NASA states, “Direct observations made on and above Earth’s surface show the planet’s climate is significantly changing. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about two degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. The years 2016 and 2020 are tied for the warmest year on record.”
Climate change is impacting nearly everything on the planet in one way or another, and shopping centers have definitely suffered some of the effects. In fact, shopping in general has been changed forever in just the past decade alone. Today you can order almost anything you want online from your computer or phone, quickly and easily, and get it delivered to your home directly. For many shoppers who love convenience, online purchasing has not only helped them from time to time but has become their dominant and sometimes only method of choice. Others still love to visit brick and mortar stores in person and will probably never stop frequenting them. Right now, one does not need to choose. The economy, along with inventory and prices, may rise and fall but shoppers continue to find a way to get what they need.
One major effect of climate change on retailers is changes or complications in their supply chains. The availability of suppliers, products, energy sources, raw materials, and other essentials can be altered or even cut off altogether, so it is instrumental for companies to be prepared. According to BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), “There is a clear business case for companies to reduce these risks and strengthen supply chain performance by building the resilience of operations and communities along supply chains.” Their report includes information on 99 companies that reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 551 million tons of carbon dioxide and also saved $14 billion via climate change related alterations and improvements.
Businesses that take no action in the consideration and preparation for climate change and other environmental issues are at risk of huge losses. It is predicted by CDP - Global Environmental Impact that by 2030, approximately $4 trillion in assets are in danger due to the earth’s changing climate. Companies that brace for future success focus on sustainability, conscious consumerism, social and environmental responsibility, positive values, best practices, fair labor, cruelty-free products and operations, and other earth-friendly procedures and goals. Along with the ease of online shopping, an increasing number of consumers are conducting research and becoming more concerned with the characteristics of the company behind the product or service, rather than the item itself. Climate change effects are forcing shoppers to organize, prioritize, and choose wisely when they search for their goods.
Certain times of the year are more ideal for selling homes than others, and real estate agents may experience slower business in the off-season as a result. Agents who want to avoid off-season slumps can try certain tactics to keep their businesses going and maintain a strong clientele during times when people often aren’t as interested in buying or selling homes.
Increase a Property’s Curb Appeal
Much of the winter season is considered to be off-season in many real estate markets, and agents who want to attract more buyers should try to make each property that they list look as appealing as possible. Removing the snow, downed tree branches, and other debris that’s often prevalent in the winter from properties so that each home looks great in photographs can help draw in more buyers.
Minimize Holiday Decorations
The Christmas season is often one of the slowest times of year for selling homes. Homes for sale that are heavily adorned in holiday decorations may look tacky and less attractive in photographs and can detract potential buyers. Homes for sale that are open for prospective buyers to tour should also have minimal holiday decorations to give these abodes more year-round appeal.
Optimize Social Media
Real estate agents can use social media to their advantage in the off-season if they know how to get the algorithm to favor their social media accounts. One of the best ways to do this is by interacting more with potential clients through social media. Real estate agents can also like and share relevant content more on social media and use trending hashtags in many of their posts to maximize the algorithm.
Work with Other Agents
Selling homes in the off-season can be easier if real estate agents are willing to work with other agents. Agents can try co-listing properties and splitting the commissions to try to generate faster sales. Bonuses and other incentives can also be offered to other real estate agents who are willing to work together to try to sell properties in the off-season.
Real estate agents shouldn’t have to suffer major financial setbacks in an off-season. By finding clever ways to keep business going during these slower times of the year, agents can continue to generate substantial profits while helping more clients.
Today’s brick and mortar “shopping malls” are much different than those from decades ago. What were once busy and bustling venues have been diminished into quiet, sparsely occupied, and sometimes even vacant spaces with little to no customers. Malls that remain operational are scarce, and they all too often only echo of past vibrancy and success. Before online shopping, physical stores were necessities, and they experienced heavy and continual traffic flow; however, this trend has been forever changed by factors like the incredible progress of technology, the comfort and convenience of shopping from home, financial crises, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.
M&As (Mergers and Acquisitions) have been popular and effective strategies utilized by companies to try to increase traffic flow and revenue by combining businesses. These deals can enhance operations and profit margins by expanding and improving the company’s products and services, growing their consumer base, and maximizing their access to new and innovative technology and countless other opportunities. Unfortunately, while mergers and acquisitions assist in creating successful combined or new businesses, they also hinder existing companies and competitors.
A myriad of shopping malls have been negatively impacted by M&As, and countless stores and entire centers have even been shut down altogether. Many malls still operate, and some have repurposed retail spaces into food and drink venues, while others have been sold and transformed into housing or offices. Some shopping plazas have decided to convert their lots into outlet malls or discount stores.
Many of these mergers and acquisitions are defensive moves and ultimately increase the combined company’s assets and capabilities. Their consumer base is expanded, often on a global scale, and they sometimes end up monopolizing the market completely. With enhanced assets and operations, merged businesses also enjoy better leasing and location options as well. M&As may benefit corporations substantially but they also tend to leave traces of headaches, hassles, and heartbreak for smaller businesses in the process. Today’s economy and available shopping options are constantly changing, and customers will always alter their shopping patterns accordingly. A wise tip is to conduct plenty of research and stay informed about current shopping trends and changes.
A mortgage loan interest rate is the fractional fee a borrower pays for a loan, and there are two basic types - fixed-rate mortgage loans and adjustable-rate mortgage loans. It is essential to learn about the different loan types and their intricacies, options, benefits, and potential risks to make informed and financially wise decisions about your mortgage and its future. Finding the option that works best for your specific situation does not need to be a daunting or negative experience; it requires a bit of research and some useful tips.
No matter which type of mortgage loan you choose, there are a number of factors that lenders use in determining the details. They examine data from your personal/family finances, like your accounts, assets, liabilities, credit history, and other circumstances. Lenders also analyze details from your housing history, career history, and the current state of the economy and housing market. External events such as inflation, recession, and major real estate market shifts are other factors that can impact mortgage loan interest rates as well.
While fixed-rate mortgages lock in one interest rate for the life of the loan, adjustable-rate mortgage loans have interest rates that fluctuate periodically. These shifts are determined by the stipulations of the loan agreement and can occur monthly, quarterly, annually, or at other specified intervals. Adjustable rates contain two major components, a margin and an index value, and are often referred to collectively as fully indexed interest rates. Although the index value is variable, the margin is fixed and remains the same for the loan’s duration. Most mortgage loan rates reflect a standard 10-year Treasury of the United States bond yield, which can be helpful in forecasting future rate changes by referring to the arc of the bond yield.
Understanding key information about interest rates within real estate can make purchasing a home and choosing the correct mortgage loan a much smoother and more efficient process. This venture can seem overwhelming even before you begin, but there is a plethora of resources, tools, and assistance available to help guide you, even if you decide that you want to refinance later on.
Technology these days has been changing more rapidly than ever, and this has overhauled many industries. However, the most important innovation to shake up real estate in a long time would have to be the advent of virtual tours of homes for sale. For the first time in history, clients in any location can survey a home of their choosing, at any time, without physically going anywhere.
Here are a few ways in which this groundbreaking tech has positively affected the realty business:
Saving Time for Everyone
Realtors may not have the time to devote to their other clients if they have to escort buyers to several properties that are far from each other. This is especially true if these homes are in remote or rural locations.
Because of this time crunch, agents and sellers may try to hurry buyers along during a viewing. With 3D online tours, buyers can take all the time they need to review a home, day or night, while real estate agents can tend to other matters.
Regardless of how far away a client lives, a realtor can easily show him or her any local property. Conversely, nearby clients that are interested in homes abroad will have the same luxury.
Increased Online Traffic for the Agency
3D tours are interactive and hold a site visitor’s attention longer than images, videos, or text. While viewing a home, clients can make comments, ask the realtor questions, and get answers in real-time while viewing a home.
Visualizing Unfinished Properties
3D tours allow a potential buyer to see what no realtor can show him or her, and that is how a work in progress will look when it is completed. Seeing a finished product will also allow viewers to form an emotional bond with a home much more easily than staring at a set of blueprints.
In conclusion, virtual tours are surely here to stay as a part of the real estate sector. After all, agents, buyers, and sellers all benefit from them in many different ways. Sellers no longer have to keep their homes pristine for showings, buyers will see a reduction in fees, and agents will have more time for other clients.
Zillow, a tech company with a 15-year history of acting as a middleman between agents and buyers, was in the business of publishing listings and estimating home prices online. While successful, in 2018, it was decided that the startup would pivot into the home-flipping niche to increase profits. However, there were many factors that the company did not take into account, and this new division spelled disaster for Zillow as a whole.
So, how did this idea drag down a once-successful company? Let’s take a closer look:
It Relied on Predictions by Algorithm
Zillow and other “iBuyer” firms purchased multiple properties across the country using a computer-generated formula to predict which homes would sell at a substantial profit after an upgrade. The business banked on this concept and went all in.
The Idea was Lacking in Popularity
Zillow figured that it would gain a significant portfolio of properties since it would take all the hassle out of home-selling that many sellers dread. However, less than 10% of those that received an offer from Zillow actually accepted it. Many preferred to deal with traditional buyers from whom higher offers were more likely.
Not Enough Work was Put into Properties
The homes that Zillow did successfully buy were in disrepair or in need of a face-lift. It knew this going in and intended to make light repairs and upgrades and sell the properties at a profit. Unfortunately, the work that was done was minimal. Sometimes it was no more than a coat of paint or replacing a floor.
Then, the home would be evaluated by the system as being up to double what the company had paid for it. Of course, many homes did not sell or were sold at a loss since the system severely misjudged the market.
The Company Put All its Eggs in the Wrong Basket
Home-flipping was planned to become a crucial part of Zillow’s business moving forward, and the fact that it didn’t work out means that the company is left without a proverbial “Plan B.”
In conclusion, Zillow depended on a switch in its business strategy, proving to be a catastrophic error in judgment. Because of this, it has laid-off a quarter of its staff, and its stock prices have plummeted. Hopefully, the company will be able to recover from this misstep.
The year 2020 saw a milestone in real estate. It was when over 43 million households were renting their homes. Multifamily housing now makes up about 15% of the total housing stock in the country. It is interesting to point out that renting has been on a steady increase since 1975.
Residential vacancy rates had hit an all-time high in 2010 following the economic turmoil of the great recession. Since that period, the vacancy rate has declined by almost 40%, and it now stands at about 6.4%. Despite a relatively low vacancy rate compared to decades ago, there are some discrepancies in vacancy rates in downtown city centers and the suburbs. Downtown city vacancy rates rose to 9%, while suburban vacancy rates declined and now stand around 6%.
The covid-19 pandemic is partially responsible for the increase in city vacancy rates and the decline in suburban vacancy rates. Many people were looking to move out of the more heavily populated urban centers during the pandemic. The suburbs provided bigger living units and less population density.
The millennial generation is driving the demand for multifamily housing. About 70% of millennials state that they cannot afford to purchase a home. Additionally, the millennial generation has significantly less wealth at their stage of life than previous American generations have had. Less wealth, high home prices, and the need to live somewhere mean that millennials increasingly shift towards multifamily housing.
Despite the covid-19 pandemic and global economic turmoil, national data shows that rent for multifamily properties rose by almost 2% in 2021. Some optimistic news in the multifamily sector is that rent collections appeared to have never dropped below 93%, even during the height of economic shutdowns in 2020. Government stimulus and intervention helped prop up the multifamily sector, and eviction moratoriums protected the renters during the turmoil of the Covid-19 shutdowns.
The outlook for multifamily housing from an investment perspective continues to be positive. Rents are expected to increase by close to 6% over last year. Rising house prices and demographic trends are also likely to be favorable to the multifamily housing industry. As the economy rebounds, new young professionals are also expected to move out of their parent’s homes and begin living independently, most likely in a multifamily housing unit.
The top 10 cities for multifamily investing continue to be in the Sun Belt. States like North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, and Texas have hot markets for multifamily dwellings. However, opportunities are present in other parts of the country, such as the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
The commercial real estate market has changed significantly over the past several years. A world once dominated by large corporate conglomerates and developers with ties to major construction firms has slowly given way to new opportunities. Private investors and investment groups are cropping up in virtually every major real estate market. In large part due to the internet and advanced technology, real estate investing is no longer a mysteriously complex endeavor.
Benefits of Real Estate Investing
Real estate investment opportunities come in many different forms. Some investors prefer to have a role in the commercial real estate business end. Some hold positions of authority or make decisions for the commercial properties’ development, sales, or daily operations. Investment opportunities are plentiful for such individuals who want to be involved in the process.
Investors who are more interested in the income potential than the rewards of sweat equity also have plenty of opportunities within the commercial real estate markets. Passive income streams in commercial real estate are available for novice and experienced investors. Varying rates required for the minimum contribution amounts make it easy for even first-time investors to become acquainted with the many prospects available in real estate investing.
Pitfalls of Natural Disasters
Commercial real estate operates much like other traditional investment opportunities. They are subject to standard market conditions, although they typically respond more slowly to those changing conditions than more liquid investment vehicles. When external conditions impact the value of the commercial real estate, investors may opt to stay the course or alter their investment strategy. Aside from a global pandemic that forces mass closures of office buildings and retail space, commercial real estate properties face only a few challenges.
Natural disasters can literally threaten the very existence of commercial properties. Current building codes take extra precautions to ensure buildings withstand high winds, heavy rains, and even earthquakes. Despite the efforts to protect against the elements, some investors are still wary of investing in commercial real estate in areas that are likely to be impacted by natural disasters. Insurance premiums are higher in correlation with the propensity for natural disasters. Although this can add to the purchase price, it also provides some protection for investors.
The reputation of California has long been a desirable, dream destination. Sunshine, Hollywood, and endless opportunities drew in millions of people from everywhere in the United States and beyond. Real estate became an effortless way for people to make money if they could afford to invest. The desirability of California meant that almost any property purchase would increase in value. The market changed in 2020, and investors need to research rather than automatically buy.
Pandemic Brought Change
Shifts in trends and job opportunities always cause real estate values to fluctuate. In this instance, the changes were most often due to the pandemic. The virus forced people inside and made social distancing necessary. Less populated regions became more appealing. California and other densely populated areas lost residents to more rural areas. Less demand and more houses available caused declines or stagnant property values in California.
Buyers Still Available
About one million homes are sold in California each year, so the market still offers potential. Single-family homes have gained popularity in some areas as condo prices dropped slightly in price. The post-pandemic desire to remain close to job opportunities while still distancing from others could explain the changes. The preference of buyers tends to vary across the state.
Increases Outside California
Lower costs of real estate were part of the reason for people moving to different states over the last few years. The sudden competition for homes elsewhere caused a dramatic price increase in many cities and towns around the country. The change could benefit California as the prices in the Golden state seem less steep in comparison. As the recovery from the pandemic continues to build, it could also encourage former California residents to return to the state they love.
Life returning to normal will produce changes, but experts cannot predict precisely how it may affect the real estate market in the state. Investors can expect price increases over time. The potential profit, competition for desirable properties, and the best time to buy and sell will continue to fluctuate. Sensible investors will continue to watch the trends and act accordingly.
Worker burnout is one of the most pressing labor force problems in America’s economy today. Approximately 76 percent of American workers report experiencing at least some degree of burnout, a number that has risen dramatically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other mental health conditions, burnout presents in a series of recognizable stages. Here are the five stages of burnout everyone should be familiar with in order to identify and address it early on.
Stage 1: Honeymoon Phase
The honeymoon phase is a stage that actually precedes the onset of burnout. This is a stage at which a new task, job or challenge is enjoyable and fulfilling, even if it does involve some additional stress. If not handled properly, though, stresses that present themselves during the honeymoon phase can add up and begin the burnout process.
Stage 2: Stress Onset
As a worker proceeds out of the honeymoon phase, he or she will begin to experience more classic symptoms of mounting stress. The stress onset stage of burnout occurs when the initial surge of enjoyment and enthusiasm from the honeymoon phase wears off and the stresses associated with work continue to build. Anxiety, irritability and a general decline in both satisfaction and productivity usually begin to set in during this stage.
Stage 3: Chronic Stress
Unless stress is addressed in the second stage, workers quickly move on to the chronic stress stage of burnout. At this point, most of the enjoyment goes out of work and is replaced by frequent experience of stress. More severe symptoms of long-term stress, including physical sickness and drug or alcohol consumption, often begin to appear at this stage.
Stage 4: Burnout
At stage four, the classic symptoms of burnout set in as stress continues to increase. Decreased productivity feeds into the demands of the job, causing tasks to pile up and overwhelm the worker. Major behavioral changes and withdrawal from social life are also seen once a person reaches this stage. At this point, work-related stress becomes very frequent to almost constant.
Stage 5: Habitual Burnout
At the habitual burnout stage, a worker experiences essentially constant work stress that makes it impossible for him or her to function as usual. Burnout becomes standard, rather than occasional, and depression or other mental health issues may set in. Habitual burnout often requires professional treatment or major life changes to be made in order to return the person suffering from it to normal functionality.
Although these stages present in many cases of burnout, it’s important to understand that they won’t be identical for everyone. Because each situation is different, burnout can vary in both intensity and onset speed for each individual worker.