2021 Real Estate and Business RECOMMENDATIONS by our Broker in Charge

Dated: February 13 2021

Views: 449

“It’s all connected, but we easily forget just how connected it really is.”

- David Seay, Broker in Charge, REALTOR, CCIM, REDM

Current Market Cycle

Residential Real Estate Activity and “The Brokerage” Recommendations


Lack of Inventory: Duh? You probably have 3 unsolicited offers in your mailbox by now or at least many do. With less than 2,100 homes for sale in the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors MLS and typically over 5,500 available, you can now understand why. Charleston was already popular, now COVID has prompted many that love Charleston to become full time residents as they shift their out of state equity and personal lives to the great Palmetto State. Who can blame them? Not me. Charleston remains awesome and we will figure out how to share the road sooner or later.


RECOMMENDATION: If you are serious about selling or leveling up to a higher priced home, now is the time. If you have ever wanted to cash out your home’s equity and move to the sidelines, that is a good idea, but if you still want to own a residential property in Charleston and want to go to a higher priced home and capture great long term rates (we recommend long term fixed rates now) this is a great time to make that move, negotiate home contingency sales (this is the only market where I have seen it work in my career) and swiftly get out of owning two properties, this is our recommendation. We are very nice people so if you have decided to sell without a Realtor, we can’t fault you for it, but please ask us questions about how to protect yourself. We will offer our guidance as a courtesy or can supervise your transaction for a reduced fee. We get it. It is what it is. We are excellent at what we do and we can help regardless.


Commercial Real Estate Activity and “The Brokerage” Recommendations


My Space is popular again: But it is called Your Space because that is all we really care about. Wear a mask, keep your distance, I need a yard, yes, consumer behavior does not discriminate the commercial real estate market either. Office towers are empty around the country and Zoom is all the rage. Market cycles are rather predictable, but who knows anymore? Strategic planning is a whole new adventure now. Higher vacancies in typically low vacancy areas of town are all related to the fallout of COVID and you can point directly to it as well as the segments of real estate classes that have low vacancy. Consumer behavior is driving this bus.


RECOMMENDATION: If you are planning decisions on past market cycles, that is not a good idea anymore. New occupancy needs (or lack thereof) will one day be established, but for now, seasoned business owners are making shorter term decisions and while brokers love long term lease deals and big transactions, we don’t think that is the wise way for any real business owner to make long term decisions. Landlords are being flexible and a business owner (most real estate decision makers in the commercial space are business owners) must know how they would do in another COVID type of situation or even another immediate business condition pivot and a PPP loan may one day no longer be a saving grace. Real business owners with a real business model and contingency strategic plans in place should be purchasing real estate for owner occupied use. The financing terms are well worth it and the longer the terms and rate lock the better. Start ups need to be transparent and do short term leases or have a real estate workout strategy (like subleasing rights) should the business fail. Any good business owner needs a remote strategy and that is how you select space these days. Twelve months from now, a reevaluation would make sense, but now we need to stay in touch with our respective plans every 30 days. Block out an appointment with yourself each 30 days to study your business. Stay nimble for as long as you can. We are very good at helping people make informed decision. We own real estate too so we speak from experience.


Market Rates Per Square Foot/Vacancy Rate (*compiled summary so you don’t have to):

Summerville $27/6%, North Charleston $22/15%, West Ashley $28/7%,

Daniel Island $28/34%, Mount Pleasant $30/9%, Downtown CHS $32/14%

Investment Real Estate Activity and “The Brokerage” Recommendations


Underwrite Much? Well, I am not sure how much it would help you anyway as the whole model has changed. What used to be a good tenant may no longer be in business so make sure that you know what a Credit Tenant actually looks like these days. Sublease activity is way up and that impacts a Landlords performance if you have a tenant that doesn’t care about keeping an agreement. While landlords originally pushed off deferrals, good owners are paying better attention now. COVID has new underwriting terms and it is essential that you understand financials.


RECOMMENDATION: Stay in touch with your tenant. No news is not always good news. Fine tune your numbers and take this opportunity to squeeze expenses. We often forget why we made decisions in the past so study your investment properties now to see if it is still a good long-term hold. Cap rates on paper, may not really be good returns anymore so see how strong your tenants really are. Smart investors are underwriting differently and strategically shopping for debt as we do. We can help you do what we do. We have a great grip on real estate investments and related tax advantages and structures. All legit and many investors miss it.


*Thanks to IRR for the exceptional research. Best I have seen and a good one to follow.

Business Brokerage Activity and “The Brokerage” Recommendations


Closed For Business (sad face): 100,000 Small Businesses have closed since COVID opened. I love small business ownership and let us not forget America The Great is a true Mom and Pop country. The American Lifestyle desired by so many that left other countries to come here motivated many small businesses to open so it is hard to watch a small business fail, but COVID has been a game of musical chairs and it matters where you were standing when the music stopped. The number of small businesses reportedsold in 2020 dropped 22%. A total of 7,612 businesses were reported as acquired in 2020, compared to 9,746 in 2019. The median sale price rose 12% to $279,950, with revenue and cash flow reaching record highs, according to BizBuySell's Insight Report. While transactions slowed, the median cash flow of sold businesses grew 10.7% to $135,567, while revenue increased 8.2% to $613,341. The impressive financials speak to the quality of businesses changing hands – specifically, the spiking demand for pandemic resistant businesses, while weaker deals remained sidelined.


RECOMMENDATION: Know how to read financials, understand howbusinesses behaved during COVID and make sure you know how to run businesses before you buy on. Conversely, if you have made it through COVID as a business owner, tighten your ship, get lines of credit open and make sure that you seek forgiveness of any PPP loans or seek the new round of PPP loans while they are available. Truly study consumer behavior because consumers may be forced to behave the same way in the future. Make sure you understand how a business model needs to adapt to new consumer expectations regardless of a virus threat or not. Consumer behavior shifts that were on the way prior to COVID really accelerated and purchasing power of different generations has a new face so make sure you understand how your business may have had it’s value impacted. We can help you value your business to see if you should sell. We help people buy and sell businesses and have a very professional process.


Client Activity and “The Brokerage” Recommendations


“Being a REALTOR is easy money”: We get offended by that comment, but we won’t tell you to your face because we know it is a lie and we can’t fault the public for not understanding just how much work good agents put in all for their client’s best interest. Way back when, I wasn’t an agent so I felt the same, but I am wise enough and experienced enough now to admit I was wrong. South Carolina Law will never let a real estate commission stop us from putting the public’s interest front and center. We have seen a lot of people make mistakes and callus after the fact. It is a hard lesson for people to learn. We hope it never happens to you.


RECOMMENDATION: Call us and be transparent. If you want to buy or sell or lease on your own and you have been blessed to have an opportunity within your grasp, that is amazing and we will help you as a courtesy as much as we can, but we have been doing this long enough to know that big mistakes happen fast and morals get compromised even faster in a hotmarket and integrity quickly follows suit. Remember, we are ladies and gentleman in the business we love. Conduct yourself the same, and it will all go well whether we are involved or not. We constantly see people not do what we do everyday and get in disputes, behave irrationally and think they know more than they really do. Pride always goes before the fall.


Agent Activity and “The Brokerage” Recommendations


Agents are joining. We are so proud of Kerri, Katie, Krista, Patrick, Lonnie, Jon and the others that are coming online now. I have been in sales my entire career and got a head start in my teens by hustling in my neighborhood. I have always possessed work ethic and I will thank my parents for getting me started on the right path and the wonderful coaches that I played for. I have found a great way to win at life and now I am excited to share it with others and our company culture is much more than selling real estate and businesses. It is about constantly improving and becoming the people that we know we are capable of becoming, but we just need a little help. That is what we do at The Brokerage Real Estate and Business Brokerage. We lead, equip and inspire our agents and we train them to be the ultimate professional that truly servesthe hopes and dreams of our client and community.


RECOMMENDATION: If you are a real estate agent or a business brokerand you aren’t inspired every day of your work life, have a confidential meeting with John or myself. We love what we do and we are good at it and it shows. If you have a son or a daughter that is a real estate agent and they need to have some mentors to work for, we are potentially a good fit for them. If you are an agent (new or established) and you want to work in a beautiful office with wonderful people and take your life and your career to the next level, we are happy to tell you all about our company and you can decide if it is a fit for you. In the meantime, we will keep giving our agents our best and never abandon them or the clients that they serve. Go all in during your life. That is what we are here for.


May life bring you abundance, safety and a success that really matters and help you live out your purpose.


You Win Here!

David 843-364-6720 and John 843-813-1228.



About The Brokerage - Real Estate and Business Brokerage

We are your experts. Not only are we REALTORS for Commercial and Residential Property, we are Business Brokers. John and I have personal experience as Tenants, Landlords, Property Owners and Business Owners. We have renovated and built residential and commercial properties from scratch and we have bought and sold properties for ourselves, our families and our clients. We offer a diverse background of experience that can benefit you no matter what your goals are. We are full service because we have experienced it all. We have many satisfied references available for you and we want to be your friendly and knowledgeable resource for all of your real estate and business needs. Through our diverse group of contacts to our tremendous work ethic and proprietary marketing systems, we are a company that wants to help people win. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We love to compete for listing and representation agreements. We are also looking for exceptional real estate agents and business brokers to join our team. Our culture creates an amazing work environment."

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David Seay

My greatest gift is getting people what they want. I have exceptional listening and business skills. I know that sounds bold, but I did not get into the business of real estate and business broker....

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