June 2018 Monthly Letter
Well I am going to keep this month’s letter short since I am writing it from my balcony over-looking the blue green waters of the Pacific Ocean and Maui coastline. First it never ceases to amaze me how technology allows me to stay in touch with calls, emails, electronic files, etc…. (on the other hand, I know what you’re thinking “Geez get a life, you’re on vacation!). So, this is the conundrum of modern life (or what is now being termed “the gig economy” – after the idea of getting paid one deal at a time – or “one gig at a time” or what’s your next “gig”). Although, this might be a new concept, that is how I have been getting paid for the last 33 years! Of course, by the time you are reading this I will already be home working like a dog again.
Speaking of dogs, it never gets easier but one of our two family dogs passed after 14 years. It is never fun, but a replacement goes a long way to filling the void (pictured at top). While still on the subject of pets, you may want to give some consideration to your rules, leases, employee handbooks, etc. with regards to pets. The service animals have been around for a long time but there has been an explosion of “support animals” (from Dogs to Peacocks). In addition, dogs have grown to almost human standards in terms of their access to planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention stores, offices, hotels and theaters. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs, but I recently toured a space where a tenant wouldn’t lease because she has allergies and the suite next door had two dogs in their office. On the other hand, my daughter works at Petco Corporate and they have nearly as many dogs as they do employees wandering the halls (complete with two dogs parks!) Linked below is a great article by Brian Adkins at KTS Law on pets in the workplace. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to address this growing issue.
Regardless of which side of the fence (sorry for the pun) you are politically, finding contractors (Gig workers) has gotten tougher – everyone is busy. Finding workers in the Trades (plumbing, painting, electrical etc… has gotten difficult and more expensive. At the global level, economists are saying there is slower global growth rate and higher rates are leading to stagnation. However, at the street level what I see is Goldilocks on steroids – not too hot, not too cold and plenty of activity to go around. However, it does make my head turn a bit when I start hearing the old phrase, “but it’s different this time.” One thing I think is different is that rate increases are felt much quicker and therefore won’t travel as high or as quickly as say in the ’70s’. Back then you had a fixed rate home loan and you paid cash for your car. Today, a simple rate bump affects millions of businesses and tens of millions of consumers right away because we have so much financed. That leads me to my greatest concern – High debt companies. These companies have been living at the trough of government sponsored low interest rates and when the uptick is felt they will cut jobs, space and overhead quickly. I think in the meantime, we are looking pretty good until 2019 or 2020.
One other early warning sign that has just come onto my radar in the last month. Appraisals seem to be coming in higher than I expect. Now consider that I am an optimist and want to value a property at the highest price I can get it sold for. But in the last month, I have seen 3 – 4 appraisals that were much higher than I would value the property for. In all of the cases they had used poor comps or had projected rents higher than the market for the subject building. I don’t know if this was because they were busy, incompetent or overly optimistic, but it is of concern.
Well I was going to write about artificial intelligence and its future effect on commercial real estate… but I think it is time to go play in the surf and curl up like a dog in the sun. BTW in dog beers… I only had one!
A Dogs Purpose (from a 6-year-old)
Being a veterinarian, I have been called to examine a 10-year-old Irish wolfhound name Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.
I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catching my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that, I wondered if he understood what was going on.
Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boys seem to except Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”
Startled, we all turn to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”
The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
Remember, if a dog was the teacher, you would learn things like:
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy
- Take naps
- Stretch before rising
- Run, romp, and play daily
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do
- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree
- When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
- Stop when you have had enough
- Never pretend to be something you’re not
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently
- Be always grateful for each new day
Enjoy Every Moment of Every Day!