Dec 10, 2012

5 Things Every CRE Professional Should Have on Their Christmas List

By Don Catalano


5 Things Every CRE Professional Should Have on Their Christmas List.jpg
Commercial real estate professionals have a lot to wish for. However, if they can find these five things under their proverbial tree this Christmas, they'll be in pretty good shape:


Subscriptions to market research websites.

LoopNet is a good start, but it tends to only present a subset of the market and is light on historical data. In most markets, CoStar's services are the gold standard for market data. While they are primarily aimed at commercial real estate brokers, having a good sense of which buildings are changing hands, which tenants are moving, and what market rent and occupancy levels are like can give tenants a great deal of market understanding that they can use to plan their real estate strategy.


Adequately funded CAMs.

Many leases have their annual CAM reconciliations in January. If everything went right, the landlord's CAM estimate will have been accurate, the CAM collections will have been adequately funded, and the tenant will receive either no bill or a refund check. If the CAM estimate was low, though, tenants can expect to have to come up with a reconciliation check to compensate for the under collection. This can be particularly nasty since it usually gets combined with a significant CAM increase for the new year to bring collections back in sync with actual expenditures.


An iPad.

CRE executives that don't have one yet need one. When it gets loaded up with useful apps like an office suite, a real-estate friendly financial calculator like PowerOne Finance, and access to major commercial real estate services through apps like the LoopNet app and the CoStar Go app, it becomes amazingly useful. Connecting it to your cloud storage so that you can access all of your lease data makes it completely indispensable.


Lots of lease rollover.

2013 looks to be an excellent year to be a tenant. If the fiscal cliff remains unsolved, we will probably have tough economic times which will lead to higher vacancy and more landlord pain. This should make them willing to negotiate with tenants on leases that are rolling over. Even if we avert the crisis, the uncertainty that exists in the economy will likely contribute to weak private sector job growth, depressing tenant demand and creating a tenant-friendly market. 


CRE portfolio management software.

Commercial real estate managers that lack this IT tool are still abstracting their own leases, maintaining rent rolls in a spreadsheet and trying to remember to update all of the dates on their calendar. Portfolio management software automates all of these tasks. The more cost-effective packages go beyond management and into portfolio optimization, helping you to compare each of your sites to each other and to the market as a whole to find out where you can increase efficiency and minimize expenses.


Here are some other articles to check out:

Why Use a Tenant Rep Broker?

Commercial Real Estate Leasing Tips

7 Must-Have Technology Tools for CRE Road Warriors


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Don Catalano

Don Catalano