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How to sell your commercial property online

We have reached a time and age when the Internet has become the most reliable and convenient source of information that we have.

From modern dating tips to everyday recipes, we rely on the Web to guide us every step of the way.

The Internet has truly helped many companies develop and evolve. It’s cheap, fast, ubiquitous. It has the ability to reach customers in every part of the globe.

If you want to know the best ways to advertise your commercial property online, here are some helpful tips:

Online presence

Create a website that functions as your showroom with a facility that allows visitors and prospective buyers to ask you questions and leave their feedback.

Keep your social media accounts active. If you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc., make sure you’re consistently posting updates or photos about your property. It boosts your ratings and makes your page more visible.

You can also post related links – for instance, trends in office space, events happening in your commercial park or city, local tourist attractions and other places that make the neighborhood interesting, etc.

The more you post engaging material, the more you’ll get followers and potential buyers.

Employ Email marketing

With email, you can take the first step in selling your commercial property.

You can create your very own database of clients and brokers, and keep in touch with them through their online accounts.

Include photos of homes, features, and updates in your email alerts.

Highlight the positives of your property – spacious parking lot, proximity to public conveniences, high-traffic area, etc.

Proofread your email. A typo or grammatical error always looks unprofessional.

What you really need to do then is to reach out to potential clients by advertising advertise your property.

These online campaigns don’t necessarily have to be brilliant; they just need to accomplish what they set out to do.

A guide to selling your commercial property in Los Angeles

Selling commercial real estate in Los Angeles is a process of following rules and meeting requirements set by the city’s Department of Building and Safety.

It’s a step that can be circuitous and daunting. Here are a few things to help you out.

The requirements

  • Earthquake Gas Shut-Off Vales (EQSO) – Commercial or residential properties with fuel gas piping must have an EQSO valve properly installed, per Ordinance 171,874 (effective February 5, 1998), and Ordinance 170,158 (effective July 1, 1995)
  • Water Conservation – All commercial or residential property with plumbing fixtures installed should diligently comply with Los Angeles’ Water Conservation Ordinance

The following is not explicitly required by the local government, but you would do well to have the following disclosures ready.

  • Compliance certificates to ensure potential buyers that the commercial building you’re selling follows all applicable energy and safety regulations

The selling process

Here are other things that are good to know when selling commercial real estate.

  • Determine the value of your commercial property by getting in touch with a professional valuation expert. This will help you set a realistic price that sits well with an informed buyer’s own estimation.
  • Show the income potential of your property, both currently and in the future. It’s going to be a hard sale if the building fails to show the capacity to earn its keep.
  • Make sure the property abides by local laws and ordinances. Inattention over “little details” adds up to delays and additional expenses over time, hampering and wreaking havoc on the overall process of selling commercial real estate.
  • Get in touch with a commercial real estate lawyer and an experienced real estate agent to handle all of the above. Hiring experts saves you time and money, and makes short work of trying to understand everything at once.

Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate

For more information on selling commercial properties, give NordineCommercial a call at 310-379-8800.

Tips on selling mixed-use property

Mixed-use facilities don’t go out of favor because of what they provide the individual: residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and industrial functions rolled into one, where the individual can live, work, and play without crossing the street or driving a car.

If you’re selling a mixed-use development in Los Angeles, make sure you meet the following Requirements

For mixed-use facilities with residential spaces:

  • Smoke detectors
    Section 91.8603 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code requires all residential properties, including condominiums and apartments, to have smoke detectors installed on the ceiling or wall of rooms used for sleeping and rooms with a central location. Detectors must also be installed in basements. For condominiums and apartments, smoke detectors must be hard-wired and have battery backup.
  • Security lighting and locks
    Los Angeles mandates that apartment buildings provide ample security to its residents by having security lighting and locks installed.Exterior lighting must be installed in the following areas:

    • Recreational spaces
    • Parking areas
    • Walkways
    • Entrance of each unit

    Interior lighting, on the other hand, must be installed in common and service rooms as well as parking garages.

    Doors and windows that provide entry to each dwelling must be installed with locks.

For mixed-use facilities with commercial spaces:

Because they’re a convenience to residents and tenants, mixed-use facilities often accommodate commercial spaces. To know more about requirements needed for both commercial and residential properties, check out our guide on selling commercial real estate.

Why hire experts to help sell your mixed-use property?

When you hire an experienced professional real estate agent to sell your mixed-use property, you increase your chance of landing a profitable sale.

Getting a real estate lawyer to advise you on the arcane legalities of selling commercial real estate ensures you comply with every requirement the transaction entails.

Knowing what to do at the outset instead of figuring it out yourself speeds up the selling process.

To know more about selling mixed-use properties, give Nordine Commercial a call at 310-379-8800 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Marketing your commercial office space

The performance of a commercial property on the real estate market depends on many factors.

Every single step—from planning to construction/renovation and to occupancy—affects how the property is eventually received.

You can have a perfectly structured office space and still end up with few takers.

A few tips, then, on how to attract tenants:

  1. Make your presence felt.IN REAL LIFE: Announce the name and nature of the property on the actual site to let the neighborhood know what it is. The proximity of your office space may attract lessees from around the area.

    ONLINE: Make sure that your online listing is prodigiously linked and highly discoverable. Promote your project in blogs and press releases.

  2. Build and keep a following.Social media helps you start a following by making your project look highly desirable.

    With constant updates and informative posts, you can increase the exposure and desirability of your office space and keep buyers and renters hooked.

  3. Showcase your uniqueness and creativity.Commercial developments are sprouting everywhere, so you need to be creative and make yours stand out.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Host a series of short seminars and lectures for starters and if you can handle the potential deluge, take the invite online.
    • Make your event memorable. You can serve refreshments, raffle off a prize, spotlight a special guest, and so on.
    • It’s not just about the property but the presentation. If your office space has all the usual amenities found in all the best properties, then present yours in a unique way.
    • Create an “identity” for your office space that people can relate to. Make it desirable to anyone who comes upon it.
  4. Be a good neighbor.Stay in touch with the people who showed interest in your office space. Apprise them of developments or let them know if you have other properties available.

    Promote the neighborhood your development is in and the way of life of the people who live there.

    In case vacancies arise, hire from within the immediate community if you are able.

Best Markets for Industrial Real Estate

If you’re thinking of investing in industrial real estate, check out the following markets as suggested to the National Real Estate Investors by Colliers International’s national director of the U.S. Industrial Group, Dwight Hotchkiss, to get an insight of where you’ll maximize earnings.

Seattle

If you’re living in Washington and you’re inclined to invest in industrial real estate, drop by Seattle, one of the fastest growing markets for industrial facilities. The vacancy rate in the Seattle/Puget Sound alone is impressive, at it has dropped 30 basis points in the first quarter of this year.

What D. Hotchkiss has to say: “Seattle has become a growing market that has seen greater interest in new development and investment from institutional clients.”

South Florida

There’s more to life than luxury condos and waterfront estates in South Florida. The industrial vacancy rate in this region is doing quite well. Take Miami, for example, with vacancy rates crashing down 30 basis points from the end of 2014 to the first quarter of this year. West Palm Beach, on the other hand, has a 5.9 percent vacancy rate.

What D. Hotchkiss has to say: “A number of notable investments have occurred in this region as a result of the explosion of business with LATAM.”

Northern California

San Francisco Peninsula’s vacancy rate will wow industrial real estate investors: it’s now only at 2.5 percent since it dropped 50 basis points in the last quarter of 2014. The same happened in San Jose, with a vacancy rate of 6.8 percent.

What D. Hotchkiss has to say: “The Central Valley, in particular, has become an area to watch… The region has seen a great increase in user interest and institutional investment.”

Chicago

Chi-town has always been a market to check out for institutional investments. Vacancy rate in the city averaged at 7.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, which represents a 10-basis point drop from the last quarter of 2014.

What D. Hotchkiss has to say: “Chicago continues to be a noteworthy market as it’s a key logistics center in the U.S. for trains coming from West Coast.”

For more information on the best markets for industrial real estate, log on to http://nreionline.com/industrial/8-best-markets-industrial-real-estate#slide-0-field_images-1785001.

How flexible work styles impact office design

Gone are the days of using traditional cubicles in the workplace – they’re boring, outdated, and don’t respond to the new way we work.

If companies want to bag the brightest hires, they’ll need to have a collaborative office space that can accommodate flexible work styles.

What’s tech got to do with it?

As the workforce has become increasingly mobile, time spent working at a desk has been greatly reduced.

Working on the move has become the norm now, thanks to smart phones, tablets, lighter laptops, and 24/7 connectivity.

As a result, more companies are transforming their offices into more efficient workspaces that feature flowing, open floor plans that allow employees to move around and collaborate with ease.

Some companies, on the other hand, have adopted new work arrangements such as desk sharing, flexible work hours, and telecommuting.

The new trend in office spaces

With the change in how people today work, office experts are ushering in a new era in office design.

Floor layouts and furniture design are being re-imagined to support a variety of work styles.

These changes adapt to an individual’s working style but also influence attitudes and cooperation among employees.

In a survey conducted by trusted firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) on 544 real estate firms, almost 70 % percent of respondents have seen an increased demand on workplace design that foster employee collaboration.

The best example of this is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who does not have an office but sits beside his employees with whom he shares a long desk.

Happier workers

“People are actually happier to work this way, they like the freedom,” says Elie Finegold, senior vice president of global innovation and business intelligence at CBRE Group.

“It’s like the years before offices, like farmers who worked at their own pace and quit when it was done, not at a time-clock, and it lets them be with their families more,” she added in an interview with National Real Estate Investor.

“Plus, every communication is more traceable, so you know the work is getting done.”

The effect of millennials

The emergence of millennials, or those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, has also had a profound effect on office design.

According to Bernice Boucher, head of workplace strategy in the Americas for JLL, millennials demand work flexibility, and company managers are remodeling office environments to allow freedom of movement and access to the latest technology.

Bouchard also states that some companies like to think they’re competing against Google, a company that’s the holy grail of tech-immersed new talent. Managers hope that by adopting new workplace designs, they’ll also gain a reputation as a company job seekers should check out.

A useful guide to commercial real estate lingo

The world of real estate is full to overflowing with acronyms, jargon, and insider terms.

If you’re looking to test your knowledge or learn something new, we compiled a list of some of the most common terms used by commercial real estate brokers.

This guide is also best shared with interns, junior associates, or anyone new to the business of commercial real estate.

Investment Sales

LTV – “Loan to Value” is the ratio of mortgage loan to property value.

Operating Expenses – The total expenses incurred during a commercial property’s operation. These typically include property taxes and insurance, cost of utilities, and maintenance costs.

BOE – This stands for “Back of Envelope,” a time-saving method used by investors to analyze investment opportunities. The BOE concludes whether or not a possible real estate investment makes the cut, before more time is further spent analyzing the investment.

CAM – Or “Common Area Maintenance” refers to expenses that cover maintenance fees such as cleaning, landscaping, snow removal, and the like.

Trophy Building – The best type of investment property. Trophy buildings are first class in every respect from the architecture , location, technology, finishes, environmental sustainability, to other factors.

Development

FAR – “Floor Area Ratio” is the ratio between the total size of the property and the size of a structure or building that can be constructed within the property. This ratio is determined by officials from the local municipality according to zoning regulations in the neighborhood, district, town, or city.

Zoning – This is the term used for the laws regarding the legal use of land or real estate in an area. These laws determine which type of properties can be developed within certain areas, whether it’s a commercial, industrial, or residential property. Zoning laws also determine specific restrictions and guidelines such as height, required parking, and FAR (see above).

Leasing

Lessee – The lessee is the property’s tenant, or the party currently occupying a leased space and paying its rent.

Lessor – This is another term for landlord. This is the party that collects the rent and allows the lessee to occupy and use the leased space.

Sublease and Direct Lease – A direct lease is a negotiation between a tenant (or lessee) and a landlord (or lessor). A sublease on the other hand, is an arrangement between two tenants leasing the same space.

Sublessee and Sublessor – These are the two parties involved in a sublease. The tenant that has an active lease on a space is a sublessor, while the one leasing the space from the other is a sublessee. A sublessor can decide whether to lease out the entire area or one portion of the space.

Availability Rate – This is the quantity of office space that may be leased. This includes vacant space, space that is available within the next quarter, and available space for sublease.

Absorption – This is the amount of leasable square footage within a given period of time. Total absorption or gross absorption is the total amount of square footage that does not include the space vacated during the same period. Net absorption takes both figures into account, and can be calculated by subtracting the amount of occupied square footage during the start of a time period from the square footage occupied during the end of the same period.

Vacancy Rate – This is a percentage of all the available units in a city’s entire market, submarket, property, or portfolio within a given period of time.

Landlord Representative – Also known as an LL Rep is hired by landlords to stand in their stead during leasing transactions. Talented LL reps are able to negotiate for low vacancy rates and high rents, and often enjoy a consistent flow of repeat business from the many satisfied landlords they represent.

Tenant Representative – On the other hand, tenant reps are brokers hired by those seeking out store or office space, in single or multiple locations, including globally. Tenant reps ensure the client’s best interests are represented during negotiations. They can also be in charge of finding the space and location that perfectly suits a tenant’s needs.

Rentable Area – This is the total square footage a tenant pays for. This includes hallways, lobbies, and other common areas. The rentable area, however, does not include elevators and stairs.

Usable Area – This area is the leased space used by the tenant. This includes recessed entrances, columns, and other necessary fixtures, even though tenants cannot physically make use of these.

Assignable or Carpetable Area – This is the actual area that may be physically used by a tenant, the total space that does not include columns or other similar obstructions. It’s space you can actually place a carpet on, hence the term “carpetable.”

Loss Factor – The percentage of a Rentable Area that a tenant cannot make use of.

Load Factor or Add-on Factor –A percentage that indicates how much larger a Rentable Area is compared to the Usable Area.

Lease Types

Full Service or Gross Lease – With this, a landlord usually covers all operating expenses, though there are certain cases wherein tenants are responsible for covering a partial amount of annual increases in operating expenses.

Modified Gross Lease – A Modified Gross Lease means a tenant covers a portion of operating expenses along with the base rent. This amount typically includes utility bills and maintenance or janitorial services.

Triple Net or NNN Lease – This type of lease means a tenant is responsible for three kinds of operating expenses: property tax, insurance, and maintenance. Landlords with this type of lease collect a net amount, since they are free from paying for operating expenses.

Double Net or NN Lease – This is the same as the Triple Net Lease, except landlords are responsible for covering maintenance expenses.

Commercial Real Estate FAQ

Not a real estate expert?

No worries.

For the majority who wish to know more about the ins and outs of commercial properties, here are the answers to some of your FAQs.

1. What counts as a commercial property?

In the simplest sense, commercial properties are for-profit sites. Typical commercial properties are office buildings, retail shops, multifamily housing, and warehouses. Hotels, sports facilities, and hospitals are also counted as commercial properties. Like any business, the cash flow of commercial properties depends mostly on timing, market conditions, and current tenants.

2. How is dealing with a home different with a commercial space?

There are many similarities between commercial and residential deals. However, commercial real estate entails more risks. Buyers, sellers, and renters of commercial spaces are more susceptible to issues regarding titles and liens. There are also zoning problems that may eventually arise.

3. What are the possible risks when it comes to selling commercial real estate?

All investments come with unpredictable circumstances. As much as we would like to anticipate all contingencies, there are certain things we can’t really control. When it comes to commercial spaces, however, it pays to pay attention to the following issues:

      • Inconsistency of real estate market
      • Land use and zoning problems
      • Errors in titles
      • Lender or debt services complications

Not everyone involved in commercial real estate experiences these drawbacks but one must always be ready for sticky situations.

4. Is a real estate broker or lawyer really necessary when it comes to commercial real estate transactions?

A broker’s job is to negotiate and arrange deals for clients – but not provide legal advice to buyer or seller. Hiring both a broker and a lawyer to help you deal with the complications of handling and negotiating real estate steers you clear of possible misunderstandings or legal entanglements.

5 ways to outfit a commercial property for selling

Just like selling a home, doing your homework before releasing a piece of commercial property out into the crowded world of listings increases your chances of successfully negotiating a sale.

Here are a few handy tips that can help you attract the right buyers:

1. Get in touch with a specialist

Involving a third party who specializes in the property type you’re attempting to sell is a very smart move. Chances are, someone who’s experienced has already successfully completed similar transactions, giving your commercial property an instant advantage on the market.

2. Repair strategically

With commercial properties, it’s okay to leave a few minor things unrepaired – but it’s very important to be honest when asked about the property’s maintenance status. Open communication is key – sellers should be able to understand the value of the property but at the same time be upfront about issues like repairs or upgrades. Transparency will ensure a smooth, problem-free transaction, and avoid future misunderstandings.

3. Enhance its appeal

You’ll never know what a commercial property will be used for so your efforts at cosmetic enhancements may prove meaningless to a prospective buyer. The better option is to ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned.

4. Make sure the roof is in excellent condition

A well-maintained roof puts the seller in a positive light. It shows that a seller cares about the property enough to ensure it’s always in great condition. Just a single leak or minimal visible damage on a roof is enough to lower a potential buyer’s interest.

5. Always have paperwork and documentation ready

A seller must know how much a piece of commercial property makes, and have the necessary documents to prove it. Showing a prospective buyer that you’ve gathered all the important papers ahead of time speaks of your professionalism and puts buyers at ease.

Challenges and benefits of mixed-use buildings

Mixed-use facilities are now commonplace in the commercial real estate market.

A development can be called “mixed use” when it has three or more revenue-generating uses, which can include retail, residential, office, and entertainment, among others.

All the functional parts should also be closely integrated by way of uninterrupted walkable connections.

The upside

Like everything else, however, mixed-use development is not without its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

“A mixed-use center is, in my opinion, a lot more appealing to the marketplace. It’s got that 24/7 feel, where you can walk from your residence and get on the street, and you can go shopping and go to the bar or the restaurant, and you don’t have to get in your car. It’s got a lot more curb appeal.” – Sean Davis, principal at Morris & Ritchie Associates

1. Mixed-use properties are efficient because, as Sean Davis mentioned in the quote above, you can have access to a lot of services in just one setting – so it’s one way to conserve or maximize land resources. Similarly, a mixed-used development presents opportunities for building and energy efficiency , making them friendly to the environment.

2. Reduced long-term maintenance costs are another advantage because of the proximity of uses, including many which are stacked vertically.

3. Uses will evolve thanks to builders and property owners who are coming up with more new ways to utilize the facilities.

The downside

Preventing mixed-use developments from being the perfect residential set up are the following issues:

1. Lack of parking space is a dilemma often encountered by occupants and visitors of a mixed-use facility. From implementation of parking policies to working out the relationship between different spaces and their uses, parking can create quite a headache. Oh, and did we mention that the traffic can get heavy? Yikes.

2. Noise transfer from commercial to residential areas seems like the tradeoff to convenience. It can be problematic especially if a residential unit is located close to a restaurant or a nighttime bar. Ditto for related irritants like cooking smells, cigarette smoke, and visible trash from the commercial component of the development. But like any other problem, there are solutions to these problems.

In the end, however, mixed-use properties show great potential when done right. They are sustainable, efficient, and can enliven any neighborhood.

How to sell commercial property quickly

Selling commercial property is very different from selling homes.

Even if you’re an experienced seller of residential real estate, you’ll quickly discover a new set of challenges that comes with selling commercial properties.

How so?

What to consider when selling commercial property

One of the main differences between selling a house and commercial real estate is the way in which the property is valued.

The income a commercial property generates has a lot to do with how much it’s going to sell for – a consideration absent when it comes to determining the value of a home.

However, potential buyers won’t just take your word for it. You need to show proof of the commercial property’s actual incomes.

Commercial properties also have:

  • Significantly higher appraisal expenses
  • Extra requirements such as environmental reports
  • A different method of financing
  • A different buying audience

Take a moment to think through your selling strategy as well. Will streamlining the process convince buyers that a piece of commercial property is worth pursuing?
A solid strategy increases the chances of selling a commercial property quickly

Handy tips

1. Collate all documents
The majority of buyers these days are extra cautious when it comes to investments. Gathering all the necessary paperwork and documentation demonstrate your conscientiousness as a seller. The documents you have on hand are concrete evidence of the property’s earning potential.

2. Do a bit of clean up
Get to the nooks and crannies of the commercial space to make sure everything’s clean, organized, and in good working condition. Remember not to go overboard and spend too much on renovations – a little landscaping and pressure cleaning should do the trick.

3. Offer a portion of an existing business
If you’re selling a business along with a piece of property, it’s a good idea to offer buyers a portion of the business as part of the deal. You can offer to stick around and continue to manage the business in order to initiate a smoother transition.

How do commercial real estate brokers market their listings?

Selling a commercial space can involve more tedious work compared to marketing residential properties. However, the most successful brokers take it upon themselves to promote their listings as fervidly as possible.

There are many ways to advertise a commercial property. For example, one of the easiest ways to communicate with interested buyers is through the Internet. Anyone who isn’t on the web yet is missing out on so many opportunities every minute.

So, how does a broker effectively market commercial properties online exactly?

Your website is your showroom

In the world of commercial real estate, newspapers and other print media are still the leading source of information for buyers on the lookout for property.

However, according to the report Real Estate Marketing in the Digital Age published just this September, 94 % of millennials and 84 % of baby boomers use real estate websites to look for homes.

So the first step to improving a commercial listing’s presence is to have a website. Once real estate brokers engage in online marketing, they’re already a step ahead of the pack.

A real estate website should not only be informative but also interactive. A commercial property website should include:

  • Information on the real estate broker
  • Detailed information on the properties for sale (type of property, location, size, price, and so on)
  • A “Contact Us” page that makes it tremendously easy for online users to inquire about your properties, including your telephone numbers, a chat or direct messaging facility, your email address, and the street address of your office

While inquiries may not always result in a sale, it’s always nice to interact with prospective clients, who may choose in the future to buy from you.

Real estate brokers can also use newsletters to share updates. These can be sent out by email with the frequency you prefer, including every week, every two weeks, monthly, and so on.

The website also needs to be optimized through keyword usage, quality content, enhanced URLs, and a responsive design. Optimizing your website improves the site’s search rank, traffic, and conversions. The idea is to ensure that your website appears on top of the search results page when people Google for properties that fit the criteria of your real estate.

Social media engages customers

Social media is a great way to reinforce your online presence and engage customers, potential buyers, and business partners.

Millennials and Generation Xers depend not just on the Internet as a resource, but also on social media for answers to anything—including their real estate questions because they trust the opinion of their peers in their social media circles.

Determine which social accounts you’d like to maintain. The list is growing: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and so on.

Then ensure that you always have fresh content—updates on Facebook, eye-catching photos on Instagram – to keep people interested. Using social media ups the chances of having your listings noticed.

Commercial real estate is hopping into online marketing; it’s definitely not a fad and it isn’t going away, so don’t get left behind.