2015; A Year in Review

As 2015 comes to an end, we look back and review the articles and information that we’ve shared along the way. We think about the advances in technology and intellectual thinking, consider the Commercial Real Estate Market happenings we experienced, as well as the various terms and industry speak we broke down, and reflect on Long Island’s ever-changing landscape. We call this our:

2015; A Year in Review

2015 brought us many great things when it comes to technology and intellectual thinking. This year we touched upon how important it is to show strength of character. We remarked that character is never something to be overlooked as it is what will dictate who you attract and draw in. Strength of character is especially important in business as those with a higher sense and strength of character are typically more trusted and therefore, more successful.

We learned the importance of listening effectively versus hearing. Being a good listener is an essential part of being a good leader and conducting successful and meaningful business in today’s professional world.

We also broke down credibility and the very importance of it. When you do the right thing for the right reasons, people trust your judgment, and from there, credibility begins to form. Clients want to work with an individual that they trust and respect, and therefore, being credible goes beyond being important for a successful career; it is imperative for a successful career.

We talked about speaking with confidence and how personality plays a role in professional relationships. Learning that even mediocre ideas seem profound when spoken with confidence. When we speak with confidence we are more likely to capture our audience’s attention, regardless of whether you are speaking to a large group of clients or a small circle of friends. Regarding personality, we learned that personality is the sum of characteristics and traits that define a person’s typical thoughts, emotions, and behaviors over time. Personality styles or types that do not mesh well together can result in conflict. We discussed the different personality types and how to work best with each of them to maintain that common goal of getting the deal done.

On the technology side, we talked drones. We discussed the (then) current status and rules, the future change in rules, as well as benefits and concerns. Current FAA rules allow drones for recreational use, while strictly prohibiting drones for commercial use unless FAA approval is obtained. FAA proposed drone rule changes would allow a more flexible framework for the USA with limitations on nocturnal and line-of-sight use. We learned how important drones could be to the real estate industry declaring that drones will “enhance the process of buying and selling real estate.”

We also discussed the ins and outs of cyber attacks, breaking down some common forms of cyber hacking and discussing ways to fix the situation and prevent it from reoccurring. With cybercrime costing the economy about $445 Billion, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, we know that cybercrime is a serious and widespread issue.

We crafted an article regarding social media and commercial real estate and the impact social media has on the commercial real estate industry. In this article we discussed how historically the commercial real estate industry has relied on long-standing methods such as in-person networking, email, and face-to-face interaction. However, in order for you to get that face-time, you need to have a connection. We then broke down LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, reviewed a bit of history for each and ways in which each social media stream could help commercial real estate professionals.

Lastly, we took a deep dive into technology as it relates to commercial real estate. With the U.S. commercial real estate market worth roughly $15 trillion dollars, it’s no surprise that an ever-growing industry like technology has created a symbiotic relationship with commercial real estate investing and development. We broke down many digital resources and tools that have made commercial real estate investing and managing easier than ever.

This was a solid year for commercial real estate and Long Island’s markets. We kicked off the year with a CRE forecast, then consistently brought you market reports and updates outlining Long Island’s market conditions throughout each quarter as well as defining and breaking down many CRE terms. We talked triple net properties in great depth, discussing what the term stands for, the different types of leases and imperative things to consider when determining if a NNN lease is the right fit for you.

We discussed the possible rise in interest rates and what that means for commercial real estate. We talked causes, worries, and facts, and came to the conclusion that many commercial real estate properties have delivered solid returns even during periods of rising interest rates, remembering that interest rates rise due to strong investment demand.

We saw our office market changing with last year marked as the biggest year of job growth in the U.S. in more than a decade. Job growth averaged at about 246,000 jobs per month in 2014, compared to an average monthly gain of 194,000 in 2013. This was the best year of job growth since 1999. In that article, we took a good look at the U.S. economy and job growth in comparison with the (then) current state of the U.S. Office Market as well as our predictions for the future of the U.S. Office Market.

We explained the good guy clause, which is a limited personal guarantee that evolved as a compromise between landlords and tenants and is now a standard component of commercial leases. We broke down why it was developed, who the clause serves and even discussed common good guy clause language.

Another term we visited was value-add investing and the impact of these investments in existing markets. Together, we learned that value-add real estate investments, often called opportunistic investments, are properties that require improvements that will enhance their value and ultimately increase cash flow. Within that article, we listed various ways in which value can be added to investment properties to increase return.

Long Island saw many positive changes and happenings throughout 2015 and we brought you many detailed reports covering all things Long Island during the course of the year. Early on we crafted an article discussing the revitalization of Riverhead. Located in Eastern Long Island, Suffolk County, downtown Riverhead has been rediscovered as a family-friendly place to live, work and play. The “new Riverhead” has formed its identity comprised of smaller shops, restaurants, bars, residential apartments, hotels, and the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center.

We deeply and seriously discussed Long Island’s changing population. We noted that since 2008, Long Island’s population growth has been somewhat slower than other suburban areas in the New York region, and much slower than New York City’s or the nation as a whole. Over the long run, minimal or slow growth in Long Island’s population makes it difficult for businesses to expand or sometimes even remain in business, negatively effecting Long Island’s economy. We concluded that the continued demand for focus needs to be made in order to get Long Island back on track. Affordable and diverse housing must be created to make Long Island the attractive and successful place it can and should be.

On a lighter note, we explored Long Island in search for some of its great theaters. We learned that it has a vast array of theaters and venues, which serve to entertain not only us, but people from all over. In fact, Long Island has always been known for its rich heritage of performing arts and culture. From Port Washington’s Landmark on Main Street to Patchogue’s Theatre for the Performing Arts, it is well known for its theater and venue scene.

As we watched Long Island’s economy rebound this year, we witnessed a surge in retail store openings. This means that retail stores and chains trust that people are going to spend, and that the local economy is positively gaining traction. Starbucks, Shake Shack, Chick-fil-A, QuickChek, Michaels, and more grew on Long Island this year.

Speaking of change, we also saw big changes occurring to Hicksville’s Broadway Mall beginning this year. This update and change is much needed for the Broadway Mall in order to stay relevant with other Long Island retail and entertainment destinations and to provide fresh and innovative retail opportunities for Long Island. It has been said that the mall will remain open throughout the renovations with a grand re-opening scheduled for early 2016.

We said so-long to Waldbaums this year, which was founded in 1859. Waldbaums filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in July which has directly affected Long Island’s 32 Waldbaums stores and 19 Pathmark stores. All Long Island Waldbaums supermarkets were fated to one of three: to be sold, to close, or to go to auction.

Lastly, two articles were crafted this year which discussed much anticipated projects on Long Island. One article entitled, “Giving Long Island What It Needs,” discussed the addition of the Long Island Rail Road’s Third Track, and the other entitled “The Long-Awaited East Side Access” details “America’s largest and most expensive transportation projects, one of historical proportions.” Both of these projects are huge for Long Island’s changing landscape and accessibility. The Third Track would position Long Island for sustained economic growth by making it a more attractive place to live and do business. People could more easily reverse commute which in turn brings in and appeals to generations of young people while businesses could draw upon a larger labor pool.

For the East Side Access project, creating a new access point at Grand Central Station, commuters who work on the East Side will save 40 minutes on their daily commutes from no longer having to disembark at Penn Station on Manhattan’s West Side, only to then have to circle back east. The new terminal should bring over 160,000 LIRR commuters daily, which is about half of LIRR’s projected riders. The East Side Access Project is currently well under-way and positively progressing.

We thank you all for taking the time to journey with us this year while we expanded our learning and knowledge on these above topics and more. 2015 has been a great and prosperous year for us here at American Investment Properties and we hope the same is true by you. We look forward to sharing more useful information, tools, and terms with you throughout 2016.

From our team to you and yours, have a Happy and Healthy New Year.    

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