Commercial Real Estate Blog by Madison

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Potential Tax Savings Abound with the New IRS Regs for Improvements to Tangible Property

By: Moshe Hildeshaim, Director of Operations, Madison SPECS

The IRS has recently confirmed the newest regulations which govern the treatment of expenses incurred in improving tangible property. The regulations determine how to break down the costs related to repairs or capital improvements. These rules will affect taxpayers who acquire or improve tangible property.

According to the new regulations, structural assets may be broken down in greater detail for future write-off benefits. When the taxpayer is determining if improvements were made, the building structure and each building system can be considered separately.

The building is evaluated and broken out into units of property (UOP) according to nine Enumerated Building Systems. Continue reading

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Texas Real Estate Forecast – Sunny and the Future looks Bright

By Moshe Hildeshaim, Director of Operations, Madison SPECS

My first visit to the Lone Star State last week was to attend the International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC’s) Texas Conference and Deal Making. This annual event gathers real estate owners, developers, retailers, brokers and other real estate professionals. I met with property owners of shopping centers, multi-family properties, mixed use buildings, etc. to discuss the tax benefits of a cost segregation study. The general atmosphere of the show was extremely positive….. This is consistent with findings in two major reports regarding the current and future commercial real estate industry. Continue reading

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Maximize Your Pre Due Diligence Success – Three Questions to Ask when Assessing a Potential Commercial Real Estate Acquisition

By: Arnon Wiener, Esq., CEO, Real Diligence and LeaseProbe

Is there a method for CRE investors to better utilize the time spent on the preliminary assessment? How can a CRE investor prioritize the process to focus resources on the most worthwhile properties?

Deal assessment includes many steps and areas of responsibility. During the beginning stages of investigation, a potential buyer is probably not interested in reviewing every single detail. He would not want to incur the expense of a comprehensive due diligence analysis and review simply to weed out the properties that do not appear to be successful.

An excellent solution is to conduct Pre Due Diligence. With a pre due diligence review, the buyer can cover key areas of consideration while incurring a limited expense. Here are three key questions to ask. Continue reading

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Water, Water Everywhere… The Complex Issues of Tidelands

By: Michael Donini, Esq., Senior Commercial Counsel, Madison Title Agency

Global warming, melting polar ice caps and super storms are just a few of the news bylines that we hear about on a daily basis. Tidal waters are especially complex. The general rule is that all lands below the mean high tide line are subject to ownership by the state, which holds them in trust for the people of the state. Since tidelands are held by the state, this can represent a challenge in a real estate transaction which involves tidelands. An unaddressed tidelands claim will be a cloud on the property owner’s title.

A wise practitioner would be prudent to recognize the impact of water and water rights on real estate and take the necessary steps to address those issues. Continue reading

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Two Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Argus Models

By: Arnon Wiener, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Real Diligence and LeaseProbe

In a financial due diligence review for a real estate acquisition, facts are king. The more detailed information the buyer can gather and analyze, the more he can be confident that he is making a value added acquisition. Argus models are powerful tools used for cash flow projection, transaction analysis and asset valuation. When used correctly, Argus models can optimize the value of your commercial real estate acquisition.

Aside from their standard use in financial due diligence, Argus models can also potentially be utilized as a business tool. A well-structured and comprehensive Argus model can be invaluable to investors considering a potential transaction. There are some potential uses for Argus models which are commonly overlooked by real estate investors. If modeled properly, these uses can provide deep insight into the potential NOI of a commercial property.

In this regard, there are two common mistakes made in using Argus models which should be avoided. Continue reading

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Beyond the Inbox: Effective Email Marketing by and for Real Estate Professionals

By: Keren Peters Atkinson

The value of email marketing goes beyond being in the forefront of a client’s attention on a given day. And it goes beyond the obvious benefit that email marketing, for the most part, is free. Email marketing has the power to transform a direct line of communication to an actual sale. With the ability to personalize each message, deliver an offer, provide an instant method to purchase, and then be able to directly measure results, email campaigns are considered among the most-highly effective of marketing tools.

However, the biggest advantage of email – the ability to deliver an offer and then convert that directly to a sale – is not really available to real estate professionals. The kinds of products offered in the world of real estate– such as a shopping center, office building, or industrial park, — cannot be readily put into an online shopping cart. Also, the services offered by real estate brokers, lenders, and related entrepreneurs cannot really be purchased in an ecommerce setting. So, without an option to “Click here to buy,” how can real estate professionals harness the power of email marketing to their advantage? Continue reading

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Developing Soft Skills

By Lainie Goldberg, Director of Education, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services

If you ask a group of attorneys, accountants and other professionals what it takes to succeed in business, you will likely receive answers such as:
-Strategic planning
-Organization and time management
-Persuasive sales and marketing
-Familiarity with new technologies
-The art of negotiation

While these business skills are important, there is an essential ingredient to professional development that is often overlooked. Continue reading

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Effective Business Networking

By Lainie Goldberg

Continuing education seminars are a valuable way for professionals to brush up on current events and new practices. Aside from the education aspect, continuing education seminars also offer the opportunity for industry networking. A seminar’s ten minute intermission should be used to do more than just stretch your legs and grab another cookie. Once in a room with a group of attorneys, accountants or other colleagues for two hours, it just makes sense to maximize the opportunity by speaking with peers and developing stronger business relationships. Utilizing break time to interact with other colleagues will give you an opening to build a stronger, expanded network.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of networking opportunities at seminars. Continue reading

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Good Fences and Good Neighbors: Ethics in Zoning Disputes

By: Danny Wechsler

Zoning disputes vary from conflicts over business parking in residential areas to disagreements over building height and the obstruction of views. While most people are not likely to take a bulldozer to the town hall if their zoning complaints are ignored (See Marvin Heemeyer’s 2004 bulldozer rampage for more details. Or better not.), there does seem to be an intensely personal element to discussions of zoning and the use of private space and public property.

After all, a man’s home is his castle, and if he feels there is a threat to his property or quality of life, he will go up in arms to defend it. The particular nature of zoning disputes sometimes becomes the cause of civil lawsuits resulting in court injunctions or damages awards. These disputes have the potential to impact local populations in numerous ways. Just what are the ethics of zoning disputes? Continue reading

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Presentation Skills and the Presidential Debates

By Lainie Goldberg
Director of Education

The presidential debates just wrapped up and Election Day is right around the corner. As most people are probably acutely aware, the debates have been a bit feistier this year than in previous ones. After all, who can recall another presidential election debate more saturated with interruptions, personal rebukes and accusations of lying? Aside from the clear sense that the two candidates don’t like each other personally, what are they really saying? Well beyond the words coming out of their mouths, their messages are delivered in every aspect of their overall presentations.

That begs the question, what makes a good presenter? Continue reading

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