Economic Recovery Set to Continue in 2013

Good news…along with the general economic recovery, the U.S. commercial real estate market is expected to continue on its path toward recovery in 2013, according to ULI’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate report. Though the report doesn’t call for a whirlwind recovery, it does provide confidence that we will continue our slow and steady growth pattern through next year.

Like most industries, the long-term success of most commercial real estate professionals relies on patience and proper timing. So although the market may not display the hustle and bustle of 2006 and 2007, the smart players know it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. A little pace and patience should serve you well in 2013 and beyond!

Nevada Real Estate Market Stabilizes

Nevada was arguably the hardest hit commercial real estate market during the recession. This desert oasis is still reeling from the effects of the past few years as unemployment remains high and tourism and gaming try to gain ground.

There is good news, however, on the horizon, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, which talked to many local-area brokers who feel the market is stabilizing. The story notes that Northern Nevada experienced an abundance of activity in the early part of the year, while projects that were previously stalled in Las Vegas were finally picking back up.

As the Nevada real estate market stabilizes, lower prices, more investment opportunities and great deals are sure to be found. Why not explore this market today?

Consider a Smaller Entrepreneur City

The nation’s biggest metros are obvious places to look when starting a new enterprise. San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle. Everyone knows those hubs are brimming with creative types where ideas, money and success seem to flourish. But what if you’re not the “big city” type? Or, what if there are thousands of other wannabe entrepreneurs just like you who have already satiated these spaces?

Consider a smaller entrepreneur city. These relatively undiscovered cities that may provide even more resources and opportunities than their bigger counterparts. One example is Bend, Ore. Entrepreneur highlights this city as an example of what can happen when a few key factors come together to create a synergy that supports the entrepreneurial spirit.

While the story focuses on this particular city, it serves as a template for what makes certain region better than others when it comes to launching a new idea.

Here are a few characteristics that have led Bend to become such an entrepreneurial hit. We have a feeling that other cities that share these qualities will do just as well in the near future.

  • Diversity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Desirable living environment
  • An appreciation of technology
  • Solid public-private partnership opportunities
  • A sense of camaraderie among residents and business owners

Capitalize on Summer Business

screenshot_13764It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy…right? Wrong, if you ask Mike Mann, an extremely successful Internet entrepreneur who recently wrote the book Make Millions & Make Change!Secrets to Business and Personal Success. According to Mann, summer is the perfect time to beef up your workload and nab clients while the competition is on vacation or working shorter hours.

Summer Business Happens

It actually makes perfect sense when you think about it. Yes, business activity does slow during the summer, as offices are short staffed and everyone knows that availability is limited due to vacation schedules and “summer hours.” But that doesn’t mean business stops altogether, right?
If that were true then entire office buildings would close down for this three-month period – and we all know that isn’t true – or practical! Instead of whiling away the last lazy days of summer, Mann encourage entrepreneurs and salesmen to swoop in on the competition, setting themselves up for a flurry of activity once it’s back to business as usual.
Even if you’re not reaching out to clients and getting deals done, summer provides the perfect lull to re-evaluate your business plan, beef up your sales strategies and ensure that, come fall, you’re ready to meet your clients (and competition) head on.
“Summer is the right time to give in to your inner entrepreneur and start a new business or give your existing business some needed attention,” Mann says in a recent press release. “The days are longer, networking is easier and calendars are lighter…There are more hours in the day to get things done and many times people have fewer work obligations. Existing businesses should take advantage of this extra time by improving their best practices.”
Summer doesn’t have to be all work and no fun, however. Mann also encourages entrepreneurs to take advantage of the great weather and laid-back atmosphere. Summer barbeques can provide ideal networking environments, as can golf outings, he notes.
Whatever your plan, try to strike the right balance of business and pleasure for you. Just remember that while you’re trying to tip your scale in favor of future business, your competition is likely tipping his scale to a few more margaritas. CAPITALIZE!

Opportunity In Failure

Steve Jobs famously said in his 2005 Stanford commencement address that “getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” Though many wouldn’t necessarily share that sentiment, there is opportunity in every situation. Jobs went on to tell the new graduates that his dismissal also removed the immense pressure he felt to be successful; and ultimately led to what he calls “one of the most creative periods of my life.”

The late, great innovator wasn’t the only one to rise from the ashes of a very public “failure.” Business Insider recently recounted 17 other creators, entrepreneurs, entertainers and professionals of all shapes and sizes who found opportunity in failure and kept going in the aftermath of defeat. While many might have thrown in the towel after such rejection, these individuals persevered and, in the process, changed history and their given professions for the better.

Press On

If you’ve experienced a recent failure, firing or rejection, know that it’s not the end of the road. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re talentless or in the wrong line of work. It may simply mean that you and the other party aren’t compatible. And that’s okay. Just like the dating world, not everyone is an ideal match. There truly is opportunity in failure.

Below are a few of the standout successes mentioned by Business Insider who experienced failure early on.

  • Walt Disney was fired from a Kansas newspaper because his editor said he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”
  • A television producer in Baltimore pulled Oprah Winfrey off the evening news because he felt she got too emotionally invested in her stories
  • Bill Belichick was fired from his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. He went on to win the NFL Coach of the Year award. Three times
  • Elvis was branded talentless by the manager of the Grand Ole Opry after one performance. The soon-to-be-superstar was told he should go back to driving trucks.

The Road to Success: Entrepreneurs and Olympians

Forbes recently ran a great article in which entrepreneurs are compared to Olympic athletes. What perfect timing, right? Its author, Naveen Jain, contends that although the two groups have a lot in common, they can also take valuable lessons from one another on their road to success. We couldn’t agree more.

To achieve at either feat, you’ll need determination, a solid plan and unwavering focus. It isn’t easy to be the best, and not all of us can be “gold-medalists” in our given fields, but those who are would probably agree with Jain’s lessons for success in and out of the boardroom.

Below are some of the similarities and differences Jain outlines between Olympic athletes and world-class entrepreneurs.

Similarities

According to Jain, both entrepreneurs and Olympians must:
1.      Be passionate about what you are trying to achieve
2.      Focus intently on the mission
3.      Follow your gut instincts
4.      Listen to your inner voice
5.      Simplify your objectives
6.      Surround yourself with smart people
7.      Put in the hard work that you know it will take to reach your goal
According to Jain, what separates entrepreneurs from Olympians is the fact that:

Entrepreneurs must constantly overcome undefined and unpredictable challenges in business. They will generally have little idea what they will encounter along the way.

Olympians train for specific events and conditions.

The goals for an entrepreneur keeps moving, with hurdles coming in all shapes and sizes at varying intervals.

The goals for an Olympian are clearly defined, and the rules of their given sports are rigidly adhered to throughout the world.

Jain ends his column with this sentiment, which we hope you’ll keep in mind long after the closing ceremonies.

“As the Olympic spirit takes hold and propels our competitive spirits and national pride over the coming weeks, we should reflect on the special skills and training that serve as the foundation for excellence.”

God bless America!

Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Business Bars

Today we came across this fun list in Entrepreneur magazine. It outlines the best business bars in seven of the nation’s biggest commerce hubs. The instant we saw this we thought “What a fun, informative story idea!”

While the influence of alcohol should never be the prime motivator for getting a deal done, it is nevertheless present in many deal-making atmospheres. On the golf course. During the last hour of the latest commercial real estate conference. And, of course, you can oftentimes find it accompanying your business dinner, lunch, brunch, happy hour, mid-day snack, etc., because so many of these meals are eaten at restaurants with full-service bars.

Heck, some potential clients and investors even expect you to wine and dine them to obtain their business. With that in mind and, well, the fact that it’s summer and every hour seems just a little bit happier, we thought we’d share Entrepreneur’s top metro picks for best business bars. The article also features links to some related posts, such as 15 Rules for Talking Business Over Drinks and The Art of Small Talk for Business, which we also think you’ll find extremely useful.

Just remember, however, that as quickly as alcohol can create a lightened atmosphere, it can just as easily create regrets the following morning. If possible, aim for a couple drinks – with food – and plenty of water. You want to close a deal, not your career prospects. That said, if you’re ever in the Bay Area we’d love to check out the Azúcar Lounge with you. Enjoy!

NAIOP Members Dole Out Advice, Top Producer Secrets

The mid-year meeting for NAIOP’s Colorado Chapter took an interesting approach yesterday. According to the Denver Business Journal, instead of providing the standard market statistics, this chapter’ s organizers decided to deliver some practical tips and advice from some of the area’s most successful brokers.

Top Producer Secrets

Commercial real estate professionals from firms like CBRE, Cassidy Turley Fuller Real Estate and Cushman & Wakefield provided some of the wisdom they had picked up over the years. Brokers advised attendees to think outside the box, focus on location, be persistent and build local connections, among other things, the Journal notes.

Another interesting facet of the meeting included the dissection of the area’s largest deal in 2011: the $215-million sale of an office building located at 1801 California Street. We applaud NAIOP for following its own members’ advice and “thinking outside the box.” Very few things in business are more powerful than some real-world tips and here’s-how-it’s-done strategies from the people who have been there and done that.

This is also why we try to frequently provide useful webinars to our current and potential subscribers. Whether you’re familiar with the ProspectNow databases or not, oftentimes hearing someone else describe the way they would use the product can get you thinking about how you can maximize its value.

We’re always striving to improve our products and webinars in the interest of providing the best service possible to subscribers. So if you’ve got any tips, suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact us anytime!

Click here to read the Journal’s coverage of the meeting.

 

Survey Shows Commercial Real Estate Continues Improvement

Business Monitor International (BMI) just released its United States Real Estate Report for the second quarter of 2012 and optimism is definitely in the air. The report notes that although conditions looked bleak at the end of 2011, a positive outlook has buoyed the market and that commercial real estate continues improvement.

BMI’s Findings

united_states_real_estate_report_q2_2012

Things are definitely looking up!
  • Industrial is leading the recovery, with vacancy rates declining and new developments rising
  • Office and retail rental rates are at healthy levels
  • The U.S. GDP growth should increase about 2 percent by the fourth quarter of 2012
  • Prime office markets remain popular
  • Employment in the commercial real estate sector is improving, particularly in the office market
  • Tourism levels are increasing, resulting in a plethora of new hotel projects
  • Europe’s unpredictability is driving investors stateside
  • Speculative development is picking up
These trends are likely to hold steady through the end of 2012, which will hopefully result in stabilization across the commercial real estate board. The only question now is where do you get started?

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!