When you invest in a commercial property, your responsibilities—and opportunities—go well beyond the four walls of your building or the boundaries of your grounds. You are now part of the community and it behooves you to embrace that responsibility and become involved. Fortunately, this can also provide a welcome boost to your reputation and your ROI.
Everything from property values to tenant relations stand to benefit from community engagement. Here are just a few of the ways you can get involved.
There are many ways to contribute to your community other than money, and there are many ways to connect with these opportunities. Here are just a few examples:
Networking is key to establishing and maintaining positive relationships with your neighbors and the town at large. Join the local Chamber of Commerce and attend events hosted by local service organizations, such as the Rotary, Lions, or Kiwanis clubs. They have their finger on the pulse of the community and can direct you to other opportunities to get involved. Local chapters of the Ronald McDonald House, the Boys & Girls Club, and various other groups are also great resources.
Parents hold the key to a community’s good will. They are perhaps the most invested and the most vocal about their experiences, good and bad. What better way to engage this constituency than by helping your local PTA or PTO with fundraising, volunteering, or marketing, services which are nearly always in demand. Promote their events in your building and encourage your tenants to step up as well.
Speaking of tenants, they are your most powerful tool and the most direct expression of your community involvement. Engage them in these efforts and you’ll have a better relationship with them and have a greater impact on your town. Organize neighborhood “shine” days where you collect trash or plant flowers along your street, as one example. Come the holidays, boost your efforts to collect food for the local pantry, and make your corner of town the pride and joy of the community with decorations and giveaways.
These are just some examples of ways to become involved in your community. Commercial real estate investors in South Florida and beyond have innumerable outlets for finding causes and organizations that enable them to give back to the community. And the practical impact—beyond doing what’s right— is that all of them have great potential to bring positive attention to you and your property:
In short, community investment is not only a moral imperative and a great way to improve where you live or work—it has real ROI. We call that a win-win … win!
Morris Southeast Group is a champion of community engagement. For a free consultation on our commercial real estate investment or property management services, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.
As soon as people had something to sell, they knew they had to advertise in order to draw in customers—and a business was born. From the outside walls of barns painted with images of fresh corn to LED digital displays turning night to day in Times Square, billboards have evolved and always managed to find a place in the American landscape.
Outdoor off-premise advertising became so popular and numerous that billboards were eventually considered a blight—and many cities and jurisdictions created a list of rules and regulations to contain their spread. Despite the pushback, though, they have remained a way to generate additional income from a rooftop, wall, or empty plot of vacant land along a heavily traveled road.
When it comes to renting space, most commercial property owners are familiar with the traditional leasing agreement they have with tenants. Rent is paid for a piece of the overall building, while the landlord retains ownership.
That isn’t the case with billboards. The property owner owns just that and only that—the property, whether it’s the roof, an exterior wall, or a plot of land. Sign companies own the actual billboard and, as owners, they then lease that space to advertisers. Unlike tenant rents, which are calculated by square footage, billboard leases are usually a fixed price that’s tied to the consumer price index and/or revenue generated by the billboard. In other words, property owners can expect a 10%–18% return. Digital billboards are even more profitable.
Before exploring options to have billboard structures placed on the roof or exterior wall of your building, or on some land along I-95, there are a few things to consider.
When it comes to commercial property generating income, most investors are well aware of primary sources—but secondary and tertiary sources, such as billboards, open up a whole new stream. At the same time, digital technology advances are expanding profit opportunities to interiors like the advertising possibilities in elevators and lobbies. At Morris Southeast Group, our professionals are uniquely qualified to help you make the most of your investment. To learn more about property investment opportunities, property management, and/or other services, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once an oddity only seen in America’s tech centers, e-scooters have now become near-ubiquitous across the U.S. and around the globe. From Columbus to Nashville, Lisbon to Paris, these two-wheelers are taking over the urban world as we know it. Startups like Lime, Bird, and Scoot once had the field to themselves, but are now being muscled around by transit giants Uber, Lyft, and Google Maps, who all want a piece of the action.
But it isn’t all sunshine and roses. While they can have some concrete benefits, scooters are often divisive—pitting residents against each other, adding fuel to the already tense relationship between tech companies and municipalities, and, if used recklessly, unsafe.
The verdict in South Florida is generally positive. Cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Coral Gables are partnering with startups to roll out these programs safely—although Fort Lauderdale beach has banned them for the summer. Morris Southeast Group is well aware of the key role efficient and cost-effective transportation plays as part of successful commercial real estate and property management in South Florida. For a free consultation on our property management services or commercial real estate investment opportunities, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.
By the looks of things, it appears as if the green revolution is spreading across South Florida, as well as the rest of the country, in the form of miles and miles of green lanes dedicated to bicycling. As an increasing number of cities redesign streets to include wider sidewalks and increased tree canopies, bike lanes are often used as a means of improving road safety, slowing down traffic, helping the environment, and improving overall community health.
There is, though, a casualty: street parking. For landlords and business owners, this can be a critical issue as they envision a loss of profits from bike lanes that are seldom used to full capacity. Preliminary studies, however, are indicating the opposite is true.
When considering a street redesign, the argument often comes down to space. On the one hand, there is traffic congestion slowing down many primary and secondary roads throughout the region. In many cases, adding a bike lane means the elimination of a driving lane—and when many roads are already moving at a snail’s pace, is it even possible to move any slower?
At the same time, there is a growing call in many urban and dense suburban areas—where space is quite limited—for pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. This often requires wider sidewalks to invite strolling. It also calls for slower traffic so pedestrians can safely cross, and in South Florida, hit-and-run accidents and casualties have become all too common.
Bike lanes, then, have become a go-to solution. Not only do they meet the demands of a more environmentally conscious population and the increase of citywide bike-sharing initiatives, but they also appear to be efficient at forcing drivers to slow down.
As nice as that all seems, though, it does little to quell the anxiety of landlords and business owners. But there are ways to not only meet the challenges of change but to do so profitably:
If the professionals at Morris Southeast Group have learned anything over the years, it’s that CRE is a fluid creature. Changes come, changes go—and through it all, our team has successfully helped investors to not only meet the challenges but leverage them, as well. When it comes to bike lanes, it’s an idea whose time has come. Even pedestrian-heavy Wynwood is considering a redo that would include a 2.5-mile network of connected bike lanes.
To learn more about adjusting your property to a bike lane, property investment opportunities, and/or our other services, call Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the consumer, it’s beautifully simple—rent a bike or scooter for as little as a dollar using a free app on your phone, pick it up at one of the numerous locations across your city, and drop it anywhere when you’re done.
Welcome to the era of dockless, urban transportation, the latest iteration of the sharing economy. Rather than shoulder the cost of car ownership, or sit in an Uber or Lyft on increasingly congested streets, some urban commuters instead opt to get around using such startups as Lime, Bird, or GoBike.
The scope of the trend goes beyond scooters and bikes and includes motorized skateboards, e-unicycles, and electric tricycles. This marks a shift from the pricier and less-flexible docked systems which had previously been the standard in many U.S. cities. The non-electric, kick-scooter wing of the industry is also seeing growth.
The dockless movement has much promise, and provides many amenities to city-dwellers and tourists:
While users rejoice at having a scooter or bike around every corner, it can be a little more complicated for cities and towns. Initially, entrepreneurs dropped these bikes where they pleased around a city and let customers come to them. But this has led to a number of concerns:
Several South Florida municipalities such as Miami, Coral Gables, and Fort Lauderdale are working with dockless providers to address these issues and ensure safe travel conditions for all.
Investors and landlords alike see potential in the dockless transportation boom. It makes their buildings more accessible and welcoming, particularly when they’re perceived as a bit off the path from public transit.
And for residents who are elderly, have young children, or physical disabilities, bike or scooter-sharing can be a great alternative to driving or walking. Many scooters in particular are light-weight enough that a tenant or worker can bring them from work to home, even if that commute includes a ride on the subway or a bus.
CRE investors and managers considering adding shared transportation to their offerings should have a multi-faceted strategy:
Proactive CRE investors will see the value of the dockless trend and, in doing so, provide access to their properties for a wide variety of new potential owners and renters. Considering the dueling statistics that the population of Americans age 65 and older is expected to double by 2030 and that a fifth of Americans are under 18, this proposition seems to be a win for attracting both ends of the age spectrum.
Morris Southeast Group keeps an eye on trends in South Florida and beyond that can impact commercial real estate investment and property management. For a free consultation on our commercial real estate investment or property management services, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.
When Tiger Woods won the Masters in April, golf course owners across the country hoped it would be “the putt heard ‘round the world.” The sport has seen a steady decline in interest since its heydays from the late ‘70s to early ‘90s. As a result, courses have been forced to close, and many homeowners—who spent top dollar for a home with a view of the greens—are now paying for an amenity that no longer exists.
Developers, meanwhile, have taken notice of these vast tracts of underused land. They are often the last available open spaces in heavily populated areas, and many are surrounded by affluent communities that were once paired with the course. The question, then, is: What can you do with the land, and how best to do it?
The risk to redeveloping a golf course is what lies under the new development. Maintaining a perfectly manicured landscape requires an overwhelming amount of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Over the decades, these chemicals build up in the soil and groundwater to levels that can be unacceptable for certain kinds of redevelopment. Be sure you’re prepared for strict environmental due diligence before flipping a golf course.
The type of development and zoning can make a difference in the environmental remediation required. Since many courses already had restaurants and shops, it’s relatively easy—in terms of zoning—to redevelop an abandoned course into a retail center where much of the land will be paved over. The same can hold true for industrial development on the property (although surrounding communities may oppose such usage).
Developing a golf course into residential space is the most challenging option but it’s also the most financially appealing. An 18-hole course is approximately 150 acres, which can accommodate 600 detached single-family homes. With the addition of townhouses and apartments, this sort of development can mean thousands of new residents.
While many municipalities may be eager to see something on this vacant land—and very willing to negotiate—there are some expensive and delicate items developers should be ready to address:
When it comes to Florida real estate, year-round golf has traditionally been a huge reason many people choose to reside in the Sunshine State. But while residential non-golf development has remained steady through the sport’s waning decades, a number of communities that once looked out over manicured greens now have a view of weed-ridden fields.
Many community members enjoy this wide-open view, whereas others would like to see the land become a public park. This can put a financial strain on cities to purchase that land, develop it into parkland, and maintain it, however.
Developers with vision and an ability to navigate city zoning and community wishes hold the key to smart and profitable golf-course redevelopment. The Morris Southeast Group team can help you create these new links for old links. To learn more about our property investment opportunities and/or other services, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve landed a prime property in a great location. On the surface, it seems like an easy, consistent revenue source that diversifies your portfolio and builds equity. And whether it’s residential or commercial, it can be tempting to take on all management duties yourself—this saves money and gives you confidence that every detail is just right. But a closer look at the details of what professional property management offers may lead you to a different conclusion.
While property management may seem economical and fairly simple on the surface, there are a number of instances where hiring a manager may be the smarter course of action:
The cost for these services typically includes fees for basic setup, leasing, maintenance, and other management duties.
A property manager will be your eyes on the ground, making sure routine maintenance is in check and tending to emergency repairs that may be needed. A quality manager has a list of vendors which provide fair rates and service records. These vendors will share a vested interested in providing good service in order to maintain their preferred status with the management company.
Your residential or commercial tenants will likely appreciate a management company that’s focused on their needs and not a landlord who’s spread thin with competing for career or business priorities. Best practices are to make contact about four times a year, updating tenants on the relative health of the property and any current maintenance or safety issues, and generally keeping open channels of communication.
Managers can also intercept and dispense with any frivolous complaints (loud neighbors, construction across the street, etc.) that will take up your time. And more serious issues must be addressed in a timely manner to meet legal responsibilities.
Property managers can handle arguably the most tedious and frustrating aspect of rental property ownership—collecting the actual rent. If the check comes on time in the mail or payment shows up automatically online, that’s great. But on those occasions when it doesn’t, you don’t spend hours tracking down tenants, enduring excuses, and possibly regretting the investment in the first place.
A management company can help set policy about late rent and oversee the process of warnings and, if necessary, eviction, that comply with state and local law. It can also enforce other terms of the lease, such as noise violations and unauthorized alterations to the property.
Without reliable, productive tenants, the most beautiful property will sit idle and devoid of life. The process of finding ideal tenants can be unpredictable and frustrating—placing ads, screening applications, interviewing tenants, and coordinating on-site visits. A management company can take this onerous task off your plate or, at a minimum, significantly augment your efforts to ensure occupancy remains consistent.
In the end, it’s crucial to understand the scope of responsibility inherent in property self-management. While there may be some up-front cost savings, the long-term time commitment and aggravation often tip the scales towards hiring an outside firm to do the heavy lifting. Morris Southeast Group provides comprehensive, professional property management that can make the difference between marginal and successful real estate investment. For a free consultation on property management services or commercial real estate investment, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.
In the modern age of disruption, no business is immune to the ever-increasing pace of change. Commercial real estate is no exception, and a current trend cascading through the industry is the concept of future-proofing—designing (or redesigning) your property to adapt to changes in the habits of renters and entrepreneurs, the shifting of our climate, and our communication needs in a 24/7 connected world.
South Florida has seen ample opportunities—and challenges—in future-proofing its CRE market. Tenant demand has soared in recent years, for example. This has turned developers’ attention towards the dilemma of how to mindfully increase urban density in a way that accommodates the as-yet-unknown needs of future generations.
Let’s take a look at four of the issues that are shaping the future of CRE:
If the future-proofing movement could be summarized in a single word, it might be flexibility. How we work, shop and live is in a near-constant state of flux which poses a challenge for property owners who need to make decisions—before a shovel even goes into the ground—about how their building will be used by tenants and the public. Thoughtful design can mitigate many of these variables.
A property’s relevance will be determined by its owner’s ability to change with the times, adapting to new kinds of tenants, new uses, and even a new climate. This has made developers rethink the traditional “mixed-use” property, where a building may have predetermined functions assigned to each space (retail, restaurant, residential, parking).
Instead, they are beginning to lean more towards “multi-use,” which may look a lot like the modern hotel, where the same space houses multiple functions such as conference rooms, mini-bars, fitness centers, business nooks, and overnight accommodations.
Unlike tenants of years past, today’s residents are less concerned about the size of their units than the flexibility of the common spaces that accompany them. They are more inclined to take the party into the lobby rather than confine it to their apartments. Traditional fitness centers often remain empty or lightly used, leading some managers to repurpose the space to accommodate both exercise and coworking.
As Uber, Lyft, and public transit change the face of driving, the exact future of the parking garage is also changing and uncertain. In their current form, most underutilized garages only have second lives as storage facilities, but forward-looking designers can ensure that future parking structures have proper ventilation, lighting, and space for conversion into rental or office units. The top level of a garage has a multitude of uses, from a roof deck suite to an urban garden.
In an increasingly wired world, a near-universal demand of business and residential tenants alike is the high-speed Internet. Newer construction projects build this into their framework but older buildings face a challenge meeting this growing need. Nevertheless, it should rise to the top of the developer’s to-do list when courting occupants now and in decades to come.
Increased connectivity also necessitates increased cybersecurity. With dozens or perhaps hundreds of users online at once—and the rise of smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT)—a network’s vulnerability increases. Maintenance crews and third-party vendors also need access, making attention to password protocols and multifactor authentication important for a safe online experience.
It also means higher electric bills. A generation ago, people owned few electronics and certainly had no need to charge multiple devices at once. From surge protectors to additional wall outlets, there are many quick fixes modern developers can make to accommodate tenant expectations.
Florida is no stranger to the environmental impacts of our ever-shifting climate and its CRE industry has noticed. State leaders have taken proactive steps to future-proof buildings and communities, particularly in low-lying coastal areas. In Miami, these include a $400 million government bond and a voter-approved residential tax to lessen the effects of storm surges and coastal flooding.
North Miami has gone so far as to partner with the Van Alen Institute, a design-centric non-profit focused on urban improvement. Together, they aim to find creative solutions in the development of repetitive loss properties—vacant lots that are increasingly prone to floods.
Alongside flexibility, longevity is the other essential term in future-proofing your property. Make the building last, both in its structure and utility. It should stand strong and vibrant 20, 30, and 50 years from now. Thoughtfully designed now, for the future. Morris Southeast Group will work with you to develop a property that lasts for generations to come. For a free consultation on commercial real estate investment or property management services, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about the death of retail. Its demise may be overstated, but as more and more brick-and-mortar businesses succumb to e-commerce, there’s a growing concern that the trend will lead to an increase in vacancies and a decrease in tenants.
While retail discovers its footing in this new economy, there’s a new and quite profitable tenant in town. In both urban and suburban markets across the country, wellness facilities—shops that exercise the mind, body, and soul—are filling some of the CRE void as tenants in strip malls or as anchors in larger locations.
The driving force in the $5-trillion-dollar self-care industry is the spending habits of Millennials and Gen Z. As gyms have morphed from rough and sweat-soaked to big and state-of-the-art, they’ve always had a place in communities. Younger generations accustomed to spending their money on experiences rather than material items, however, are steering a new trend in which smaller, boutique-style facilities are a perfect fit for small and mid-sized CRE vacancies.
A personalization trend also means self-care providers can be creative about what they offer clients. In other words, this isn’t your grandfather’s gym. It’s also not your grandmother’s spa. One location, for example, can offer high intensity fitness training, while another can offer spin classes, yoga, and manicures and pedicures.
Many of these newer wellness facilities are franchises, which tend to offer 10-year agreements for any entrepreneurs interested in entering the franchise field. As a result, many franchise tenants are interested in signing 10-year leases with two five-year options. The last thing a franchisee wants is to have a lease expire before the agreement does.
To further secure their financial success, many franchises offer monthly membership fees just like a traditional gym model. This monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is a more secure, profitable bet than relying on the walk-in client who may walk in once and never again.
When it comes to fitness providers, their flexibility is proving to be a good fit in both urban and suburban locations. In metropolitan areas, for example, consumers may opt to click and swipe for shopping, but they are much more likely to travel for the boutique fitness experience, often following their favorite instructors between franchise locations.
Meanwhile, in suburban strip malls, wellness centers are filling vacant spaces because they are an added convenience. People are able to work out, grab some groceries, and pick up the dry cleaning but keep the car parked in one location.
Of course, the greatest concern among building owners and wellness tenants is oversaturation. While there certainly seems to be enough consumers who are willing to purchase monthly memberships, it’s a good idea to explore what sort of fitness offerings already exist in a radius around a potential location. Armed with this knowledge, building owners can seek out or welcome franchise tenants that offer something unique.
To attract a tenant, some landlords offer reduced rental rates at the start of the operation, so the tenant can build up a client base. In urban areas, some franchises and landlords are working together on short-term leases to create pop-up wellness centers. The goal is to develop a strong tenant, because that inevitably leads to an increase in foot traffic to nearby businesses.
It goes without saying that wellness is good for people. At Morris Southeast Group, we believe that the same concept can be applied to the owner/tenant relationship and to the community as a whole. That’s a big reason why we do what we do. To learn more about property investment opportunities, and/or our other services, call Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.
The idea of placing condo units and hotel rooms under one roof or in separate buildings on the same property is not a new one. It was a big idea back in the early 2000s, but then the housing bubble burst, real estate prices tumbled, and long-anticipated projects never materialized.
In recent years, the concept has returned at a fevered pace, however—especially in South Florida, where a sunny lifestyle is bringing in owners and tourists alike. It’s a big reason why there are so many cranes rising above both seaside and downtown skylines in the region, from Miami to Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale to West Palm.
A driving force in many of these condo-hotel projects are international, easily recognizable brands, including Hyatt, Four Seasons, and Ritz-Carlton—to name a few. These brands are key components of project marketing strategies that satisfy a certain prestige mindset among potential owners and guests.
The trick is balancing the expectations of two different populations with the use of amenities and offerings. Very often, condo units are located above hotel rooms or in separate buildings on shared property, since owners are more likely to pay for the expansive views. At the same time, enhanced security systems provide owners with separate entrances and elevators while allowing them access to five-star amenities that travelers have come to expect from hotel brands.
For property developers, a condo-hotel makes good financial sense. Rather than strictly creating hotels with fluctuating rental income, adding condos to the mix helps to offset some of the risk and costs. Condo-hotel risks are distributed among condo owners, and pre-sales can often help the developer recoup a portion of construction costs. The hotel portion as well as restaurants, meeting facilities, and retail space then continue to generate income after completion.
And if a brand gets on board with the project, condo units and hotel rooms could be given a premium price tag.
When looking at successful condo-hotel projects, there are a few key similarities:
It really isn’t much of a surprise that South Florida is one of the top locations for condo-hotel combos. The team at Morris Southeast Group knows firsthand what it’s like to live and play here, so it makes sense that so many others want to make the move or simply travel to the area. To learn more about property investment opportunities and/or our other services, call Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.