Commercial Real Estate Pro Network

Commercial Real Estate Professionals who work with Investors, Buyers and Sellers of Commercial Real Estate. We discuss todays opportunities, problems & solutions in Commercial Real Estate.
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Dec 21, 2017

Knowledge and Numbers are key to Commercial Real Estate Investing.  Yishai Breslauer was a school teacher with a thirst to learn more about real estate investing.  

He started by learning the local building codes and laws and applied these to his residence to create additional needed space for his family.  Soon the neighbors were following his lead, and a neighborhood was transformed.  

Yishai continued to learn about real estate.  He found there were opportunities if you knew what was allowable and applied this knowledge to an existing property.  This was an opportunity to increase the value of the property.  

Start with Knowledge and Numbers

The more Yishai learned, the more he got excited at the possibilities.  His pursuit of knowledge led him to learn more about laws, statutes, finance and real estate development.  When he applied the numbers to his knowledge he could tell if he had a real opportunity.

Quickly, he learned there was a hierarchy to real estate from Residential to Commercial.

There are multiple asset classes to chose from in commercial real estate.  Residential / Multifamily is simple because a home is familiar to everyone.  Everyone needs a place to live, and the components of a multifamily property are very similar to single family.  The questions you need to know the answers to are:

  • What are the needs of a family?
  • How good is the school district?
  • Is grocery and shopping nearby?
  • Are there churches nearby for families to worship at?

Commercial Real Estate Investing is different

His interest in real estate took him to a position with a major real estate developer as the head of investment banking for real estate.  

He learned that the highest level of real estate investing, commercial, the level of information that is combed through and analyzed on larger deals by professionals, is incredible.  

Office and Retail is more complex.  While everyone needs a place to work, the fundamentals for each class are different than residential.  The questions you need to know the answers to include:

  • Who is your tenant?
  • What is needed by the tenants?
  • What is available in the area?
  • Traffic count needs?
  • What is a good tenant mix?
  • What the bank will need?

The big boys play the game differently than the mom & pop investors. 

To be a pro, knowledge and numbers are key.

To connect with Yishai Breslauer go to:



Dec 14, 2017

Tax Planning can save you thousands when you have a working relationship with your CPA.

Craig Cody spent 17 years with NYPD chasing bad guys on the streets of New York City.  Today, he chases tax savings for real estate investors and small business owners.

FREE Book: 10 Biggest Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands

Craig recommends that real estate investors stay in regular contact with your accountant.  If you act before consulting your accountant, it can cost you dearly.  

Tax Planning can Save You

Tax planning with your accountant can help you reduce the taxes you owe and propel your real estate investment strategy.

For instance, if you sell a building and expect to buy a new building with the proceeds, you may be shocked when your accountant informs you that you owe taxes on the sale of the building.  

Regular communication with your your accountant and tax planning could have provided the proper structure to keep you from having “constructive receipt” and owing the tax.

Depreciation is Tax Free Cash

Proper tax planning provides constructive ways to keep more for you.  For instance, depreciation is tax free cash that real estate investors recognize when they file their income taxes. Unlike an operating expense that reduces cash flow and Net Operating Income, depreciation is an accounting tool that reduces the taxable income.

If you are a W2 employee, depreciation is something negative you associate with, ie: the declining value of your new car after you leave the dealership.  

Unlike a car, real estate is an appreciating asset.   When you invest in real estate, depreciation is an asset.  You get the benefit of both appreciation and depreciation.

How can Depreciation be a benefit?

Depreciation is an allowable expense that recognizes the declining life expectancy of a business asset.  In real estate, it can be applied in one of two ways; Straight line, or Accelerated.  Tax planning will determine which option is available to you.

Straight line depreciation is used most often by passive real estate investors. If the property is a residential asset, ie single family or multifamily, the depreciation schedule is 27.5 years.  If the property is a commercial asset, the depreciation schedule is 39 years.

If you are a real estate professional, you are can take advantage of a cost segregation study, and accelerate the depreciation of you property.  Cost Segregation breaks the building into components  and assigns life expectancy of 5, 10 or 15 years to the components depreciation schedule.  

The depreciation is deducted from the the taxable income to reduce the taxes owed.  

So, if you are making positive cash flow, the depreciation can lower the recognized income and reduce the tax owed.  

For more go to:


Phone: (516)869-4051

Dec 7, 2017

Use your Self Directed IRA to invest in real estate and turbo charge your tax deferred returns.  

Podcast Format Survey:

The following are the most common questions asked from investors looking to use their 401k to invest in real estate. The questions were presented to Travis Watts from Direct Source Wealth for answers.

Q:  What are the benefits of opening a self-directed IRA?

A:  Freedom & Choice to invest in the things you want to invest in, ie: large scale real estate.

Q:  Why invest in real estate using a self-directed IRA?

A:  Opportunity for larger return in a real estate investment that regularly produce higher rates of return.

Q:  Can I use a Self Directed IRA to purchase a property I buy for investment?

A:  Yes, subject to many rules; ie you cannot personally manage the property.

Q:  Can I use a Self Directed IRA to invest in a Syndication?

A:  Yes, the most common use of Self Directed IRA funds is investment in syndicated  real estate deals.  A syndication is a group of investors pooling their funds for investment.  The investment is typically larger than one the investor could accomplish on their own.  These real estate investments are professionally managed and require that you do nothing.

Tax Implications ?

Q:  Is there any tax or penalty to move my current Retirement Funds to a Self Directed IRA?

A:   A Self Directed IRA retains the same tax implications as your traditional IRA.  You are only changing the custodian from your current provider to another that will allow you to direct the investment.  

If you elect to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you will be responsible for the tax.

Q:  Can I take the distributions?

A:  Any distributions from the Self Directed IRA are subject to tax and penalties for early withdraw.  A Roth IRA is not subject to tax when funds are withdrawn.

Setting up Your Self Directed IRA

Q:  How long does it take to set up a Self Directed IRA?

A:   It can take as few as 3 or 4 days if you are currently in cash or it can take a couple of months to liquidate your current positions.   Consult with your current custodian and tax professional for your specific timeline.

Q:  What documents are required to open a Self Directed IRA?

A:  Standard documents; driver license, photo id and social security card, etc.

Q:  What documents are required to fund a deal?

A:  Standard documents include:

  • Operating Agreement
  • Private Placement Memorandum
  • Syndication Agreement
  • Pro-forma

Every deal is different.  Check with your syndicator or investment for specifics.

Q:  What happens to the investment returns &  distributions?  

A:  Distributions are returned to the Self Directed IRA as cash.

Q: Can distributions be invested in the next deal?

A:  Accumulated cash distributions can be invested in another investment.

Summary: Look into a self directed IRA and learn what the possibilities are and remember, learning is earning.

For more go to:

Travis Watts

Nov 30, 2017

Cost Segregation can turbo charge your commercial real estate investments financial results by accelerating the depreciation schedule.

Paul Caputo with Segregation Holding LLC provides an explanation of how it works and what the benefit is to commercial real estate investors.

Depreciation is an accounting tool that recognizes each year, a percentage of your building’s life expectancy is used up.  This loss can be recognized for tax purposes as an expense against the income generated.  

When you purchase a building, regardless of the age of the building, the depreciation clock starts.  The standard building depreciation schedule is 27.5 years for residential and 39 years for commercial.  

If you purchase a residential property, ie an apartment building, and the building is valued at $2,750,000 at acquisition, the straight line depreciation would be $100,000 each year.  This amount will be deducted from your income to determine the taxable income.  

A cost segregation study breaks the building into its component parts.  Depending on the estimated life expectancy of each building part determines the ability to accelerate the depreciation.  

How Does a Cost Segregation Work?

When a property owner hires a cost segregation firm to do a study, the firm takes an engineering assessment of building.  This process itemizes each component used to construct the building.

Instead of using straight line depreciation the building components are assigned a new depreciation schedule of 5, 7 or 27.5 years.  This significantly compresses the time to depreciate the building.  

For instance, if 15 percent of the building, $412,500 of the $2,750,000, is now assigned to 5 yr depreciation schedule.  The difference in allowable depreciation between straight line and the accelerated schedule for these items assigned to the 5 yr schedule is:

Straight line over 27.5 years: $30,000

Accelerated over 5 years: $82,500

Additionally, when you have a cost segregation study, you can also capture the unused life of a component if you have to replace it prior to its scheduled life expectancy.  So, if you have to replace a roof 5 years after you buy the building, you can recapture the 22.5 years left on the cost segregation schedule in the year you replace the roof.  The new roof is capitalized at the replacement cost with the new life expectancy updated on the schedule.

For more go to:


ph: (720)744-2007

Nov 22, 2017

Real Estate Investor Todd Dexheimer quit teaching once his real estate investing side hustle provided more than his teacher paycheck.

His original real estate investment strategy was to own 1000 units.  He jumped in fast.  He bought rentals until he ran out of money.  When he needed more money, he started flipping single family homes.  This gave him more money needed to buy more rentals.

The flipping business grew fast.  There are only so many hours in the day, and the flips consumed most of his time.  In order to make money flipping, you have to sell.  If he was going to grow his portfolio, he had to answer a question: was he a Flipper or a Real Estate Investor?

Real Estate Investment Strategy

He had lost focus on his real estate investment strategy of 1000 units.  When he looked at the return on investment comparing the flips to the rentals, there was no question on which way he needed to go.  The rentals “destroyed” the flips.

This “aha” made him question how was he going to grow his portfolio.  

When he looked closer, he recognized that single family rentals were difficult to scale.  He realized that if he wanted to achieve his goal of 1000 units, multifamily was the answer.

Real Estate Investor Question

The question he needed to answer was “where” to invest?

The local market Todd lives in is extremely competitive and CAP rates are compressed making it tough to find opportunities locally.

Todd took the next 18 months analyzing markets.  He looked at:

  • What is the Population?  He looked for an MSA of 500,000 minimum  with positive prospects for growth.
  • What is the Employment forecast?  Are there any new employers coming to town?  
  • What are the Value add opportunities in the market?  Are there multifamily properties available in the market?  How affordable is rent for tenants?  What is the cost to buy a home?

Once he identified potential markets, he took action.  He bought a plane ticket and toured each market.  He met brokers, lenders and property managers.  This helped set Todd apart from all the other out of town real estate investors.  

Market, team and property.  

Todd has identified the markets that fit his investment criteria, and assembled his team.  

Today, he is actively adding new multifamily units through syndication.  

For more go to:




Listen: Pillars of Wealth


Nov 16, 2017

If you want to grow your wealth, grow your network.

Vinney Chopra came to America from India with $7 as an MBA student.

He worked as a full time fundraiser and he built his network over the years.  His wife and he invested in some single family properties along the way.  The real estate provided cash flow and appreciated significantly.

Vinney recognized that multifamily real estate was a powerful investment opportunity.  More people were renting and the banks were agreeable to lend for multifamily.   

Then he made the decision to get his commercial brokers license and share what he learned about real estate with his network.  His network wanted to invest with him.  

To date, Vinney has completed twenty-six syndications in ten years.  His investors have been rewarded handsomely.  Some deals have earned annual returns in excess forty percent.

Vinney recognizes that his success is due to his network.  

Build Your Network

If your real estate investment strategy includes growth, you need to grow your network.

Don’t wait, START now.  Talk with everyone and let them know what you are doing.  The more you share, the more practice you will get, and the enthusiasm will build as you find like minded people.  

Investor base

You have to have investors if you want to go after larger properties.  In the beginning, you want to focus on sharing your goals.  You will be surprised who is interested and who has money to invest.  

Regularly call, send emails, meet and educate your network to warm them up for eventual investment with you.  Plan to spend at least four months working and meeting with prospective investors.  You have to get a sense of the number of potential investors and level of commitment they can invest.

Go to free REI groups & Meetups.  If there is not one near you consider starting one.  Don’t forget social media, join groups, ask questions and offer input to discussions.

Build your team

Real estate is a team sport.  You need to have many experts to put together a successful transaction.  

Commercial Real Estate Brokers are critical to your success.  Get to know some.  Let them know what you are looking for.  It will take some time to develop the relationship, but this is important.  When you have a relationship with a broker, that knows exactly what you are looking for, they will share off market deals with you before making available to the public.

When you have identified a market to invest in get to know the local professionals.  A property management firm is key.  Interview several to make certain they are a good fit.  They can also introduce you to other off market opportunities from properties they manage.

You will also need an attorney and CPA to navigate your investment.  Depending on the size of property, investment and number of investors (partnership to syndication) will determine the level of professional services you will need.

An experienced mortgage broker will help you navigate financing the balance.  Depending on the property, the team you have in place and size of the mortgage, will determine the loan programs available to you.


As Vinney says, build your network and “Jump into multifamily now” to get the long term rewards available to you.

For more go to:


Nov 9, 2017

Fundraising Rules are complex sections of Regulation D that must be followed to stay out of trouble with the SEC.

Syndication is a popular real estate investment strategy for raising capital used by real estate syndicators.  The legal cost to comply with the rules and regulations can be prohibitive.     

Failure to follow the rules can result in being classified as a “bad actor”.  A Bad Actor can be prohibited from future involvement in SEC fundraising.

Amy Wan started Bootstrap Legal, to simplify the legal process and reduce the cost for syndicators.  Bootstrap utilizes technology to expedite the first draft process from client to attorney.  This technology interface saves clients 10-15 hours of attorney time. 

Popular Federal Fundraising Rules for Raising Capital

For discussion purposes, we will focus on the four most popular federal rules regarding raising money from a pool of passive investors for real estate investment.  For each rule, we will look at:

  • Is there a limit of capital you can raise?
  • Ability to market the offer and who you can market the offer to.
  • Estimated cost to set up.
  • Estimated time needed to set up.
  • Is a Business Plan required?
  • What type of financials required?
  • What type of filing is required?

Regulation D Rule 506 B: This is the oldest rule regarding fundraising.  

  • There is no limit to the amount of money you can raise.  
  • You are NOT allowed to market to anyone you do not have a prior relationship with.  If you have a pre-existing relationship, you can invite their participation.  You can include as many accredited investors as you want and up to 35 non-accredited, sophisticated, investors.
  • Estimated cost to set up for a $1M capital raise: $10k - $25k.
  • This can take as little as little as a week to set up if you the sponsor, have all your information together.
  • Do require a business plan.
  • Requires certified financials.
  • Form D must be electronically filed with the SEC.

Regulation D Rule 506 C: Adopted in 2013 from the JOBS Act.

  • There is no limit on the amount of money you can raise.  
  • You are allowed to advertise your offer to anyone anywhere, but you can only accept funds from verified accredited investors.
  • Estimated cost to set up for a $1M capital raise: $10k - $25k.
  • This can take as little as a week if you are prepared and your attorney is available to crank it out.
  • Does require a business plan.
  • Requires certified financials.
  • Form D must be electronically filed with the SEC.

Regulation Crowdfunding: Created by JOBS Act and adopted in 2015.

  • You can raise up to $1,070,000 in any 12 month period.  Great option for a beginner looking for $1,000,000!
  • You can advertise and take money from anyone including non-accredited investors.
  • Does require a business plan.
  • You must have financial statements and legal documents.
  • Offer must be listed on a FINRA listing.   
  • Estimated cost range to set up $5k in legal + $2k for Financials + Listing Service fee (4 - 10% of raise)
  • Estimated time needed; as quickly as you can provide the information to your attorney.
  • Form C must be electronically filed with the SEC.

Regulation A+: Created by JOBS Act and adopted in 2015.

  • You can raise up to $50M in any 12 month period.  
  • You can advertise and accept investments from anyone including non-accredited investors.  It is best for those who have a large network or audience.  
  • This process takes 4 to 6 months.  It is best suited for a fund, ie: online REIT.
  • Does require a business plan.
  • Requires Audited Financial Records and legal documents.  
  • You have to submit to a qualification process with the SEC.

** For the official SEC details, go to:

Success measured by Marketing

In all cases, the success of your fundraising campaign is directly correlated to the awareness you are able to bring.  So, don’t forget the marketing.  If you don’t bring awareness to your campaign, you will not succeed.  

For more go to:

Connect with Amy on Linkedin:

Nov 2, 2017

Depending on what you are trying to achieve will determine which valuation is important.  Appraisal is more art than science.  

Ken Kramer is the Co-founder and Managing Director at Rushton Atlantic, LLC.  Rushton provides third party appraisals, valuations, for its clients; banks, insurance companies, governments, and property owners.

Three Different Appraisal Valuation Approaches

Income: based on the income the asset can produce over the life left in the asset.

Fair Market/ Market: the value agreed upon by a willing buyer and seller in a particular market.

Cost/ Replacement Cost: considers how much will it cost to replace or rebuild the property, building, with a new building.  

The Use for Each Valuation

As an investor, your primary interest is the income the property can produce.  Can the property generate enough income to cover its operating expenses, reserve for capital expenditures, make the mortgage payment, resulting in a profit for you?    

You are likely be interested in the market value as well.  Are you getting a good deal?  Can you sell it for more than you bought it for?

Your lender’s perspective will be more market value oriented.  A commercial property’s value is directly correlated to the net operating income; income minus operating expense.  The NOI divided by the local capitalization rate (cap rate) will provide a market value.

The difference between the market value and the mortgage is lender’s margin of safety.  If you fail to make the mortgage payments, the lender will take the property back through foreclosure.  When this happens, the bank wants to be able to sell the property quickly, which is likely at a discount near the mortgage balance.  .  

The insurance company’s perspective is based on the cost to replace the building you own.  The bank will require that you purchase insurance on the property to protect you and the bank from loss.

The best insurance coverage will provide replacement cost coverage.  If the building is damaged or destroyed, your insurance company will compare the limit on your policy to the amount needed.  Assuming there are no issues, they will pay for the building to be rebuilt, restoring your income and the asset the bank lent against.

Valuations Mean Different Things  

As you can see, different parties have different valuation considerations.  

The buyer, wants to know income value, and the market value.  

The bank wants to know the market value.  

And the insurance company wants replacement cost value.

If a buyer gets a good deal this could be based on the economic potential due to a weak operator or the opportunity to develop the property into something greater.  In either case, there is no reason the acquisition price should reflect the cost to replace the property.

Likewise, market value could be driven by the location.  If the ground is valuable, it could be the driving force behind the value that the bank lends against.  

If the structure is small, and simple, the replacement cost could be very small in relation to the market value determined by the bank.    

The insurance company is not concerned with the income nor market value.  It’s promise to the insured is to replace the property.  

Remember, appraisal is an art form.  Values can move from year to year and Market Value does not equal Replacement Cost.   

For more go to:

Ph: 646-290-5069

Oct 26, 2017

A good Lender Relationship is critical to an effective real estate investment strategy.

Jimmy Moncrief of Real Estate Finance HQ, is an accidental real estate investor.  He had a solid income from his analyst/ partner position at a hedge fund, yet he struggled to get a loan for an investment property.   

Jimmy did not even need the loan.  He could have paid cash for the property, but he recognized the benefit of leverage.  So, where is the most likely place to get leverage?  The traditional place to get leverage is from a bank.

But, if you don’t understand the rules to financing, your ability to get a loan will be limited.

First, decide what is important to you.  

  •  Do you want a 30 yr mortgage?  
  •  Do you want to invest as an individual or create an entity for your investments?

These are critical to determining the path you want to travel.

If you chose to just dip your toe into the real estate investment world, you might purchase a single family property, near your home.  You can purchase it in your own name and get conventional financing; put 20% down to get a 30 yr mortgage.  Most of this can be done online or through email with little or no relationships necessary.

To Grow, You Need to Create a Lender Relationship

If you really want to grow your portfolio, you are going to need a solid lender relationship.  That’s right, get to know a banker.  Infact, if you can develop multiple relationships, that’s even better.  

When should you get to know a Lender?

Don’t wait to start.  The sooner you can create a lender relationship, the better your chances of success will be.  Get to know how a lender looks at a deal and what they need from you in order to approve a loan.  This knowledge will give you the ability to work with your real estate broker to negotiate a number that will works for you and the bank.

Too many would be investors spend all their time chasing a deal.  Then they try to find financing.  While this may work for the networked investor, it likely spells failure for the novice investor.

For more, go to:


Oct 19, 2017

Insurance Coverage Moratoriums happen daily during late summer and early fall across the US.  If there is a natural disaster in action, the insurance companies will close the casino and refuse to take any new bets.

2017 has been particularly significant.  Think about it.  There have been:

  • Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean
  • Wildfires in the West from hot, dry summer
  • And Earthquakes don’t care what the season is.

Insurance companies take premium from policyholders in exchange for a promise to rebuild if certain disasters happen.  The company underwrites your risk to do all they can to stay away from risk they do not want.  And they collect what they hope is an appropriate amount of money to pay claims when they do happen.

Companies compete for more premium.  Investors look for positive return on their money.  Policyholders look for ways to save on insurance and increase the return on their real estate investment.  The greater the distance between disasters, the cheaper insurance gets.

After several years of infrequent disasters, the cost to policyholders is low, but the risk rises.  For every year there is not a significant disaster, statistically, disaster is more likely to happen.

So what can you do?

Don’t wait to purchase your coverage.  Purchase your coverage before disaster is eminent, and be prepared.

For Hurricanes you can safeguard your property and make certain you have insurance.  

Flood falls into two categories.  

  • In low lying areas that are expected to flood, you will be required to purchase flood insurance if you are borrowing from a lender.  
  • If your area is not recognized as a potential flood area, most property owners elect to go without.  However, if your property is unlikely to suffer damage from a flood, your coverage will cost significantly less.

Wind is mostly a problem around the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern shore from Florida north.  Insurance is available, but the deductible is a percentage of the limit.  This is unlike a standard property deductible which is a flat dollar amount.

Earthquake insurance is directly related to the soil beneath the property and the proximity to a fault line.  Like Wind insurance, the deductible is a percentage.

Insurance is never fun to pay for, but don’t let your real estate investment strategy go without it.  Build the cost into your operating budget.  Don’t bet against yourself.  Buy the coverage before there is a moratorium and you cannot purchase coverage.

Prior Episodes for reference:

Seismic Retrofitting

Earthquake Preparedness:

How to Save on Flood Insurance:

If you need help on any of your insurance needs, please reach out and I will do all I can to help.

For more, go to:

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