Adopting positive changes in the real estate industry and all its allied fields

December 11, 2012 - Long Island

Patrick Caroleo, The Dove Organization, Ltd.

The industry at large is taking on new approaches never witnessed "in time past." Keeping retail shopping centers clean and orderly is of utmost important for the new day we are experiencing. Landlords are no longer just accommodating your typical pizzeria, hair salon and chinese take-out tenancies. Even in a downward spiraling economy your average consumer today is concern about want they consume and purchase. Smart business entrepreneurs are adopting higher standards of healthy foods that appeal to the most discriminating consumer. New businesses that are arising are marketing to a new consumer. ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centers of Las Vegas are witnessing many new businesses being launched are leading towards healthy "green friendly" concepts and ideas. In my opinion, consumers are willing to pay more deposable income for healthy products. Well-educated, well informed Americans will longer embrace the mere status quo. Americans are being empowered to make healthy choices.
The visibility for any shopping center is imperative and retail shopping centers should be relatively close to the main roadway. The ingress and egress with a traffic light with a turn in lane into shopping centers makes a difference. The ease of finding a parking stall, especially a handicap parking stall is an important factor. Large, over-grown shrubbery blocking storefronts is a recipe for failure. Location and visibility are two strong influences that make a shopping center successful. There are some remedies if a shopping center is hidden from the main roadway, such as enhanced lighting. Lighting is not only crucial for security and safety purposes, but enhanced lighting can give a noticeable edge that can makes a shopping center stand out above the rest. Illuminated décor canopy, creating a new roof line can transform your shopping center from a "C" rating into an upbeat "A" rating. A new pylon sign with municipality approval can make an impact towards retail shopping centers.
Successful shopping centers are now adopting a place where patrons can sit and enjoy their snacks and meals with well-landscaped grounds with water features and statues. This sets the atmosphere where patrons are actually enjoying each other and creating a community environment. Patrons will revisit their experience rather just browsing and sheer window shopping. Smart landlords are redefining America culture, creating a positive social past-time.
Keeping your common area maintenance expenses to a bare minimum can make a significant difference. For instance, tenant's profit margin will be increased, granting each tenant the ability to be competitive in their industry. Landlords that over-spend and do not have a budget in mind because the tenants are paying for their proportionate of share of expenses are shooting themselves in the foot. By overcharging tenants customarily acceptable common area maintenance charges, you are putting your tenants out of business-which is counterproductive for the landlords. Landlords and property managers are always to be good stewards of all incurred expenses for all parties concerned. In doing so, more than likely, the retail shopping centers shall operate successfully.
When it comes to insurance coverage this is one expense not to compromise. For example, many new insurance plans are omitting "wind coverage" from their policies, keeping their expenses competitive, but not servicing their customers adequately. Super Storm Sandy, a catastrophic disaster-causing building wreckage though-out Long Island and surrounding areas and not possessing coverage for wind insurance is a landlord's nightmare, losing thousands of thousands of dollars in some instances. When ascertaining insurance quotes from various brokers you must ask the right questions. Insurance language, terms and conditions are being revised constantly and the most discriminate landlords and property managers may be out-witted, not having adequate coverage. In my professional opinion, an attorney might be best suited to review all insurance policies to avoid any pitfalls. After Hurricane Sandy, I was speaking to a successful property owner that owned properties in a flood zone area and he experienced flooding all around his building. Landscaping was destroyed; fountains, storage buildings and various other damage occured, and to his surprise, flood insurance solely covered the primary footprint of building-the actual foundation and structure of building. Other structures for storage and anything else outside of primary building that was damaged as a result of flood were not covered.
Should you have a story to share as a result of insurance companies, please send me an e-mail, I would like to be further informed and avoid some of the apparent pitfalls.
"It is more important than ever to understand exactly what you are buying when you purchase an insurance policy for your building," said insurance broker John Ankelman of JGA Coverage Corp/Industrial Coverage in Patchogue, NY. "All policies are definitely NOT created equal. It is likely there will be various possible deductibles that apply to any given policy."

Patrick Caroleo is the president and CEO at The Dove Organization, Ltd., Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
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