22 Great Tips For Commercial Property Investment

When considering a commercial property investment it is wise to set some standard rules for the review so that you can compare opportunities that the various properties bring you.

Investment properties typically exist in the retail, office, and industrial property markets. We will not go into the other property types of tourism and leisure here in this article as they themselves take more comment and lengthy review.

Here is a useful list to consider with investment property.

Some Key Property Concerns

Rent: The levels of the existing rent are important to the investor or landlord but more important are the levels of rent in the future. It is a matter of what rent escalation the lease allows for and in what time frame. A good lease with a good rent review profile in a sound and well managed property will always attract property investors.
Outgoings: These are the property running costs. Importantly they should be in balance and in comparison to other properties of similar types in the same region. If the outgoings are out of balance to similar properties then you need to know why as any astute property buyer will ask about the outgoings. They know what are the averages of outgoings in the area and will not want to pay above the average unless there is a solid and sound reason to do so.
Supply and Demand: How much other property is coming into the market in the next few years? Will that property affect the property that you are looking at? Could this impact on the tenant profile or interest in your property? This equation or consideration is called supply and demand. It will impact on buyer and tenant interest in the region in which your property is located.
Location: Does the property give good exposure to passing traffic or customers and does it have good access for people and motor vehicles? Add to this the consideration and availability of car parking.
Design: Is the property user friendly and attractive? A good property investment usually looks good and is well maintained. This is to maintain interest in the property from the tenant and the customer perspective. If these people feel good about the property when they visit it or use it, then you are well on the way to good property performance. As part of this process you can conduct interviews with people as they use the property to see and identify any latent concerns. In the case of retail property this is highly recommended as retail property is strongly geared to the sentiment of customers.
Amenities: Are you providing everything that a modern business, tenant, or customer needs? Amenities are many things and it really depends on what the property is doing or serving. Most people that use the property expect ease of use and access to the amenities including toilets, car parks, common areas, etc. Retail property has a higher level of consideration in this category.
Services: Are your property services modern and performing well? This would include water, gas, roads, electricity, lighting, telephones etc.
Parking: Are customers and tenants well served with respect to the parking of vehicles? Ease of access to the property is critical and at a premium today. Motor vehicles are part of business and life for all people. If parking is not well catered for on the property then the interaction of the property with public transport is critical.
Tenant Covenants: This relates strongly to the leases and documents of occupation on the property. The word covenant relates to the clauses or lease terms. Every lease can be different so it pays to read all occupancy papers or leases. Are the leases and tenant profiles strong and attractive to future occupancy?
Tenancy Mix: Perhaps this is more critical in a retail property however it can have impact in an office property. Some landlords must be very careful as to the tenants that they select for a building. It is quite possible that a low profile and poorly selected tenant will detract from the customers that visit the building. Other tenants will also then become concerned and potentially have little interest in ongoing occupancy. This then says that not all tenants are good tenants for the property. Add to this another question of proximity and placement of tenants to each other. Are the tenancies well balanced to satisfy the customer demands? Can tenants that are located near to each other affect each others business through impact of customers, product, service, hours of trade, or staff?
Management: The strength and processes of a property management team will make or break a property. The property management processes will impact on so many things including rent, operating costs, tenant sentiment, and lease stability. For this reason ask the tenants about the property management experiences that they have seen over recent time. Any negative comments should be explored for hidden problems.
Lease Agreements: Are they landlord favorable and do they provide long term attractive and stable occupancy? What is the length of tenure or terms of all the leases and do they expire at the same time? Does this present an issue to the landlord as to property stability and exposure?
Transport Routes: All modes of transport to the property should be looked at. Make your assessment as to whether they are convenient and modern. Do they serve the tenants and the customers to the property and how is that done?
Source raw materials: In the case of industrial property the access to raw materials can be an issue for the tenant. What raw materials are needed by the business or tenant and can they get to them easily?
Power Supply: Industrial property will usually need a serious amount of power for machinery on the property. Access to that power is a decision factor for the tenant that occupies the premises. Ask the local power authority if 3 phase or high tension power is nearby or available.
Labor Availability: Business tenants need a labor source as part of their operation. This labor supply needs to be stable and convenient. This is why businesses are located near to transport corridors on the radial road points to a city or town. Is the labor market nearby and active? Can that labor supply reach the property easily? Public transport will enhance this situation.
Goods end market: If your tenant is to manufacture anything, they will need to move it to their customers. How close is the product buying market for that tenant and how will they get to it? Is the market for the tenants goods or services growing and strong?
Rent and Vacancies: These are always a concern in investment property and need monitoring. Shifts in population and zoning regulations regards property can quickly shift the attractiveness to occupy a property.
Pre-lease market: These are the newer properties that are coming on the market soon. They are usually keenly priced or rented and will impact on other existing property in the area. The property investor or developer in the newer property has one goal only and that is to fully lease the finished property as quickly as possible. Expect them to chase the tenants in your building.
Owner Occupiers: Investment property moves in cycles between renting and ownership. Many businesses will do either depending on what is more attractive to them in the economic conditions prevailing.
Investors demand: The balance between the property market and the share market is interesting to monitor. Investors move into property when they need longer term investment stability. If the share market is volatile and unpredictable, then property investment moves to the front of the line and becomes the investment of choice. The only problem investors can have is in getting the finance from the banks when they need it. This movement between investment types says that you should monitor levels of return that are possible between shares and property.
Corporate Businesses: Major businesses like to off-load capital from balance sheets. This means a potential sale and lease back of property from time to time. This is also usually done when the property is in the last stages of use or need for the tenant. They may sell the property and take a lease for a term of years whilst they create the next level of property strategy. Always look for tenants and businesses that are in the stages of change or flux. Mergers, acquisitions, expansions, contractions, etc. all create pressures on the property that the tenant may occupy.

##Need More Help?##

John Highman is a prominent investment real estate speaker and coach that helps real estate agents and real estate brokers globally to improve their commercial real estate market share and close more sales and leasing deals. He himself is a successful real estate agent that has specialised in commercial, industrial, and retail real estate of all types for over 30+ years.

Whether you specialise in real estate sales, leasing, or investment, John has the tools that can help you and your office succeed in your market.

Today John Highman gives workshops and keynotes to real estate agents and brokers globally on how to be professionally better than your competition in any market and drive more of the right listings and commissions.

Not Good at Home Decorating and Design? Tips to Achieve Beautiful, Creative Decor and Home Accents

What you display and how you decorate your home, with home decor, is a reflection of your taste and style.

For many people home decorating and home decor accents are meaningless and they may not have any desire to have anything other than the basics in their home.

Many people desire to have a beautifully decorated home with nicely displayed home decor accents but don’t feel they have the talent to put it all together or just don’t know where to begin.

If this is where you are, this article is for you.

If this applies to you and you find that you want a decorative home and a home that is eye pleasing to you, there are a few ways to achieve a welcoming, decorative, and desirable place that will be your retreat and refuge.

Each of us is giving talents and gifts in our life and some of us don’t excel in the decorating department.

And, if home decorating and putting home accents together properly is not your talent or gift don’t be discouraged you just need to tap into what you have or tap into someone who has that gift.

Below are a few tips of ways you can find your creative side or find someone who can help you accomplish your desire in having a home that is tastefully decorated in home decor and home accents.

  1. If money is available to hire a decorator this is certainly an easy and good way to acquire a great result.
    • Take caution that you find someone with a good reputation that is a listener to your wants and needs and who will give you a complete list of what they can and will do for you.
    • Get the cost in writing
    • Listen to your instinct when interviewing decorators.
    • Find a decorator with whom you can work with and trust.
  2. If you feel confident enough to do your research and want to pull out your creative side, roll up your sleeves and do it yourself by:

· Taking a decorator class. It may sound odd, but you will actually learn and develop good principles in design. There are many basics that need to be understood in design.

· Shop in furniture stores for ideals and styles you like.

· Realize what your taste is. It could be modern/contemporary or rustic/Tuscan or country or another style.

· There are great products on the market in the field of furniture and decorative home accent pieces, such as, metal wall art. Take the time to explore products that are of good quality, that reflect quality and craftsmanship, and will add value as it is displayed in your home or outdoor living space.

· Take time to discover what it is you really like and want.

  1. Tap into a friend who is really good with color, display and decorating. You probably know just the person who has the talent and you like his or her taste. This is a great opportunity for you to enjoy learning from and trusting that friend’s creativity. Your friend will probably love to get involved in your project.

· Understand and don’t expect your friend to take as much time as a paid decorator will.

· Don’t ask above what your friend has time for or is able to accomplish.

· It is important to not take advantage of a friend.

· This may be an opportunity where you can exchange talents. Maybe your friend could use some of your talent for where he or she lacks in tasks. This is chance to give of yourself to your friend. Always, give more or yourself than what you expect in return in your friendship.

If any of these tips will work for you and you are willing to pursue your desires you will certainly be pleased and satisfied to have your home decorated in a way that will bring you pleasure and enjoyment for a long time to come.

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.