Stoicism and Business

Lately I have been tuning into the podcasts by Tim Ferriss, of The Four Hour Work Week fame.  One of Tim’s podcasts on the Letter 13 by Seneca the Younger, a Stoic philosopher who lived 2,000 years ago, reminded me of one of how much I enjoyed studying ancient philosophy at Stanford undergrad.  Any discussion of modern philosophy can often come across as glib and irritating, but I was struck by the relevance of Seneca’s writings to my own experiences, those of my business associates, and clients.

 

In Support of Sales Realism

Salespersons should have a balance between the optimistic and realistic assessment of the probability of a sale.  I find that the more salespersons I meet and get to know, the more the latter is a consistent trait of those who are successful.  Our greatest resource is time.  Only those who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of finding out whether optimism is justified will be able to use their time efficiently in the long run.

Move to Cushman & Wakefield

In order to better serve my clients, I have moved from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to Cushman & Wakefield as of May 27th.  Cushman & Wakefield is the world’s largest private commercial real estate brokerage company and I am excited about the opportunity to leverage its resources in my business.  I will be working in the Long Beach and Torrance offices.  Please contact me anytime if I can be of assistance.

T +1 (562) 276-1405

H +1 (714) 771-2063

M +1 (310) 874-7934

E Chuck.Berger@cushwake.com

Shocked by Toyota announcement but not s

Shocked by Toyota announcement but not surprised when a business decision is made to leave California. That needs to change. #Taxes

CA #47-Ouch! 2014 Rich States, Poor Stat

CA #47-Ouch! 2014 Rich States, Poor States Report Ranks States on Economic Performance and Outlook | Tax Foundation http://ow.ly/w0ISy

Environmental Surveys as a Pre-Marketing Requirement #CRE #Industrial #phase1

As an industrial real estate broker for over 12 years, I have learned a few key tasks every seller of industrial real estate should undertake prior to marketing their property.  Near the top of the list is having a qualified environmental consultant complete an environmental site assessment, commonly referred to as a Phase I.  The reasons are numerous but the biggies are:

  • Reveals seller’s potential environmental exposure, if any, prior to identifying a buyer.  A seller can deal with any potential environmental concerns prior to entering into an escrow, avoiding potentially costly delays and escrow terminations.
  • Gives the seller control of the environmental review process from the beginning of marketing its property.  In most transactions, the first recent environmental review of a property being sold will be when the buyer’s consultant conducts an environmental site assessment while in escrow.  In this scenario, the buyer, not the seller, has control of the process and the seller will be in a reactionary position to whatever concerns or recommendations are made by the buyer’s consultant.
  • Makes the property more marketable and can lead to a higher sale prices in a shorter amount of time.  Perhaps nothing turns away potential buyer faster than an environmental concern.  A recent environmental site assessment showing no recommendations for further inquiry can put buyers at ease that they most likely will not encounter an environmental issue in their own investigations, saving them time and money.  In some instances, an all-cash buyer may accept the seller’s environmental site assessment and therefore save the cost of conducting one themselves.

This list can also apply to a landlord as well.  In fact, many Fortune 500 companies now require a recent environmental site assessment be performed prior to executing a lease.

Seller’s may take issue with the cost of conducting an environmental site assessment or its necessity since the buyer or its bank will often conduct one anyway.  However, in my opinion this viewpoint often does not consider the points above.  Unless the seller has conducted a recent environmental site assessment, it should always consider the performance of an environmental site assessment of their property before marketing to be a worthwhile investment and in the seller’s interest.

First Quarter 2014 Mid-Counties Industrial Market Report #CRE #Industrial

Everything you ever wanted to know about the current Mid-Counties Industrial RE market in Mid-Counties 1Q 2014 Industrial Market Report.

Site and Efficiency

Embed from Getty Images

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, efficiency is defined as “the ability to do something or produce something without wasting materials, time, or energy” 1.  Efficiency has an obvious importance to industry.  However, its level of importance to corporations can vary in respect to growth and other corporate priorities.   Recent studies have indicated that U.S. corporations are planning on investing capital to improve efficiency in their home countries and services to their current customers 2.

In employing such investments, industrial firms should strongly consider the role of its real estate site selection and improved performance.  In considering a specific site, the following categories and answers to key questions can have a significant impact on the operational efficiency of an industrial firm:

  • Location-How is the site’s access to highways, airports, incentive zones, customers, and suppliers?
  • Labor-Is there available labor? How favorable are the wages, organized labor rates?  What is the average education level?
  • Building and site layout-Does the building configuration and bay spacing meet standards for flow or manufacturing processes?  Does the site allow for present and future distribution and parking requirements?  Is there a potential to expand the building on the site?
  • Amenities-Does the clearance height and sprinkler system allow product to be stored in an efficient manner?  Is the electrical infrastructure currently sufficient and expandable to meet future requirements?  Does the building have fiber installed or available to the building?
  • Building tenancy-Single tenant versus multi-tenant?  Does the security of a single tenant building outweigh the flexibility of a multi-tenant building?
  • Number of Building(s)-Is it important to have a single building with no labor competitors nearby?  Would a campus/park environment be preferred for expansion options in the future?
  • Utility-How reliable is the energy supply to the building?  How do the energy rates compare to other sites?  Can the utility supply to the building be increased to meet future demand?  At what cost?
  • Tax and Incentives-What are the insurance rates?  Are the any employee training programs nearby?  What is the workers compensation insurance structure?  Are there any relocation incentives offered?  What is the municipal and state tax structure?

These categories and questions are by no means exhaustive and each individual firm will have its own priorities when it selects a site.  What is universal is the promise of increased efficiency when industrial firms make rational site selection decisions.


  1.  “Efficiency”.  Merriam-Webster.  Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2014 
  2.  “HBR Blog Network.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014;  CFO SignalsTM: 2014 Q1 Results.” Deloitte. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014 

New listing: 84K SF distribution buildin

New listing: 84K SF distribution building for lease in Santa Fe Springs. More info forthcoming. #CRE #Industrial #Santa Fe Springs

#CRE #IndustrialRE Transwestern Enters J

#CRE #IndustrialRE Transwestern Enters JV, Plans Expansion into Mexico via @cpexecutive http://ow.ly/v3sX3