Santa Anita horse racing consensus picks for Sunday May 9

The consensus box of picks comes from handicappers Bob Mieszerski, Art Wilson, Terry Turrell and Eddie Wilson. Here are the picks for Sunday May 9 for horse racing at Santa Anita.

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Are asking prices obsolete in this crazy real estate market?

Asking prices. Pay me this and we’ll make a deal. Easy? Not so fast.

In our hyper-inflated industrial real estate market, every COMP is a new high watermark. Demand for manufacturing and logistics buildings outstrips supply. Read: There is approximately three to four times the number of buyers than there are sellers. Is this scientific? No. Strictly anecdotal from my experience this year and the last six months of 2020.

Therefore, sellers are counseled to proceed cautiously lest they leave shekels on the sideboard. One way to accomplish this is to enter the market un-priced. The traditional back and forth of a negotiation – offer, counter, counter, strike – is history. What’s replaced it is akin to the old adage of “bring me a rock.” Yes, that’s indeed a rock. Now, bring me another rock. Once referred to as “countering oneself” – a no-no – is now quite common.

Here is the typical cadence these days while representing a buyer. We scan available inventory that meets the buyer’s parameters. If there is one match, you’re lucky. Two or three? Jackpot! You then check with the seller’s broker to confirm availability and touring protocol. Ooops. Sorry, we’re under contract. No, that sold last week. Nope, the tenant renewed.

Our system is quite archaic compared with our brethren in residential sales. Yes, we must call – quite inefficient – brokers to verify info. Realty boards streamline this with their levels of availability – active, active pending, active, contingent, etc. But there’s no such luck in our world. Commercial real estate is not under the same purview.

But, I digress. Back to the search. Faced with limited or no avails – now what? Well, we then scan the list of buildings available for lease. There might just be a seller hiding among the lease listings. You must filter out the “portions” of larger buildings as a buyer would have to buy something much bigger and factor out the owners who are atypically sellers. Hop on that phone and dial your fellow agents. Ok, cool. You found a possibility.

A proposal must check ALL the boxes – price north of where the last sale traded, superior financial qualifications, very few – if any – contingencies, quick close, large deposits, a bit of pixie dust, a hope and a prayer. Frequently, the off-market Hail Marys are dropped in the end zone. No score as the time expires.

But, you still have the buyer. Now what? Hand to hand combat. You pull a list of everything – vacant or occupied. Put together a nice letter outlining your need and be very specific. Send them to the owners. You might just hit pay dirt.

So, are asking prices obsolete? It would certainly appear so!

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104.

 

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Gavin Newsom earned his recall with failed leadership

With the California Secretary of State’s confirmation that voters have qualified a recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Golden State is one step closer to replacing the worst governor in state history and turning California toward a better future.

Despite blaming others, Newsom needs only to look in a mirror to discover who caused this mess. The California Constitution requires 1.5 million verified signatures to qualify a recall election, but recall proponents turned in 2.1 million from people of all political stripes, backgrounds and ideologies, unified by a recognition that the state is failing its people, and Gavin Newsom is only making things worse. They believe California is on the wrong track under this incompetent, hypocritical and desperate governor, and it’s time for him to go.

Newsom’s numerous failures have put California at the top of all of the wrong lists. Two and a half years into his term, California leads the nation in poverty, homelessness, highest income tax, highest gas tax, and the most people fleeing the state for more affordable and welcoming destinations. While these problems were all concerning before the pandemic, things have only gotten worse, and Newsom’s lack of leadership has been the last straw. People are mad and willing to take extraordinary action to try and save a state that they love.

California has one of the highest unemployment rates in America, thanks to Newsom’s far-reaching and perpetual shutdowns. More than 19,000 businesses have closed their doors permanently. Too many people find themselves seeking unemployment assistance or standing in line at food pantries for the first time in their lives. And Gavin Newsom must own this mess.

Voters expect that a governor can manage the basic functions of government, but Newsom can’t even do that. His unemployment department, the Employment Development Department (EDD), should have been getting Californians aid quickly and efficiently but instead has been riddled with fraud and mismanagement, paying up to $31 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims.

Death Row inmates got paid while out-of-work Californians couldn’t even get their calls answered. Today, more than a million claims continue to gather dust in a backlog; each representing a person who is struggling to make ends meet. Does Newsom even care? He couldn’t even mention the department’s failures during his campaign-style State of the State address, when he had a platform and audience to do so.

Instead of taking responsibility and fixing the EDD, Newsom attended an inside, unmasked, opulent dinner at the French Laundry with his campaign and lobbyist pals while hypocritically telling Californians to spend Thanksgiving without their families and be sure to wear a mask between bites. He only quit lying about the extent of his own rules being broken when pictures surfaced online.

Moreover, as school districts around the country slowly reopened and children went back to school, California dragged behind. Reopening schools was opposed by the state’s powerful teachers’ unions, and as top campaign supporters, Newsom didn’t have the backbone to demand they get back in the classroom to educate our children. California schools are still the slowest to reopen of any state in the nation. As a result, parents have had to leave their jobs to manage Zoom school, and millions of students have struggled to keep up behind a screen, while isolated at home.

The damage done to our children after a year of missing in-person instruction is unthinkable. And instead of fixing the problem by standing up to the unions, Gavin Newsom lied to score political points. He told CNN that he is also dealing with the challenges of “living through Zoom school,” when in reality, his children went back to in-person private school last fall. Again, that tells you who he is as a person.

As Newsom finally acknowledged the likelihood that his recall would go to a vote, instead of accepting the concerns voiced by 2.1 million Californians, the career politician attacked the people, suggesting the recall is fueled by racists and conspiracy theorists. Arrogant, incompetent, head-in-the-sand politician. That’s Gavin Newsom.

In reality, the 2.1 million Californians consist of Republicans, Democrats and independents. A plurality of the Latino community – a traditionally loyal voting bloc to California Democrats – supports the recall. Parents, workers, business owners, all have had enough of this governor’s failures.

California is on the wrong track, but later this year, we will fix that. Gavin Newsom earned his recall, and he should not be surprised when voters put an end to his incompetence by sending him to an early retirement.

Jessica Millan Patterson is chairwoman of the California Republican Party.

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When it comes to earthquakes, size matters but so does the terrain

By Allison Chinchar | CNN Meteorologist

Earthquakes can be like Jell-O. A simple, yet often used analogy is that if you’re sitting in a valley or basin, it acts like a bowl of gelatin and it will shake more than surrounding rock.

But not all earthquakes are created equal and the ground you walk on can make all the difference.

“The local geology definitely matters — what you’re sitting on,” said Dr. Susan Hough, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey. “What the topography is, it definitely matters.”

Earthquakes are broken down into two basic wave types: body waves (often called P-waves or S-waves which travel through the Earth) and surface waves (which travel along the Earth’s surface).

The surface of the Earth is made up of a variety of soil types – from sand to clay to rock and many others, so the damage resulting from those basic wave types can vary as an earthquake travels through these varying types of terrain.

Hough explains further that while the waves themselves travel the same way, in the sense that a P wave is still a P wave, and a S wave is still a S wave, however, their speeds and amplitudes will change depending on the rock type.

Whether it is sedimental rock or a young sandy soil, it makes a difference.

Because the particle motion of surface waves is larger than that of body waves, surface waves tend to cause more damage.

Earthquakes occur on every continent in the world — from the highest peaks in the Himalayan Mountains to the lowest valleys like the Dead Sea to the bitter cold regions in Antarctica. However, the distribution of these quakes is not random.

  • Haitians walk past the collapsed Sacre Coeur Church in Port-au-Prince on January 14, 2010, following the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti two days before.
    (Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ground failure estimates from a 6.0 magnitude quake in India in 2021
    (USGS)

  • Houses in a poor neighborhood of Port-au-Prince lie in ruins a day after an earthquake struck the Haitian capital on January 12, 2010.
    (Handout/Getty Images)

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Size matters, and so does the type of terrain

When it comes to earthquakes, the size is very important. The physical size of an earthquake is measured in magnitude. For example, a 5.5 is a moderate earthquake, and a 6.5 is a strong earthquake. Because the scale is logarithmically based, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase. So, a 6.5 magnitude quake is 10 times bigger than a 5.5 magnitude, not one times bigger like the number implies.

But just because the magnitude of an earthquake is bigger does not always mean the resulting damage is worse.

For example, in January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 quake struck Haiti. More than 200,000 people lost their lives during that event with estimated damages between $7.8 and $8.5 billion.

In 2019 a 7.1 magnitude quake struck near Ridgecrest, California. For this stronger quake only one person lost their life, with an estimated $5 billion in damages.

Besides the magnitude being similar, the depths were also similar. The Haiti quake was 8 miles (13 km) deep, and the California quake was 5 miles (8 km) deep. While 8 miles may not sound shallow, it is in terms of earthquakes. Geologically speaking, any earthquake that is less than 43 miles (70 km) deep is considered shallow. The shallower an earthquake is, the more likely damage will occur since it is closer to the surface.

So why was there such a disparity between the fatalities and damages from two quakes with such similar magnitudes and depths? The answer has a lot to do with plate tectonics and how buildings are constructed.

Earthquakes emit low and high frequencies. If the ground vibrates slowly, it is low frequency. If the ground vibrates quickly, it’s more of a high frequency.

Low frequencies mainly affect multistory buildings in particular. In fact, the lower the frequency, the bigger the buildings that will be affected. Whereas high frequencies tend to affect small buildings.

Frequency was just one factor in why the Haiti earthquake was so devastating.

“The earthquake itself, like most large earthquakes, released energy with a wide range of frequencies,” Hough tells CNN. “The bigger the earthquake, the greater the level of booming low tones. But big earthquakes also release a lot of high-frequency energy. The high-frequency energy gets damped out quickly as it travels through the earth, so the Haiti earthquake was damaging to Port-au-Prince in part because the fault rupture was so close.”

Subsoil is often just as important as magnitude and frequency.

In Haiti and other island nations, you have rocks that rise from the surface, on which houses are built, to much softer zones which can actually amplify the seismic waves.

These factors can locally intensify the seismic waves, therefore leading to additional damage.

“In the 1906 California earthquake, some people living 100 miles away slept through the quake,” Hough said. “Whereas the New Madrid earthquakes (which happened in 1811 and 1812 in present-day Missouri), it actually rang church bells in Charleston, South Carolina. That has to do with how the waves travel through the crust. There’s a difference.”

California’s terrain varies widely. There are active faults, mountain ranges, valleys, basins and beaches. When an earthquake occurs in California, the energy is scattered around and gets attenuated by the varying terrain, which means it just doesn’t make it very far out into the crust.

In contrast, the East Coast has an older crust. When an earthquake happens, it reverberates like the waves produced by a ripple in water. The waves can travel for hundreds of miles, usually much farther in the East than in California.

“There’s three important factors with earthquakes, there’s energy that leaves the source, there’s amplification by the local geology when it gets to a site, and then there’s what happens in between,” Hough said. “It’s the in between that really matters for East Coast versus West Coast.”

Haiti also has a topographical aspect to it. Port-au-Prince sits mostly at sea level, with sandy sediments in those low-lying areas. But just 10-15 miles away, the elevation increases several thousand feet into a more mountainous terrain with harder rock at the surface.

Shaking is amplified by low-lying sandy sediments in Port-au-Prince, but also on some of Haiti’s hills and ridges due to a topographic effect.

But we must also build structures according to the soil and/or rock that we are building on.

Constructing on harder ground provides more stability for the buildings because essentially the rock absorbs the waves. Hough cited the 2015 magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal and leveled multistory buildings in the capital of Kathmandu.

“In Kathmandu in 2015, there was a booming amplification because it’s a lake bed zone, but the valley was sloshing back and forth with a five-second period, and you can see that on closed captioned TV. You had things that went to one side … one one thousand, two one thousand, and then back three one thousand, four one thousand. It’s a fairly slow motion, and it was strong due to the lake bed. But the effect on buildings depends on the size of the buildings.”

Hough uses an analogy of a big swell in the ocean explaining that waves will be damaging if they jostle the boat violently. For a large ship on a big swell its bow would go up while the stern goes down, generating stress within the boat. If the ship is smaller than the swell, the entire ship just goes up and down — essentially going along for the ride.

When the ground becomes a liquid

Another significant contributor to earthquake damage comes from earthquake-triggered landslides and liquefaction, collectively known as ground failure.

The USGS has a ground failure product that provides near-real time regional estimates of landslide and liquefaction hazards triggered by earthquakes.

“It takes time for first responders and experts to survey the actual damage in the area, so our product provides early estimates of where to focus attention and response planning,” according to the USGS.

Though the models provide initial awareness, overall extent, and indicate areas in which they are most likely to have occurred, they do not predict very specific occurrences.

Using satellite imagery, the USGS was able to map more than 23,000 landslides that were triggered by the strong shaking across the island of Hispaniola from the 2010 Haiti quake.

But landslides are just one component of ground failure.

Liquefaction is a process where water-saturated sediments are shaken hard enough to start behaving more like a liquid rather than a solid.

“There is something called non-linearity, and it turns out that if you try to shake soft sediments really hard, it’s not a bowl of Jell-O as much as it is a sandbox,” Hough says.

For example, Hough explains that if you shake a sandbox really hard, it’s going to stop acting like rock. Things are going to shift around at grain-size level and that process absorbs energy.

A tweet surfaced during a 6.0 magnitude quake that struck India in 2021 showing how liquefaction occurred.

“If the sand is water-saturated, as I imagine it is in many places in India, it can start to behave like a liquid. Liquefaction has a couple of consequences for shaking: some of the potentially damaging shaking gets absorbed, which can be a good thing, but if the ground beneath a structure starts behaving like a liquid, the structure no longer has a solid foundation. It’s like it’s sitting on quicksand. Even a well-built building can just tip over,” Hough told CNN.

Any aftershocks will further the damage since buildings could be already structurally compromised from the initial quake. Building on a slope, or especially soft ground, can lead to the sinking of the foundations and allow the waves to multiply the devastating impact of the earthquake.

It’s also important to note that what works in one disaster does not work in another.

It is often mentioned that buildings in Haiti are not built to the same standards that buildings are in California, New Zealand or Chile where earthquakes are also common. While this is true, it only tells part of the story.

Haiti is more likely to be hit by a major hurricane in any given year than they are by a major earthquake.

Hough explains that they have a building style where they put very heavy roofs on for hurricanes, so the roof doesn’t blow off. But when an earthquake happens, the very heavy concrete roof gets displaced and compromises the underlying structure, which likely already had some element of building vulnerability to begin with.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Do buyers stand a chance in this heated real estate market?

I read with great interest last week, Leslie Eskildsen’s column on a relatively new residential listing class known as Registered Status.

If your unfamiliar – as was I – here are the Clif notes. A seller hires a broker to sell his house by executing an agreement. Twelve choices are given – among them – active, coming soon or registered. If “registered” is chosen, the broker may share the information with agents employed beneath the broker’s license – but not with the Multiple Listing Service.

Read: Cooperation is eliminated and the pool of potential purchasers is pruned to those represented by the broker. In today’s robust seller’s arena, buyers are more plentiful than houses available for sale. The transaction occurs free of hassle, multiple tours and myriad proposals. Do sellers leave shekels on the counter? Maybe. But that’s the seller’s prerogative. Wow!

OK. You may be wondering what any of this has to do with commercial real estate as that’s my forte. Indulge me as I relate a few similarities.

The residential market typically precedes commercial by nine to 18 months. If you’re curious about the future landscape for commercial real estate, just watch what’s happening residentially.

In 2007, residential sales plummeted due to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. CRE didn’t feel the pinch until late 2008. Social media marketing took root with residential agents well before any of us used Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter to broadcast our listings. Will “registered status” become a thing with our inventory? My prediction is yes!

A type of registered status already exists. Some brokers already employ a form of registered status marketing. Here’s an example: If a seller engages me to peddle a freestanding 10,000 square foot manufacturing property in Anaheim, I can generate 10 offers with 10 phone calls.

A recent land sale we made was preceded by a select “invitation to offer.” The competition was fierce and the resulting comp set the new high price. If you have a buyer for a leased industrial building in the Inland Empire, and the offering is listed, chances are there is no fee for the buyer’s side.

Buyers are at an extreme disadvantage. Akin to a season of “The Bachelor,” sellers have their pick of qualified purchasers and may present the rose to anyone they choose. It’s quite common for avails to hit the market un-priced. We are given “guidance” as to the seller’s expectations. Plus, water in the Mojave is more plentiful than buildings to buy.

All of these factors have pushed pricing up 32% since October 2020! If something hits the market – you must take the Gretzky approach. Skate to where you believe the puck will be.

The traditional deal structure also is waning. It used to be — before this crazy activity — a buyer could expect to receive a reasonable time to secure financing, clear title and inspect the roof for leaks – all while under no obligation to close if something untoward was discovered. Now? Forget it. You’re lucky to get any time to conduct due diligence – without money at risk.

Buyer reps MUST innovate. If your business is representing buyers or tenants, you must manage your client’s expectations. In a recent round of talks, we offered a number 13% higher than the last market sale, non-refundable money on day one and no financing contingency.

We didn’t get a counter! Why? Even though our deal was not conditioned upon us getting a loan, we still needed financing. Confusing? Yes. But we were willing to risk it – and with a large sum of money as the assurance to the seller. In effect, we were told, “Show us the money”! Prove the funds in a liquid account equal to the purchase price or no deal.

In the darkest days of 2009-2011, sellers were at a disadvantage. Not anymore!

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104. 

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US may soon reach a tipping point on Covid-19 vaccine demand. Here’s why that’s concerning

By Christina Maxouris | CNN

As US health officials race to get more Covid-19 shots into arms to control the virus, experts now warn the country will run into another challenge in the next few weeks: vaccine supply will likely outstrip demand.

“While timing may differ by state, we estimate that across the U.S. as a whole we will likely reach a tipping point on vaccine enthusiasm in the next 2 to 4 weeks,” the Kaiser Family Foundation said in a new report published Tuesday.

“Once this happens, efforts to encourage vaccination will become much harder, presenting a challenge to reaching the levels of herd immunity that are expected to be needed.”

Health officials — including Dr. Anthony Fauci — estimate that somewhere between 70% to 85% of the country needs to be immune to the virus — either through inoculation or previous infection — to suppress is spread.

So far, roughly 40.1% of the population has gotten at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And about 26% of the population is fully vaccinated, that data shows.

A slowing vaccine demand now, experts say, could give dangerous coronavirus variants the opportunity to continue to mutate, spread and set off new surges — and it could delay the country’s return to a semblance of normalcy.

‘We have slots going unfilled’

Parts of the US are already seeing fewer people sign up for a shot.

Kristy Fryman, the emergency response coordinator and public information officer for the Mercer County Health District in Ohio, told CNN on Tuesday that vaccine demand in the county is “slowing down.”

The county’s younger population isn’t as eager to get vaccinated, Fryman said, and “have the sense that if they get Covid, it may not be as bad.”

Others, she said, are opting to wait “to see how the side effects are.”

“We’ve been going back to the drawing board trying to figure out how to get more people vaccinated but … we can only do so much,” Fryman added.

A little more than 27% of the county’s residents have started their Covid-19 vaccinations, according to Ohio’s Covid-19 vaccine dashboard.

Earlier in the pandemic, Mercer County was among the hardest hit parts of the state. Now, Fryman said, the county is again reporting a rise in Covid-19 cases.

“It’s concerning that we’re seeing an increase and that population does not want to get vaccinated,” she said.

In Spring Lake, Michigan, emergency room physician Dr. Rob Davidson said Tuesday that local officials there are also growing increasingly concerned over the hesitancy they’re seeing.

“We have slots going unfilled, I know in West Michigan and other parts, particularly in rural Michigan,” he said.

Experts recommend people continue mask-wearing post-vaccine

For Americans who are fully vaccinated, experts said it’s best to keep wearing a mask.

“If you are vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and you probably won’t get sick but we don’t know how long the virus is going to live in your respiratory system after you catch it,” Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, internal medicine specialist and CNN medical analyst, said Tuesday. “So therefore, you are potentially contagious to others.”

As for gatherings, Rodriguez said fully vaccinated Americans should be opting to meet only with others who are also vaccinated.

Experts have highlighted that even as vaccinations climb, it will be important for people to keep following Covid-19 safety measures until the country is able to suppress the spread of the virus.

But as more shots are administered, fewer Americans are practicing public health mitigation measures, according to poll results from Axios-Ipsos published Tuesday. The poll was conducted April 16 to 19 and was made up of a representative sample of more than 1,000 US adults.

About 61% of respondents are social distancing, which is down six percentage points from last month and 13 points from two months ago.

The percentage of people wearing a mask at all times when they leave the house — 63% — is the lowest since the summer and down 10 percentage points since two months ago.

And, at a time when Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, the perceived risk of returning to pre-coronavirus life is the lowest it has ever been — 52%.

Meanwhile, the perceived risks associated with activities like shopping in retail and grocery stores and attending sporting events is also declining.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Taco Bell is testing a vegetarian taco with its own plant-based filling

A couple of years ago, when other fast food chains started partnering with companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods on plant-based alternatives to beef, Taco Bell held back.

But now the Irvine-based fast food giant is making its move.

Taco Bell is testing an item called the Cravetarian Taco with a proprietary filling that’s a blend of peas and chickpeas. It was created by Taco Bell’s chefs to have the taste, look and texture of its ground beef filling.

The taco is available for $2.19 at one Southern California restaurant in Tustin through April 29, or while supplies last, according to a news release. The address is 14042 Red Hill Ave.

It is modeled on Taco Bell’s Crunchy Taco Supreme. In addition to the plant-based filling, it includes shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat sour cream, lettuce and diced tomatoes in a crunchy corn shell. It contains 180 calories, 90 less than the Crunchy Taco Supreme.

It is not vegan. But like other fast food products like Del Taco’s Beyond Taco and Carl’s Jr.s’ Beyond Famous Star, both launched in 2019, it is intended to appeal to flexitarians, people who enjoy the taste of meat but want to cut down on consumption for health or ethical reasons.

Although it has not had a product like the Cravetarian Taco on its menu, Taco Bell has long been a go-to for vegetarians and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called it a secret vegan paradise because it is relatively easy to “veganize” its menu items. The chain made a commitment to expand its vegetarian options early in 2019. It has mostly done so with existing ingredients, but earlier this year it announced it is exploring a new plant-based protein with Beyond Meat.

The company is working with Beyond Meat to “create a new protein that is different from this test,” according to representatives, and it expects to test that product some time this year.

Taco Bell hasn’t announced a next step for the Cravetarian Taco beyond the test.

 

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Saying goodbye to a real estate legend

The commercial real estate industry lost a lion this week. Bill Lee died April 5, surrounded by family. We are deeply saddened by our loss but grateful that Bill suffers no more and is with the Lord.

Many of you knew Bill, transacted deals with him and had great respect for his business prowess. In honor of the life Bill led and the impact he had on our business, I revived a column I wrote in 2019 in his honor. Rest well, my friend!

While at a real estate summit in Las Vegas a few years ago, I re-connected with Bill. It was so great to see Bill and spend some time with him. Bill, unfortunately, had been absent from recent summits. And while I missed him, the cool thing was, it felt as though we talked weekly. Bill was legendary, but how did he become a legend? My thoughts …

Bill observed a problem. He was the top guy at Grubb and Ellis before Nixon was a crook. He was the most competitive guy I’d ever met. But, Bill realized that intra-office competition was wreaking havoc on the greater good of the office.

He tells it like this. “I had a 30,000-square-foot listing. A competitor in the cube next to me had a 30,000-square-foot occupant requirement. I didn’t tell him about my listing because I didn’t want him to get part of the fee. The culture of the office dictated that approach.”

Bill later realized the “company” suffered and created a platform that used profit-sharing and rewarded cooperation while still encouraging competition. This was heady stuff, folks. Talk about disrupting the way in which commercial real estate is brokered. WOW!

Bill had the courage to change. Great, there was a problem. Now, Bill had to convince some fellow brokers that change was the key to their collective future. Getting brokers to change anything is tantamount to separating conjoined twins.

But, Bill, ever the persuader, convinced a small band of brothers to follow him into the cooperative abyss. John Matus, John Sullivan, Mel Koich, Larry O’Brien, John Vogt, Tom Casey, Dennis Highland, Len Santoro, Bart Pitzer, and Bill’s college friend, Al Fabiano, heeded the siren call and left the building.

Bill had a tireless vision. One of the other old-timers and I were marveling at how those 11 guys, in an executive suite in El Toro, created a company that now boasts 65 global offices, close to 1,200 agents, billions in revenue, an international presence, coast to coast visibility, and the best place in the world to transact commercial real estate. Period!

I asked Bill if he ever, in his wildest dreams, believed the company would someday be this big. He looked at me rather puzzled and said, “Of course! Once we got your Orange office opened, I knew we were on our way to becoming an international company.” Talk about tireless vision.

Bill got out of the way. At a certain point, Bill realized that for Lee & Associates to grow, he needed to step away and let the eaglet fly. Knowing Bill as I do, this was warranted but was the toughest thing for him to accomplish.

Bill along with Craig Coppola, a recent William J. Lee lifetime achievement winner, authored a book titled Chasing Excellence, Real Life Stories from the Streets. It is available online and in book stores.

So, want to become a legend? Just do those four things. Simple, right?

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104. 

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Who are the team players in your financial game?

Which is your favorite team?

Whether you said Angels or Dodgers, Ducks or Kings, I hope your next thought was, “but I really love my team of financial and business advisers, too.”

Our uniforms aren’t as colorful, and we rarely serve hot dogs or peanuts, but if you’ve got a financial planner, an accountant and an attorney working collaboratively toward your goals, you’re ahead in the game. And you’ve got a team that’s rooting for you, which is a nice twist.

One or more

Often clients will feel they maybe only need one of these professionals, and then try to have that professional cover the other bases as well, perhaps thinking this is more cost-effective. But it makes as much sense as having a Major Leaguer play basketball and football and expecting him to be an All-Star in those sports as well.

Each professional has their own strengths, which should be utilized accordingly. Sure, occasionally there’s a Bo Jackson or a Tim Tebow-type who is both a CPA and a CFP or CPA and attorney; just be sure you know what position they’re playing for you.

I’m an estate planning attorney. I help my clients plan for death, disability and leaving a legacy. Often that involves trusts that last for several years to several generations. Sometimes the game plan calls for lifetime gifts, transfers of business interests, forming new business entities that bring in younger generations on the ground floor, and/or charitable gift planning. None of this can be done in a vacuum.

The team

This type of planning requires a thorough understanding of the client’s hopes, concerns, goals and values. I spend some time discussing just that with my clients. But I also need to understand a client’s current and future financial situation. Yes, the future — do you have an inheritance coming? Is there a lawsuit pending? When are you retiring? Have you earmarked certain funds for a lifetime goal?.

The person who may be most familiar with that is the client’s financial planner, and he or she should be involved in the discussion. This will save time, money, and frustration in the long run if everyone is working toward your same goal.

Discussing gifting of assets (whether to family or charity) or business succession planning can never be properly done without the input of an accountant.

For example, if I suggest a certain gift to descendants, the accountant will be in the best position to know the specific tax consequences of such a gift and perhaps suggest the assets that are best given to charities versus a family member.

Furthermore, it’s the accountant who will need to prepare future gift tax returns and income tax returns for you and any new entity. It’s best not to surprise them with that information on April 14th.

Likewise, if you’re talking to your CPA or financial planner about forming a new business entity, he or she may suggest, for example, an S corporation for tax reasons. It’s likely the estate planning attorney is going to advise the irrevocable children’s trust you formed and wish to have as a shareholder will not qualify as an S corporation shareholder, so perhaps we should look at a limited liability company.

Open lines of communication

Odds are good you meet with your accountant and financial planner at least annually. This is probably not so with your attorney. Thus, your CPA or financial planner is more likely to know when something has occurred in your life or business that should be brought to the attention of your attorney or another member of your team who can take it from there.

If those team members already know each other and work together, it’s more likely they’ll be sharing relevant information (with your permission, of course) regularly. This passing of the ball makes for a stronger game, with fewer fouls.

Around this time of year, I frequently hear from accountants I’ve worked with for mutual clients through the prior calendar year. Sometimes they need a copy of a trust, the appraisal we had done in connection with a gift or just a refresher on what entities were set up when and why so that tax returns can be prepared (or extended. (Hey, it’s 2021, and nothing is normal.)

Sometimes there are tax and business decisions to be made, and future plans to be discussed. I always think how nice it is to be part of a winning team that has the same strategy and focus. I think the clients feel that way too (even if initially they may have been worried about exceeding their salary caps).

Pick your team. Introduce them. Let them play ball together for you. Trade when necessary.

By the way, my dog’s name is Percival. Go, Angels!

Teresa J. Rhyne is an attorney practicing in estate planning and trust administration in Riverside and Paso Robles. You can reach her at Teresa@trlawgroup.net.

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Random real estate thoughts: Strange market days and a reminder to live fully

Well, we are clipping along at warp speed – three months of 2021 in the books. But, occasionally, several issues burden my inbox. Therefore, please consider this column a “spring cleaning” of sorts.

Two recent appearances

Recently, I was honored to sit on a panel of commercial real estate experts and as a guest on a radio show. The cool thing was I never left my garage office. The Institute of Real Estate Management panel was conducted via Zoom and the radio spot over the phone. Coincidentally, both had similar themes: What impact has the pandemic had on commercial real estate?

Of course, the answer depends on CRE genre — industrial, office or retail. The differences between the three are as stark as the Mojave desert. Chances are if your company makes or ships things, you’ve high-fived your employees for a record 2020. Conversely, if you visit a suite of offices, you can bet the tenants are considering how to reduce their square footage, when the workforce will return – if ever – and how to conduct business in a hybrid environment, both virtual and in person.

Shortage of Inventory

Never, in all my years have I seen the shortage of industrial inventory this skimpy. At the same time, vacant regional mall space abounds.

You may be thinking, why not simply convert that vacant Sears store to a logistics hub? Good thought! But, the challenges lie with zoning and the physical plant.

Simply, that behemoth store that formerly housed more Craftsman tools than the Carpenter’s Union once generated monster sales taxes for its city. Warehouses don’t. Plus, modern industrial buildings are equipped with much higher ceilings, so the cost to retrofit would be mammoth.

Prices, prices, prices

The acute lack of available industrial space has caused prices to jump higher than a Gonzaga player at the buzzer. Yeah. Maybe next year, Bruins. But I digress. In one small slice of the Inland Empire East and in a sliver of sizes, we’ve seen was a 12% hop in pricing — in just four months!

My favorite time of year

NCAA Final Four, MLB opening days, Masters golf tourney, the fragrance of Orange blossoms, more daylight. All are experienced this time of year!

Considered: A tournament basketball game is akin to my profession – you lose, you go home. Consolation doesn’t pay the bills. Professional golfers start their year the same way brokers do – at zero earnings with no safety net.

Finally, 162 baseball games over six months is a marathon. Some of our deals are long races as well.

Live, live, live

Three of my close friends have gone home to the Lord in the last 30 days. I’m reminded. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s caused me to focus on what’s important. I’ve squeezed my loved ones a bit tighter, looked past petty squabbles and choose to live each day as though it may be my last.

Rest In Peace Erik, Kevin, and Mike!

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104. 

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