Impact of Commercial Property Values and How they Have Changed Over the Years

Impact of Commercial Property Values and How they Have Changed Over the Years

The current price of a house in the United States is more than it was in 2006 in every single state. Even if prices remain extremely high for the foreseeable future, the market will not be subject to a comparable catastrophic drop. This is because the majority of these prices are the result of an inadequate supply not being able to meet demand.

At this time, we are unable to create a sufficient number of homes to match the demand. The ease with which individuals were able to access credit fostered speculation, which in turn led to an increase in demand, which ultimately resulted in a market that was overvalued.

Although a crisis in the economy brought on by the housing market is not on the immediate horizon, rising property prices will have a significant bearing on the economy throughout the longer period.

Cheap financing was a trademark in the years leading up to the housing crisis; however, in the years following the Great Recession, it became significantly more difficult to obtain a mortgage, particularly for families with low incomes and individuals with less than stellar financial standing. Since the year 2000, there has been a marked reduction in the number of people who have been approved for mortgages despite having credit that is less than ideal. This has led to an increase in the median credit score, particularly at the lower end of the scale. Between January 2000 and April 2018, there was a 43-point increase in the median credit score, and a 67-point increase in the credit score of the lowest 10 percent of borrowers. Both of these increases were seen.

Because of the recent economic downturn, there are currently fewer new building projects underway in addition to a general reduction in the amount of newly built homes that are available for purchase. Although it has increased from its all-time lows, it is still sixty percent lower than it was in the 1960s, which had a total population that was sixty percent bigger than it is now. This improvement has been made, but it is still sixty percent lower.

The contribution of residential real estate to the nation’s gross domestic product ranged from 4.5 percent to 5.3 percent, with a mean of 5.0 percent, during the years 1980 and 2000. In 2005, it reached its highest point of 5.9 percent, and then it gradually declined till it reached 2.5 percent in 2010. Despite a modest increase to 3.3 or 3.4 percent since 2016, this is still far lower than the norm throughout history.

It is estimated that there were 350,000 fewer housing units constructed in 2017 in comparison to the number of new households. In addition, the type of housing that is being created does not match the type of demand that is being expressed by households, which results in an inadequate supply. As a result of rising construction costs, an increasing proportion of new homes are being built at the more expensive end of the market. This is occurring despite the increased demand for housing at more affordable prices.

The lower end of the housing market is experiencing a disproportionately larger increase in property prices due to supply and demand imbalances. Since 2014, there has been a large annual increase in housing prices for individuals in the income groups with the lowest 20 percent of households.

How Does this Translate to the Larger Economy?

Even though we are not as susceptible to a housing collapse as we were in 2006, the high home prices that were caused by a lack of supply will have repercussions in at least four different ways throughout the larger economy.

Rent Responsibilities Have Skyrocketed in Recent Years

When there is less affordable housing available on the market as a result of rising prices at the lower end of the market, it is more challenging for families with lower and middle incomes to purchase their own homes. Based on the results of the decennial census and the American Community Survey, an increase from 39.8 percent in the year 2000 to 49.7 percent in the year 2016 is estimated.

Between the years 2000 and 2016, the percentage of households who were struggling to pay their rent increased from 27.3 percent to 62.3 percent for those with an annual income of $20,000 to $50,000.

Further factors augmented by this are the changes realized in the event of hiked rental prices which include:

  • The Desire to Purchase by Long-Term Renters

Everyone knows long-term tenants who are now interested in buying a home. When rent rises, sensible renters weigh the commitment and costs of homeownership (maintenance, repairs, property taxes) against the growing percentage of their incomes spent on rent. Renters who want to buy a property should consult a mortgage lender and real estate broker as soon as feasible, preferably months prior to their lease ends.

  • There are Fewer Options for Low-Cost Rentals

To find an economical location to live, you’ll need to be flexible. Without cheap housing, families may have to share bedrooms. Tenants who can’t locate a place to dwell may rent out rooms to pay rent. Only a few tenants can afford high-end rentals.

  • More People are Getting into Multi-Family Housing

People who could afford to leave multifamily or apartment housing migrated to single-family houses, increasing the rural population. More people are moving to densely populated cities, driving the demand for multifamily housing. Freddie Mac anticipates multifamily investment to surge in 2021. Additional units won’t totally offset high rates, but they may decrease rent rises over time.

  • Savings for a Down Payment are Reduced when Rent Increases

Temporary tenants trying to save for a down purchase may have to stay in their current property longer. Many tenants are delaying their house hunt. Rising home values mean renters must save even more for a 15 or 20 percent down payment.

Consumer Goods are Seeing a Drop in Demand

If a bigger portion of a household’s income goes toward housing costs, that household will have less money available for discretionary spending on other things. Likely, decreases in housing costs and an increase in the availability of housing will lead to a rise in demand for other goods and services, which could lead to greater job creation and economic growth in other industries.

There is a Misallocation of Resources

Employees are unable to relocate to locations that offer greater employment opportunities or to remain in such locations because there is an inadequate supply of housing in those locations. Recent research indicates that inadequate housing supply was responsible for a 36% increase in the rate of economic growth from 1964 to 2009.

The Growing Disparity in Levels of Wealth

Low-income renters are experiencing increased rent obligations and difficulty finding an affordable home to own as a result of the tight financial market and rising housing costs caused by supply restrictions in the housing market.

Existing homeowners, on the other hand, may look forward to continuing to watch their worth grow. Because owners typically have incomes and assets that are significantly larger than those of renters, the wealth gap between owners and renters widens as a direct consequence of this disparity. This could result in a further widening of wealth disparities in the future because homeownership is a key factor in the creation of long-term wealth and the fact that children of owners are much more likely to become owners themselves.

Why Does an Increase in the Value of a Residence Cause There to be an Increase in the Price of Products that are Sold?

Pricing always takes into account both the cost of producing an item as well as a markup on that cost. According to this interpretation, all changes made to retail prices always signify either a change in the markup or a change in the expenditures. Even though either route would be exciting, we contend that our empirical relationship is mostly driven by markups. This is even though both channels would be interesting. To establish that this is the case, we must first demonstrate, after controlling for several observable costs such as local salaries, commercial rents, and wholesale costs, that these factors are unable to explain the correlation between rising retail prices and rising housing prices. If the costs are not being accounted for, then the variation in our markups must be. Why should retail establishments hike their pricing whenever the cost of real estate goes up? We are all aware that an increase in the worth of home translates into a bigger wealth for the family that currently resides in it. As homeowners advance in socioeconomic status, they become less interested in the particular prices of the retail goods they purchase. When retailers recognize an opportunity, they often respond by increasing their markups to capitalize on it.

Whatever the cause may be, rising housing prices are putting homeownership more and further out of reach for a growing number of American families. The decision-makers in the United States should give serious consideration to any and all viable options for expanding the housing stock in the country.

Selling Your First Property – What You Should Know

Selling Your First Property – What You Should Know

As a first-time buyer in the real estate market you had plenty of optimism when reviewing all the potential homes that had great curb appeal. However, monthly housing payments, ongoing plumbing issues, and all the time spent tending to the yard makes you a hardened and experienced homeowner. Now you have that desire to sell your home, but you have no idea where to start.

Whether or not you have regrets as a buyer, there is also the possibility of having regrets as a seller. Asking yourself those dreaded “What if…?” questions after you have completed a sale can happen. Just like with buying property for the first time, selling a property for the first time will be a learning experience that you can take with you for any selling process.

1. Confirm that You Are Ready to Sell

If you truly ready to sell your property, then you must have some form of confirmation. There will be emotional baggage involved if this property happens to be your home, but it is key to remember that in the real estate market there is no place for emotional investments. Just as you bought the home as a financial investment, you will also be selling the home as a financial investment going forward.

Before you officially put your home on the market, walk through your home and discuss old memories. Reflect on how the house has served its purpose for the time you spent living in it, and think about what life after the sale will be. Get the emotional baggage out of the way first before you can begin putting in the actual work.

2. Know the Specific Market

In real estate there is more than one particular market to account for. If you are selling an investment rental property, for example, then that is not in the same market as selling a home. Different markets will have different buyers that will be looking at properties differently. The most experienced buyers don’t care about curb appeal as much as they would like to know the details of current lease agreements and cash flow history.

Knowing the specific real estate market takes more than telling the differences between New York and Los Angeles from Charlotte and Seattle. Are you selling in the investment rental market? Are you selling in the home market? Is it specifically a commercial property you are trying to sell?

3. Review Your Financial Information

If you decide to sell your property, then you have to make sure that you will be in a strong financial position to sell. The proceeds from your sale will need to cover all the fees that are associated with selling it, or else you will have bring money out of pocket right to the table. One of the main objectives in real estate sales is to make a profit.

If you list a property but refuse to carefully go over the numbers, then when you get to escrow, you will realize just how expensive it really is to sell a property. It is better to know financial statistics ahead of time. Start with a general estimation of your home’s value, and then subtract your remaining mortgage balance (which is also known as home equity). Then you will subtract closing costs, which include fees, taxes, agent commissions, and those costs may amount to a range from 6% to 10% of your home’s sale price.

Ultimately, you have to know where you stand financially if you are going to be successful in selling real estate. If you fail to make a profit from your sale, and if many things go wrong during the selling process that involve financial oversights, then you will be left in a more unfavorable financial position.

4. Establish an Offer Due Date

It takes proper positioning of the price that you want for your property so that the right buyers get to see it and think about it. One selling strategy that works is to price a home slightly below its expected value and place the property on the market. However, the catch here is to not accept bids right away. Don’t take any offers for around seven days, group show the property, and then do a couple open houses. If you wait, a successful purchase will not be dependent on who is able to bid first, but rather who is serious about buying the property and able to come up with the most reasonable bid. Such bids can include a flexible timeline or an all-cash offer alongside the right price.

5. Work According to the Current Market

Chances are good that your real estate agent will have a strategic plan in place for the sale of your property based on what is currently working best in your respective market. To achieve that top dollar, you need to have an idea of what is happening in the current market. Depending on the price range for your property, it could mean various things such as hosting multiple open houses and presenting it as a pocket listing. Real estate markets are always changing, and some of these changes are caused by additional inventory or a decrease in the amount of active buyers. These changes make agents and brokerage firms adjust their strategy to fit whatever the demands and buyer preferences are.

6. Don’t Forget Tax Implications

If you become a seller, never put aside any potential tax implications. By selling your property, you will owe a great amount of capital gains taxes on whatever profits you make. If you claimed yearly depreciation against a rental property, then you will have to pay capital gains taxes on that.

Here is one illustration of paying property taxes. You bought a rental property for $180,000, and later you decide to sell that property for $240,000. You will owe capital gains taxes on that $60,000 profit. In terms of claiming depreciation, if you claim $30,000 over the time you owned the property, you subtract that from the original purchase price when assessing capital gains. As a result, the capital gains taxes you owe is on a difference between $150,000 (which is the original buying price minus the $30,000 depreciation) and the sale price of $240,000. Along with depreciation, you owe capital gains on $90,000 instead of $60,000.

If you want to avoid capital gains taxes altogether, then consider what the 1031 exchange can do for you. The 1031 exchange allows you to essentially trade your rental property for a property that is better and more valuable. The 1031 exchange is a tax provision that allows you as an investor to take the proceeds from the sale of a property, and then immediately flip whatever profits you make into the purchase of a new property while also deferring capital gains. However, there are some restrictions; both the initial and replacement properties must be “like-kind”, meaning they must be similar to each other in type. You can’t use the 1031 exchange to trade a commercial office building for a single family home, but you can trade an office for an office or a family home for a family home.

7. Don’t Overprice at the Start

No matter how hot the seller’s market is, if your asking price is set too high, then buyers will most likely stay away from your property, and they won’t even look at it. You may feel confident about the value of your property, but there is a certain line that you can’t cross as a seller. If your property is overpriced in the beginning, then it will cause the property to lose momentum. A property that loses momentum can hinder real estate sales success.

Asking prices that are set too high give buyers reason to hesitate, which is something you don’t want to see happen. Depending on your situation, if you are in urgent need to sell or you are just casually testing the market, the idea of conceding to a lower asking price for your property than the one you wanted may be unsettling. However, by setting the asking price low enough you encourage buyers to at least look at your property for a lengthy review. If there is a chance to raise the asking price later in negotiations, then keep that in consideration, but when starting out, make a reasonable, friendly asking price.

8. Consider Including a Home Warranty

Systems and appliances in a home whenever they need to be repaired or replaced can be covered by a home warranty. Those who don’t have the funds to make expensive repairs to systems and appliances use home warranties all the time. Home warranty companies offer customized home warranty coverage, allowing you to choose which systems and appliances you want to be covered.

Including a home warranty as part of the deal for buying your property can have a positive impact on your sale. Buyers typically find home warranties appealing, so it could help you to sell your property in a shorter period of time. If the homes in your area stay on the market some time longer than you would prefer, then including a home warranty as part of your property’s deal makes even more sense.

Oftentimes it is the home warranty that serves as the tipping point or bridge that helps both the buyer and seller come to agreeable terms for the sale of a home. Knowing that they have some form of protection in a home warranty is what sets buyers at ease. It doesn’t matter whether your home has newer or older appliances as long as you have a home warranty attached to them in the deal. It is often the case that home warranties save you a lot of money, and much like car insurance, there is the hope you never have to use home warranties but you will be relieved when you do.

9. Schedule a Prelisting Inspection

Although this is not a requirement, it is highly recommended for you as a first-time seller to have a prelisting home inspection before putting it on the market. This is done to avoid sudden surprises during the course of a transaction. A wide variety of unknown issues in the house may rise to the surface and sabotage a sale if you don’t discover them and address them.

The typical cost of a prelisting inspection ranges anywhere from $250 to $700, depending on what part of the country you live in and how small or large your home is. What this kind of inspection covers is a general checkup of major systems, mechanicals, windows, and doors and locks along with detection of water damage, mold and cracks. Radon testing, well-water testing, lead paint testing and internal mold testing can also be covered by a prelisting inspection if you so choose.

Some of the benefits that you will receive from having a prelisting inspection include (but are not limited to) better marketing leverage, valuable advice for improvements, and more negotiating power. As well as discovering the negatives about your property, inspectors can give you great details about the positives, like your old furnace is still sturdy enough, or you have a perfect sewer connection. These positives can give the marketing leverage you need when promoting your listing.

Whatever advice your inspector gives you regarding improvements, take it seriously because such improvements can make or break your listing. By updating the parts of your home that need updating, such as replacing your roof, upgrading your HVAC system or installing new energy-efficient windows, you can put yourself in a better position to sell. If you already know the issues your property has during the inspection, you can price accordingly, which will give you more negotiating power. For example, if you have already factored the need for new gutters around your home into your listing price, and that is made clear upon receiving the initial offer, buyers will be less likely to try to drive the price lower.

Conclusion

As is the case with buying a property for the first time, there is also a learning curve to go through if you are a first-time seller in real estate. You will need to carefully crunch the numbers first before you settle on an asking price, and once you do the selling process will straighten itself out. As a seller in your respective market, you need to make the transaction comfortable not only for yourself, but also for the buyer you are handing the property over to.

Selling property is much like creating works of art. It takes time and patience to paint the picture you want, and then behold the beauty of what you have accomplished. In other words, don’t be in too much of a rush to close on a real estate deal, and see the entire process through.

Buying Your First Property – What You Should Know

Buying Your First Property – What You Should Know

You are interested in buying a property and you can’t wait to get started with the process of searching for one, which can be both exciting and rewarding. However, it’s important to know that you are also making a major financial commitment and you will potentially have to do a lot of work. Investing in real estate has its benefits as it is a source of passive income. This means that it will never dry up nor mature. Instead, ongoing income is provided with no loss of assets.

1. Know Your Priorities

Before you start the process of buying a property, you need to have a firm understanding of your priorities. What kind of property are you looking for exactly? How long do you intend to use this property? Will you be living on this property?

What should be high on your list of priorities is the level of commitment. Especially if you are married and along with your spouse you buy your first home, you need to make sure you have backup plans and an exit plan in case everything goes south with the purchase. From the start, if your level of commitment to buying a certain house isn’t where it needs to be, then you need to stop before you buy and review your priorities.

2. Have a Plan

Along with having the right priorities, you need to have a plan in place for the property you are buying.  Is this property your forever home? Is it just a starter home to build up equity? Your search for a home will have more structure if you can determine what this property’s role will be in your plan. It can help to look exclusively in areas where either resale or rental properties may be easier for you, or you may want to invest in an up-and-coming neighborhood. It is highly recommended to have a real estate agent help you create a plan.

3. Crunch the Numbers Correctly

Miscalculating costs, values and rental prices of properties is one of the most common mistakes you can make as a first time real estate investor. Accurately calculating cash flow and house flipping profits are not intuitive. If you only intend to flip a property or buy a rental property to renovate, first know the costs of repairs. Contractors can sometimes be very difficult to work with, and renovations rarely go according to their initial plans. More often than not, contractors promise too much and end up delivering too little, both in costs and in time.

For your first investment property, keep it to just minor cosmetic repairs. Next, budget a large cost overrun reserve to handle the issues that will inevitably arise. It’s also wise not to tell the contractor about this reserve because otherwise he might find a way to spend it.

There are many costs and expenses to account for if you plan on renovating your first property. In the beginning, you should budget 50% extra as a reserve for any renovation costs, and an additional 50% cushion for estimated carrying costs. There is the After-Repair Value (ARV) to consider, the After-Repair Rent if you keep the property as a rental, and the non-mortgage expenses you will have to factor in. These non-mortgage expenses can include property taxes, property insurance, maintenance, property management costs, and major repairs and capital expenditures, to name a few. Expect these same expenses to average around 50% of the rent.

4. Practice Patience

One critical thing to remember is that the first property you purchase is a financial investment. When it comes to real estate, there is no room for emotional investments. You may find yourself emotionally attached to the first property that catches your interest. On the surface, you may love everything about this property and think that you would love to retire in that location. However, emotional investments lead to bad decision-making and “intuitive investing” such as guessing the time of the market.

Searching for the right property will take much more than reviewing only one property. For instance, if you make offers on 12 properties, it’s probable that 4 of those sellers will negotiate with you, and possibly 2 of them will reach an agreement with you. Finally, one of them will back out of the deal, and the other one will successfully close with you. This is partially how real estate works. Ultimately, you have to practice patience to see deals through, whether they succeed or fail.

5. Freely Negotiate

Negotiating is at the heart of the process of buying properties. Sellers expect you to do it, because otherwise they will second-guess the purchase price and wonder if they should have drove up the price.  Knowing how to negotiate real estate begins with research of the seller. Gather as much information on sellers as you can, such as their sense of urgency in selling, why they are selling, and when they want to move if the property is occupied by an owner. A real estate agent can help you learn more about a listing agent. Be thankful to know that listing agents often get talkative.

When negotiating, make the lowest offer you think the seller will take seriously enough to make a counteroffer. If the seller wants to close very urgently, don’t be surprised if the selling price stays low. Build a seller concession into the negotiation so that you can reduce your cash due at settlement. The main thing to do is set a ceiling price before making an opening offer. Put it in writing, and tell someone that ceiling price to lock it in place. After negotiating, if the seller won’t accept a number under that ceiling, then simply prepare to walk away.

Some sellers will call you back a few days later and say they can reconsider your offer, whereas other sellers will bluster and posture. By staying emotionally detached, you can freely walk away from deals you don’t like, which allows you to freely buy better deals. This is why it helps to freely negotiate.

6. Review Turnkey Properties

Contractors, permits, and refinancing for a long-term mortgage can be too stressful for some first-time investors. If you can’t oversee a renovation project right away, then you should consider buying a turnkey property instead. Properties that are already rented to legitimate tenants or properties that are in rent-ready condition can be bought on the market.

You can easily buy turnkey properties anywhere in the country by using various real estate platforms. One such platform is Roofstock, which helps you with large-scale investing and allows you to track and optimize key figures via a cloud network. Each listed property on Roofstock also has an abundance of data that you can use to make an informed decision about whether to buy or not. This data ranges from local market data to both historical and forecasted home value trends. You also get two guarantees from Roofstock: you are first allowed to return the property at no cost within a 30-day period, and you are also allowed to rent the property to a tenant within 45 days of your purchase.

7. Look at Mortgage Options

If you are in the favorable position of being able to pay cash for a house straight up, then you will be just fine. However, if you are like most people who don’t readily have cash available, then you might want to look into the various forms of a mortgage loan.

Calculating your debt-to-income ratio isn’t as easy as it sounds since it factors in specific incomes and debts or expenses. The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) consists of total debt payments divided by your gross income before tax either per month or annually, which is expressed as a percentage. You use the DTI to indicate your debt level. This is key because you have to factor in how much you will have for a down payment.

Look for the best interest rates and features possible in a property. If you can’t make an adequate down payment or have bad credit, spend more time improving your finances before you consider buying a home.

8. Learn the Legal Formalities

Before you buy a property, it is always essential to make sure that it is compatible with all legal documents. The best course of action to take is contacting real estate agents regarding how to obtain legal information. Real estate signage or prints in front of a property serve as a good clue of how legally safe that property is. Analyze the level of professionalism and find information online about these materials. The real estate company associated with the selling process must be reputable or else you will not have an enjoyable purchase.

The legal aspects of real estate include promissory notes, guaranties, mortgage defaults, and the Uniform Commercial Code. Promissory notes live up to their name, documents that declare a promise made by one person to pay a debt that is owed to another person. The writer of this note states their promise to make a payment of a specific amount to the payee.

Parties that sign an agreement is known as a guaranty. These parties accept responsibility of debt payments. With this agreement, lenders are reassured that they will be repaid for the money that was loaned to any borrowers. A mortgage that hasn’t been paid for in a specific time frame is known as a mortgage default. Once a mortgage passes this time frame, it is considered to be in default, which can instantly and negatively impact a person’s credit report and score. Mortgage defaults can also result in losing your property due to an order of foreclosure and sale of that foreclosed property

Lastly, there is the Uniform Commercial Code, which consists of a set of codes that maintain control over any commercial transactions that are done. All 50 states have adopted this code and it has been approved by the American Law Institute and the Uniform Law Commissioners. The Uniform Commercial Code has helped alleviate issues related with commercial transactions, enabling smoother transactions overall.

9. Beware of Appreciation

The belief that real estate always goes up in value is only a myth. Homes typically do increase in value, but if you are banking on this typical occurrence, then you are blindly speculating, and not properly investing. If you enter real estate with the intent of flipping houses, use today’s housing market prices when flipping. Long-term rental investors are encouraged to buy properties based on today’s cash flow.

Home values can and do collapse, but rents remain very resilient in real estate. The best example of this is the Great Recession period from 2007 to 2009 when home values dropped by 27.42%, but rents continuously rose, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Facts like these are part of the reason why rental investing works. If you know how to forecast cash flow, you can accurately calculate the returns on any investment property. You can also opt to invest in only high-yield properties, if you prefer. Investing in rental properties based on current rental income allows you to welcome any appreciation that occurs.

Conclusion

Judging from the list above, it may feel like it will take so much time and effort to get the first property purchase right. To a small degree, that is the reality of the real estate business. Investing in real estate is not for everybody. In the cases of many people, there is not enough patience and discipline to see the right deal close.

If you have legitimate interest in buying a property, as well as the patience and discipline, then you will see predictable returns, favorable tax benefits, and high-yield passive income. There are plenty of options for real estate investing, including living in a property via house hacking. This can be done with the help of roommates (think foreign exchange students, for example), renting out rooms on platforms like Airbnb, or renting out an accessory dwelling unit.

If you are generally good with numbers and can cooperate with professional real estate agents, then buying your first property will not be the headache some critics make it out to be.

Importance of Maintaining an Up-to-Date CRM System

Importance of Maintaining an Up-to-Date CRM System

What is a CRM System?

CRM refers to a collection of business tactics, tools, and processes that are used to assist organizations and their customers establish and maintain long-term relationships. CRM refers to all of the techniques, approaches, tools, and technologies that businesses use to gain and retain customers. CRM is an acronym that stands for customer relationship management.

Business divisions discovered that it was better to focus on customers rather than products in the early 1970s, and CRM was born. A result of this careful observation was the birth of customer relationship management (CRM).

Customer acquisition and retention, according to Peter Drucker, is the true business of every corporation. Because of the company’s reliance on goodwill, it has historically been difficult to gain new clients. Through the introduction of new products and services that were truly extraordinary, businesses were able to attract more customers and expand their operations at an accelerated rate. Customers were first satisfied and loyal in a way that could not be duplicated in the future due to the lack of a genuine relationship between the two sides.

What is the Need for a CRM?

Previously, conducting business consisted of a straightforward one-on-one transaction with no established process. Nevertheless, as additional communication issues occurred, the ship found itself in increasingly treacherous waters. Because of the rapid development of new techniques and technology in the global marketplace, as well as the resultant strong rivalry, it was vital to transit from a reactive to a proactive mode of operation. Due to the numerous advantages of CRM, both customers and suppliers were able to rapidly get up and running with it. Originally, it developed as a tool for maintaining long-term relationships with customers, customer relationship management has expanded to include all elements of a company’s operations.

Initially, customer relationship management (CRM) was founded on three fundamental principles: preserving and attracting existing customers, acquiring new customers, and enhancing the overall asset value of all clients. In the wake of the advent of cutting-edge software and technology, corporate perspectives were fundamentally transformed. Eventually, a customer relationship management system (CRM) was developed, which consists of a company’s worth of information that is presented sophistically in order to increase profits for the firm while also enhancing customer pleasure and loyalty while reducing the company’s cash outlay.

With this program, every stage of the engagement with clients is automated, guaranteeing that earnings are maximized at all times. The software gathers information from a range of different sources. Therefore, customer relationship management (CRM) systems are equipped to store an enormous amount of information on customers’ purchases, personal information, and even their purchasing habits.

With CRM, or customer relationship management, a company’s best chance of keeping and obtaining new customers is greatly increased by using it. The art of relationship management is about much more than just selling to customers; it is also about developing strong emotional bonds with them. This type of cooperation catapults the company to new heights of financial success.

In the event that a firm can build a personal and emotional connection with a customer, it becomes much easier for the organization to identify the customer’s genuine wants and deliver greater service to them. Many individuals believe that the effectiveness with which a firm implements a customer relationship management system determines the company’s capacity to expand and prosper. In most It’s easy to see why a firm needs a CRM system if we take a look at some of the larger viewpoints below. Businesses, CRM systems are well-maintained thanks to specific world-class technologies that have been developed. BatchBook, Salesforce, Buzzstream, Sugar CRM, and other popular business software are relied upon by numerous well-known enterprises.

CRM strengthens a company’s client base through successful marketing. In fact, CRM has expanded marketing possibilities by increasing campaign efficiency and efficacy. Using direct marketing, web marketing, e-mail marketing, and other CRM-related marketing methods has advanced recently. Compared to more traditional marketing strategies, these new approaches are more likely to deliver better outcomes and more business. Their modest asset values help boost marketing response rates, cut promotion costs, and raise accountability for investment decisions.

The Following Section Examine CRM-Centered Marketing in Detail

Customers are increasingly turning to web marketing and online purchasing as the internet becomes more prevalent. Transactions between customers and suppliers can be completed instantly and from any location. The following are a some of the many advantages of Internet marketing:

  • This is a low-cost solution compared to personally interacting with target clients.
  • Suppliers can now reach customers faster thanks to modern technology.
  • Online marketing tracking, calculating, and testing is straightforward.
  • Using proven online research and analysis techniques simplifies product or brand selection.
  • Online marketing is more promotional than traditional marketing, making it more effective.
  • Email marketing outperforms older tactics like direct mail and phone calls. Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that uses data to better target customers and meet their needs. Subscribers will enjoy newsletters, Coupons, e-cards, and the opportunity to save events to calendars.

Analyzing client internet shopping behavior, a CRM system tracks customers’ internet purchases. This interactive technique delivers tremendous accuracy and quickness in addition to profiling services that provide precise information on consumers’ buying habits. Individual client behavior analysis can disclose favorite products or brands. For example, a customer’s past purchases can be used to predict future purchases. Consumer satisfaction and long-term partnerships result from appropriately identifying and meeting customer wants. Customers’ online shopping behaviors can be studied to improve marketing methods and strategies.

Future marketing strategy forecasting Marketing strategies change as clients’ emotional and behavioral states fluctuate. CRM market forecasting solutions leverage regression and statistical analysis of online customer behavior to grasp this transition. The more advanced yet more accurate analysis tools of CRM systems are among the most effective marketing methods. Those who have tried it say the potential rewards are astonishing.

To achieve better results, a firm must monitor marketing performance to ensure that procedures are always up-to-date and coordinated. CRM-based platforms provide for consistent marketing performance measurement across the organization.

These synergistic marketing approaches are integrated into CRM for high-end marketing. It must therefore anticipate change, test the tactics’ efficacy, and optimize their combination to meet client needs and maximize marketing expansion.

It’s easy to see why a firm needs a CRM system if we take a look at some of the larger viewpoints below:

  • In a customer relationship management system, all customers who have purchased or who are in the process of purchasing may be examined and analyzed at any point in time. As a result of using this strategy, the amount of time spent searching for and correlating customers is reduced, resulting in an increase in business.
  • A customer relationship management system makes it simple to keep track of clients and discover which ones are most likely to be successful in the long run.
  • Clients are divided into groups by the CRM system depending on the nature of their business or their physical location, and each group is assigned to a specific customer manager, also known as an account manager. Consequently, you will be able to devote more attention to each individual customer.
  • A customer relationship management system (CRM) can be used to manage existing clients as well as to acquire new ones. The first step is to identify an ‘Opportunity of Business,’ which is also known as a CRM opportunity, and then enter all of the information related with it into the CRM system. Then, Sales and Field staff court the clients, following up with them and attempting to convert them into paying customers by diplomatic ways. An integrated customer relationship management system handles all of this with ease and efficiency.
  • CRM outperforms all other alternatives in terms of cost-effectiveness by a significant margin. By removing the need for paper or manual labor, a successful customer relationship management system helps to reduce the number of people and resources required for maintenance and upkeep. The development of a customer relationship management system, in comparison to the traditional method of conducting business, is also significantly less expensive and time-consuming.
  • The customer relationship management system (CRM) keeps all of the information you need at your fingertips at all times. This shortens the amount of time it takes to perform a task, which in turn increases the amount of output.
  • The level of customer satisfaction can be raised by effectively dealing with all customers and issuing them with precisely what they require. The likelihood of acquiring new clients is increased, resulting in increased sales and profits.
  • Customers will remain loyal to you and your organization as long as they are satisfied, resulting in an ever-growing customer base and a higher net profit for your business.

Dealing with current customers and obtaining new customers is a common practice in today’s economic climate, but it is also a difficult one to master. Implementing a customer relationship management system (CRM) allows you to effectively challenge innovative ideas to marketing and doing business. Everyone in today’s business world should be encouraged to implement a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system that can accommodate the diverse needs of their organization’s various departments.

The Importance of Using a Good CRM System

The Importance of Using a Good CRM System

What is a CRM?

When people refer to a CRM, they are talking about a customer relationship management system or software. In general, they can be used to track web activity like sales, marketing and social media relationships, connections with the business, and more.

This is used by businesses to track data in relation to their customer’s activity in relation to different important areas. The way businesses choose to use different CRM systems is dependent on what products or services they sell, and what customer data they find most useful.

Continue reading through this article to discover why a good CRM system is beneficial to businesses to improve client relationships and more.

Track Client Activity

Using an efficient CRM system within your business is very important in terms of tracking client activity. It’s important to note that there are several different systems out there; some are very specific to one major platform like sales, marketing results, or tracking support tickets with customers.

As mentioned above, there are many areas of client activity that may be more beneficial to one company over another. Maybe you are a small business that sells and ships products to their customers via social media direct messages – most likely you’d be looking for a system that tracks social media engagement. However, think of a larger business that tracks direct sales inquiries; they might have less dependence on social media and more on support.

Depending on what aspect of your customer base requires tracking, it may be a good idea to do a deep dive into features of different systems to ensure the right fit.

Access to Leads – Increase Customer Base

There are benefits to seeing where most of your engagement is coming from, mainly because you could be targeting the wrong audience. This is a benefit of CRM systems as they can help you by housing all this data in one place.

A customer management system that places an emphasis on client sales and their engagement with your advertising and marketing content can provide answers to gaining leads over time. Generating leads are essential to increase your client base and gain traction as a business.

It is easy to see why this is an important aspect of any business that depends on customers to increase profitability. Systems that can easily turn customer activity into usable data will help you understand where existing customers are coming from, and where potential future customers are. This gives you the opportunity to direct your marketing and sales teams towards this audience and thus, generate leads.

Other Important Benefits that Increase Business

Technology has come a long way to make everyday business interactions easier. Systems put in place to give users a snapshot of how different strategies are performing provides a deep dive into easy-to-analyze data about what customers are drawn to or, what isn’t working and causing customer loss.

Productivity

Whether you use a CRM system to analyze marketing strategies, track sales, or a general central workspace to keep communication efficient with customers, the options are endless. When you find the right system and begin to get an in-depth look at how a business is performing across departments, productivity will rise.

Not only is this system providing you with client data, but it will also show you what pain points exist in your company. This provides a direct answer to why you might be seeing a decrease in customers. If you see clicks on a social media ad with no results, or many of your customers are on your website and never browse through a certain category, address these dips in business.

Employees and business owners who know their audience, what they need, and how to solve their problems will have a much higher rate in productivity than those who “guess” where their best results come from.

Results of Customer Relationship Strategies

An additional benefit to using a CRM system for business is to track which strategies related to customer management is working. This means using customer data to manage, analyze, and report on the results of your customer relationship strategies.

So, how does this benefit your company? Well, being able to run analytics on whether different aspects of your business are generating new leads, increasing the chances of returning clients, or driving traffic, will give you a good overview of what you should continue doing. Think of spending thousands of dollars on an ad that you didn’t realize was only giving you a fifty percent return on your investment – it would be a financial loss.

Learning what your customers react to with positive impact and lead-generating results is a huge proponent of company success.

Learn to Pivot Your Business

There may be a time in your business to switch up your strategies for increasing traffic to a website or increasing profit. There’s no sense in continuing to put effort behind a strategy, that through a customer relationship system, shows you that it isn’t doing well. This will also give you a bird’s-eye view of how customers are being responded to through business inquiries, if they are being followed up with, if the communication resulted in a solution, and more.

There are also great options in terms of analyzing trends over time. It’s possible that a previous customer audience has shifted; maybe you released a new product with better sales. It would be beneficial, without a doubt, to be able to track when this shift in customers happened and why. You can project sales using reporting tools which is a great option for the financial department of a company.

This article has provided an overview of the benefits of implementing a good CRM system into your business. Not only will it increase productivity, efficiency, staff performance, customer satisfaction, and overall business rating, but it can save you time and money in the long run.

Running a business is quite the undertaking, so adopting any type of technology that could make running day-to-day operations easier is a good reason to shop around for the best fit for you. Before you choose one, do the research into all the available systems to ensure it matches the areas you need.

The Importance of Having Cybersecurity in an Office Setting

The Importance of Having Cybersecurity in an Office Setting

Within an office setting, technology is present in different forms that could contain important information like documentation, finances, employee information, and more. For these reasons and many more, it is important to address the possibility that this data can be compromised or accessed without permission. This usually occurs through third-party organizations or external people through what is called, “cyberattacks.” The increase in cyberattacks over the past few years increases this cause for concern and protection.

Keep reading to understand why businesses should be concerned about reviewing any existing cybersecurity and ensuring you have the best practices in place.

What is a Cyberattack and Cybersecurity?

The term “cyber” refers to systems and networks, usually in reference to computers but can also be used in reference to other technology. When a malicious action occurs on a piece of technology like a mobile phone, computer, laptop, or other device containing important business or personal information with the intention of stealth or fraud, this is called a cyberattack.

Cyberattacks can be many different things that occur to invade and disrupt the security of information contained in computer systems for the purpose of stealing data, committing fraud, and more. Thus, cybersecurity is the defense against these types of attacks. It involves implementing different security measures that work to stop these attacks before they can occur.

Protecting Your Business

There are many reasons why someone should keep processes and practices in place to protect the technology used in a business setting. The following are some examples of important information a business may want to protect from a cyberattack:

  • Employee personal details (contact information, addresses, banking details)
  • Business finances, transactions, credit cards, etc.
  • Customer details, payments, personal information
  • Hacking leading to shutting down entire systems

When a business has an unauthorized user access this type of information, it can be very detrimental to its productivity and continuing success.

Keeping employee data safe is critical to any business for so many reasons that may seem obvious but should be seriously considered when you have multiple computers accessing shared folders, drives, or networks that hold this important data. The potential for someone to access an employee’s address or credit card number is a big concern and can result in potential lawsuits.

The second item listed above to consider is the importance of keeping the business’ finances, payment details, and transactions secure and safe from external sources with cybersecurity. The last thing a growing business wants is an unauthorized user gaining access to a company’s financial information and using it to purchase goods. This type of information is usually stored in the office itself with HR personnel and the finance department.

Businesses that interact with customers and obtain personal information need good cybersecurity as well. For example, obtaining payment information over the phone for purchases that is entered into a system can be hacked by third parties.

An additional situation where cyberattacks can negatively impact your business is when they gain access to an entire system or network. These cyber attackers can shut down your network, block access to your own websites, and worse.

Making Clients Feel You are Trustworthy

If you step aside from thinking of personal reasons why cybersecurity is important to have in a business setting, you can see how the lack of this security can make a business appear in terms of liability and trustworthiness.

Think about when you type in your credit card details in a website, imagine hearing months later that the company was hacked and there is a possibility of your credit card details being compromised? You would never use that website again!

As a business, you want to be able to assure customers that their information is safe and secure against unauthorized access or complete loss. If a customer was to ask what types of policies and procedures are in place to secure shared information, it is vital to have concrete documentation or certifications that can put their minds at ease. A trustworthy business is one that people will return to and want to continue working with.

It gives a business a lot of notoriety and praise when they can share details of their cybersecurity practices outright.

How do I Increase My Business’ Cybersecurity?

After reading this article some may be asking questions regarding one of two things – how you can confirm the security of the technology your business is using, or how you can increase or enhance this security.

The first and possibly obvious answer would be to team up with a cybersecurity company that are experts in the field of IT to review your networks and tech systems for any so-called “red flags.” The process usually tells a business if there are areas that need improvement and suggestions on how to implement those improvements.

Train your staff on privacy and security best practices when it comes to keeping company data secure. This can be as simple as not sharing personal information through non-secure email networks, leaving computers open and logged in when working in public or at home, etc.

Another important factor in cybersecurity is the ability to reboot systems and possible lost data after a shutdown or cyberattack. This refers to situations where cyberattacks result in clearing out files, deleting data, etc.

Conclusion

In summary, the rise in cyberattacks on larger companies and the various types of client and employee data that is usually shared in a business setting, puts substantial importance on implementing good cybersecurity practices.

Cyberattacks can negatively impact the everyday productivity, future success, customer growth, reputation, finances, and the overall standing of a business. If external sources access bank details, customer addresses, financial statements, credit cards, or other personal details of both employees and clients, it can cause a substantial loss.

Business owners need to review their existing policies in place for data security and privacy within their office settings. Those that already have IT experts or a team in the business should check in on a constant basis to ensure any security practices stay up to date as well. Technology is everchanging and unfortunately cyber-attackers change their methods just as frequently.

These unfortunate situations can be avoided through things like staff training, following best practices on a regular basis, and teaming up with a trusted, high-rated cybersecurity company. As mentioned, there are even infrastructure/system tests available that can be run (usually by third-party cybersecurity companies) that will test for the levels of protection that exists or can be implemented across the business.

Repair or Replace Your Commercial Property?

Repair or Replace Your Commercial Property?

If you own commercial property, one of the main questions you will ask yourself when evaluating the health of your property is “Can I fix my roof, or is the damage so much that I have to replace it?” Whenever the time comes that your commercial roof starts experiencing problems, it is important to address these issues immediately and not wait. Otherwise, these issues may become more expensive as time goes on.

Roof Repair

When it comes to roofs, making repairs is the most cost-effective option available. Minor issues can be safely and easily repaired, which include missing individual shingles and small leaks. If there is no damage to the insulation, flashing and membrane, then you can afford to repair a single isolated area, which will help extend the life of your roofing system.

When assessing the current condition of your roof, one of the first things to consider is the age of your roof. Most asphalt shingle roofs generally last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. If the roof has damage but most of it is still in tact, a spot repair can be performed.

You should also consider the value of your commercial property especially if you intend to sell it in the future. After determining how long you want to own a commercial property, if your roof is mostly in good condition it would make more sense to have repairs done. If you become a seller in the commercial real estate market, scheduling minor repairs is the best action to take.

Roof Replacement

In other cases, however, the roof has sustained so much damage that a minor repair will not address the issue. If the current roof’s integrity is compromised to the point where a roofing overlay is not possible, then you will need to consider having a complete replacement. Hail, strong winds, and severe amounts of rainfall can lead to major interior leaks. Because of this investing in a new roofing system can potentially save you thousands of dollars.

After replacing an old roof with a new one, you will be better prepared to stop future leaks from developing and prevent future repairs that may become too expensive to afford. You will also protect the value of your commercial property by having your roof replaced. If you decide to replace your roof,  depending on the type and/or quality of the material you use, you may qualify for significant discounts on your insurance policy. You may also qualify for local or federal tax credits to offset the cost of your roof replacement if you incorporate environmentally-friendly features.

Concerning HVAC Units

The HVAC system is a highly important and often highly expensive part of a commercial property. As the property owner you face a tough decision to make when this system starts developing uncharacteristic habits. You particularly want your HVAC system ready for the colder temperatures of the winter season, so typically an annual inspection is scheduled for the furnace and heating system during the fall season. If substantial issues with your heating system arise, you must decide to either repair or replace it.

A case can be made for delaying the replacement of your HVAC system because there are some advantages to making repairs first. At first glance when your furnace goes out, it initially seems logical to have it replaced. However, considering the current condition of your commercial property and its long-term possibilities along with the ever changing weather patterns, it could be wise to hang on to additional thousands of dollars and instead pay less for repairs.

Whether you decide to repair or replace your HVAC system, you will need to have a plan in place. Ask yourself the following questions; How much will a repair cost? When is the right time for a complete replacement? What is the best long-term option for your commercial property? In terms of function and dependability, will the new system be worth the investment?

Potential HVAC Issues

Beware of the signs that will indicate whether you should repair or replace your HVAC system. Potential issues that could affect your HVAC system include the system becoming sluggish or inconsistent, or if it is simply not working at all.

Clogged Filters

If you turn on the heat but the building does not warm up, then the filters should be checked. Clogged filters do not allow proper air flow, and because of this the HVAC system can become inefficient. Check your filters on a monthly basis and plan for regularly scheduled replacements.

Leaks

It is easy to diagnose an HVAC system that has leaks, but it can be complex to fix these leaks. Start with what you can obviously see and trace back to the source of where the liquid is leaking from. If it is coming from anywhere but the condenser pipe (the part where the water should leak from), then it needs to be repaired immediately. If you let the leaks linger for too long then the HVAC system will need to be replaced.

Electrical Issues

There are electrical components in all HVAC systems, including units powered by oil or gas. Most electrical issues typically involve the ignition system. If your unit clicks many times before ignition or it continues to click without igniting, then the issue is with the electrical igniter. Fuel is wasted and the HVAC system’s performance suffers as a result of electrical issues.

Worn Parts

Parts wear out as HVAC systems age. Parts such as belts and motors can easily wear down, which causes the system to become less efficient. If your system starts operating out of the ordinary, then contact a professional technician for an annual inspection. The upfront cost may be steep, but in the long-term you will save money with an efficiently running HVAC system.

Terms Concerning Repairs and Replacements

Duty to Repair

Pay attention to the commercial lease agreement you have because in that agreement you have specific responsibilities that can affect the condition of your commercial property. Any major defects in the premises of your commercial property can negatively impact your business. If you let repairs to your damaged premises go for too long you will be forced to shut down the premises and halt business until repairs are done.

Should anything go wrong with the premises where you operate your business, make sure your business will still be able to function in some capacity, or at least get compensation if it cannot. The following listed terms are referred to as the “Duty to Repair” terms of a commercial lease agreement.

Repair Defects in a Timely Manner

It is wise to put a provision in the commercial lease that states the tenant is allowed to make the repairs and then receive compensation from the landlord either directly or by way of a proportionate deduction in paying the rent.

Liability Notice

It is recommended to negotiate with the landlord to put a provision in place that the landlord will be held liable for any loss that your business experiences because of any defect in the premises. With this provision you are ensured that the landlord will stay vigilant in making fixes to any problems that have been reported about your commercial property as quickly as possible.

Reasonable Rent Reduction

A provision can also be negotiated that will grant the tenant of the commercial property a rent reduction for the period of time the defect remains in tact. This will keep the landlord motivated to fix any defect, whether minor or major, as quickly as possible.

Replacement Reserve

A replacement reserve is basically a dedicated fund that serves to finance the periodic replacement of commercial property components. When setting up your annual budget, as a commercial real estate owner and investor you should have a replacement reserve in place.

Money in a replacement reserve is what you put aside to cover any major replacements or refurbishments that need to be done to your property. Replacement reserves should be specifically used to pay for capital expenditures to your property, including resurfacing an attached parking lot or replacing old floor tiles and paint in the building’s most common areas.

In the case of homeowners and condominium associations, a reserve requirement is always in place, or at the very least dedicated statutes that outline how much money must be kept in funds at any given time. Reserves help these associations avoid the need to charge residents any special assessment fees when a major project needs to begin.

At the heart of the matter, having adequate replacement reserves for the commercial real estate investments you make is a logical thing to do. Compared to a homeowners association’s governing body that depends on multiple residents to fund its reserves, you and your team of investors are the only ones responsible to pay the bills for replacements. If you have a sufficient operating reserve in place you will have the necessary funds to handle capital expenditures whenever they emerge without adding anything to your existing debt service.

What are Replacement Reserves Best Used For?

Any items in your commercial property that have a shorter lifespan than the building itself will need to be replaced at some point in time. This is where it helps to have a replacement reserve fund ready. The more support you have in this fund the more you reduce the possibility of constantly deferred maintenance to the building.

A replacement reserve fund normally prioritizes tasks such as putting on a new roof, replacing an old HVAC system, replacing windows or exterior masonry, and making accessibility upgrades, among other things. Routine maintenance costs are not factored in to your replacement reserve fund because they are normally considered to be part of your traditional operating expenses.

Other tasks that are well suited for your replacement reserve fund are reparations to a communal plumbing system, repaving the sidewalks, driveways and parking lots of your commercial property, and overhauling any elevator systems.

How Replacement Reserves Factor in to Your Budget

Any debates that you might have when it comes to where to put this line item in your budgeting plan can be put to rest. Should a replacement reserve component be included in your Net Operating Income (NOI) calculations? Items of capital expenditure are not counted as operating expenses, so therefore they should not be included in your NOI. Instead, consider your calculations for your cash flow and incorporate these items there.

The standard accounting equation for your cash flow should look like the one below.

Net Operating Income – Replacement Reserve – Existing Debt Service = Cash Flow

Conclusion

The main question to ask is “Should you repair or replace your commercial property?” The answer depends on your situation, what your needs are, how much you can afford in either action, and how much of an impact either action will have on your business. The condition of the building you own should be your first priority, and whatever message the building’s condition is sending you is where you develop your plan around. Whether you decide to repair or replace your commercial property, one thing for certain is that you must be aware of the expenses involved with either action.

Top 7 Reasons to Maintain the Exterior of Your Commercial Property

Top 7 Reasons to Maintain the Exterior of Your Commercial Property

When you think of building maintenance, what comes to mind?  For many commercial investors, this term conjures images of repainting between tenants, replacing and repairing light fixtures, worn carpeting, and leaky faucets, and consistently ensuring that HVAC systems are running up to par.  While yes, these things are big components to the overarching idea of maintaining your property, they are far from all that is required.  Properly maintaining the exterior of your building is equally, if not more, important to consider and for a lot of legitimate reasons.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the top incentives to keep up the exterior of your building.

1.    Protection From Elements

The exterior of your building is its first line of defense against rain, snow, sun, wind, and even wildlife.  Holes or cracks in the roof, concrete or siding can allow these elements to permeate the barrier, potentially causing a lot of unwanted and unnecessary damage to the interior of your building.  Mold, mildew, rust, rot, leaks, and animal nesting, to name a few, can wreak havoc and could even lead to your building being deemed uninhabitable in more serious cases.  For this reason, it’s imperative to schedule regular exterior assessments so that you can catch problems while they are still small.

2.    Compliance & Safety

All throughout the United States, exterior building and maintenance standards have been set that every business is expected to comply with.  These standards help to ensure that all of those working at or visiting your property are safe.  Routinely checking walkways can help you to avoid slips, trips, and falls.  Regularly checking exterior lighting fixtures can do the same.  Proper lighting can also help to deter burglars and other offenders who might be bolder in a poorly lit environment.

3.    Professionalism

A well-maintained exterior not only shows that you take pride in your commercial property, it also speaks to the businesses that make their home there.  Customers entering a building with shoddy or nonexistent landscaping, chipping paint, and cracked windows are likely to feel deterred by its appearance.  A building that is clean, well-maintained, and properly landscaped, however, will exude an air of professionalism that is much more likely to help them build faith and positive rapport with the business(es) inside.  These factors also set a precedent which can encourage your tenants to take as much pride in your building as you do.

4.    Happy Tenants

Repeat customers and referrals are the crux of any business model.  As customers build confidence in their relationship with a business, they are much more likely to keep coming back and to make those crucial referrals.  Happy customers mean happy tenants!  Proper exterior maintenance can help your tenants to feel valued as their businesses grow, meaning that they are likely to sign longer leases and to renew at lease end.  It can also help them to feel safer in their work environment.  Asking for feedback from your tenants and their customers and making the changes requested is a wonderful way to ensure that you will maintain a low vacancy rate within your commercial property!

5.    Reduced Long-Term Maintenance Costs

Taking care of the small problems before they become big ones can be very beneficial in keeping your long-term maintenance costs down.  Working your exterior maintenance into your yearly budget will ensure that you are always able to handle these small issues as they arise and will be able to accurately plan for the heftier costs.  Roof replacement, for example, should take place every 20-30 years (depending on your location, exposure to the elements, materials used, et cetera) and can be a very costly job.  Inconsistent maintenance could drastically reduce this time span, meaning you could get hit with a high price tag far sooner than you were prepared for.

6.    Improved Energy Efficiency

Even small cracks or holes can have a very significant impact on your heating and cooling costs throughout the years.  Windows and doors that aren’t properly sealed, for example, can cost you up to 30% more on your energy bills throughout the year!  Investing in energy efficient windows and doors can alleviate these extra costs.  Unnoticed holes in the roof or cracks within the façade of the building can also cause heating and cooling to escape.

7.    Increased ROI

When you purchase a commercial property, it’s typically done with the understanding that you are embarking on a long-term investment.  That being said, you want to make sure that you have a lot of equity in your building when the day comes that you’re ready to unload that investment.  Properly maintaining the exterior of your property is one way to guarantee this.  Even if the month-to-month costs and effort of exterior maintenance feel a little daunting, zoom out and look at the bigger picture.  A properly maintained building is going to market itself in a much prettier light than a building that has been neglected and left to the elements.

Ready to Become a Commercial Investor?

If you feel ready to find your next commercial investment property, there’s never been a better time than now.  Let an SVN Alta Commercial broker help to find the right property for you!  We’ll we beside you every step of the way to ensure that your investment is a success.

Things to Consider When Looking to Invest in a New Commercial Property

Investing in commercial real estate can be a fun and lucrative undertaking.  In fact, the annual ROI for commercial properties typically falls between 6 and 12%, depending on the health of the local economy and location of the property, among other factors.  These types of figures can make commercial investment extremely appealing, but it’s more than just a numbers game. Successfully investing in commercial property takes research and preparation.  The more that you understand the ins and outs of commercial investing, the less likely you are to fall victim to some of the pitfalls that can come with the territory.  Here’s everything that you should know prior to investing in a commercial space to ensure your success.

Understand What the Term Means

The term itself, “commercial property” is actually quite broad.  When you break it down, there are five main types of commercial properties; industrial space, office space, multifamily properties, retail properties and special purpose properties.  Broken down even further, you might find more specific niches, such as hotels, medical office space, self-storage facilities, land, elder care housing, and more.  Understanding the differences between these could be the difference between success and failure as an investor.

Market Dynamics

To understand exactly how property type can be so influential, you have to also understand the importance of knowing the market dynamics in your area.  This largely includes knowing the supply and demand in your local market for particular types of properties.  The higher the demand, the more lucrative your investment will be.  That being said, you can also likely expect to pay a higher premium up front for the property if the demand is high.  Real estate markets are constantly fluctuating, so watching the trends in your area is crucial to your success.  You may be able to buy a property now for a lower price, knowing that the demand for that property type is likely to increase in the future.  The health of your local market is imperative information that deserves diligent research.

Vacancy & Rental Rates

Within the commercial property that you are looking to invest in, you have to know the percentage of all of the available units that are not currently occupied.  This helps you to assess how much work you will have to do to secure tenants, what rents you can expect to be bringing in immediately and how that will offset the initial investment costs.  Another part of this is diligently researching rental rates with comparable properties in your area.  How much can you realistically ask for your space?  Also, how long are competitive properties sitting on the market, on average?  All of this information will assist you in making a fully informed decision.

The Importance of Location

Even within an individual market, there can be huge fluctuations in price and demand based on property location.  Location is potentially the largest influential factor that will determine your success as an investor.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay top dollar for a prime commercial property, either.  Sometimes up-and-coming properties can be extremely valuable investments.  The main things to look for are low vacancy rates in neighboring properties, good connectivity and exposure, and the presence of some established businesses within the area.  These elements can have a big impact on your ability to generate regular rental income that boasts high capital appreciation.

Building Quality

Not all commercial properties are created equally, and this is important to remember.  Just because a property may appear one way, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do some deep digging before you dive in headfirst.  The stability of the building structure (foundation to roof and everything in between) and the quality of the materials used (both inside and out), among other things, can greatly impact the return on your investment.  Purchasing a quality property will also help you to avoid costly expenses later down the line.  Make sure that you are hiring a qualified inspector and/or contractor to go through the punch list with you.

Time Investment

It’s also important to recognize that both purchasing and maintaining a commercial property can involve a bit more time than a residential property.  To close on your investment involves four main stages:

  • Escrow: This part of the process ensures that both parties in the sale have met the agreed upon requirements.  It is a much more formal process with CRE transactions with more extensive paperwork.
  • Legal entities and authorities: Unlike residential transactions that take place between two parties, commercial properties are typically carried out between two or more legal entities and may have multiple contracts.  This can add a lot of time to the process.
  • RESPA and due diligence: The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act protects buyers from purchasing potentially hazardous or faulty properties without full disclosure and, because buyers will often push for more time in this process in commercial transactions, it can become lengthy.  It also influences the due diligence process, which becomes much more extensive.
  • Title and closing: Lastly, the title and closing will need to be signed and there is far more paperwork included in this process than in a residential property because of zoning and environmental clauses, among other things.

 

Maintaining the property is, in and of itself, a time-consuming undertaking, as well.  Will you work with a property management company or maintain it yourself?  Who will collect rents, maintain the landscaping, monitor the structural integrity of the building, et cetera?  There are lots of factors to consider here.

Is Commercial Investment Right for You?

As you can see, there are lots of factors that play into a successful commercial real estate investment.  The best idea?  Don’t go it alone!  Working with a reputable commercial real estate broker can help you to navigate the Salt Lake City commercial market with ease, while also ensuring that no steps are skipped in the process.  Contact SVN Alta Commercial today and let us invest in your success.

 

Benefits of Using Technology in Your Office

Benefits of Using Technology in Your Office

For a real estate business, there are a number of ways that implementing high tech gadgets and the latest and greatest technology in the office, will benefit your overall business productivity. These types of technological upgrades can make employee work life easier, smoother and can increase efficiency. This will in turn improve the quality of work being done and leads to higher chances of success; this equates to more money as well.

How can you use upgraded technology to increase employee efficiency, productivity and overall business success? Continue reading for a number of examples.

Web Presence

Real estate in general can use their own website for so many different reasons; advertising services, showing commercial real estate properties available, contact information for potential clients and more. A good website entices visitors to contact the business for the services that are advertised. It displays professionalism and seeing a good website makes people think your business must be doing well. There is an increased chance that visitors will trust in a company or business with a well-built website, because it also makes people think you have enough resources to spend the money on a well-functioning, high quality website. In addition, a website that encompasses a good user experience lowers the chance of visitors becoming frustrated or not finding what they’re looking for and navigating elsewhere for service. This is important in terms of having a positive online presence. Having a good online presence involves having good technological resources. A business will need to have good web designers involved, which also requires web design programs and software available to employees. This involves good quality computers and space designed for these types of employees.

Also, having resources who specialize in search engine optimization and ensuring the website shows up in Google search results will greatly increase traffic which eventually leads to company success. There is specific educational experience that is involved with employees being successful marketing specialists; this usually involves a number of years of experience and knowledge of marketing tools. The more opportunities the website has to appear across multiple platforms increases online presence.

Marketing and Outreach

If a company has the best in technology, they can increase the performance of both their webpages and the quality of their resources in the office. Something as simple as having the fastest internet connection in the office allows higher productivity, employees can work without setbacks. This is especially important for a company with hundreds of employees and multiple departments.

A benefit of having access to high-end technology is that it can be very apparent through a business’ methods of marketing and engagement. There are usually budgets set for businesses’ marketing tools and resources and you can almost see how large a budget might be by how much you see the company advertised across different platforms, like social media ads or in related online blogs or articles. In addition to social media, the use of email marketing is a very important tool. It’s pertinent to have a list of contacts in real estate, including clients, business  associates, colleagues and other real estate companies. The reason this is important is because another technological advancement that exists in today’s world of marketing and outreach for businesses involves email marketing. Of course, email has been around for quite some time now, but the way it has expanded really benefits businesses. Email marketing has specific online tools available for purchase (where price usually depends on number of contacts), where you can contact entire groups of contacts at once. This is important to keep up regular communications to consumers about advancements, updates and most importantly it’s a great way to advertise new properties available to a large group at once. This increases the potential for engagement and outreach when people are simply browsing the web for unrelated things.

Most of these marketing platforms include a central hub for different marketing tools that your business uses to promote themselves. It acts as the centre of your marketing platforms and as a tool for keeping all your contacts in one place. What’s great about the more advanced marketing platforms is that it also provides the company with reports in regards to engagement across different platforms, in terms of how many clicks and opens your emails have received. This is one of the new marketing tools that greatly benefits the whole company by showing you what your clients respond well to.

Communication with Clients

Through marketing strategies, companies are consistently communicating with potential clientele. There is an aspect of direct communication with people interested in the service. For example, visitors to your website or social media page may send you a direct message or send an email to your support team. It’s good to have an easy, quick and effective means of communication through any and all channels. The easier the user experience, the higher the chance of making connections and building a client base. Again, this will lead to more money and higher chances of success by landing more clients looking for commercial or investment properties. The chances of someone trying to reach out to a company after being unable to contact someone easily, is very low. The advantage of using good quality tools in an office can benefit this aspect of a business greatly.

You want the best kind of communication tools. This can involve a number of different technological advancements like rather than having one main landline, each employee in the office has their own lines. Having individual extensions to reach someone directly can greatly impact the efficiency of contacting the business. Nobody wants to reach a voicemail box that’s full, or listen to an endless list of employee names and their extensions trying to reach a particular agent. It seems like a small thing, but it can really affect the experience someone has trying to make contact. Especially if a potential buyer is serious about a property and is eager to make contact. It can even affect the experience of buying property and make it seem tough and negative overall.

To elaborate further on the additional ways you can increase ease of communication using high-end office technology, would be by increasing the available means of communication. When a business has a “dead” social media page, or a very low amount of traffic or engagement, it deters people from using them as a point of contact for purchases. People don’t generally trust a page where their last post was a couple years ago, or if someone tries to contact the business through the page and they don’t get a response. It’s important to keep redirected contact information on all pages, even if it’s been shut down. Think about an Instagram page that’s obviously been inactivated and they don’t include any redirections to their website or contact information, people will look elsewhere.

Virtual Tours

A good technological component of real estate web pages and online presence that puts a business ahead of its competitors, is incorporating the option to browse properties easily and quickly on the website itself. An example of this would be adding the option to tour commercial properties virtually. This provides a great user experience where potential clients can browse available properties and all associated property information even before having to contact an agent, or leaving their homes. Making virtual tours available online is largely dependent on having staff who can integrate this tool into a website, in addition to ensuring it works correctly without lagging or other technical complications. It is also a great addition to marketing notices, campaigns and ads to integrate video components.

It would also be an added benefit to think of adding buttons to directly link to the company’s website, or even better, a link to the property itself. You can include contact information for the agent representing the property and list some important and prominent information about the property. It’s important to include multiple methods of contact for both the agency representative and the company; like phone, email and chat (if available).

Throughout this article, there have been many benefits to using the better, high quality technical tools outlined. When you are in the office, you need a fast and easy means of communication with clients and coworkers. You need high-speed internet to allow for an efficient work environment, even in a large office. Other resources are required to assist with your website, online/email communications and using new marketing tools. Whether it’s by hiring staff who specialize in an area of tech-related software, or ensuring computer equipment is up-to-date, there are a number of  ways to utilize new technology to increase business productivity. When employees have access to the latest technology, they end up working more efficiently and using their time to increase overall success of the business. It can be firmly said that having an office space with better technology not only makes the employee’s experience better, but also increases the quality of the clients.