Retail Shopping Center Performance Tips for Brokers and Agents

In reviewing the performance of any retail shopping centre there are many things to look at. As a type of investment, the typical retail property is dynamic and active in many ways. A true property professional will review all the facts before getting involved in property marketing or any sale or lease. Many things should be understood first before any action is taken.

What makes a retail property so different? It is integrated heavily into and involving the stakeholder’s interests; the stakeholders are the landlord, the tenants, customers, financiers, managers and leasing specialists. In an ideal investment situation the retail property manager would be balancing the tenant mix to improve retail sales and lessen the vacancy rate, and then to take steps to improve the landlord’s net income. Within those two issues there are many things to look at.

It can be said that retail property managers are perhaps the most specialised in the property industry. Their knowledge, skill, and systems will have a major impact on the property overall. On that basis the retail management fees paid today in a quality property should be substantial to cover the time required in property control and optimisation. The management processes and leasing activities in a retail property are intense. Mistakes or omissions made can impact the property in many different ways.

So here are some basic factors to help you get started in checking and optimising retail property performance from the aspects of the leases and tenants. You can add to the list based on location and property configuration:

  1. Tenant mix – review the tenant mix in all respects. That will include lease documentation, critical dates, tenant offering, sales performance, and lease longevity.
  2. Lease terms and conditions – in a property you will have many leases. All of them will have lease terms that are unique to the premises and the lease situation. You must know about the leases before any sale or marketing proposal is contemplated.
  3. Sales figures – most good retail properties will be tracking sales turnover by retailer. This will be done as a standard term and condition of the lease. The numbers will show segments of trade and the MAT average over time. MAT stands for Moving Annual Turnover and it will show how the sales figures are trending in retail segments in a shopping centre. It is a valuable analysis. It helps you see weaknesses in trade, tenant mix, lease structure, and clustering.
  4. Vacancy factors – given that you have leases in a property, you are likely to have vacancies as well, together with the threat of a vacancy with tenants getting to the end of lease occupancy.

Looking at all of these things you have the basis of understanding just how the tenants and leases impact the property and its current cash flow of rental. From that point onwards you can look at other associated issues such as outgoings, net income, and customer interaction.

7 Tips to Know Before You Buy an Apartment

The process of purchasing an apartment is more complicated than that of purchasing a house. This is because you don’t purchase the land right away. If you are going to buy an apartment for the first time, we suggest that you follow the 7 tips given below. Read on to find out more.

1. Freehold and leasehold

First, you should understand the difference between leasehold and freehold. In case of a freehold property, the buyer owns the land and the home. On the other hand, a leasehold is the property that you pay for to occupy, but you share the property with other people.

For instance, flats are leased as they are made in a building that’s shared with hundreds of other people. In fact, this is one of the most obvious differences between a leasehold property and a freehold one.

2. Lease period

In case of leasehold, the buyer buys the right to live in the said property for a specific period. This period can be up to 999 years long. With the passage of time, this value comes down. Therefore, it’s important that you find out the time remaining on the lease. You can ask your real estate agent to find out this information for you.

3. Service charges

You should find out about the ground rent and other service charges you need to pay for the apartment. Plus, you should find out about who will be responsible for the communal area repairs. This will help you set your budget properly.

4. Alterations

Can you make changes to the property? If so, are there any restrictions to follow? The restrictions can be either subtle or obvious. If you have major plans to make alterations to the flat, you may want to contact your lawyer.

5. Major repairs

The service charges may include general maintenance as well. However, it may not cover major repairs like roof repairs. For large repairs, make sure you know the person who will pay for them. This is quite important, especially if you have a limited budget for repairs and other tasks of this sort. Keep in mind that major repairs will cost a great deal of money.

6. Restrictions

Make sure you know if you can keep pets in your apartment or not. Some apartment buildings don’t allow any type of pets. Similarly, some apartments don’t allow to play music after, say, 12pm. Therefore, you should ask your real estate agent about the restrictions you have to follow.

7. Assistance

After you have bought your apartment, make sure you know who will come to your help when you are in need. You can contact the lease advisory service of government to find out information about landlords and tenants.

In short, if you are going to buy an apartment, we suggest that you check out these tips. With these tips in mind, it will be much easier for you to make the right choice and avoid some common mistakes. Hopefully, this can help you go through the process more easily.

Tips to Book Your Vacation Rentals

Florida is a popular tourist spot in USA because it has various beaches and theme parks. You can also laze around beaches which are located either on the Atlantic or Gulf Coast. You can visit the beautiful Disney theme parks. Atlantic coast beaches are known for their great surf and Gulf coast for sands and crystal clean waters. You can find great golf courses and various other water sports. You can enjoy Disney and other Kennedy space centers in Florida.

If you want to stay for a week or more in Florida the best thing would be to hire a vacation home in Florida. If you want to spend less then you can consider staying in vacation rental, condos, Villas and beach houses as you can enjoy amenities that are available at home. If you follow these tips you can book a vacation rental easily:

* If you’re planning to travel in Florida during peak season you have to shell out more money from your pocket. But if you’re traveling during off-peak season the price of the same vacation rental property will be a bit less. You’ll be able to save a bit of money on your vacation home.

* It’s never too early to start thinking about your next vacation. If you’re able to visit the vacation rental properties that you’re interested in renting. If that isn’t feasible, then browse pictures and reviews of that vacation home. Try to feel for that rental. Find out whether that holiday home has everything you will require during your stay. (Bedding, Towels, Dishes, Pool toys and television etc. Also find out whether that particular vacation home is located in an ideal area. Look into vacation rental homes ahead of time so that you can get a better idea of what you want to rent.

* You can also book vacation homes through a rental agent. You can call an agent to discuss about available properties and you can find out how much you can pay for a rental in a certain area. Based on the days of your stay you can also ask about discounts for extended stays. There are some vacationers who stay longer than a week.

* When you’re booking a vacation home you have to sign a lease. Read the fine print to make sure there won’t be any surprises during or after your stay. Find out about specific features like docking fees, cleaning fees, boat usage and liability. It would be better if you know exactly what your responsibilities are before you sign a vacation rental lease.

* Once you know when and where you want to take your vacation start looking into vacation rentals. Beach houses fill up close to a year ahead of time. You can also check out newspaper and internet for vacation rental details. And then call to book the rental. You have to pay a small deposit up front to secure the rental. If you sign your lease agreement you will be able to book your vacation rental properly.

Landlord Tips And Tricks

Every real estate investor dealing in rental homes has done his own clean-up and fix-up, at least in the early years. Landlords also become very skilled at managing tenants after being burned a few times.

You learn the tricks of the trade and how to get the best results for the least cost. Maybe a few of these tips will be new to you.

You can give kitchen cabinets new life with a liberal application of Liquid Gold.

Everyone has at least one chip or scratch in the porcelain on their refrigerator, bathtub, stove (except high heat surfaces), sink, washer or dryer. The solution? Touch up that nick with a tough porcelain glaze called “Porcelain Chip Repair”. Just dab it on with the built in brush and it hardens in 24 hours. If your hardware store does not carry it you can find it with a Google search.

You can quickly clean black scuff marks from vinyl floor covering with a squirt of WD 40 lubricant and a rub with a clean cloth.

Put a shiny new strainer in the sink drain. Then install new handles and drawer pulls and you often have a minor kitchen miracle.

Get rid of globs of sticky adhesive residue with Goo Gone.

When tenants move out they seldom do a really good cleaning job on the oven… or the dishwasher.

I’m sure you have discovered the many effective oven cleaners, but how about that gunk caked onto the inside of the dishwasher?

Try a product called “Dishwasher Magic”… found in many markets and some hardware stores.

The label reads “Removes Lime Scale, Rust & Buildup. Disinfectant”.

You just remove the cap… place the blue, plastic bottle upside down inside the silverware basket and turn the machine on. You might have to use two bottles if your first look into the washer causes you to run screaming from the house.

When vinyl flooring is ready to be replaced use commercial grade floor tile instead. It lasts almost forever and it is cheap to replace a damaged tile now and then.

Have you ever received an unsigned rent check? Here’s a method that often allows you to deposit that check.

Write or type the word “over” on the line where the signature would normally appear. On the back of the check type “lack of signature guaranteed”. Add your company’s name, and your name and title. Then you sign it on the back.

This guarantees your bank that you will take back the check as a charge against your account if is isn’t honored. Many banks will then process the check and remit the funds. This saves you the trouble of returning the check to your renter for a signature.

Spot those bad checks with this tips. 90% of bad checks are numbered 101 to 150, indicating a new account.

Legitimate checks have at least one perforated edge. Most forgeries are cutouts of copy machine created fakes.

Checks dated more than six months ago are usually not cashable, no matter how much money the issuer has in his/her account.

If the amounts written on a check in words is different from he amount written in numbers, the bank will pay the sum shown in words.

If you receive a check with the date missing, it’s legal to fill in a date reasonably close to the date you receive it. To predate or postdate the check by several weeks is a criminal act… don’t do it.

Remember, landlording is not for sissies. I hope these tips will save you a few dollars and a barrel full of aggravation.

5 Smart Tips on Leasing Your Next Car

Consumers shopping for a new car have three options for making a deal. The first option involves a cash payment with no financing involved. The second option is automotive financing, where the consumer puts money down on a new car and finances the rest. The third option is to lease a car, basically renting it for a term and then returning it at the end of the lease.

Few people can afford to pay cash for a car, leaving the other two options as possibilities. While financing can help you to eventually own your car, leasing can help you get a new car every few years and avoid the hassle and expense of major repairs down the line.

Let’s take a look at several smart tips on leasing your next car:

1. Consider your purchase. What type of new vehicle do you want? When leasing, you need to identify the vehicle that is right for you including the make/model, trim level and other amenities. Choose the car you want and outfit it the way you want before moving to the next step. Yes, you should test drive your vehicle too to make sure that it is the right car for you.

2. Select a term. How long do you want to lease your next car? Although it is possible to get out from underneath a lease, you’ll pay transfer costs to a new owner, that is if you can find one. Choose a lease term that suits you, opting for a shorter 24-month lease if you expect your transportation needs will change or a 36-month or longer lease if you expect your needs will remain the same. The longer the lease, the lower the monthly payment… usually.

3. Know your mileage limits. Leasees often get hammered at the end of the lease term because they did not know their mileage and other limitations. Typically, you’ll be able to drive 1,000 miles per month or 39,000 miles for a 39-month lease. Go over that number and you could be charged 20 cents per mile, a payment you’ll need to make at the end of the lease term.

4. Consider wear and tear. When leasing, you need to take care of the usual maintenance unless a maintenance program is included with your lease. Change the oil at regular intervals, rotate tires, replace the air filter and handle other end of lease term matters. If you return the vehicle with obvious signs of wear and tear, expect to accessed a fee for maintenance. You may end up holding a bill for hundreds of dollars in repairs, maintenance and touch ups inside and out.

5. When to buy. Some people contend that there are better times to lease a car than others. Typically, that time can appear during the last four months of the calendar year as manufacturers seek to move older product off of dealer lots to free up space for new models. Still, lease deals can be had throughout the year, therefore keep your eyes peeled for bargains. Also, you can negotiate your lease too, reducing your monthly payment and your down payment or your capitalized cost rate.

Final Thoughts

When leasing a car, you’ll typically lease through the manufacturer’s financing arm. Negotiate the best deal and if you later decide you don’t want the car, there are services such as Swapalease.com and LeaseTrader.com that can help you get out from underneath a lease. You can also use those services to test leasing, taking over lease payments yourself to find out if a particular car and leasing is right for you.