As one Register columnist wrote, âThese are just opinions, but they’re all mine! Today, I’m purging my inbox for another edit of a random commercial real estate thinking. I find the occasional purge cathartic. So this is it.
Gender reveals. Some of you may have noticed my more frequent use of “her” to describe the sex of landlords or tenants. Yes, one of my readers scolded me. I realized that I had made a mistake and therefore the morph. So sorry if I offended.
Insomnia. My recent column on the number one problem I hear voiced by business owners – the lack of skilled workers – drew some comments. Specifically, my reference to our “grant” for the unemployed. The fact remains: unemployment is rampant and we have done a poor job of training our young people for the jobs that exist, especially the trades.
Electricians, carpenters, ironworkers, concrete finishers, roofers all throng on every construction site. These craftsmen create the concrete caissons that commercial realtors are responsible for filling. Unfortunately, there is a huge yawn with those who are drawn into more white collar arenas, especially from a certain age. However, I don’t see these capable gray hairs as candidates for building structures.
Sparkling or still. People ask ‘how is the market? I answer with “it depends”.
If your specialty is industrial – manufacturing and logistics properties and you represent owners – you are an order taker. You simply manage the flow of activity surrounding your offering and choose from a number of takers.
Conversely, advising tenants or buyers often fills the day with endless research to locate an availability and define expectations when it is discovered. The rules for pursuing an off-market offer are changing. The owner’s motivation is not as strong. Brokers who market office suites face systemic uncertainty. Questions such as âhow much space do we actually need and whenâ are conference room topics.
Decline to come. There is always some interest in the âWhen will the music stopâ columns. Inflation is rampant, supply chains are disrupted, everything shortages are occurring and national debt levels are rising, but we continue to torpedo previously high sale and rental prices. Nowadays, we are forced to price offers to be determined – a safeguard against leaving dollars on the platform.
Finally, what will the 2021 report bring? Many say it will be more or less the same. Some are wary of seeing the amount of government spending piling up on the horizon and bracing for a host of tax law changes.
After all, we have to pay off the debt somehow, right? Are tax strategies such as deferred interest, tax-deferred swaps, and long-term capital gains – which play into the commercial real estate business – threatened? Many believe it. Others realize the enormous lobbying exerted by real estate companies and are safe. Hopefully any changes will not be retroactive.
Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is Principal at Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at [email protected] or 714.564.7104.