THE NET LEASE NATION SHOW WITH JAKE HAYUTIN
The Net Lease Nation Show was born in order to help passive investors in the Net Lease Market, by sharing with them insider conversation between some of the most sophisticated and active real estate investment professionals.
iNTRODUCTION TO THE SHOW
The inspiration for the show came early on in my career when I discovered an interesting paradox. The largest information gap between buyers and sellers of commercial real estate exists in the sector the seems to be the least complicated.
EPISODE #1 INVESTING IN INDUSTRIAL VS RETAIL WITH JONATHAN METCALFE, METCALFE CONSULTING
Jonathan is a real estate entrepreneur that spends most of his time doing acquisition consulting work for middle-market focused private investment firms throughout Southern California. Where, he focuses on Development and Value-Add Industrial and Retail projects. In this episode we discuss his top 3 tips for investment analysis.
Jonathan’s top 3 Tips for Deal analysis:
- Really dig into understanding Highest & Best Use and cost of converting to a nontraditional use.
- Have a committed Exit in mind that you’re comfortable with and a few back-up plans.
- Perris CA Deal Story a high risk high reward conversion from Retail to Industrial.
For acquisition, diligence and transaction consulting Jonathan can be reached at:
BLOG #1 THE TOP 10 CONSIDERATIONS FOR HIRING BROKERS
It never ceases to amaze me how often brokers botch transactions. Either by creating false optimism in their ability to execute and underdelivering, or by missing a key detail of the deal that creates a surprise that could have been avoided.
I am sure you know the gritty details of a deal gone badly, or at least the story of an unnecessarily difficult broker. There are a variety of reasons these poor practices persist, all of which can be distilled into the simple fact that there is a tremendous lack of transparency into how the business of brokerage is conducted.
If people generally had a better understanding of how the business works behind the scenes, they would be able to make better Broker Hiring decision.
So, take it from a long-time insider, these are the Top 10 Absolute Must Considerations for Hiring Real Estate Brokers.
#1 Do I LOVE This Person? – This is the first and most important thing. It is an adage in business that if it is not a “hell yes,” it is a “hell no,” and it applies here. If you don’t think there’s something special about this person, your service is not going to feel special either. At the end of the day, there is always someone else you can work with, so if you don’t love them, why spend time with them?
#2 Do I Trust this Person? – I don’t know anyone that Loves Someone they don’t trust, but I wanted to separate this quality because, good brokers can be very charming! Often, that is enough to win a listing and inspire confidence but, does not necessarily mean that their incentives are well aligned with yours. It’s a personal practice of mine to give every prospective client and broker that I engage with, the benefit of the doubt no matter what – the first time. However, it typically takes many interactions or a significant event to reveal a person’s true character.
#3 Take Your Time – You cannot build trust without time, so please take your time, especially if you feel like you are in a rush and time is “of the essence.” Its counter intuitive but, the most important time to slow down and choose wisely is when you feel the most pressure to move forward quickly. This is probably the hardest rule to put into practice because most real estate investors have other priorities, family, a day job, and other projects that their working on. So, for clients it often feels like they do not really need a broker until the moment that they do. The most savvy investors start their broker selection process one year in advance, to make sure they have the right person for the job each time.
#4 How Did I Get in Contact with this Person – It is more likely than not that they cold-called you. Cold calling has a terrible reputation in our culture because of the high-profile examples of its abuse in movies like “Wolf of Wall Street,” but it is not all bad! Most often the brokers making the most calls are the youngest and hardest working. In the case that inexperience is their only demerit, it can even be advantageous to hire a younger broker simply because of their effort. Never ever hire the first broker you talk to, at least not before talking to several others. Referrals can be great, everyone seems to know a broker that they have some relationship with, and most people are happy to make referrals for friends and family, just to be helpful. Problem is, in many cases the person making the recommendation is not necessarily doing it for the right reasons, or really know what they are talking about when it comes to making a broker hiring decision for your specific assignment.
Pro Tip #1: If you’ve been referred, make sure that the person making the referral has not only worked with this person in the recent past, but also that the person making the recommendation is in the real estate business! Everyone knows a real estate broker, so this can be an enormously powerful and simple way filter out the least qualified brokers that come into your world. The Natural Human Instinct, when someone politely refers a friend, is to return their politeness, with a, “yes!” Moreover, because most peopled do not follow Rule #10 they end up getting into a business relationship with someone they barely know and did not have compete for the job!
If instead, you resist the instinct to be polite and you say “No,” you send a powerful signal to the person making the recommendation. It makes them stop and really consider their level of conviction about the person they are recommending. If they do feel strongly, they will immediately make a stronger case for the broker, if they were just being polite, they will in most cases drop it at the first No.
#5 Are they a Dedicated Expert or a Casual Participant – Independent Contractors, especially real estate brokers have the freedom and responsibility of an entrepreneur. Some brokers work only part time, others grow out of the role as they acquire investment properties. Moral here is that: Many Claim the Title, Few Embrace the Lifestyle. Make sure you have got someone working for you that is 100% dedicated when you need them. In short hire a professional. Here is a quick test:
Pro Tip #2: Ping the broker you’re vetting at a random time while you’re still getting to know them to see how quickly they respond the best brokers make themselves available 24/7/365. Or, at least, they get back to you very quickly!
#6 Are they Specialized – if so in what? If not, why not? Every broker defines their specialty differently but, typically they are framed by the kind of real estate, the structure of the lease, the geography, certain tenants etc. Figuring out exactly what they specialize in is important because it is a strong indicator for how well suited, they are for your assignment. Typically, brokers that have a strongly defined geography will work on more kinds of real estate assignments, while those that are less geographically constrained have more specific requirements for the kind of real estate they service and what services they provide.
#7 Do they Refer Business Out – It is generally a pretty good indicator that you are dealing with a specialist when they refer a lot of business out, particularly of a certain kind or in a certain area. It is also a good indicator that they do a lot of business. A novice broker will say yes to everything.
#8 Does their Specialty Overlap with your Assignment? – Now this is where your diligence starts to get detailed. State real estate licensing exams are designed for residential brokers but, beyond that there are many classifications. Some brokers, overlap and dip their toes into other categories but, few do more than one thing very well. Almost all fall into one of the following categories
- Residential Brokers – Sell Homes to families and to investors for leasing. This is the most common type of real estate broker. I am sure you know several.
- Commercial Brokers – generally can be further delineated:
- Leasing Brokers – leasing brokers typically specialize in a specific type of commercial space (office, retail, industrial) and a well-defined geography. Some specialize representing landlords, others in representing tenants.
- Investment Sales (like me!) – most investment sales brokers specialize in one product type or several in one MSA. Others have a very narrowly defined product that they sell and do so nationally. Other, specialize by deal size and investor type; private, hybrid or institutional.
#9 How is their office and team structured? – This is one of those questions that when I get it from a prospect, I know I am dealing with a seasoned veteran. Most people who are passive investors who have not worked in a brokerage firm and cannot know all that goes on the behind the scenes. Since most of the people in the building are independent contractors (1099) the culture is HUGELY different from a typical office of employees (W2). If the arrangement behind the scenes is sub-optimal there is a good chance you are going to be oversold on the process and the outcome will too be sub-optimal. Here are a few questions to ask to uncover potential issues going on behind the scenes:
ProTip#3: Top 10 Probing Questions to Uncover Potential Problems with a Broker:
- Do you work Independently, or are you on a Team?
- If a Team, how many people will be involved in my deal and in what capacity?
- How long have you worked for this Team or Office?
- Have you had any conflicts internally?
- Are you showing me your track record, the team’s, or the company’s?
- Which of all the responsibilities of being a broker do you do best, who on your team is supporting your weaknesses?
- How many other agents share your support team?
- What about my deal do you like the most?
- What about my deal do you think is going to be the biggest Challenge?
- How many other assignments are you working on right now?
#10 Get a Second and Third Opinion – Always, Always, Always, get AT LEAST a second and third opinion. Talk to a leasing broker, talk to a sales broker, talk to a young broker, talk to an old broker, talk to a broker that is focused locally, talk to one that works nationally. From this office and that, like the Cat in the Hat. This rule is last, and along with Rule #3 the hardest to follow. Take your time, do not go with the first referral you get from anyone, and talk to as many brokers as you can before making a real estate investment decision.
I hope you will consider at least a few of these points before making your next big real estate investment decision. Believe me, you’ll be happy you did.
BLOG #2 JAKE'S THREE MARKETS THEORY FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTING
Next time you talk with your favorite Real Estate Professional – ask them “how do you generally think about Markets for real estate investing?”
See how they respond. I bet you are going to get a different answer every time, each of them telling you more about what they do for a living than anything else, and all equally wrong!
There are only Three Markets to consider when evaluating any real estate investment.
I can prove it.
The Three Markets Defined
1. The Property Market: The Property Market comes first because it is the most intuitive. When most people think about real estate markets, they think about what is for sale, what has recently sold, and at what pricing. This is correct, but incomplete. The Property Market also includes new development, redevelopment, demolishion, leasing, subleasing, absorption, occupancy, rental rates, and vintage of every building. It encompasses anything and everything related to the physical quality and status of the subject property and all relevant or alternative properties and spaces in the subject geography or alternative competitive geographies. The Property Market is the Physical Realm of Real Estate Investing.
2. The Capital Market: The Capital Market, refers to all the capital available for investment in the market. The Capital Market is the most dynamic and complex of the 3. It includes: Public and Private companies and funds, Fund Managers, Debt and Equity, Conventional Banks, Insurance Companies, Credit Unions, Bridge Lenders, Mezzanine, CMBS, Small Business Lenders, Hard Money – all different kinds of capital, even Crypto today! Each type of Capital comes with different terms and often has hugely different preferences. The Capital Market is the Spiritual Realm of Real Estate Investing.
3. The Brokerage Market: The Brokerage Market, is the Market of competing brokers. Simply put, it is the exact size of the number of brokers competing for a given assignment. Typically, brokers compete in either well defined markets, or well define service specialties and every combination in between. In most places there are several brokers with similar specialties in all areas that compete for all kinds of brokerage business. The Brokerage Market is the Human Realm of Real Estate Investing.
Each of the components in each of the 3 Markets must be in perfect order with the goals of the parties to ensure a perfectly copasetic transaction. (This is not easy to orchestrate, without a Maestro!) When even a small disturbance exists in any of the above, the risk of a deal “going sideways” and ultimately “blowing-up” increases tremendously!
I hope this helps simplify your real estate investment decisions, I know it has been helpful for me as I look at various deals, and I know it has been appreciated by many I’ve shared it with.
Please let me know if you find this helpful, or if any better examples come to mind!