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What Foreign Companies Should Know Before Opening in the US

By George Pino From demographics to understanding the permitting and planning processes of each city, there is much to consider when foreign companies look to expand into America. We’ve all heard it before… “The American Dream” and “America the Land of Opportunity.” We have heard it so often that it has all but become a cliché; however, it would seem the entire world has heard the saying and in many ways have taken it up as a call to action. Over the last decade, we have seen an unprecedented amount of foreign investment into the United States, not just in dollars, but in companies looking to expand into different markets.  For many foreign companies, the US has become their “emerging market.” Although the recipe for the American Dream is easier than in most other countries around the world, it still does require hard work, persistence, and a little luck.  For foreign companies and concepts looking to expand into America must also keep in mind other pitfalls, especially when it comes to commercial real estate and leasing. First and foremost is the securitization of the lease.  Many times a newly formed US-based subsidiary looking to lease commercial property may not have independent financials, credit history, or significant assets in the US. This may lead to some landlords requesting guarantees from the foreign parent.  Although this sounds like a pretty easy and straight forward solution many landlords will not accept a foreign entity to securitize a commercial lease as they are concerned about the collecta......
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What You Need To Know About The Rent Control Measure.

The Affordable Housing Act which was presented by Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and David Chiu as AB 1506, died in the Assembly’s housing committee earlier in the month. Now a new proposed ballot measure plans to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Costa-Hawkins Act, the state law which more directly effects 5 of the 15 California cities with rent control, applies to large housing developments built prior to 1995 and does not include single-family homes, condos, and duplexes. Currently, in these markets, the landlord has the right to raise rents upon a tenant moving out and second, prevents the capping of rent on units constructed after February 1995. In Los Angeles City, rent control is applied to units constructed prior to October 1979, under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and yearly increases are capped at 3 to 8 percent (as set by the Rent Control Board) for the controlled units.   As a self-described union for renters, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), filed the paperwork along with Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Citing that California is facing a growing demand for affordable housing, a rise in homelessness and the historic housing crisis is pushing out low- and middle-income renters out, at times even in cities with some rent control. Supporters like the ACCE, say they have been gathering signatures easily, as people are expressing enthusiasm for the proposed November ballot. They have already collected 100,000 signatures, of the total 365,880 signatures needed by June to qualify for the ballot.   Critics like the California A......
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The Americans with Disabilities Act for Landlords And Property Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as “ADA” is a federal civil-rights law protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The ADA places guidelines for access to: Employment State and local government programs, services and buildings Access to places of public accommodation such as businesses, transportation, and non-profit service providers Telecommunications George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; standing left to right Reverend Harold Wilkie, Sandra Parrino of the National Council on Disability; seated left to right, Evan Kemp, Chairman of the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission, George Bush, Justin Dart, Chairman of the ‘s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Washington DC, USA, 26 July 1990. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). The scope of the law is fairly broad and addresses many of the obstacles affecting the participation of people with disabilities within society. Many of the ADA’s civil rights protections parallel the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the protections it established for racial, religious minorities and women. Occasionally, management companies may be faced with a lawsuit for non-compliance with ADA laws.  These compliance problems are usually preventable as many times they result from violations which stem from the lack of proper guidelines, policies, procedures, and/or practices regarding accessibility. Implementing current policies can go a long way toward avoiding the expense associated with ADA lawsuits. As owners, landlords, managers, and tenants can be jointly and severally liable in the event of non-compliance. Making it important to ensure you have safe practices in place to address......
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How to Fix Slow Internet, Generate Revenue and Ditch the “Cable Guys” With a Multifamily Internet Service

An Educational Series for Apartments, HOA’s and Co-Op’s: Part II “Pure Internet”   Pure Internet, the refreshing, no hassle experience of fast, fiber backed“Internet That Just Works”. It flows like the crystal clean rivers in the Glacier Mountains, unpolluted by the impurities of the big cities. It rushes to its destination, shimmering off the rocks with a turquoise clarity. Pure Internet is an unadulterated network of low latency paths, moving data directly and efficiently to its endpoint. Traveling unobstructed by bottlenecks or inefficiencies; safely and securely arriving to its destination.  The pipes are bountiful, clean and safe; the obstacles that litter most networks have been removed. The end-user is left with a great sense of freedom, ease and gratitude from the Internet experience, so much so they may even begin to take it for granted.    In contrast, in part one; we discussed the current “Dirty City Water” Internet experience that most Americans are accustomed to. In short; you have been sold Internet speeds that are not really speeds at all but rather capacity, on an oversubscribed network.  Speeds that are asymmetrical, transmitting over antiquated wiring technology, first used 100 years ago. You have “hired” yourself to configure your network, trying desperately to fend off dirty data and professional hackers with an over-the-counter router. You call for support and reach your, “not-so friendly” monopolistic ISP who has no financial incentive to improve the situation. For an “arm-and-a-leg” they promise they will give it their “best effort”; however they seem to be having a hard enough time fix......
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A Buyer's Guide To Gutters And Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are the unsung heroes of your property’s exterior. Although many property managers worry about keeping their roofs in good condition, they don’t always pay as much attention to their gutters and downspouts. That can come back to haunt them because of how important gutters and downspouts are for protecting a property from water damage. Out of all the components that make up a property’s exterior, gutters may be one of the most important. What that in mind, it’s important for property managers to understand how the style and construction of the gutters they choose for their property affects the level of protection they receive. The average downspout can direct as much as 12 gallons of water away from a property during a 1-inch rainfall. That’s 12 gallons of water that otherwise could end up pooling around the building’s foundation, seeping into tiny cracks where it will expand and damage the foundation as it freezes in the winter. Those 12 gallons of water also could end up getting under siding and causing mold and mildew growth without gutters and downspouts to direct that water away from the property. Although it’s certainly important for property managers to have their gutters cleaned and inspected by professionals on a regular basis, they also need to be aware of how their gutters will stand up to the rigors of protecting their homes. The shape and materials of gutters and downspouts all have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and they may impact how often they need to b......
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Tiny housing making big impact on combating homelessness in America

The fight to end homelessness in this country is a massive undertaking. About 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Alleviating this problem in a meaningful way will surely require a multi-faceted effort involving federal, state and local governments, non-profits and the private sector. Here's one possible component of the solution to this giant issue: tiny homes. Across the U.S., organizations are using tiny houses and apartment homes, which typically range from 100 square feet to 500 square feet, to provide shelter for the homeless. For instance, the nonprofit American Family Housing recently opened Potter's Lane, a 16-unit community in Midway City, Calif., to house homeless vets. The property features 480-square-foot apartment homes made from energy-efficient shipping containers. Across the country, in Newfield, N.Y., the nonprofit Second Wind Cottages, relying heavily on donated materials and volunteer labor, built a community of 12 tiny homes that house homeless men. Residents pay rent as they are able to help defray the community's operating expenses. Other examples of similar communities include the Tiny House Village in Seattle and the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Advocates of these developments note that they are comparatively cheap to build, and constructions costs often are further mitigated through the use of materials and labor supplied for free by area businesses and residents. Can the multifamily industry incorporate tiny apartment homes for the homeless into their communities? It's certainly something to think about. With its ample resources and......
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How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?

How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?
How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex? Carrier Grade WiFi Calling for Apartment Buildings is Finally Here. “Can You Hear Me Now?” “Can You Hear Me Now?” It’s happened to everyone. You’re locked in, completely engrossed in conversation. All of a sudden a little static begins on the line. Then a bit more and before you know it, you have missed every other word. Eventually the call drops completely… You look at your phone to find that you have no service, 0 bars. Hopefully, it was just friendly banter and not something vitally important. God forbid that it was an important sales call or a hard-to-reach individual. We’ve all experienced bad cell coverage and while it’s a pain, hopefully it only happens once in a “blue moon”. We may expect it while driving through a rural landscape, but if it happens from home; it’s an entirely different frustration. If you’re an apartment owner with this scenario you can rest assured… your residents will quickly be finding a new place to live, costing you and your brand. Let’s face it, not all apartments have good cell coverage. These days this can be a major problem for apartment owners. Bad cell coverage can drive occupancy, loyalty, satisfaction and retention down fast. Residents do not put up with bad coverage; many will post negative online reviews which could damage your online reputation. Some may try to change cell providers; however, they are not usually happy to do so. WiFi Calling Replaces DAS – “Two Birds, On......
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Top 5 Trending Topics of Middle Market Forum- West

1.        Compressed cap rates in major markets; Large companies are now starting to compete in the secondary markets showing interest to explore investments outside of traditionally hot core.  As rents and sales prices at those core markets are reaching a plateau, investors seem willing to entertain slightly lower returns because of the reduced risk profile associated with not chasing top of the market rents or sales price.  This makes the middle market investors relationship with local Brokers and governments along with extensive market knowledge an advantage to this new competition.     2.       Development vs. purchasing value add properties; As construction costs rise faster than rent growth, redevelopment and rehabs ROI analysis plays a key role in determining value of acquisition.  Urban infill projects close to employment hubs and rapid public transit markets have faster rent growth, where the secondary or tertiary markets show better ROI with light renovations or rehab program.   3.       Value add opportunities are very diverse; From interiors to common areas, owners are getting creative.  From common area repurposing to creating four-bedroom student housing out of conventional two bedroom properties.  Dog washes, common area coffee bar lounges get repurposed from traditional clubhouses and utility closets.  More thought is put into bringing the luxury amenities to vintage properties.  Unused common areas turn into useful space for residents at a very low cost.    4.       Diversify Real Estate; A growing number of middle market owners are purchasing manufactured home parks, student housing, creating property management support software, single family homes......
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A Due Diligence Checklist for Multifamily Building Investors

When purchasing a multifamily property, you must earmark separate funds and time for a due diligence project. Professionals at residential due diligence management companies use a specialized multi family due diligence checklist based on their past experiences to ensure value for money for their client. This post discusses a multi family due diligence checklist, to explain the process and help potential investors understand the elements they must focus on when buying a multifamily property. Take a look. 1. Inspections to Detect Environmental Hazards  Environmental hazards lying around the property can be a substantial health risk to occupants and may also invite harsh penalties and troublesome litigations. To help their clients avoid this problem, providers perform a detailed environmental inspection that includes locating and reporting asbestos containing material, lead based paints, and PCB containing materials. The provider must also go through the property’s layout plan to locate underground fuel storage tanks, waste disposal units and dump sites, inspect them and include recommendations in their final report to minimize contamination risks.2. Inspections Centered on Inspecting the Exteriors   It is important for the provider to inspect the building’s exteriors to ensure the layout conforms with the building codes. The professional must look for hazards such as uneven sidewalks, faulty wiring, improper lighting, sharp and hazardous equipment lying around unattended, and malfunctioning doors, windows, and walkways. The provider must also check for and report inconsistencies such as damaged roofing, misplaced trash containers, and inadequate drainage. 3. Inspections to Check the Condition of Mechanical Equipment The pro......
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NMHC Video: What’s the Next Generation of Sustainability Innovation for Multifamily?


What sustainable innovations not only save money, but also enhance resident, community, and employee engagement?  This NMHC panel discusses how sustainable innovation drives better environmental outcomes, but also financial outcomes for multifamily properties.  Watch the video below.

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