Posts Tagged ‘ real estate ’

The 3 Key Qualifying Questions in Selecting a Commercial Real Estate Listing Broker

What should a property owner know before a listing commitment is executed with a land and commercial broker?

Let’s say you own a piece of land with some potential, or have a commercial building that you want to sell or lease.

How does one go about finding the right commercial real estate broker to make the “earth move” for you … so to speak?

All too often a property owner has a friend, a friend of a friend or met someone at a cocktail party.  Before you know it this broker has placed a sign up in front of the property and the waiting game begins.

Now, everything is under control and you are on your way to finding the perfect buyer and/or tenant, right?

For those you have had some experience in the legal side of business, the phrase “caveat emptor” is probably not an unfamiliar one.  Translated from Latin as “Let the Buyer Beware,” it is not that often thought of when a property owner (as a seller or a landlord) is seeking commercial real estate services.

In fact real estate sellers and landlords are actually buyers when it comes to contracting for the services of a land and commercial real estate broker.

Business owners and investors who hold a small to medium size real estate portfolio may have had experience in working with and selecting residential Realtors, but when selecting a land and commercial brokers, the qualifying process can take a bit more work.

Consider the following three key questions to ask the next time you are faced with such a choice:

1.         What experience does the broker have with moving real estate like yours?

Ask for very specific examples of similar property transactions – the successes and the failures.  Find out the specific technicalities of zoning, changes in use, and other governmental regulations that may or may not have impeded a smooth closing for other such transactions.  What lessons from those experiences will benefit the marketing of your property?

Does the broker have market and business knowledge of the type of property you own?  For example if the property is a multi-tenanted property, does the broker know how to read financials (familiarity of market rents, vacancy rates, realistic expense ratios, etc.) so he/she can speak the same language as the likely buyers for the property?

Will the sale or leasing of the property trigger a “change in use” in such that the local government will require a site plan modification or change in use permit, among many other avenues of red tape?

2.         What is the broker’s communication style with his/her clients?

This one cuts both ways and is probably one of the most important.

The hardest question that a property owner has to ask him or herself is can he/she build a relationship with the commercial real estate broker to where both can freely and confidentially share the truth about the real estate market conditions, the value of the real estate and real reason why the property is being placed on the market.

Does the broker have a consultative style, where he/she can appreciate the clients needs … sometimes a good broker can assist the client in finding methods that do not require a sale, when the client thought it was the only way out of a difficult financial situation.

How often will the broker and client communicate each week, month, etc., throughout the term of the commitment?  What are the expectations?

Does the broker have a strong support staff that will play a role in keeping the communications channels open?

The land and commercial real estate broker that you select must be someone you can trust (and visa versa).  As in the case of lawyer/client and financial adviser/client relationships, real estate transactions often involve a significant portion of one’s assets.

Are you, as a client of the broker, capable of accepting marketing advice that may not align with your hopes and dreams with regard to the anticipated property value, owner improvement requirements, etc?

 3.        What is the broker’s strategy find the right buyer/tenant within the shortest period of time?

Individual land and commercial real estate properties are very often considered very unique in and of themselves in type and category.

Clearly there are different pools of prospects to fish in when looking for a buyer of a 15 acre tract of general industrial land verses finding a tenant for a 2,000 square foot boutique shop in downtown Frederick.

Some commercial brokers specialize in a very specific class of real estate: mineral mining, big box retail, high rise apartments, etc. Others, as in the case of MacRo, Ltd., provide broader and more varied services to a specific geographic market.

In the case of the latter the advantage should be that the broker is an established member of the community at large and/or knows the ins and outs of all the local government agencies, as well as the mood of the political climate.

Once the path of deciding upon a specific class or at large broker is made, then it is time to consider the core principles of the firm’s approach to marketing as well as what specific market strategies can be merged into that program for the yielding the best results of the subject property.

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There is any number of other qualifying questions that a property owner should ask, but if you’re in the market for land and commercial brokerage listing services, and you dig deep enough in to the depths of these core questions, you will select a very good match!

The author: Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He served as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012.  Many of his articles also appear in  TheTentacle.com 

MacRo is Pleased to Announce the Sale of a “Spec House” in Thurmont, Maryland

MacRo is pleased to announce the sale of a “spec house” in Thurmont, Maryland.

The property sold is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on 0.8 acres, located on Creagerstown Road in Thurmont.  This sale is significant because it involved a “spec house” – a speculative venture with no buyer lined up when construction started.  Since the real estate turn-down of 2007, the construction of spec houses has been quite uncommon.  Although regional/national builders continue to build a few spec houses in large subdivisions each year, smaller/local builders have basically stopped due to the uncertainty of when it will sell, and how much it will sell for.

Could spec houses be making a comeback soon?  Time will tell, but this sale is certainly encouraging.

This house was built as a joint venture between the lot owner and Hemby Custom Homes.  The sale price was $330,000.  Dave Wilkinson represented the Seller in this transaction.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact David Wilkinson: 301-748-567 or dave@macroltd.com

MacRo Brokers Lease of Office/Warehouse on Yukon Court

MacRo is pleased to announce the lease of 7,200 square feet of space at 5411 Yukon Court, in Frederick.  

The leased premises includes 2,700 square feet of finished office space and 4,500 square feet of warehouse space with 20′ ceiling heights.  The building is located just south of the City of Frederick at the US-15/340 and Mount Zion Road interchange.

David Wilkinson represented the landlord, OK Properties, LLC in this transaction.  The tenant is NexGreen, a lawn care and landscape maintenance company.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact David Wilkinson: 301-748-5670 or dave@macroltd.com.

2013 Commercial Real Estate Sales in Frederick Jump by Nearly 40%

2013 was a year of growth for Frederick’s CRE market, in both year-over-year dollar volume and transaction volume.

Since 2012, MacRo  has been tracking all sales of commercial real estate in Frederick County by segment.  We were pleased to see Frederick County post $275 million worth of commercial real estate sales, versus about $200 million in 2012.  That’s a nearly 40% increase in dollar volume.  In addition, the number of CRE sales transactions increased by over 20% from 2012 (149 transactions versus 123).  While two years is hardly enough data to begin tracking trends, it is nevertheless encouraging to see sales growth heading in the right direction–up!

Considering our local economy had to dodge sequestration, the fiscal cliff, AND the rollout of Obamacare (not to mention Governor O’Malley) the results aren’t half bad.  Frederick’s office segment is still limping, but overall activity in our local commercial real estate market appears to be improving.

Below are a couple of charts highlighting commercial real estate sales in Frederick County for 2013 and those for the 4th quarter of 2013 by market segment, based on both dollar volume and number of transactions.  In the coming weeks we’ll share the top commercial real estate deals of the 4th quarter of 2013, as well as those of 2013 overall.

This graphic was created from data in the Frederick County tax and land records.  The information is deemed to be accurate, although MacRo has not independently verified it and does not guarantee that it is correct.

MacRo Brokers Lease of Office/Warehouse Space on Mack Avenue

MacRo is pleased to announce the lease of a 16,900 SF office/warehouse space at 4519 Mack Avenue in Frederick.

The total warehouse space includes a 1,500 SF office area and as well as a 20′ ceiling with interior security and fenced outside area.  It is also located just 2.5 miles south of Exit 31 / the I-270 interchange.

Rocky Mackintosh represented the landlord, Johnco, LLC., in this transaction.  The tenant is RCS Construction Services.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or rocky@macroltd.com.

MacRo Ltd. Sells 7.16 Acre Lot at the Manor at Holly Hills

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of lot 204 at the Manor at Holly Hills.  This 7.16 acre lot is open with expansive views looking eastward and is located at 9765 Ormonds Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754.

The sale closed on December 9, 2013.

The Manor at Holly Hills is a one-of-kind community situated on 185 idyllic acres just east of Frederick City.  Careful planning went into preserving the beautiful organic features of the land, including rugged rock outcroppings, rolling hillsides, and mature forests.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who coordinated the transaction between the seller, the Manor at Holly Hills, LLC and the Buyer.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or rocky@macroltd.com

 

MacRo, Ltd. Sells 6.47 Acre Lot at the Manor at Holly Hills

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of lot 104 at the Manor at Holly Hills.  This 6.47 acre lot is open with great views looking eastward and is located at 9774 Ormonds Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754.

The sale closed on December 9, 2013.  

The Manor at Holly Hills is a one-of-kind community situated on 185 idyllic acres just east of Frederick City.  Careful planning went into preserving the beautiful organic features of the land, including rugged rock outcroppings, rolling hillsides, and mature forests.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who coordinated the transaction for the seller, the Manor at Holly Hills,  LLC.   The buyer was represented by Tom Rozynek, Frederick Land Company. 

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or rocky@macroltd.com

 

MacRo Sells 5 Acre Lot at the Manor at Holly Hills

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of lot 201 at the Manor at Holly Hills. This 5 acre lot has terrific views looking east, backs to woods and is located at 9760 Ormonds Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754.

The sale closed on December 2, 2103.

The Manor at Holly Hills is a one-of-kind community situated on 185 idyllic acres just east of Frederick City.  Careful planning went into preserving the beautiful organic features of the land, including rugged rock outcroppings, rolling hillsides, and mature forests.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who coordinated the transaction between the seller, the Manor at Holly Hills, and the Buyer.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or rocky@macroltd.com

Frederick’s Office Market: 3rd Quarter 2013 Update

 Small businesses and medical owner/users dominated Frederick’s office market during the third quarter of 2013.

The office market lingers in the doldrums, even as the remaining segments of Frederick’s commercial real estate market have shown signs of sustained recovery.  This is due to several factors:

  • dependence on government employment and spending in this region;
  • the loss in Frederick of several large office-using employers that left substantial pockets of vacant office space; and
  • continued rapid evolution of business office use.

The silver lining in this uncertain economic environment is that corporate profits are now at 12.5% of GDP, the highest level ever recorded.  When (if?) we do begin to get some clarity on how congressional budget issues will be resolved–and when quantitative easing will begin to wind down–U.S. corporations as a whole are in fine shape to ramp up hiring and investment.

In the meantime, here in Frederick, the office market had a relatively quiet quarter.  The chart below outlines a few big-picture stats on the office market’s 3rd quarter 2013 transactions:

 As you can see by the average square footage of the offices sold and leased during the quarter, the small business owner/user dominated activity in the market.  This is consistent with what we are seeing on the street, as well. 

Institutional and local investors aren’t seeing the return in local office buildings right now (with the exception of medical office buildings) and are focusing instead on multifamily and industrial properties.  Owner/users (particularly medical), on the other hand, are finding that favorable prices, low interest rates and ready capital make purchasing a viable option over leasing. 

Rumblings that the Fed may be considering (possibly, someday) a scale-back on quantitative easing has also put some urgency into the market.  Prices on a per-square-foot basis inched up about $10/SF over the 3rd quarter of last year.  (Given that there were only a little over a dozen transactions both quarters, this is not robust data, but hopefully a start to a trend.  We’ll keep an eye on it.)

The commercial leasing market is much harder to pin down accurately than sales transactions.  Commercial real estate agents are loath to share lease rates in order to protect their landlords and their bargaining positions. 

While CoStar is estimating the average lease rate for office space in Frederick at about $21/SF, on the street we are seeing the average come in closer to $11/SF for NNN leases.  The abundance of vacant flex space that Frederick is still absorbing is putting significant pressure on lease rates for traditional Class A and Class B office spaces in this area.  Another pressure is lease turnovers–five- and seven-year leases are renewing at current lower market rates, which are $3-$4/SF lower than the market rates were back when they were first originated. 

Generally speaking, if an office space in Frederick is leased in the $20-$25/SF range for a NNN lease, it’s a medical office.

CoStar reports that vacancy rates in Frederick office space are still hovering between 14-15%.  (Most Frederick commercial agents would argue that number is probably higher.)  Once vacancy rates reach a more stabilized 10-11%, and the market works through its inventory of higher-rate turnovers, lease rates will stabilize and begin a sustained increase. 

With 1.25 million square feet of office space to fill, and more new-build commercial office space under construction, we are more than likely still several years off from a full recovery of Frederick’s office market.

The author:  Kathy Krach is a commercial sales and leasing agent with MacRo.

MacRo Sells 5 Acre Lot at the Manor at Holly Hills

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of lot 304 at the Manor at Holly Hills. This nestled 5 acre lot has expansive views and is located at 9733 Ormonds Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754.

The sale closed on November 1, 2013.

The Manor at Holly Hills is a one-of-kind community situated on 185 idyllic acres just east of Frederick City.  Careful planning went into preserving the beautiful organic features of the land, including rugged rock outcroppings, rolling hillsides, and mature forests.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who coordinated the transaction between the seller, the Manor at Holly Hills, and the Buyer.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or rocky@macroltd.com.

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