Category Archives: Thinking Out Loud

Jeffrey Pliskin’s Latest Article in NYREJ

Addressing the evolving retail real estate market: Given today’s challenges, we need effective strategies by Jeffrey Pliskin

November 15th, 2016 Posted in SpotlightsNo Comments
Jeffrey Pliskin, Pliskin Realty & Development

Jeffrey Pliskin, Pliskin Realty & Development

Given the challenges brick and mortar retailers face, property owners and managers need to deploy effective strategies for the shopping centers they own and manage. E-commerce, for instance, is having a measurable impact on sales. In May 2016, HRC Advisory, a leading retail advisory firm, reported that retailers’ efforts to increase online sales, and the associated costs relating to order fulfillment and free shipping offers, were chipping away at physical store sales and also eroding profitability. The findings were based on HRC’s study of the financial data of department stores, luxury, specialty apparel, beauty, and off-price retailers and input from 15 high level retail executives. Given this finding, and that 2017 is right around the corner, now is the time to start implementing new measures that will serve the best interests of tenants and property owners alike.

All retail property managers should be using multiple channels to market theirshopping centers. In addition to traditional signage, display advertising and direct marketing, the power of social media should not be ignored. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter should be part of the marketing media mix. Attending key trade shows and conferences such as ICSC, and networking with other real estate professionals is a tried and true practice forkeeping properties relevant and well-positioned in the marketplace.

Tenant synergy is also paramount to a successful center. A strong anchor will attract other prospects, either those that serve a similar target market or those that serve a similar demographic market. The center with a gym, yoga studio or CrossFit facility, would more than likely attract a specialty retailer of athletic wear, a day spa, hair salon, healthy food or juice bar, and vitamin store, and other tenants catering to the demographic of the customers of the foregoing.

These days, many of the tenant prospects are focused on the service market where they do not compete with online retailers. Such tenants include many of the above cited plus food sales, urgent care facilities, other medical uses, restaurants, and dry cleaners. These service types create their own synergies. They attract other tenants that trade on frequent customer visits

As a buyer, we look for high quality properties in good locations. Tenant credit worthiness is important, but, considering the impact of ecommerce and the nature of the tenant prospects, as described above, we want locations that will attract that type of service tenant. Typically, that means convenience, easy access and a lot of parking.

For those owners that do not also manage their properties, another fundamental is to carefully vet a property management firm to make sure it has a proven track record maintaining properties in peak condition. Retail property owners should only consider trusting their asset to a firm that can provide a full suite of services covering all areas of operations, from tenant rent billing and collections, to account management and documentation, budgeting, capital improvements, subcontractor coordination and supervision, maintenance, insurance oversight, regulatory compliance, real estate tax management and, of course, property marketing, leasing and sales. In short, the firm should have all of these capabilities in-house to maximize the property owner’s income, minimize expenses, and retain and attract the best tenants.

Jeffrey Pliskin is president and CEO of Pliskin Realty & Development, Garden City,

Thinking Out Loud: Are Banks Making a Commercial Lending Comeback?

Recently Forbes.com featured a very interesting article about the increasing role that banks are taking in commercial real estate lending. With loss rates plummeting and the economy seemingly on the rise, are we on the verge of a borrowing bonanza?

Source: Forbes.com
Source: Forbes.com

Continue reading Thinking Out Loud: Are Banks Making a Commercial Lending Comeback?

The Latest Trend in Real Estate Investing – Should You Join the Crowd?

There’s no doubt, real estate crowdfunding has arrived in a big way… at least according to articles like this one.

On the surface, crowdfunding sounds like a low-cost way to “get in the game,” without the nebulous nature of joining a REIT. But before you join the crowd (sorry, I couldn’t resist… won’t happen again), I have a few thoughts on some of the posited advantages of this trendy new funding method.

On Crowdfunding vs. REITs:

First, with crowdfunding, you know exactly what property or building you are investing in, giving you more control over your investments. You know exactly where your money is going. When you invest in a REIT, it’s possible you are investing in a company with a bunch of properties that you know little about.

It is true that, like the article says, you know what property your money is going into, and it seems you may be able to get a better return with the crowdfunding alternative.  But there are some very important considerations not mentioned here:
  • You may not know the investor
  • You have no control over your investment once it’s made
  • You have no liquidity

The price of REITs tends to be driven by market sentiment, rather than the actual value of the company’s assets. REITs are vulnerable to a market downturn, just like other stocks. For these reasons, real estate crowdfunding could make for a better investment than REITs.

Again, good points all. And yet, here come a few more of those patented Pliskin bullet points to shoot a hole or two. With a REIT stock, you get:

  • A cash flow
  • A capital appreciation
  • A public company that has been vetted, presumably, by numerous analysts.

While I personally haven’t dabbled in crowdfunding, that I would be a lot more confident buying shares in a REIT. Sometimes the tried and true method is that way for a reason.

Put Your Ear to the Ground, and Keep it There (Google News Alerts & You)

Let’s face it, we can often get so caught up in the day-to-day details of our jobs that it’s hard to keep up with the industry as a whole. Trends, news, etc. – it’s all emerging on a daily basis, and sometimes it seems difficult to keep up.

Sure, I’ve got my go-to commercial real estate and property management publications that I read on a regular basis. My copies of NY Real Estate Journal, Long Island Business News, Crain’s New York Business, Dealmakers, etc. are indispensable parts of my monthly reading regimen. But what about seeing the news as it happens… the trends as they emerge… the deals as they close? Continue reading Put Your Ear to the Ground, and Keep it There (Google News Alerts & You)

Will There Be an Influx of Commercial Lending in 2014?

After reading this article on REIT.com, it seems like we can expect an influx of commercial lending in the coming months. It’s heady stuff to be sure, but as always there are caveats.

Commercial Real Estate Finance Council President and CEO Stephen Renna noted recently  that the outlook across all lending sectors – commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), banks, life insurance companies, private equity, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – continues to improve. Continue reading Will There Be an Influx of Commercial Lending in 2014?

The Commercial Real Estate Picture – Bull Market, or Just Plain Bull?

I recently came across these results from the NREI/Marcus & Millichap Investor Sentiment Survey. It shows record-high investor sentiment, and it certainly paints a rosy picture.

As someone who’s knee-deep in the market I have to throw up a major caution flag here. Investors are indeed anxious to buy, but this sentiment, in my opinion, needs to be tempered by two unavoidable facts:

  1. There is very little product out there; and
  2. What little product is available seems to most of us to be overpriced (I guess those two statements are related.  Buyers are anxious to buy, there is not much product, prices go higher as demand exceeds supply). Continue reading The Commercial Real Estate Picture – Bull Market, or Just Plain Bull?

Thinking Out Loud: What to See (and What to Be Seen In) at ICSC NY

After 20+ years of attending ICSC shows in New York (and the not-quite-as-beloved-by-me-but-still-pretty-great Vegas edition), I get a lot of people asking me about the show experience. You know, the usual questions:  what to wear, who to see,  what to eat, and what little goodies are available at the booths.  For this second edition of Thinking Out Loud, I thought I’d share some random thoughts for you first-time attendees. Continue reading Thinking Out Loud: What to See (and What to Be Seen In) at ICSC NY

Thinking Out Loud: Sorry Vegas, New York’s ICSC Show is the One to Beat

As we begin the final flurry of preparation for ICSC’s New York National Conference next month, I’ve been thinking about the difference between this event and May’s ICSC RECon in Vegas. Both shows are pivotal for anyone in the retail real estate game, and both have their benefits, but for my money the New York event is more productive . *

(*This is a 100%, Grade-A subjective opinion – I wouldn’t be calling this new feature “Thinking Out Loud” if it wasn’t. Your mileage may vary.)

You’re probably mumbling to yourself, “Prove it, Pliskin.” I mean, I love Vegas… you can’t beat the après convention activities, between restaurants, parties, gambling, shows, etc., but  here are just a few of the reasons ICSC NY is the top business event  for me each year: Continue reading Thinking Out Loud: Sorry Vegas, New York’s ICSC Show is the One to Beat