Leupp: REITs Signal Beginning of 3-5 Year Recovery in Commercial Property

Jay Paul Leupp, founder of Grubb & Ellis, talks with Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman and Mark Crumpton about the outlook for the U.S. commercial real estate market. Leupp also discusses his investment strategy and prospects for Associated Estates Realty Corp. and Sun Communities Inc. (Source: Bloomberg)

Donald Teel is a Senior Associate and Principal with Arizona Commercial, an Arizona commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm, headquartered in Prescott, Arizona. Need more information? Please call 1-877-777-9100 or, if you prefer, you may email Donald Teel

2010 – The Disaster Verses Recovery Conflict

comm bldgs sunrise - cwpLike many who find themselves connected to the lifeblood of the commercial real estate market, I have been listening, researching and studying the myriad voices and have come to the conclusion that we are entering 2010 in a state of conflict.

Two camps have emerged. The first is what I will refer to as the “Disaster Camp” and the second is the “Recovery Camp.”

The Disaster Camp (DC) is the illusive analysts whose cryptic research clearly indicates we are entering an era of melt-down. The DC guys and gals come at us armed with their complex charts and narratives that prove conclusively that we are headed into doomsday.

The Recovery Camp (RC) is equally persuasive with their slick, bullet-pointed PowerPoint presentations. The RC camp trumpets phrases like “sidelined investor capital waiting to be spent” and “Bond money waiting to pounce on market opportunities.”

After all is said and done, more will have been said than done! I’m conflicted as a result of the plethora of combative voices that leave me feeling as if I have just stepped off a wild roller-coaster and cannot gain my bearings.

As we enter 2010, I’m a lot like many of my clients, nauseated and bewildered and I am vowing here and now to never ride that roller coaster again.

For at least the opening stages of 2010, I am going to go back to trusting the basic fundamentals of investment and my instincts. In the early part of 2010 I’m resolving to delete all of the emails that are in the DC and RC camp. Away with the charts and the PDFs that tell many tales.

Here is what I am going to do in 2010…return to trusting me, myself and I. Oh, I will be forced to gaze at many more PowerPoint prophets and read many more detailed documents designed to either scare me into sleeplessness or fill me with the phony messages of hope beyond reason.

My thought is that 2010 is going to be a year of disaster AND recovery. We will eat at both sides of that aweful table made up of vinegar and sugar. That is why I am going to return to trusting myself and to a healthy avoidance of investment extremism. I’m inviting you to do the same.

Donald Teel is Senior Associate with Arizona Commercial, an Arizona commercial brokerage and property management firm. Need more information? Please call 1-877-777-9100 or, if you prefer, you may email Donald Teel

How 2s for Investment Today


Posted by Donald Teel – Arizona Commercial

Everyone, everywhere, is talking about the real estate market. Even people who do not know anything about the real estate market are talking about the real estate market.

Understandably, much of the discussion remains negative. After all, some estimates tells us that the net value of all commercial real estate in the United States has plummeted by as much as 30% since 2006. I would like to address the shiny side of this very ugly coin.

As we come to the end of 2009, how can we successfully invest in commercial real estate?

Many small to intermediate investors have been discovering that buying was the easy side of commercial real estate investment coin…the shiny side! Managing and turning properties in the volatile environment of 2009 has proved to be the tarnished side of our coin.

With respect to the fundamentals of investment, nothing has really changed. Yet, we all know much has changed and continues to change, especially with respect to the acquisition and cost of capital and sustained values. For the purpose of this article, I would like to place a market spin on what I think are the 10 most important principles for small commercial real estate investors to follow in 2010 and beyond.

Property Type. Who could have predicted that the multi-family sector would be where it is today based upon our assumptions ten years ago. We must remind ourselves that our assumptions are merely momentary conclusion based upon ever-evolving data and that the moving data is almost always something over which we have most likely, no control.

Type-casting isn’t just a Hollywood phenomenon, it’s imperative with every real estate transaction these days and in the case of multiple tenant revenues each lease will need to be sifted and ground down in order to determine its viability and value going forward. There are “leases” and there are “Leases” and there are “LEASES.” Nothing works well if the tenants don’t!

Inventory, absorption rates and occupancy rates and CAP rates are imperative to the investment equation. There is no negotiating these issues and they are deal breakers.

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Still, it’s Location. It appears that the newest and perhaps safest strategy for small to medium investors is to get big by investing small all over. Just as mix of property types is essential to a sound investment strategy, so also is the principle of multiple locations based upon regional economic dissimilarities. Atlanta’s medical office values and projected demands will be different than those of Seattle and it would be ridiculous to compare Phoenix multi-family to say Manhattan multi-family.
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Upon these Three the Deal Hinges


Posted by Donald Teel, Arizona Commercial

Taking the guesswork out of commercial real estate investment requires more than a hope, a prayer and signature.

The genesis of commercial real estate investment is found in the analysis of the basic math surrounding the transaction. Costs, cash flow, depreciation, appreciation, money in and money out. Math is the science of the deal.

While the origin of commercial transactions is found in the science of basic mathematical functions, the art of performance is found in the crafting of the document; this is the model. Well crafted documents are extensions of the numbers and the intentions of the principals.

If there is to be any semblance of predictability of performance such must be memorialized and embedded in the language that constructs the investment, i.e., the purchase agreement or lease agreement.
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