When the City of Philadelphia passed an ordinance this week, they became the largest city in the US to create a municipal land bank. They certainly wont be the last. As new techniques are sought to tackle the nationwide problems of unused, foreclosed and abandoned property, chances are a municipal land bank is headed to a commercial real estate market near you.
Created under Pennsylvania’s Land Bank Act of 2012, the Philadelphia Land Bank takes on the problem of portfolios of tax-delinquent property using an updated, streamlined approach as compared to decades past. Before the law, such properties in Philadelphia were administered by multiple governmental departments with differing constituencies and purposes. Selling a foreclosed property has its significant challenges even without city involvement — as many agents who dial the phone into bank REO departments can attest. Add multiple bureaucratic layers of city government into the process, and you’ve perfected a recipe for inertia with a side of gridlock.
With 40,000 vacant parcels of land in Philadelphia, a quarter of which are owned by the city, the effort to reduce that number needs to cut through the red tape, and the land bank certainly appears to fit the bill. The problem for the city is twofold: reduce the number of vacant parcels held, while, ironically, increasing the same number. The first requirement of any two-way street is that it be wide enough, and the legislation has laid the groundwork for heavy traffic.
Doing Both Sales And Acquisitions
The city needs not only to reduce the time to market for foreclosed and abandoned properties it already owns; it also needs to speed up its own acquisitions process for tax-delinquent properties that need to go to market but can’t. You can’t have tax delinquency without tax delinquents, and these parties tend not to make the most conscientious property owners. Consolidating management of these properties presents at long last a single point of negotiation for private market actors to engage; the process of returning these plots to private ownership can only get faster.
According to JD Supra, the land bank created by the City Council still needs to be incorporated, the city needs to provide it a budget, appoint a board of directors, and assign it the vacant land. When that happens…
[...] the city anticipates that developers and other prospective purchasers will have a much easier time navigating the administrative process and acquiring city-owned property. Further, because the land bank will be able to acquire tax-delinquent property more easily, purchasers may have the opportunity to acquire larger blocks of land all at once without having to track down private owners or purchase at tax sales.
As for other benefits, the city also anticipates an increase in its tax revenue as formerly vacant land is developed, and city residents can look forward to enhanced safety as formerly vacant properties are developed.
Not Just The 2008 Crisis
The longer-term decline in industrialization seen by many areas, added to the wave of foreclosures from the 2008 recession amounts to a tenacious problem in both property markets and civics. New ideas to cut these properties loose from government and send them back into private hands are welcome ideas.
(Photo credit: Flodigrip’s world)Related articles
- Philly aims to fight blight through new land bank
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- Let Us Explain The Land Bank To You As Though You Were A Child
- Philadelphia Forges Plan To Rebuild From Decay
Citing 33 stores as “underperforming”, retailer JCPenney announced the closure of nearly three dozen stores and the elimination of 2,000 jobs late on Wednesday. The wave of closures hits 21 states with Wisconsin the hardest hit, and is intended to produce $65 million in savings for the beleaguered retailer.
“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chief executive officer of JCPenney. ”While it’s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success.”
The full list of closures is below.
- AL: Selma Mall, Selma
- CA: Arrow Plaza, Rancho Cucamonga
- CO: Chapel Hills Mall, Colorado Springs
- CT: Merriden Square, Merriden
- FL: Lake Square Mall, Leesville
- FL: Gulf View Square, Port Ritchey
- IA: Muscatine Mall, Muscatine
- IL: Stratford Square Mall, Bloomingdale
- IL: Hickory Point Mall, Forsyth
- IN: Five Points Mall, Marion
- IN: Marketplace Shopping Center, Warsaw
- MD: The Center At Salisbury, Salisbury
- MI: Westwood Plaza, Marquette
- MN: Northland Mall, Worthington
- MS: Singing River Mall, Gautier
- MS: Natchez Mall, Natchez
- MT: Butte Plaza Shopping Center, Butte
- MT: Cut Bank
- NC: Vernon Park Mall, Kinston
- NJ: Burlington Center, Burlington
- NJ: Phillipsburg Mall, Phillipsburg
- OH: Wayne Town Plaza, Wooster
- PA: Exton Square Mall, Exton
- PA: Laurel Mall, Hazleton
- PA: Washington Mall, Washington
- TN: Northgate Mall, Chattanooga
- VA: Bristol Mall, Bristol
- VA: Military Circle Mall, Norfolk
- WI: Forest Mall, Fon du Lac
- WI: Janesville Mall, Janesville
- WI: Lincoln Plaza Center, Rhinelander
- WI: Cedar Mall, Rice Lake
- WI: Wausau Mall, Wausau
By Melanie Wyne, NAR Government Affairs
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia yesterday ruled that key elements of the Federal Communications Commissions’ 2010 Open Internet Order are invalid. The order, which sets forth what are known as network neutrality rules, prohibited Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T from discriminating in the network services they deliver to content providers.
By tossing out the rules, ISPs are free to charge content companies higher fees to deliver Internet traffic faster or in an otherwise more efficient way. This has potential implications for the real estate industry, since real estate companies and other industry providers act as content providers through the websites.
It remains to be seen what the response to this decision will be. The FCC may appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it does, this additional litigation could delay the effects of the ruling. It is also possible that the FCC could reclassify broadband service as a common carrier, thereby bringing ISPs deeper within their regulatory authority.
The business of real estate is increasingly conducted online. Streaming video, virtual tours, and voice-over-internet-protocols are just some of the technologies that are commonly used by REALTORS®. What’s more, new technologies will be adopted which are likely to require unencumbered network access. For this reason, NAR supports network neutrality and thus is looking carefully into the decision to toss out the rules. We will work with the FCC and Congress to ensure the Internet remains free and open.
As a real estate practitioner, does it matter whether you put your money into a bank or a credit union or whether you take out a loan with one but not the other? In the third of our monthly video series called Your Money Matters, Victoria Gillespie of REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, a division of Northwest Federal Credit Union, says it does matter, because credit unions are cooperatives owned by their account-holders, so profits get channeled back to account holders in the form of better terms, higher yields, and lower fees. Gillespie is REALTORS® FCU’s director of Business Development.
To be sure, the only way to know what’s best for you is to shop around. You want to see what’s available in terms of yield on your savings or other accounts, the attractiveness of the loan terms, and so forth. Gillespie thinks credit unions in general and REALTORS® FCU in particular will compare favorably in any shopping test. She points to a savings account yield at her credit union that was five times higher than at national banks when she shopped rates and terms at the end of last year.
But REALTORS® FCU has a few other advantages, she thinks, and that includes easy accessibility of your funds. Through partnerships with other financial institutions, the company offers 33,000 fee-free ATMs and a shared-branch network with more than 5,000 offices. It also tries to be user-friendly by maintaining a 24-7 customer support line, something it makes a point to do because of the unpredictable hours real estate agents work.
Again, you can only know what’s best for you by shopping around. As a start, spend a few minutes with the third in our Your Money Matters financial planning series and hear what Gillespie has to say about REALTORS® FCU. Next month we’ll be looking ideas for approaching your 2014 financial planning.
The ambitious renovation project for Miami’s convention center has come up against significant obstacles: second thoughts, an election and a lawsuit.
The development plan, selected after a worldwide competition, came from South Beach ACE, a team headed by uber-developer Dan Tishman in a partnership with architect Rem Kooolhas. The $1.2 billion plan (see video below) involves a pretty thrilling reworking of the current truck-depot ho-hummery that characterizes the convention center today. Of particular interest is the inclusion of a 800-room hotel on top of the convention center structure, a sweeping, deco-inspired edifice that Tishman’s team claims is essential to the success of the project:
Reconsidering The Hotel And Public Land For Retail
Following the November election of Miami mayor Philip Levine, it was the hotel and retail aspects of the project that came under added scrutiny. In a memo from Levine’s office, the mayor called upon the City Commission to scrap the plan and current negotiations with South Beach ACE, and start a new bid process for a much smaller renovation plan that excludes a hotel and only uses the cash Miami has on hand.
Included in the winning plan was 90,000 square feet of retail on public land under a 99-year lease currently under negotiation with the developer. As Christina Viega reports in the Miami Herald, that requirement is likely on its way out:
The size, scale and price of the Beach’s proposed convention center renovation was a hotly contested campaign issue during the city’s November elections. A new slate of candidates — one that supported a smaller and cheaper renovation plan — was swept into office.
At the same time, Commissioner Jonah Wolfson won a legal battle he waged to make a convention center project more difficult to pass in a required voter referendum.
The original plan, as proposed by the city, called for Miami Beach to lease out public land to a private developer as a way to help pay for the project. On the land, the private developer would build a hotel, shops and restaurants.
When the city picked ACE for the project, the city’s rules called for a voter referendum to approve the lease of city land to any private entity. Only a simple majority was required for the lease agreements to pass.
But Wolfson launched a petition campaign, financed largely by the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, to change the city’s rules regarding a referendum. He won, and now at least 60 percent of voters would have to approve the lease of any convention center land. Wolfson also took his own city to court to remove a ballot question approving the current plan from the November ballot. His lawyer argued successfully that voters didn’t have enough information to vote on the issue.
Under Levine’s proposal, however, it’s likely that no referendum would be needed. That’s because Levine proposes to nix a convention center hotel and “any requirement for retail or other private commercial uses.”
The Politics Of Competition?
While a complete picture of the conflict over the plan is far from clear, the business interest of the Fontainebleau hotel in the proposed creation of 800 new rooms “down the street” so to speak is impossible to overlook. Any claims of pure democracy in the rewriting of the referendum rules should probably be taken with a grain of salt (and a delicious Cuban medianoche sandwich).
Parties interested in the outcome of the new struggle over the project should keep an eye on the City of Miami City Commission meetings page, along with agendas and streaming video.Related articles
So I’ve been working on this project called Street Cred with the our pals over at Doorsteps, a platform that works with real estate pros to educate and empower home buyers. It’s basically all about how REALTORS® are truly experts at explaining why their neighborhood/city/town/state is a great place to live, and it talks about all the ways these practitioners are using technology to be what amounts to ambassadors for their communities. I’m pretty excited about it. You should check it out.
Anyway, these awesome practitioners got me thinking about how tough it can be to be a “relo.” You know, those unfortunate folks who have to move across the country because their company is basically forcing them to relocate? Who on earth would be more in need of the services of an expert neighborhood ambassador than these poor saps?
Well, just before the holidays I got a book written by one of those poor saps. Except she is not taking it laying down. In her new book, Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves, Diane Laney Fitzpatrick gets into the nitty gritty of these ugly, cross-country relocations. How do you help your kids adjust to the new surroundings? What do you do when the movers say the truck is too full? How do you keep the home inspector from seeing that spiraling mouse who’s trying to run away with a mousetrap clamped to his head?
Oh, sorry. Did I neglect to mention that this book is also hilarious? Sure, we’ve all got hellish moving stories, but Fitzpatrick has nine moves worth. She breaks the tales up by inserting snarky but surprisingly-helpful advice, such as:
- Joining extra-curricular clubs, gangs, and cults will make your children happier.
- Moving your car can be complicated. Abandoning it in a bad neighborhood before you move should be at least considered.
- Avoid anyone who has inherited your former home. You don’t look all that good.
- Don’t rely on your dog for any sympathy whatsoever.
- Set the tone for your family with cheerful but firm leadership. Think Hitler with packing peanuts.
Along with all the tongue-in-cheek recommendations, Fitzpatrick does have some advice that you wouldn’t necessarily think of if you haven’t been through nine moves. For example, she points out that movers generally won’t pack up anything liquid or aerosol. Seems like a minor detail, but won’t you just be the hero when you channel Fitzpatrick and remind your next client to stop buying 5-gallon jugs of canola oil from Costco and “get busy drinking that liquor” before they move out?
If it’s empathy for relos that you’re looking to cultivate within your heart, consider this true statement you may never have considered: People who are moving feel homeless. Not just because they’re not sure which address they should give people when asked. It’s because they’re constantly having to pack up the kids and dog for a showing, or because everything they need right now is in boxes, or because they’re just feeling downright insecure about not knowing what their next domicile will look like. And that’s a very vulnerable place. You’ll have a new understanding of what all this feels like after reading this book. But Fitzpatrick is good-natured throughout, never whining or wallowing, even when discussing the finer points of whining and wallowing. It’s a tough line to straddle, and she does it like a woman who’s completed two out-of-state moves as a pregnant mother.
Got any hellish moving stories of your own? Share them below!
By Brooke Wolford
In the past year since I started my real estate marketing company Organamx, I’ve noticed one growing trend: Many people have the notion that you can pay to somehow prove that you’re successful.
While you can pay for an amazing website, for placement on Google, and even for leads, spending money will never prove that you have experience. Your experience is at the heart of everything you do – how you conduct your business, how you behave when you interact with clients, and the value you provide.
If you want to get ahead and get the highest ROI for the dollars you invest in advertising, your website, and leads, then you have to prove to everyone around you that you can truly back up any claim you present.
Being honest is the greatest thing you can do. People like to deal with people who speak from the heart. Honesty creates trust very quickly. The most obvious way to do this is to not misrepresent your experience.
Some of the most successful people I know get the majority of their business from past client referrals. Referrals prove that you can provide a good experience. Nothing you pay for can ever prove that.
Your No. 1 priority should be working to create the best possible experience for your current clients. If you do this, your clients will be compelled to talk about you and use you for other transactions. Then use everything else (your website, online advertising, and social channels) to promote that you have the experience to get the job done.
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn. Follow her blog at www.thehousingword.com.
LAS VEGAS — It was all about the “Internet of Things” at the 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show, which wrapped up last week in Las Vegas. More than 3,000 exhibitors showed off the latest gadgets and offered a peek into technology’s future – everything from curved-screen technology to driverless cars, smarter light bulbs, and wearable tech.
One theme that quickly emerged from this year: Your smartphone is going to increasingly become your remote-control to managing your life and your home.
Smartphones are getting smarter, allowing you to take control over everything from your home’s lighting, cars, and even allowing you to send text messages to your refrigerator to see what groceries you need.
This year’s show offered plenty of applications for your real estate business. Here’s a rundown from CES, and some of our picks for emerging technology trends.
Favorite technology debut: Curved-screens
Curved-screens got a lot of people talking at CES this year, and the technology earned several industry awards for innovation. These sleek, curved screens were not only sharpening the picture of once flat-screen televisions, but smartphones were also getting curvier. The LG G Flex Smartphone has a curved 6-inch, high-definition screen that curves inward. You can even bend the phone slightly without cracking the screen. The curved screen offers ergonomic comfort that follows the contours of your face, as well as better voice and sound because of the curved design. Apple is reportedly exploring curved screens as well.
Best prototype: Driverless cars
A car that drives itself? It may sound science fiction, but the technology is real and already being tested worldwide. BMW showed off a 2-series Coupe and 6-series Gran Coupe that can drive itself. The cars can make lane changes, maneuver corners, and brake when needed – without a driver having to do anything. Several other automobile manufacturers touted self-driving prototypes that they are testing too.
At CES, Valeo showed off a demonstration of its Park4U valet feature. With a swipe of a smartphone, the car can park itself – and you don’t even have to be inside. It also can come get you when you’re ready to leave.
The implications for real estate could be huge: You could free up your time while in your car, allowing you more time to interact with your clients while you travel to showings. You’ll be able to take your eyes off the road and keep your eyes on the client. Completely driverless cars may only be 7 to 10 years away from being available to the public, according to Bosch, a global automaker supplier. (Read more: Future Paved for Driverless Cars?)
Biggest buzzword: Wearables
Wearable tech was everywhere at CES 2014. Most of the attention on wearables centered around monitoring fitness and health habits. But there were also plenty of debuts of smartwatches aimed at keeping you more connected from your wrist. Most of these devices will notify you about e-mails, text messages, calls, and calendar events.
And the look of wearable tech has gotten more sophisticated and less bulky too. For example, Pebble launched Pebble Steel, a polished steel smartwatch that can have a leather or metal strap. You can connect the apps from your iOS and Android device so that you can access everything from weather and news updates to your social media accounts, calendar, e-mails, maps, and even operate your car locks from your watch.
Intel debuted another form of wearable – a prototype named Jarvis. It’s a Bluetooth headset that wraps around the back of your ear that can be paired with a smartphone app to remotely interact with your phone. The voice-controlled personal assistant operates similar to Apple’s Siri but it’s all done from a headset. You can ask for directions or nearby restaurants, for example, and it’ll talk back to you.
Best problem-solving tech: Discreet Chargers
Keeping your devices fully charged is critical for a real estate professional. Smartphone and tablet cases are being amped up with extra battery life to help you avoid power drains, and there were several products featured at CES for helping you stay charged. The options are a lot more convenient and less bulky, too.
For example, Mota featured an extended battery case that fits your smartphone and can double its battery life without adding any extra bulk. The cases are available for several devices.
Some tech companies are looking for ways to keep your gear charged that don’t require any plugs or extra cases. For example, Intel’s gadget charging bowl generated some buzz at CES. The idea is that you’d be able to drop your phone, tablet, headsets, ultrabooks into a big bowl that will then automatically charge your devices. Intel debuted a 10-inch in diameter charging bowl for just smart headsets, but the company says it plans to create a charging bowl for more devices in the future that allows you to charge multiple devices simultaneously by just tossing them in a bowl, like a pair of keys you’d throw in a basket.
Another product in the works for staying charged: A transparent solar panel screen that attaches over the screen of your smartphone. Alcatel’s Solar Panel Display allows you to charge your device by just placing it in the sun. The device was only on demo at CES, so you’ll likely have to wait until 2015 for solar-charging smartphone screens.
Looking toward harnessing the sun to power up devices seemed to be a trend among some companies at CES. Ford Motor Co.’s showed off its C-MAX Solar Energi Concept vehicle that contained a solar power sunroof for charging the car’s battery.
Read More From CES 2014:
Homeowners considering some updates before they sell?
Pass on wise remodeling advice by emailing a free article, 7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the January “Remodeling for the Most Home Value” article package. Share all five today.
7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling
Follow these 7 strategies to get the most financial gain on your kitchen remodel. Read
7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling
Here’s how to get the bathroom of your dreams without making your budget a nightmare. Read
Evaluate Your House for an Attic Bedroom
An attic bedroom remodel is an easy way to increase living space and avoid many of the zoning restrictions attached to adding on. Read
Evaluate Your House for Basement Finishing
Some unfinished basements are better basement finishing candidates than others. Here’s how to evaluate your space for a basement finishing. Read
Evaluate Your House for a Deck
Here’s how to plan a new deck that suits your property, meets your budget, and offers the best return on your investment. Read
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
REALTOR® Content Resource is brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. With it, you can download free homeownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.
Not provided as an endorsement - more like an interesting take on how to organize the work commercial real estate agents do – but I found this clip well put together in its linking of listings, prospecting, targets and goals, territory definition, competition and all the rest. I’m also a fan of the mind-map presentation style, where concepts are linked visually in both big-picture and smaller-picture format. Yes, Mr. Highman appears to be Australian, but most of what’s covered is universal to commercial real estate, with a little translation. (When you hear “solicitor” you should think “lawyer”, for example. “Franchise group” might be something closer to a REIT in the US.)
- CRM systems are a necessity for enterprises
- Commercial Real Estate News Roundup: January 9, 2014
- What To Do When Your Tenant Is Not Paying For Their Commercial Real Estate
- Commercial real estate betting big on tech startups
NAR has been working with federal regulators since Congress in 2010 passed massive banking reform legislation, part of which created the qualified mortgage and qualified residential mortgage rules. Today is an important day in the timeline of those rules, because today is the day the qualified mortgage (QM) rule takes effect, and NAR has told regulators it will be watching to see what impact the rules have on mortgage availability.
“I promise you that REALTORS® will be your boots on the ground,” NAR President-elect Chris Polychron told the federal government’s main QM rule-writer, Richard Cordray, earlier this week. Cordray is the director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPB), which was created as part of the same law that created QM and the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rules.
Under QM, lenders are required to make sure borrowers have a reasonable ability to repay before they can make what’s known as a qualified mortgage. A qualified mortgage represents what CFPB views as a safe mortgage, and thus a mortgage that is expected to cost borrowers less, because the risk is less to lenders. How CFPB defines the “ability to repay” includes a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. Also, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in conservatorship, their conforming loans are considered qualified. Also, loans by small community banks that meet certain criteria are considered qualified, as are FHA, VA and Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans.
In short, the universe of qualified mortgages isn’t particularly large right now, because Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and other federally backed loans make up the vast majority of loans originated today. But the qualified standard is nevertheless important because it defines what a safe mortgage is and what it will be in the future.
As of today, the QM rule is in effect. Will we see much change in mortgage underwriting practices as a result? It’s too soon to say, but lenders have been aware of the rules’ standard for some time now and have been operating with them in mind since CFPB proposed them a year ago. For that reason, lenders to an extent have already built the standards into their operations, so how much practices will change starting today is hard to know.
For the most part, NAR is okay with the QM rule. It fought hard to keep a minimum down payment requirement out of the rule, and on that score, the association won, as did the dozens of other consumer and industry groups that fought alongside it in a coalition. But NAR still has concerns over a part of the rule that limits points and fees to 3 percent for loans provided by lenders with affiliated businesses, such as title businesses. NAR continues to talk with CFPB on whether such a limit makes sense from both a fairness and a business standpoint. For its part, CFPB has said it will be monitoring the impact of that limitation along with others parts of the rule.
So, QM is now in effect. It’s time to see what the impact will be. In the 3-minute video above, CFPB Director Cordray asks NAR to help it monitor the impact of the rule and NAR President-elect Chris Polychron assured Cordray the association will. Also in the video, Cordray outlines the criteria for a qualified mortgage as set forth in the rule.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
Imagine selling a home where you could tell home buyers: You won’t need to change the light bulbs in this home for more than 20 years!
Wi-Fi-connected, long-lasting LED bulbs are breaking ground in the lighting industry. Instead of flipping a switch, one day you may just need to flip an app on your smartphone or tablet.
The smart bulb is generating a lot of buzz at this year’s International Consumer Electronic Show.
These bulbs not only aim to smarten up lighting in homes with “mood” lighting, but also provide another option to those who may not be fans of the “uninviting” light that standard energy-saving LED, compact fluorescent, and halogen bulbs put out. As of Jan. 1 of this year, incandescent light bulbs are no longer being manufactured in the U.S. Some in the lighting industry see “smart bulbs” as the next bright idea in lighting up homes.
Smart bulbs are not only energy efficient but they can be controlled by a person’s smartphone and offer different lighting settings that can be set to your mood.
One debut at CES from Philips — the Hue smart bulb – lets you control your wireless lighting from an app on a smartphone or tablet. You can dim the lights and even use different color lighting schemes to serve as mood lighting. The bulbs also come with preset lighting settings that aim to help you better concentrate, read, or relax too.
Belkin’s WeMo Smart LED Bulb — a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb — also got a lot of attention at this year’s CES. It works with an app for IOS and Android smartphones, and the bulbs can last up to 23 years. The bulbs are fully dimmable and can be scheduled to dim at certain times. For example, you can set the lights to gradually dim as you fall asleep. The lights emit a warm white light that is more similar to incandescent bulbs.
Lumen Smart Bulb can turn on when it just senses your mere presence 50 feet away. It can also be set to flash the lights to alert you about an incoming phone call.
For a real estate or staging professional, smart bulbs may offer some benefits. The obvious one: No longer having to worry about going to a home early to make sure all the lights are on prior to a showing. The lighting can all be controlled remotely.
What’s more, smart bulbs may allow you to create that perfect lighting mood for showings in advance, with just the right spotlight here and warm dim there. With just a press of an app, the home could be presented in its best light.
But one big barrier smart bulbs may still need to overcome before heading mainstream: The cost. Smart bulbs aren’t cheap, especially compared to other lighting options. For example, Lumen’s smart bulbs are about $70 each, and Belkin’s WeMo Smart LED Bulbs sell for about $39.99 each.
But could this be the future of lighting? Several manufacturers believe smart bulbs could also pave the way for a fully connected home from your smartphone — one that encompasses all your appliances and home’s systems, not just your lights.
More From CES 2014:
- A Murky Real-Estate Market Comes into Focus, WSJ, Dec. 17, 2013 – Wherein FINRA proposes new reporting rules for “untraded” REITs.
- Chinese buyers develop a taste for US commercial property, Reuters, Dec. 20, 2013 – 2013 saw an over six-fold increase in Chinese investment in US commercial property.
- An Industry Revived: Commercial Real Estate in Nevada, Nevada Business, Jan 2, 2014 – Unfinished resorts getting second lives as the Sagebrush State stages a commercial real estate recovery
- Top 10 Commercial Real Estate Moments of 2013, NREI, Dec. 31, 2013 Hilton’s IPO, UBS snags Water Tower in Chicago and Pershing Square Capital pinched by JCPenney.
- Denver Real Estate Booms as Slopes Beat NYC Bustle, Investors Business Daily, Jan. 1, 2014 – Downtown Devnver’s mile-high renaissance given the spotlight
- Silicon Valley’s Biggest Commercial Real Estate Stories of 2013, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Dec. 25, 2013 – $1,000 a square foot in the tech center is the new normal
- Brooklyn: the place to be, if you can find the space, Crains New York, Jan. 5, 2014 – The borough is nearing full and eyes are leading to East New York and Brownsville
- Forget houses, shrewd investors are turning to warehouses, Sydney Morning Herald, Jan. 2, 2014 – Down under, the industrial sector’s getting a new look from idle capital.
- Cassidy Turley: Cincinnati’s industrial market keeps booming, REJournals, Jan. 3, 2014 – Vacancy rates on the plunge in Cincinnati industrial, at least some of which is not attributable to demand for five-way chili.
- Retail seen as bright spot for 2014 commercial real estate, St. Louis Business Journal, Dec. 24, 2013 – The shopping centers of St. Louis are ringing up the numbers and absorption is looking fine.
- Four Forces that will Propel Retail Investment Sales in 2014, NREI, Jan. 3, 2014 One out of five investment dollars in 2013 are retail investments, say NREI.
- City’s retail rents expected to remain in stratosphere, Crains New York, Jan. 3, 2014 – News flash: Manhattan retail rents are a bit on the pricey side!
- MetLife Looks for Roommates, WSJ, Dec. 17, 2013 – After selling in a $5 billion residential deal, the insurer is looking at more multifamily.
- Top 10 Multifamily Stories of 2013, NREI, Dec. 30, 2013 – Fannie/Freddie revamping and construction starts add up to a bright near future.
- Farms aren’t going away, but a lot of little ones are, The Texas Tribune, Jan. 3, 2014 – Ag dirt prices shooting through the clouds are sending small farmers off the land.
- Mesa land sale will generate $135M for city economic projects, Phoenix Business Journal, Dec. 31, 2013 – The Chicago Cubs spring training stadium in Mesa, AZ needs to be paid off. Of course, the team owners aren’t the ones doing the paying, the city of Mesa is.
- Commercial real estate betting big on tech startups
- Commercial Real Estate Industry News Roundup: December 17, 2013
- NAR predicts modest growth in commercial real estate markets for ’14
- Commercial Real Estate Industry Weekly Roundup
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray explains new mortgage credit rules and their impact on consumers, lenders, and the housing market.
Commercial Connections recognizes associations and members who have gone above and beyond to serve their members and clients. Also, The Counselors of Real Estate get us ready for 2014 by giving us the top ten issues affecting real estate.
In this edition, our guest is Ted Blank, CCIM, owner of Ted Blank and Associates in Denver, Colo. Ted is an instructor for the Society of Exchange Counselors (S.E.C.), where he previously served as President. In Ted's discussion with host Alex Ruggieri, CCIM, he gives pointers on what to do before approaching banks to secure foreclosed commercial real estate listings.
Bill Stonaker, CCIM, defines a developer's role and lays out what you need to know to best work with developers.
Bill Stonaker, CCIM, defines a developer's role and lays out what you need to know to best work with developers.