Value is in the eye of the CRE beholder

There is one thing universal to commercial real estate transactions when it comes to investment buyers and sellers.

Buyers want the highest cap rate they can find; and sellers want to challenge the market with the lowest cap rate it will withstand.

Often the value of the property lies somewhere in between.

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Verbal Offer is No Offer

If in a negotiation you hear the Seller say: “I’ve already been offered $X sum of money,” and that amount seems somewhat unrealistic, ask if it the offer was in writing.

It’s interesting how many times the response is, “no, it was not in writing.”

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Creepin it real this Halloween

The pandemic is sure to have put a damper on the pop-up Halloween store phenomena of the last few years.

A Value Village survey in 2018 revealed that 40 per cent of customers stated Halloween is their favourite holiday; second only to Christmas, it would seem, when it comes to seasonal spending.

So it should come as no surprise that the Retail Council of Canada is reporting that eight out of ten Canadians still intend to celebrate Halloween this year despite Covid-19 concerns.

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The line is drawn between easements & encroachments

I have a pretty wide range of expertise as a commercial real estate professional.

I’m not an engineer, electrician, or city planner, but I need to understand some working knowledge in all these areas (and others) to properly advise my clients.

An issue that comes up pretty regularly in our world is dealing with easements and encroachments on properties.

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Don’t discount retail discounters

Price slashing. Mark downs. Lower prices. Discounted goods.

The word discount conjures up a variety of value for many consumers.

Discount is a deduction from the usual cost of something.

The irony of that rationale is by who’s standard is the cost of something?

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The mall needs to be okay

I’ve not been shy about my love affair with the traditional interior mall as a retail institution.

While skeptics have been predicting their inevitable death, the interior mall seems to innovate and survive in spite of its critics.

But could the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic finally have done them in?

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Options for Lighthouse need to be explored

The Lighthouse, which provides support to Saskatoon’s homeless and mentally ill, is vital to our community but it can’t come at the expense of our vibrant Downtown as a whole.

Prior to the global pandemic, Saskatoon’s Downtown businesses were already feeling the impact of reduced foot traffic due to safety concerns of the Lighthouse.

Now, the reported national statistics for tenant relief requests from the retail sector mirror close to what we’ve seen in Saskatoon.

As a result of economy shutting down to Covid-19, on average, 70 per cent of requests have come from retail tenants; only 30 per cent have come from the office and industrial sectors.

A game plan to invigorate our downtown retail business before it’s too late is urgent.

It’s time for the City, local businesses, and the Lighthouse to examine a Plan B if we hope to save this core neighbourhood.

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Fair is fair

Fair is a pretty relative term in the commercial real estate universe.

It depends entirely on which side of the transaction you are as to what your perception of fair may be.

In regard to commercial leasing, does fair apply to the landlord or tenant?

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Don’t miss this critical element in CRE investment purchase

If you’ve purchased a commercial or residential condo, you would have encountered an estoppel certificate. 

There are many reasons for obtaining a condominium estoppel. They provide insight into the project reserve fund, illustrate if there are any unpaid contributions or arrears and determine if its bylaws and policies are in good standing.

Estoppels are just one of many due diligence items I encourage buyers to ask for.

The information I’m discussing here is applicable only to single and multi-tenant investments (excluding multi-family rentals).

Let’s look at the importance of obtaining estoppel certificate(s) during your investigation of an investment property.

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May the Fourth be with you

Last week Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced a phased in plan to reopen the province for business in the wake of Covid-19.

While some people are saying it is too soon, most agree that it has been long enough.

So how will this unfold for commercial real estate tenants?

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