Real Estate Wire Fraud Is Real — And It Almost Happened To Me

It all started with an email.

Just days before closing on a home, I got a message from my escrow officer—or at least someone pretending to be her. Our closing costs needed to be wired to the title company right away, she said, or our closing date would be pushed back. Considering the six weeks I’d spent waiting to close on the property—not to mention the disdain I had for our current rental home—the message sent my heart racing. The font was right. The signature was right. There was even a CC to my real estate agent. But something seemed off. A closer look at the header revealed the problem. Each email address—one for my agent, one my mortgage broker and one for my escrow officer—was a single character off. It was a fake. Click to read more at

Data Points That Matter When Comparing Markets

What data points really matter when comparing commercial real estate markets for future investments or business opportunities? Market revitalization and successful economic redevelopment depend on a variety of variables working in sync. More than that, it requires thoughtful planning and an opportunistic mindset to take advantage of the right circumstances at the right time. Having access to reliable, real-time data doesn’t hurt either. As we develop strategies for comparing key markets that may be primed for revitalization, it’s helpful to evaluate examples of past success. By evaluating cities and neighborhoods that have undergone successful revitalization, we can tune into some of the key data points that are useful when trying to replicate such success. Click to read more at

Gross Domestic Product by State: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2018

Texas Had the Fastest Growth in the Fourth Quarter. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 49 states and the District of Columbia in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the fourth quarter ranged from 6.6 percent in Texas to 0.0 percent in Delaware (table 1). Percent Change in Real GDP by State, 2018: Q3-2018-Q4. Wholesale trade, mining, and information services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally (table 2). Mining and wholesale trade were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP in Texas, the fastest growing state. Click to read more at

What Does Your Brain Think About the Modern Workplace?

I was recently asked for my thoughts on an article published last year in the Harvard Business Review on the unintended effects of open office space. Citing research conducted by Ethan Bernstein and Stephen Turban, the report has now been sent to me more times than any other in my care. People have been writing about the pros and cons of open vs. enclosed office space for decades, so what’s the big deal with this one? Well, this was academic research, not anecdotal, published by the oldest scholarly journal in the world, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. The study included wearable technology to track users. If we believe what this paper tells us about the reduction of collaboration in open offices, we should all shift our thinking about the open workplace as soon as possible. Not. So. Fast. Click to read more at

10 Things Property Managers Can Do To Increase ROI

The multifamily industry is in constant change and more crowded than ever before with projects across all asset classes. To stay competitive, property managers must change with it. Here are 10 things property managers can do to provide increased value to owners and asset managers—and to add to the bottom line of their portfolios. 1. Get back to basics. At its core, property management is still all about maintaining assets and their value. What’s changing, however, are the expectations of owners and asset managers. They expect more these days. So, managers need to up their game to provide added value to the clients. In addition to providing core management services, consider more sophisticated asset management functions such as serving as a liaison for real estate taxes, insurance, utility purchasing or with local political entities. Those are just a few of the ways to remain competitive and differentiate yourself from other property management firms. Click to read more at

You Have One City To Invest In. Which City And Why?

More specifically if possible, which neighborhood and asset type? Value add, development or stabilized play? Wonder what everyone’s investment thesis is regarding the environment we are in today. You are the President of your own shop and get to call the shots. What city are you buying in? Click here to read responses at