Pros of Buying Retail
Properties at Auction
IRVINE, CA—Traditionally, commercial real
estate is a rather opaque, relationship-based industry in which the players use
their connections to market a property,
target buyers, make offers and ultimately
close the deal, says Matthew Schreck,
research analyst with Auction.com. The
online auction process attempts to level
that playing field and create transparency
so that all parties interested in investing
can learn the same information about a
property and everyone has the same
opportunity to close the deal, which is
especially important in the broad spectrum of retail investing.
“Usually, the broker controls how long
a bidding period lasts and who gets the
last bid or chance to make an offer,” says
Schreck. “An auction opens up the pro-
cess to everybody, even those who
wouldn’t otherwise get a seat at the table.
Sellers can find that needle-in-a-haystack
buyer they otherwise wouldn’t have.”
As a buyer, once you meet the reserve
price that the auction and the seller set,
and the auction closes, you’re assured of
closing—no re-trading. Upfront due dili-
gence is done, so there’s no delay in ear-
nest-money deposits, says Schreck. “It’s a
24-hour process, and there’s an immedi-
ate hard-money deposit. If it falls through,
backup buyers are automatically commit-
ted to their bids, so the seller is assured of
closing within a 90-day timeframe.
Traditionally, this can take upwards of
From a retail perspective, being able
to view the full gamut of properties avail-
able for sale is a distinct advantage over
traditional investment outlets. “Retail
can range from the biggest super-
regional malls in the United States to
small, freestanding properties,” says
Schreck. “It’s a huge market to cover.
The Auction.com website allows inter-
ested investors to easily see what’s avail-
able at any given time.”
Current available properties range
from a 294,000-square-foot mall in
Milwaukee to a 2,700-square-foot free-
standing, vacant restaurant space in
California. Schreck says that the site is
also listing several retail properties in the
Southwest, Southeast and Midwest—spe-
cifically in California, Arizona, Nevada,
Florida, Kansas, Missouri and Michigan.
Urban cities are booming and with this comes an influx of millennial buyers, who
are drastically altering cities’ demographics. In West Coast markets from San Diego
to Seattle, thousands of developments are under construction, and with an urban
population that is outpacing suburban growth worldwide, millennials comprise the
largest percentage of soon-to-be residents.
So how do owners keep millennials as residents? How do developers design buildings that enhance this generation’s experience? What do real estate professionals need
to know in this cycle?
Because it’s been nearly a decade since substantial condominium projects were designed, a great need still exists to
understand what this buyer demographic values in a home and
how to design living spaces that appeal
In order to attract these residents,
Millennials desire jobs, cities and homes that reflect their lifestyles and phi-losophies. Having the ability to dovetail their home life with work, friends, easily
accessible entertainment and social responsibility is a high priority for this generation. They place great value on social interaction and are constantly connected through social media.
Technology also plays an important role in how this generation gets their information, and mobile is becoming increasingly important, as 80% of smart phone
users are utilizing their device as their primary Internet source. Simply put, companies that are not migrating their marketing and communication plans to a
mobile platform are behind the curve.
Additionally, millennials don’t want to feel like they’re being marketed to. They
value the process of exploration and discovery, and cannot stand being overtly sold
to. They pay attention to quality and the story behind a product, and have immense
loyalty to those brands they do “buy into.” It’s reasoning like this that contributes to
the popularity of craft boutique stores like Tanner Goods in downtown Los Angeles,
or micro specialty restaurants such as Mission Pies in San Francisco.
Plus, less is more. With so many options for information at their fingertips, millennials are more likely to respond to messaging that stands out and gets to the
point quickly. Between technology and the American culture of pushing to do
more, they are confronted with a lot of information; ensuring messaging is succinct and informative is key in breaking through.
Programing for developments should be strategic, taking into account more
than just physical amenities. While many buildings will have pools, gyms, yoga
rooms, etc., millennials are equally interested in the happenings offered. For
example, if a development has a community garden, partnerships could be created with local restaurants to do quarterly chef’s table events. Buildings could
sponsor yoga and mimosas on Sunday morning, or host a DJ spinning at the pool
on Saturday afternoons.
When thinking about how to program for millennial renters or buyers (or for
any generation really), it’s important to consider how they live first, and how
environments that enhance their lives can be created. Spaces should be activated
in an authentic way, fostering opportunities to engage residents, and a robust
mobile communication strategy should be implemented.
Rhonda Slavik is president of Urban Living Marketing. She may be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
By Rhonda Slavik
Millennials, Mobile & Real Estate