LinkedIn Breach Reveals Depressing Password Choices

About 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords were breached yesterday. While the company was quick to issue the announcement and urge users to change their passwords, the incident still created quite a bit of fallout once the most common leaked password choices were revealed.

In 2011, SplashData noted that the most popular online passwords across the web were benign combinations of letters and numbers. “Password,” ironically (or perhaps unironically), was the most commonly used password, while “123456” and “12345678” rounded out the top three choices. In this day of increased identity theft, it’s stunning how many people use such insecure passwords.

Fast forward to yesterday, and you’ll find a dismal shift in password choices. According to BuzzFeed, some of the most popular compromised LinkedIn passwords included “hatemyjob,” “hopeless” and “fireme.” These password choices may be only slightly more secure than the jobs of those who selected them.

It’s depressing to see how many people think so poorly of their jobs. We know LinkedIn can be a great social media resource if you’re looking to switch careers, companies or maybe move up the social ladder, but we honestly had no idea people felt this negative about their current situations.

If you’re feeling “hopeless” about your job or job prospects, here are some resources that could give you the much-needed push to get out there and turn your situation around. Happy (job) prospecting! – Oh, and don’t forget to change your password!

10-Year Treasury Hits Record Low

10-year-treasury-1790Holy cow. Did you see the news this morning? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US 10-Year Treasury yield has hit a record low of 1.641 percent. This is mostly due to the European debt crisis that is being fueled by the financial strain in Greece and Spain. While the Treasury may be influenced by factors overseas, it’s greatly influencing the lending environment stateside.

As our recovery chugs along and investors return to the market, this extra little incentive to borrow is causing quite the competition in commercial real estate. We overheard many ICSC panelists and attendees talk about how brutal the market has become for Class A assets in core markets. Many are trying to avoid these aggressive bidding wars altogether by looking at B and C properties in secondary or tertiary markets.

Whatever your strategy, know that these rates cannot possibly last. If you’re looking to get a deal done, we recommend identifying a few choice properties using ProspectNow. Then, submit an application – one that is complete and straightforward – as soon as possible to lock in these historic rates. We hear the surge in borrowers has created a backlog for lenders, and those loans getting through are the ones that are easiest to process.

By no means do we want you to hastily jump into the market just to take advantage of these rates. But rather, we recommend that you do a little market research, find the properties where you think the greatest opportunities exist and – if it pencils for you – get those applications in before it’s too late!

5 Things We Learned at ICSC

ICSC LogoOur time at ICSC may have been brief, but boy was it fruitful. In addition to hosting a live webinar, we picked up a few tidbits that may help you get deals done in the year(s) to come. Hopefully your time and ICSC was just as successful. See you next year!

1.    Credit is now more important than location for single-tenant properties
Wasn’t sure we’d ever see the day, but coming out of this latest economic slump, credit has become much more essential to the retail industry than location if you’re looking at single-tenant space.
2.    The big guys are reinventing themselves
A lot of big retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy are undergoing reinventions and rolling out new concept stores. Wal-Mart’s touting Neighborhood Markets, Target is unveiling CityTargets and Best Buy has opened up smaller spaces called Best Buy Mobile. Big box space is less prevalent these days, and many retailers are responding with smaller stores that also enable them to enter urban markets.
3.    Deals are getting done
The atmosphere throughout the leasing mall and all the halls was so positive. We hear attendance was up this year, and that this was projected to be the most successful show since 2007. It definitely seemed like deals were getting done on the floor. All you had to do was glance from booth to booth to see filled seats and shaking hands galore!
4.    Many retailers are looking to expand
Now may be the best time ever to take advantage of ProspectNow, as dozens of retailers look to expand. Gyms, quick-service restaurants, salons, discount stores and shoe stores are all in growth mode, with many targeting nationwide expansions.
5.    REIWISE is the coolest

We just want to thank them once again for being the gracious hosts of Steve’s ProspectNow webinar on Monday. We had great attendance – both online and in person – and were thrilled to meet fellow attendees at their booth. Thanks a million!

Business Lessons From a Young Mark Zuckerberg

CNBC recently compiled some quotes Mark Zuckerberg gave to the Harvard Crimson in the early days of Facebook – or, as it was called back then, The Facebook. While this CEO’s rise to fame has been chronicled heavily in print and in movies like The Social Network, the quotes reveal a less confident, more humble side of this Internet mogul. A side that was really not sure his idea would take off at all.

We took a few of the quotes reprinted by CNBC to show you how even one of the biggest successes in the world can doubt his creation and its potential reception. If you’re struggling to regain your footing in this commercial real estate market, or if you’re wondering whether your latest out-of-the-box idea is fit for consumption, just remember, we all have those moments of doubt.

Maybe your idea or sales strategy is golden. Maybe it’s one of the other millions of ideas that fall by the wayside. Either way, know that it takes a whole lot of belief, hard work and yes, sometimes failure, to succeed. We think it was Michael Jordan who said it best: “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”

Zuckerberg’s Early Thoughts on Facebook

1.     “If I hadn’t launched it that day, I was about to just can it and go on to the next thing I was about to do.”
Sometimes the one thing separating success from failure is execution. Who knows why Zuckerberg decided to hit the figurative green button that day that launched the second most popular website in America, but he did. So take a chance, put yourself out there and see what’s waiting to bite.
2.     “I have no idea why it’s so popular. I was pretty surprised.”
It may seem odd that someone who pours blood, sweat and tears (or at least a copious amount of time) into a concept would then be so surprised at its success, but it’s not all that rare. We really have no concept of whether an idea that sounds brilliant – and perhaps a bit crazy – in our heads will strike a nerve with our audience. Sure, we can conduct our due diligence. Ask friends. Do market research. We can, and should, do all these things before introducing a new strategy or product into the market, but in the end, consumers can be fickle and unpredictable. All the research in the world can’t ensure the success or failure of a product until it’s hit a mass audience.
3.    “I don’t really like putting a price-tag on the stuff I do. That’s just like not the point.”
The lesson here is let passion be your guide. Zuckerberg created a product he thought would be unique and useful. In fact, he first created The Facebook as an alternative to the paper “facebooks” Harvard had been publishing for individual campus houses since the mid-‘80s. Many products are created as alternatives to other products. We know we’re not the only commercial real estate database on the market, but through our passion for properties and customer service, we strive to provide the best version of this type of database as possible. If you create your strategies based on passion rather than profit, the profits are a lot more likely to follow because they were based on a genuine desire to provide the best product or service possible.

Top Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

Being a supplier of property and building owner information, this blog normally focuses exclusively on the commercial real estate market. However, we’ve also come to realize that many of you, like us, start out on your own as young entrepreneurs.

Maybe you worked for a big firm and didn’t like it. Maybe you prefer to answer only to yourself. Or maybe you think you have THE formula for success and don’t need the resources a big company has to offer. Or maybe – just maybe – you view your business as an entrepreneurial enterprise because the sales industry can be a very solo endeavor indeed.

Whatever the case, we’re all out there on our own in some capacity trying to make it happen for ourselves. So whether you’re looking to start your own brokerage firm or just want to get your name in front of more buyers or sellers, we want to start offering some useful information on sales techniques and business strategies that can help get you off the ground.

To kick these new themes off, we thought it would be appropriate to start with a little advice for young entrepreneurs and those commercial real estate professionals who may not have years’ worth of office experience to rely on.

Online Income Teacher provided some great tips for novice entrepreneurs that were retweeted by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran (you might have heard of The Corcoran Group?) from ABC’s Shark Tank. These two know a little something about entrepreneurs, and after reading the article ourselves, we have to agree these tips are pretty stellar.

While we provided the top two tips for young entrepreneurs below – including a little commentary on how they can be applied to the CRE industry – it’s definitely worth it to read the full article.

1. Word Of Mouth Publicity

Nothing beats a positive endorsement. Many commercial agents (wisely) find it necessary to set aside some funds for marketing, but they should also remember that a general postcard or email blast will never be as powerful as a personal reference. With that said, always treat each and every potential client as if they were already your number-one priority. Perhaps one day they will be. Or perhaps they’ll pass along the person who will.

2. Make Use Of All Available Resources

This is such an important tip, especially in today’s economy. The sales world can be brutal, and the commercial real estate industry isn’t immune to back stabbing and toe stepping. However, as many of you know, it can really take a village to get a deal done (i.e. buyers, sellers, lenders, lawyers, tenants, investors, contractors, brokers, etc.). Use the resources you have at your disposal – like ProspectNow – and know that there’s no shame in reaching out to others who may have connections to tools or people that you don’t. Just don’t forget about those who helped you along the way once the deal closes. This can, after all, be a very small industry and no one’s business ever sank by paying it forward.

Click here to read the full five tips as supplied by Online Income Teacher.

Commercial Construction Spending Rises

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has released its latest research regarding real estate construction. Its stats show some promising results.

According to NAR:

  • Commercial Construction spending was only up 0.1% in March – but this is a 6% gain over last year
  • Private commercial building construction rose by 0.7% in March, with office buildings performing very well
  • Residential construction spending is predicted to increase by 10% to 12% in 2012, and by another 15% to 20% in 2013
  • Commercial construction spending is also due to rise as occupancy rates continue to increase and the economy continues to recover. This should also result in more jobs throughout the construction industry

The only downside NAR pointed out is that construction of religious buildings and amusement/recreational facilities has fallen. The government also slowed its construction spending, according to NAR. These trends are probably due to a decrease in donations, the dissolution of redevelopment agencies (at least in California) and a general tightening of the government’s belt as it deals with budget concerns across the board.

In a way, though, that’s the nature of the commercial real estate beast. Depending on the market cycle, some product types rise to the top while others struggle to sell or maintain tenants. Even in a good market, a few select products will always experience less activity than others. With the current cycle being what it is, however, you can use this data and ProspectNow to locate office and multifamily owners in your area.