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I have been wanting to write this piece, but it took me a while to get around to it. Here’s why. In my opinion, procrastination gets a bad rap. Procrastination is viewed by society as being all wrong. People never talk about procrastination positively. Instead, people view it as a weakness in self-control. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2019/03/why-procrastinating-is-a-good-thing
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Dear El Cardinale’, I’ve been talking to other executives whose companies lease space in the same building where I do. From what I’m hearing, I’m paying cheap rent compared to others. That’s great news, isn’t it? Or is there something I don’t know that I should be worried about? – Sitting in the Catbird Seat Dear Catbird Seater, Congrats, for now. It might feel like you are in an enviable place, but my friend, I’m here to tell you, that one day things won’t be feeling so pretty. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2019/03/my-rent-is-low-thats-great-news-or-is-i
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There are amenities that corporate tenants should look for before leasing office space. Before you lease office space, you should go on a property tour (usually multiple buildings); not only will you be able to know if the building offers the ambiance for your business activities, you will also be able to check if the office building has all the essential amenities needed for the success of a business.   1. Fast and Reliable Wi-Fi No matter the nature of your business, you will require modern tech tools to stay on top of your business practices.   If your office building lacks Wi-Fi , you may be at a disadvantage. This is especially true if call ...
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Recent current events have reminded me of the Mark Twain observation: “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” The power of a “sticky” sound bite or story can be very effective when trying to attract attention to an idea, and it works when selling real estate. I’ve sold some very challenging, complex real estate assets ranging from a coal mine to a sports coliseum to large land tracts. One property even had an underground fire raging. Putting the right spin on the potential strengths and obstacles that these properties possessed is an art form that my team was uniquely adept at. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2019/02/why-some-properties-sell-and-others-do-not/
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Traveling to Backwoods Quail Club in Reams, S.C. the other day for my annual quail hunt with my father-in-law and son, the travel app Waze sent us on a new path. In the past, Waze has always given me the same directions, but this time it told me to drive out Independence Boulevard. I’m pleased to see that the Monroe connector is the fastest way to get to the Georgetown area of South Carolina. I served two terms on the N.C . Turnpike Authority in early 2000, and I remember leaving this exact hunt trip to attend a board meeting in Raleigh. I also remember thinking at that time that we’d never get the “Monroe Connector” toll road built, so it was a joy as ...
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We just finished a big negotiation with Charter Communications for an awesome, new 61,151 SF operations center that is the largest office deal in Charlotte for 2018. The building is located at Forest Park, where I developed a number of buildings while at Trammell Crow. I’ve leased this building several times over during the years, and recently worked out a deal with Charter Communications ( Spectrum  – the cable folks). This is going to be a powerful, new asset for Charter and its more than 500 rockstar employees who will work there. Read more here: http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2019/01/lease-negotiations-take-the-gloves-off-to-win-big
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At the end of each year, the senior team at Brennan Investment Group gathers to look forward to the upcoming year. This year, we spent a weekend with our spouses at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago. I gathered with the other senior managers in a hotel conference room where we discussed the economy and our strategic initiatives for the upcoming year. I heard some interesting thoughts, which can be summarized as follows: There will be   a bull market in everything this year , with everything being expensive and returns running low. Here’s a recap of our two-hour meeting and market update from Mike Brennan, one the smartest guys in the business I know. Money, ...
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The UNC Charlotte Childress Klein Center for Real Estate has a cool investment fund that I have been surprised to learn that not many professionals are aware of. It’s a student-managed real estate investment fund, and it is struggling with a unique challenge : The fund’s managers are having a hard time finding good investment opportunities. While there are a lot of great real estate schools across the country, few have national investment funds directed by the students. It’s a really unique opportunity for those studying at UNCC. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2018/12/heres-a-twist-students-giving-you-money
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This time of year I attend a lot of conferences. A lot. I’ve written about the SIOR annual conference in Denver and the Counselors of Real Estate meeting in Charleston. I’m proud of the alphabet soup behind my name as these acronyms – CCIM, ULI, SIOR, CRE, etc. – are important. A benefit of earning these designations and accreditations is you get to attend conferences, catch up with colleagues, and stay on the pulse of what’s happening in your market. All that said, sometimes you have to miss one. I recently was disappointed to miss the ULI Fall Symposium in Boston. But I was lucky enough to get a recap of the best hits from the conference from some valued ...
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I really enjoyed listening to Robert Hitt III speak in Charleston at the Counselors of Real Estate’s (CRE) annual meeting last month. Robert, or Bobby as he introduced himself, is Secretary of Economic Development for South Carolina. He’s a professional who lays it all out there, unabashedly, to tell you like it is. It was very refreshing. Not only has he held various economic development roles, but he’s also worked and been hugely successful in private industry, including serving as manager of Corporate Affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg County and spent 17 years as managing editor of The State and Columbia Record newspapers. He’s funny ...
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When I find time on my hands, or if I’m in the car on a long drive headed out to look at property , I’ll often listen to podcasts. It’s a great way to pass the time and feel like I’m either getting smarter, more productive, or relaxing, which can be just as important for one’s success as learning new things. Here are my favorite podcasts for fun and personal growth. They cover a mix of topics. What do you listen to? I’m always looking for new suggestions. Cycling Tips   –   https://cyclingtips.com/tag/podcast/ Details: CyclingTips is a podcast that seeks to share the beauty of cycling and to inspire cyclists of all levels to become better ...
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Last week, I was in Denver at the annual   SIOR World Conference . In advance of the meeting, I wrote the following article about why I look forward to attending these meetings year after year and sent it to my fellow SIOR members. I heard from a number of colleagues who shared that they enjoyed the piece, and upon re-reading it, I thought it included some good tips that could apply to any gathering of colleagues.  I’ve been attending the SIOR World Conference for a decade, and I look forward to it each year. It’s a very open and friendly group, so it’s easy to strike up conversations with like-minded people. I was able to create relationships with people ...
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JANESVILLE - Redevelopment plans unveiled on Tuesday, September 25, show Janesville’s former General Motors plant site will rely heavily on an attribute few area industrial sites have: ready-made railroad infrastructure. Actually, under “preliminary” plans that owner Commercial Development Company showed off at a public open house, the site will make even greater use of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad lines that bisect the 250-acre property. Tuesday marked the first time the public has gotten a peek at how Commercial Development could market the site when it’s finished clearing what’s left of the more than 4 million-square-foot ...
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You, my readers, know how much I love using virtual assistants and value how they help me complete tasks while freeing up my time for more productive pursuits. This may sound to be pushing the envelope to some, but last week I got a call from a NYC investor who invests $250M to $1B a year and his support team consists of two project managers, one personal assistant and a bunch of VAs. That was surprising to hear even for me, but the part that really blew me away is that he outsources his underwriting. This idea will be unnerving to most investors, developers and brokers. I mean, what’s the scariest task you could delegate to an unknown person, located who ...
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To all attendees of the Fall World Conference in Denver- I want to call your attention to the programming put on by the SIOR Technology Committee at this conference- titled " Investing in CRE Tech- Perspectives from Landlord and Brokerage Firms" . Why should this be of interest? In short, there are massive bets on technology being made by the large landlords and brokerage firms  right now. Their decisions to grow technology from within, buy technology firms, or partner with them will alter how you do business in within the next 1-3 years. Recent highlights- JLL launches $100 Million fund to invest in tech via JLL Spark- for more on this- see ...
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I attended the CRETech Conference in Los Angeles last Thursday, and it was another informative and worthwhile event. I thought I’d share some key takeaways I got from the 4 hour event:   If you don’t know who Fifth Wall is, you should. Fifth Wall is the leading CRE Tech venture capital firm. Their first fund invested in companies such as VTS, Open Door, Clutter and Industrious. Fund I investments now generate over $100MM in revenue. They are now on to Fund II. Keep an eye on them and who they invest in. Very smart team.  “Space” vs. User Experience- It is the experience you feel in a commercial building that really matters, and where smart owners ...
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Many of us check out in the summertime, with vacations to take and the kids around more, it can be enough to just focus on getting the work done that needs to be done. I know I make an effort to give my family more of my time during the summer months and don’t spend as much time networking and reaching out to people as I do the rest of the year. The result is now that I’m back in the office full time, I can feel overwhelmed and disjointed. This means time to make a conscious effort to invest in new relationships. I’d like to encourage you to think about who you are connecting with and how those connections influence your success. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2018/09/need-right-neighborhood/
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As I move among economic development circles and talk with local commercial real estate colleagues, I’m sensing a new emotion among those who are working to make Charlotte grow: Envy. Even indignation. Since Charlotte lost out on the Amazon headquarters and then the AllianceBernstein relocation, moods have gotten surly. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2018/07/economic-developers-just-ignore-sunken-costs
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One thing I love about my job is the diversity of people and experiences that I have. Recently I started my day at the Copper Kettle Restaurant off of Westinghouse Boulevard meeting with a farmer about his land. Afterward , I went home to put on a tie and ended up on the 47th floor of the Hearst Tower speaking as a panelist for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2018/07/fannie-freddie-ortlip-opine-charlottes-market
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While speaking as part of an expert panel at the 9th annual InterFace real estate conference this week, I was struck by the discouraged tone. It was a tone I had never really heard before from this group of experienced CRE professionals. Read more here:  http://cardinal-partners.com/blog/2018/06/charlottes-ego-finally-become-bruised
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