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Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2017

Commercial meets residential: a marketing strategy unfolds

Photo illustration by Jhila Farzaneh for The Real Deal. From left: Mauricio Umansky, Behzad Souferian, Jay Luchs, Carl Mühlstein (Credit: the Agency, JLL, LinkedIn)

From TRD Los Angeles: The brokerage world was traditionally divided into two distinct tribes. Residential brokers were the aesthetes, the innovators, the people who didn’t shy away from using glamour to sell real estate. Commercial brokers, meanwhile, were the jocks and the quants, swearing by spreadsheets to land that plum leasing assignment or investment-sales deal. Never the twain shall meet – or so we thought.

Now, however, the two realms are increasingly overlapping. Office buildings are starting to offer valet services and bars; commercial brokers are selling homes; and residential brokerages are launching commercial divisions within their firms. The crossover is impacting marketing — or at least, industry experts are saying it should.

“What these (residential) brokers will do for a $2 million listing with drones and staging is phenomenal,” Carl Muhlstein of JLL said at The Real Deal’s Sept. 14 panel event. “So we’ve been applying a lot of those techniques to commercial.” Muhlstein recently returned from a trip to London, where he met with JLL’s European marketing team to discuss ways in which commercial folks can up their game.

“We have noticed that a lot of commercial or office space marketing has become pretty formulaic — email blast, maybe a brochure — and the script always starts with ‘the building,’ Muhlstein said. “I’m experimenting with reversing the script, where we focus more on the people, the neighborhood and the hiring opportunities.”

Commercial meets resi
Behzad Souferian of the Souferian Group launched an entire brand, called “Be,” for hybrid commercial properties that bring in residential and hospitality elements. Its flagship location at 1800 N. Highland in Hollywood looks more like a boutique hotel than office site — equipped with Instagrammable walls and finishes, a concierge-type security post, valet services and a pet-friendly bar.

“When I started evaluating the landscape of commercial real estate, I started noticing a void,” Souferian said. “It didn’t matter how cool my four walls were — there was a disconnect from the rest of the building.”

The Be brand is “at the intersection of commercial meets hospitality,” he said.

The developer isn’t the only one dipping his feet in both ponds.

Jay Luchs is a household name as a retail broker with Newmark Knight Frank, thanks to prolific signage throughout L.A.’s Westside.

He’s solidified leases for clients including Louis Vuitton and L.A.’s first Eataly. But, in recent years, he’s also teamed up with a social media-savvy residential partner, Steven Schaefer. Together, they launched the residential Schaefer & Luchs under the NKF umbrella. The partners represented music producer Jerry Goldstein in the $10.4 million sale of his home in the Pacific Palisades in 2015, and have the listing for a $26.9 million home in Malibu, which hit the market earlier this summer.

Resi meets commercial
Meanwhile, residential firms are also trying to get a piece of the commercial pie.

Residential brokerages Partners Trust and the Agency have both stepped into the commercial market. The newly formed commercial team at Partners Trust grossed $57 million in 2016 sales, according to company statements. The Agency announced the launch of its commercial advisory division, led by Alexander Koustas, this April.

Luchs said those entering the commercial market for the first time must step out of their comfort zone. While Instagram posts, flashy open houses and charismatic personalities typically help when an agent is trying to sell a home, they do not suffice in the world of commercial leasing, where brokers must work with tenants on business strategy and specific goals, Luchs said.

“There’s a landlord, things a client needs to know about the landlord, the different size options [a building] might have — they have to project sales,” Luchs said. “In commercial, a lot of it has to do with how much money will be made for a business. In residential, a lot of it is simply related to the curb appeal of the house.”

Luchs primarily relies on his contacts in the industry and some direct email marketing for his commercial properties. When he’s trying to sell a home, however, he often buys advertisements in magazines and billboards while his partner, Schaefer, posts them on his Instagram page.

Partners Trust’s Dario Svidler, who leads the commercial team of six, is taking a more aggressive tact than some commercial veterans like Luchs. He said he is leveraging the resources at his firm — including a full marketing and publicity team — to stand out from his commercial peers. “It’s a little bit of a blend of single-family marketing, combined with the prowess of commercial property,” Svidler calls it.

His “script” changes with every listing. He recently had to do a second drone shoot of a $17.5 million property since the first one wasn’t up to par.

At the Agency, Koustas calls his strategy a “bit of a hybrid,” which might include open house-style events with broker giveaways and influencer marketing, in addition to emails and brochures.

“We make sure that our marketing piece is very simple but gives all the information that anyone would need to dive deeper,” Koustas said.

Let the tenants do the work
Souferian said he’s taken on a “white gloves approach” by letting his tenants market for him. With themed music nights, splashy walls painted by local artists and customizable marketing materials for each tenant, Souferian said he’s designed his commercial sites in a way that makes it easy for tenants to post on social media.

The developer even named the brand, “Be,” to achieve ultimate bandwidth. “We have strategic relationships with other companies,” Souferian said. “For instance, if we do something with someone in fitness world, we market it as ‘BeFit’; If its food and beverage, ‘BeFed.’”

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/trdmiami

Tampa ranks fifth among metro areas in prevalence of all-cash home purchases

Institutional investors largely have withdrawn from the Tampa market as local companies and individuals loom larger in cash sales.

The Tampa area ranked fifth among U.S. metro areas in prevalence of all-cash home purchases, according to a study by ATTOM Data Solutions.

In the second quarter, cash deals accounted for 43 percent of sales of Tampa-area house, townhouses and condos, ATTOM reported.

Cash deals were particularly prevalent in sales of homes for under $300,000 – a price point where many all-cash investors compete against first-time buyers.

Blackstone and other large financial institutions bought thousands of Tampa-area homes during the Great Recession and rented them.

In recent years, however, institutional investors have withdrawn from the market to a large extent as local companies and individual investors have loomed larger in cash sales. [Tampa Bay Times] Mike Seemuth

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/trdmiami

Related wants to build its first project in Boca Raton at Mizner Park

Mizner Park in Boca Raton

Related Group offered to build a performing arts center in Boca Raton if the city allows the Miami-based company to redevelop a 15-year-old amphitheater at Mizner Park.

Related wants to build 300 to 400 condos or rental apartments plus restaurants and a parking garage on a 3.6-acre site in Mizner Park and an empty lot nearby.

The project would be Related’s first development in Boca Raton.

The 3.6-acre site includes 1.8 acres where the open-air amphitheater opened in 2002.

In exchange for approval to redevelop the amphitheater site, Related offered to fund and build a 1,500-seat performing arts center and a parking garage for the city of Boca Raton.

The city took ownership of the amphitheater from the Schmidt Family Center for the Arts in 2010. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/trdmiami

Jacksonville’s biggest hotel fetches $109.9M

The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel

The biggest hotel in Jacksonville has sold for $109.9 million, or about $115,000 per room.

The new owner of the 951-room Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is Houston-based Westmont Hospitality Group, which has equity interests in 500-plus hotels on three continents.

Westmont last year paid $120.5 million to acquire the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa.

The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront opened in 2001 as an Adams Mark hotel. The hotel sold for $67 million in 2005 and changed hands again in 2014 when Fortress Investment Group bought the property out of foreclosure for $53 million.

The Jacksonville hotel’s general manager said it will retain the Hyatt brand under the new ownership.

The hotel is a vital component of the city’s meetings and conventions business, according to Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Visit Jacksonville. [Jacksonville Times-Union] Mike Seemuth

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Naples rental complex sells for $67M in hurricane-delayed closing

The Boca Raton-based owner of a 306-unit rental complex in Naples sold it for $67 million despite a hurricane-delayed closing with amended terms.

Amberton Properties LLC sold the Naples property, called Amberton Luxury Townhomes, for an average price just under $219,000 per unit. Affiliates of two Boca Raton companies, Amzak Management and Home Dynamics Corporation, own Amberton Properties.

The Sept. 20 closing of the transaction was nine days after the original closing date, Sept. 11, the day after Hurricane Irma made U.S. landfall in the Florida Keys and moved north through the Naples area.

Law firm Akerman LLP, which led the transaction for Amberton Properties, said in a press release that the seller “made appropriate adjustments to the closing figures negotiated” after assessing Hurricane Irma’s damage to the Naples rental property.

Akerman’s real estate partner Thomas Streit in West Palm Beach led a team at the law firm that worked on the deal.

South Florida law firm Stearns Weaver served as local counsel to the buyer, which was represented by Silberberg & Klein LLP.

The broker of the sale was Tyler Minix of Apartment Realty Services.

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/trdmiami

Publix will test curbside pickup service in the Tampa area

Publix is testing curbside grocery pickup service in the Tampa area.

Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets will test curbside pickup service for customers who order online at two of its stores near Tampa. Third-party service provider Instacart already has helped Publix expand its grocery delivery service in recent years.

But while customers pay a fee to Instacart for home delivery, Publix is testing curbside pickup for online customers as a free service. The grocery company plans to launch the curbside pickup service at Publix supermarkets in the Atlanta area by year-end. [Orlando Sentinel]Mike Seemuth

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August sales of Naples-area homes rise along with median price


August sales of Naples-area homes, median home prices and pending sales all increased from the same month last year.

The Naples Area Board of Realtors reported 685 closed sales of houses and condos in August, up from 654 in August 2016. The median sale price rose to $328,000 in $320,000.

Pending sales of houses and condos totaled 829 in August, up sharply from 734 last year.

The median price of August house sales rose to $422,000 last month from $384,000 in August 2016, while the median condo price moved up to $250,000 from $232,000 last year.

The average number of days on the market for house and condos sold in August crept up to 95 days from 88 days last year.

The Naples Area Board of Realtors also reported growth in the August number of listings for houses and condos.

Active listings of Naples-area houses in August rose to 4,807 from 4,787 last year, and condo listings increased to 2,361 from 2,233.

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/trdmiami

Treasure Coast loses another bid to stop extension of Brightline to Orlando

Brightline passenger rail service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is expected to start by year-end.

An administrative law judge Friday denied a challenge to the South Florida Water Management District’s decision to issue a permit needed to extend the planned Brightline passenger rail service from South Florida to Orlando.

The judge tossed out the challenge brought by Martin County, St. Lucie County and the Town of St. Lucie Village.

It was one of several failed efforts by local governments in Florida’s Treasure Coast region to challenge the planned extension of the Brightline rail service to Orlando.

In May, for example, a federal judge denied a challenge by Martin County and Indian River County against the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision to issue Private Activity Bonds to finance the development of Brightline.

The Brightline service is expected to begin this year in South Florida between downtown stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

The administrative law judge’s action on Friday cleared the way for the South Florida Water Management District to issue a permit authorizing construction and operation of a storm water management system, modifications of certain culverts and bridges, and improvements to 23 roadway crossings between West Palm Beach and the northern border of St. Lucie County.

Source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/trdmiami

New state builders association VP talks about trends, challenges in homes

​Earlier this month at its fall membership conference in Asheville, N.C., the Home Builders Association of Georgia (HBAG) installed its new officers for 2017-2018.

Source: http://feeds.bizjournals.com/industry_21

40 Under 40: Aegis Living Development Manager Brian Palmore spurs community growth (Video)

Palmore, 38, oversees design coordination and implementation for half of the current Aegis communities under development.

Source: http://feeds.bizjournals.com/industry_21

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