) to a 3rd party for review.
- The attitude and energy you bring to a situation will always effect the outcome, even if it is only by how the outcome is perceived. OK, I learned that one from my wife.
Now with what I have learned this is what I KNOW. December saw 12,000 sq ft of our property rented, January saw 13,000, sq ft rented, and February saw 12,000 sq ft rented and ALL of these were new tenants. March saw a slow down in new tenants but over 18,000 sq ft of our current tenants renewed, most at higher rates and for longer terms. As we get into the hot months which are traditionally slower we are still seeing significantly more activity than last year. I am at 83% full and am fast running out of ready to move in space. The better times are here NOW. Prospective tenants get your deals now and make them long term if you can. Landlords, real estate agents, and brokers if you are not seeing an increase in activity check your marketing, check your pricing, but most of all check your ATTITUDE.
Seecon Property Manager