Friday, November 14, 2008

Articles 11.14.08

Okay, so conduit lenders have disappeared, banks are getting finicky, and life insurance companies are sitting on the sidelines --where does one go to get mortgage financing? Read the article The New Lehman's to find out.

Remember the good old days when it was the borrower who defaulted? Lender Defaults describes what a borrower should do when the tables have been turned and it is the lender who is defaulting.

Will Obama with his urban agenda but proposed tax increases be good or bad for New York? The answer can be found in What Obama means to New York.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Building and Staff Performance Reviews

Knowing and understanding your building is critical to its success. Owners that self manage one or two buildings have a huge advantage in this regard. They are frequently at their buildings and generally know every tenant on a first name basis. Larger property owners and those that must delegate responsibility to a staff do not have this advantage. How then can a larger property owner or property manager truly understand what is going on in their buildings?

Sierra Realty has implemented an annual review process that goes a long way to solving this problem. Each year we send out a questionnaire to every one of our tenants asking them to rate their building, building staff, management staff, etc. The questionnaire also solicits suggestions about what can be done to improve the building. When we first started doing this, we figured only a small percentage of tenants would respond and probably only those that wanted to complain would take the time. I've been very surprised at the level response that we receive. Over 20% of our tenants respond and usually provide very favorable and valuable feedback about the building. As result, we have been able to obtain a far better understanding of how our buildings operate and our staff function.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Articles 11.04.08

Our most recent batch of articles focuses on the retail sector.

For those of us who've gotten tired of the typical fast food fare (McDonald's, Panda Express, Wok N' Roll) found at local shopping centers "Food Courts for Food Lovers" describes the recent and welcomed trend of replacing traditional food courts with higher end food courts focusing on comfort, atmosphere, and fresh food.

The story "Incentive Enough" describes the unscrupulous accounting trick that one recently bankrupt retailer, Steve and Barry, used to artificially inflate their earnings.

Those of you with empty retail space will be interested in the article "Vacancies to cash cows" which describes how vacant stores can easily be converted into valuable ad space.

Next time you spend 15 minutes lost in a multi-tiered parking structure, think about the article "Beyond Valet Parking". This describes a high-tech parking system that reduces parking time by up to 55%.

"Developers cut 2008 pipeline by one third": does this is article really need an explanation?