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Common rules for commercial real estate investments

Real estate investors in Texas sometimes start with single family residences that they rent out. When an investor feels confident with that kind of property, he or she may move on to multi-family projects and into other areas of commercial real estate. For those who are unsure of the process of moving into multi-family and commercial investments, there are some general rules to consider.

Real estate experts suggest that a new investor in a multi-family property consider living in one of the units at first. If the property has four units or less, owner-occupied financing can be available, with a smaller downpayment. This may generate a lower debt-to-income ratio and establish the owner for a quicker follow-up investment.

Business law attorneys must be in sync with innovative technology

In Texas and nationwide, the rapidly expanding frontiers of technological knowledge are revolutionizing the practice of business law. The excellence of a law firm's legal prowess is still vitally important, but it is no longer the sole criteria that companies use in turning to outside counsel for business law assistance. The successful practice must now be technologically savvy and innovative as well, according to experts in the field.

The idea of attorneys remaining aloof from the tides of technological discoveries and innovation is no longer a valid premise. Client companies require attorney-client interrelations that are attuned to the digital innovations that will increase efficiency and streamline workflows. The old model -- with the client waiting for attorney responses and access -- is becoming rapidly obsolete.

Jennifer Elskes Named to SuperLawyers

We are pleased to announce that our own Jennifer Elskes has once again been named to the SuperLawyers list for 2017. She has been rated at the very top of estate planning and probate attorneys serving the Houston metro.

It is not the first such honor for her. She was also selected to SuperLawyers in 2008 and 2016.

Business transactions may include building and selling a business

Building up and selling an online business is a popular business project in Texas and throughout the country. The business will sell more successfully if certain typical standards are followed while building it. Business transactions involving the sale of the business will be more economically fruitful if the business owners have the goal of making a big exit right from the start.

Keeping clean and meticulous records is an important factor that will help sell the business. In particular, a profit and loss statement should be created that documents revenue for each month. Steady monthly income can be an impressive selling point, especially if that pattern is displayed for dozens of consecutive months without fail. It is also important to utilize software that will accurately track all traffic on the site.

Commercial real estate moving toward emissions standards

Texas is vulnerable to the impact of climate change on its commercial properties, an impact that also affects commercial properties worldwide. Many of the world's leading commercial real estate owners are coming around to seeing the dangers of global warming and are responding accordingly. According to the Urban Land Institute's Greenprint Center for Building Performance, building owners on a global level are making progress in mitigating the risks of climate change. They are reducing water usage, carbon emissions and energy consumption by significant percentages.

Since 2009, based on tracking of some 8,700 commercial properties, it is reported that water use has dropped by 12.1 percent, carbon emissions by 17.9 percent and energy consumption by 13.9 percent. Throughout the world, commercial buildings account for more than one-third of climate-changing carbon emissions. According to the Greenprint Chairman, building owners are coming to realize that there could be a progressively eroding asset value due to the impact of climate-related vulnerabilities.

New entrepreneurship grows new kinds of business transactions

One constant factor of conducting a business enterprise in Texas and elsewhere is that change will sustain a company's future successes. Change is no longer a luxury that a large company may or may not decide to foster. Change in the dynamics of business transactions and business operations is a necessity for survival in a world of nearly constant technological innovations.

The focus is on the startup business. Even large corporations need to stimulate the development and growth of startup companies. In a sense, the startup contains the DNA for true innovation and dynamic growth. According to some experts, large companies need to test and create internal startups to experiment with new business ideas.

Business transactions include mergers and acquisitions

In Texas and elsewhere, a business merger can embody a variety of different types of transactions. The merger may be attempting to merge two companies on a relatively equal basis due to their similar capital value. Business transactions can also involve the incorporation of a smaller business in the larger one as a subsidiary, in which case it may be referred to as an acquisition or a merger.

Some companies exist with a principal purpose of acquiring or merging with other businesses. One such company is Global Partner Acquisition Corp. It is a special purpose acquisition company that was formed for the specific purpose of effectuating mergers, reorganizations, acquisitions and other types of business transactions.

Warehouse boom shines the light on commercial real estate

Unadorned warehouse space has never been the glamour showcase of commercial real estate. However, an unexpected but logical outcome of the Internet revolution has been the growth of e-commerce, along with the consumer's demand for the rapid delivery of retail purchases made online. From the beginning, companies like Amazon have excelled in delivering their products rapidly throughout the United States, including here in Texas, by using commercial real estate consisting of warehouse and storage space.

The growth of online retail sales has been phenomenal. Recently, online purchases comprise about 8.9 percent of all retail sales, with continuing growth a certainty, according to most expert analyses. The growth of warehouse jobs has become a major economic benefit to communities throughout the country, particularly those lucky enough to be located in accessible pathways to the large urban centers.

Business law attorneys may help in government contract procedures

Business law practitioners in Texas and elsewhere often assist their business clients in obtaining and processing government contracts. Business law transactions dealing with government contracts is an active area where businesses of all sizes often need legal assistance in maneuvering the daunting government turf. The effort to get government contracts can pay off in terms of steady income and setting a solid foundation to the security of the business going forward.

Remember that every year about 23 percent of the $400 to $500 billion in government contract awards are to small businesses. There are some basic steps to getting started. First, the company must register at the appropriate government website. Also, if the ownership of the company consists of disabled veterans, minorities or women, a special certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration must be obtained. The general policy is to give consideration to these groups where appropriate for small business development. 

Commercial real estate industry may face labor shortages

As the commercial real estate industry in Texas and elsewhere struggles with how to keep a workforce in coming decades due to the mass retirement of baby boomers, the government is set on a course of immigration restrictions. The effect of that policy may be to reduce drastically the number of immigrants available to work many of the traditional commercial real estate jobs on the market. It is also seen that U.S.-born residents of working age are on the decline for the future.

The usual challenge of getting good workers may be made extremely difficult by the government's present policy of defeating the flow of immigrants into the country, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. Today, there are nearly 27.5 million foreign-born workers in the country, and nearly 70 percent of them are within the ages of 25 and 64. This is a special concern for commercial real estate owners because 30 percent of the workforce in the industry is currently foreign-born.

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