The Single Best Place to Start Looking for Commercial Real Estate in Canada

One of the most common questions I hear, so common in fact that it's almost a daily occurance, is, "Where do I find commercial real estate listings? Isn't there something like realtor.ca that I can go to so that I can do my own research?" The short answer is yes, there is, and it's called ICX. www.icx.ca is a national site provided by REALTORS® across Canada that shares informatioan about commercial properties for sale across the country.

A short visit to www.icx.ca will quickly show you that there are a LOT of commercial properties for sale in Canada. Like realtor.ca, the national residential search site, this site is not a public version of the MLS®, rather it's a showcase for commercial listings. It's a one-stop shop for all MLS® listed properties that also features some timely commercial real estate stories on its homepage.

Below is a view of the home page, and here's a link to instructions on using the site.


The site allows you to search by location, property type, transaction type (lease/sale), price, etc. There's even a map search so that you can dial down to specific areas visually. Looking for a specific REALTOR®? You can search for one on icx.ca. Don't forget to subscribe to the site's RSS feed while you're there.

Sites like these don't replace a good relationship with a commercial REALTOR®, but they're a good place to start your search. Drop me a line if you need some help navigating the site or if you'd like some assistance in your search.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

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Inexcusable Behaviour From Commercial Broker

Found via www.squarefeetblog.com. Square Feet is a commercial real estate blog providing information, market data, as well as commentary on news and happenings which have an impact on the Silicon Valley commercial real estate market.

2 Men Arrested In Pleasanton Cab Driver Assault Full story from CBS Channel 5.

Pleasanton police have arrested two men suspected of verbally and physically assaulting a taxicab driver Thursday.

Units responded to report of a battery in progress at a 7-Eleven store on Valley Avenue at around 1:10 a.m., according to the Pleasanton Police Department. Jaswinder Bangar, a local taxi driver, was found suffering facial lacerations and a broken tooth.

Bangar told police he had picked up two men at the Redcoats British Pub and Restaurant in Pleasanton who, on the way to Danville, began calling Bangar derogatory names and punched him in back of the head.

Bangar said he pulled into the parking lot at 7-Eleven to call police, but the two men, later identified as Jacob Billingsley, of Alamo, and Danville resident Michael Goldstein, grabbed the cell phone and broke it.

A subsequent investigation into leads led officers to Goldstein's home in Danville, where both men were found hiding.
How is this a real estate story?

Goldstein was managing director Collier's Stockton office in California. According to squarefeetblog, his profile has been removed from the Collier's site. I guess after this kind of alleged behaviour, his company thought the better of being associated with him.

My Reaction

It's strange...I felt personally affronted by this guy's alleged actions. Normally, we're so insulated from and inundated by stories of reprehensible behaviour like this that we don't take notice of them. And that's a shame because these are all people with real lives being affected; but they're just so far away we don't feel any real emotion attached to them other than to say, "That's awful!" and then we go about our day and forget all about it.

This time however, I guess because one of the accused is a commercial broker, I think I felt a little ashamed. I shouldn't - I didn't attack the poor driver - but I did all the same. This guy has besmirched all of us in the commercial real estate industry by his actions and yet I felt somehow responsible (?) for him when I read this. One of our own has fallen and crossed a line that should not be crossed. Ever.

Shame on him!

We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than this. We have a difficult time as it is in this business battling negative press and negative bias every day; we don't need this kind of heat. I hope, if found guilty, he gets the maximum penalty allowed and that his state registrar pulls his license. Permanently.

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Invest Like Joe and Don't Look Back

NYT - Inland Real Estate Dives Into Troubled Commercial Market

G. Joseph Cosenza, president of Inland Real Estate Acquisitions of Oak Brook, Illinois, is on the right track. At a time when the majority of property investors either have their heads in the sand waiting for the storm to blow out or are standing around with bewildered looks on their faces, muttering to themselves about cap rates and falling values, Mr. Cosenza is buying.

He's buying a LOT of real estate. Since early in 2008 he's been on a buying spree, spending about $4 billion on acquisitions across the US.

He is happy to be swimming against the tide — buying while others watch from the sidelines. “I say to them, thank goodness and just get out of my way,” Mr. Cosenza said. “We’re not looking for trophies; we’re buying solid income-producing real estate that is not in default.”

Some observers say that Mr. Cosenza and other intrepid investors stand to profit handsomely. “For the opportunity fund with the resources, it’s time to make a killing,” said David L. Funk, director of the Cornell University Program in Real Estate, a master’s degree curriculum. “In 10 years, people will look back at 2009 as the year fortunes were made.”
He (Mr. Cosenza) says he intends to keep buying. “I have another six to eight months when people will be frozen in their tracks,” he said, “and I’ll have a clear field.”
The smart money is getting back in the game now - when will you?

Photo credit: Sally Ryan, NYT

Update August 31/09: He's at it again! Inland is setting up a new $5B fund.
Inland Diversified intends to use the proceeds from this offering primarily to acquire a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate. Potential commercial real estate assets will include: retail, office, multi- family, student housing, industrial/distribution warehouse, lodging, medical office/healthcare related facilities, public infrastructure assets and triple- net single use properties.

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Are You the Tortoise or the Hare in Your Approach to Real Estate Investing?

Do you have a plan in place to achieve commercial real estate success? Maybe you’re just spinning your wheels going from idea to idea without any clear direction or consistent actions to reach your goals. Do you even have clearly defined goals?

Reaching success, whatever that means to you, is only possible with consistent and persistent action over a period of time. Take some time to do some research, find a mentor, whatever it takes to get you pointed in the right direction. Develop a plan of action and, most importantly, stick to it! A plan is only as good as its execution. I just made that one up – feel free to quote me ;)

I found this article online and thought that it mirrored what I was thinking in a lot of ways, so I decided to share it with you here in its entirety. As you read it, think of how you can use the underlying philosophy to your advantage whether in your pursuit of commercial real estate or other things you value in your life like health and happiness. It’s an old story, but the inspiration is timeless.

Three Steps to Becoming Consistent and Persistent

To achieve a level of success in most anything in life requires one to be consistent and persistent, as achievements are not typically accomplished in a single or random number of actions.

First let's understand what we mean by being consistent and persistent.

Being consistent is performing a task on some type of schedule or performing a task in a similar manner. Taking a walk every morning is an example of a consistent behavior. Following a select route each day is also a consistent behavior.

Being persistent is refusing to give up or to let go, even in the face of adversity, warnings or setbacks even to the point where one is told they are being obstinate, or there is no reason to continue to go on or to hope for a particular outcome. Being persistent can be having a belief that something will or will not happen such as someone with a terminal illness will get better and continue to live a normal life. If our individual in the example above slipped and broke their ankle, they would be persistent if they started each day by taking a walk even if they were on crutches.

The desire for success and the consistent action to achieve one's goals combines to create persistence. It is the consistent and persistent attitude and behavior over time that leads individuals to success or failure, to winning or losing.

Success Tip # 1
Possess determination and refuse to give up, quit, or be defeated. Individuals with a passion or dream who wish to achieve success will identify their goals and objectives to achieve the success desired. Armed with their action plan and their internal drive they will continue taking regular steps when most others would quit. A part of this component of being consistent and persistent is the pride and quiet satisfaction of an accomplishment. This is not action or thinking related to arrogance or boasting, but the down deep dignity and self-respect an individual possesses who will go to all lengths to complete a task or achieve a goal.

Success Tip # 2
Be willing to demonstrate patience and have the faith of a desired outcome at some point in the future. Success for many is a journey requiring a period of time in some cases a long period of time; it is not just an overnight stop between starting something and completing something. Possessing faith in the outcome and seeing the accomplishment in your mind is actually one of the steps in achieving a goal.

Success Tip # 3
Being open to taking an appropriate risk to achieve the goal is yet another factor in a consistent and persistent individual. You will notice I said "acceptable" risk by only possessing a "play-it-safe" attitude will result in missed opportunities. Yet by being open to untried solutions and understanding and assessing the risks involved, one can move closer to desired success. In other cases it is necessary for an individual to make an attempt and to be okay with failing as long as there is a lesson to be learned and not repeated in future attempts.

I'll take you back to the Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare. The rabbit started fast and disappeared down the path. To the tortoise it had to look like the race was hopeless as there is no way on this earth he could keep up with the rabbit. Yet he constantly and persistently put one foot in front of another, and after a while he passed the point where the rabbit had stopped to take a nap. But the race was not over as the finish line was still far away. So the determined tortoise continued down the path one step at a time maintaining his actions. Like many people who work in bursts and then stop for a while, the rabbit woke up and continued speeding towards the finish line. But like the individual who continued to perform the appropriate actions even when it looked hopeless, the tortoise crossed the finish line just ahead of the hare. By all rights a hare should always beat a tortoise.

But in life it doesn't always work that way, the fast and the strong do not always win only because they stop or quit even if it is for just a period of time. So for the individual with determination, patience, and the ability to take a risk, and at times fail the race can be won, the goal accomplished, and success achieved - with the habits of being consistent and persistent.

Sharma, Ajay. (2009, August 21). Three Steps to Becoming Consistent and Persistent The Free Library. (2009). Retrieved August 26, 2009 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Three Steps to Becoming Consistent and Persistent-a01073976784

Also found at: easyarticles.com

Photo credit: Chris Hendricks www.screenhog.com

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Here's a Simple Way to Save up to 35% in Realty Taxes

  • Do you own a commercial or industrial property? (I hope so, and if you don't, you need to call me! Soon!)
  • Do you have any vacancies in your building? (Unfortunately, this is a reality today for many Peterborough property owners.)
  • Did you know that you might be eligible for a rebate for a portion of the realty taxes you already paid if you had significant vacancy last year? (Yes. Really.)
There is help for property owners who have empty or partially empty buildings. If you've had a vacancy for at least 90 days at a stretch, you can apply, by the end of February in the year following the period in which you had vacancy, for a rebate of up to 35% of the taxes you paid. Below is an excerpt from the FAQ on the City's website on this process. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line and I'll point you in the right direction, or visit the City's website for details and contact information.
City of Peterborough 2009 Commercial, Industrial and Multi-Residential Tax Bills Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. My Commercial/Industrial property has been assessed as fully occupied this year, but it is vacant (or partially vacant). Why is this, and is there some way that it can be taxed as vacant?

A. All buildings in these classes are assessed and taxed as fully occupied, regardless of whether there are vacant units in a building at the time the assessment roll is prepared. Property owners must apply to their municipality, in writing, each year for vacant space rebates by the last day of February of the year following the vacancy. That means you have until March 1, 2010 to apply for the vacancy rebate for the 2009 tax year. The classification of vacant properties reverts back to occupied for each new tax year’s assessment roll.

The percentage tax reduction to be provided through the rebates would be 30% for commercial properties and 35% for industrial properties, prorated for the portion of the year that the property was vacant. Rebates apply to properties that have had vacancies for at least 90 consecutive days. The definition of eligible property (i.e. what constitutes vacant space for the purpose of this rebate program), and the calculation methodology (i.e. determining the portion of the property’s total tax that is attributable to the vacant area to which the rebate percentage will be applied), is legislated by the Province through Section 364 of The Municipal Act, 2001.
In the meantime, if you'd like to recalculate your taxes based on your Assessment Notice, there's a handy calculator on the City of Peterborough's site. Just be sure to use the drop-down menu option to change the assessment class for your property.

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Stop the Presses! Deal Reached on Peterborough Site!

Bill and I are proud to announce that we have successfully negotiated a conditional agreement to sell the former Eastern Pentecostal Bible College to the Peterborough Housing Corporation. There has been a lot of interest in this property since we listed it on behalf of the owners, and we are pleased that we have reached an agreement with such a well respected local organization.

This process has been very rewarding for us on a professional level and we thank our clients, Master's College and Seminary and the Peterborough Housing Corporation for allowing us to contribute.

PRESS RELEASE:
August 25, 2009

Master’s College and Seminary, formerly Eastern Pentecostal Bible College has reached a conditional agreement to sell its former residential campus at 780 Argyle Street to the Peterborough Housing Corporation (PHC). The Argyle Street property is a 114,000 square foot facility on 6.3 acres located on the west side of George Street adjacent to Pioneer Park, north of Parkhill Road. Master’s College and Seminary is pleased that Peterborough Housing Corporation will now breath new life into the complex. Bill Pyle and Doug Lytle of Century 21 United Realty have partnered with both Master’s and the PHC in order to create this unique community initiative.

Peterborough Housing Corporation has a vision to create an intergenerational centre in this outstanding facility. The property will be used to create approximately 90 units of supportive housing units for seniors with the balance of the space reserved for public-service uses such as a day nursery or health facility. The facility is large and so PHC will use approximately 80,000 – 90,000 sq ft of floor space to create the residential housing units for seniors. The residential units are intended to be a mix of affordable and market priced units, with the balance of the floor space devoted to a community partner(s). The objective is to create a truly rich neighbourhood asset.

PHC has submitted a proposal to the Housing Division of the City of Peterborough for Federal- Provincial funding under the Affordable Housing Program. PHC has been instrumental in partnering with agencies that can bring operational support to the living experience of seniors, as demonstrated by PHC’s newest project in Lakefield where Community Care will be locating its offices on the site.

It is the intention of the Peterborough Housing Corporation to hold an information/open house meeting for the neighbourhood in the beginning of September. The proposed uses for 780 Argyle Street will ensure that this landmark site and quality educational and residential facility will continue to serve the community for many years to come.

Edit:
Story is being picked up by the media:
Peterborough This Week
The Peterborough Examiner

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Canadian Commercial Council of REALTORS® Installs New Board of Directors

I'd like to join CREA in congratulating the new Board of Directors for the Canadian Commercial Council. The new board consists of the following great lineup who will each serve a two year term:

Jim Gammer - Chair
Peter Sardelis, CCIM - Ontario Director
Allan Corbett, RI - British Columbia/Yukon Director
Guy Bélanger, FRI, B.A.A. - Québec Director
Karen Barry - Chair Elect
Mark St. Pierre - Prairie Director (MB, SK, AB)
Hodges Hamm - Atlantic Director (NS, NB, NL, PE)

The Canadian Commercial Council of REALTORS® was founded in 1994 and represents commercial real estate specialists from Boards and Associations across Canada. The Council provides a strong interactive network for real estate practitioners who specialize in industrial commercial and investment real estate.
Way to go guys! Looking forward to good things over the next couple of years.

Further Links:
howcommercialrealtorshelp.ca
icx.ca

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Commercial Real Estate Is NOT Collapsing

What's causing the slow motion commercial real estate crash?

Definition of collapse:
col-lapse
[kuh-laps] verb, -lapsed, -laps-ing, noun
–verb (used without object)

Number 1 definition: to fall or cave in; crumble suddenly
e.g. "The roof collapsed and buried the crowd. "

Commercial real estate is not collapsing sounds like a crazy claim to make at this point in time, but I'm not convinced that it has collapsed. The meaning of the word collapse has a strong connotation to me. It bears the feeling of imminent and dangerous events. I feel that a 'collapse' in an industry means that it has been decimated if not outright destroyed. If the roof collapses, you'd expect to see bodies in the wreckage at worst, or a tangled mess of scrap at best. Strangely, I don't see that in this industry yet. As the article above alludes, the current commercial real estate meltdown is a 'slow motion collapse'.

Can there be such a thing? Perhaps, and I'm just spitballing here, but perhaps there isn't a collapse in commercial real estate.

*gasp!*

Maybe, just maybe, the economy was starting to look up and the media needed something nasty to report on. Could it be that opportunistic institutional investors latched onto this idea as a way to affect the market by driving prices down? Now, before you jump in and start calling me nasty names, no, I don't have my head in the sand and, yes, I can plainly see the size of refinancing and restructuring of debt that will need to take place in the next couple of years across North America (particularly in the US).

Activity in the commercial market has all but died in some areas, but others are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

From the article above:

Even as the sector continues to struggle, capital has been flowing in searching for opportunities. In recent weeks, hotel chain Hyatt, mortgage modification ship Pennymac, and commercial REIT Starwood Properties Trust, have all filed for IPOs.
and
One possible area of upside for commercial real estate, ironically, comes from the struggles in residential real estate. "The flavor-of-the-month asset is multi-family properties," Malka said. "With all the problems in the residential market, people are running back to apartments and renting," making for a favorable situation...
Some of our clients are actively looking for new opportunities again. Particularly properties that have long term upside and that are considered risky right now. Properties like small and medium strips, and locations in secondary markets are risky, but the long term rewards are high.

A Return to Business?

There was a long period when everyone seemed to be holding their collective breath, but I see a slow return to business happening. I don't see a collapse so much as a group head-scratch and a refocusing of direction with a healthy dose of reality.

What are you experiencing? How have you or your clients been reacting to the market?

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Why Lease Abstraction is Important to Realize a Better Return

A lease abstract is basically the boiled down essence of a commercial lease. It oulines the basic terms contained in the lease so that all parties to the lease can see in plain language what their rights and obligations are. Lease abstracts are especially useful in analyzing property before a purchase and are used fairly often by finance companies to get a quick idea of the details of the leases in an income producing property prior to making an offer of funding.

Some of the common items found in a lease abstract:

  • Address of the property or premises
  • Lease term including start, end and possession dates
  • Tenant and landlord name(s) and contact information
  • Description of the premises, unit number, address, etc.
  • Amount of base rent for each year of the term
  • Amount of additional rent and how calculated (proportionate share, NNN, etc.)
  • Description of what expenses are paid by whom
  • Allowed uses
  • Restrictions on alterations
  • List of common areas and facilities
  • Amount of liability insurance required
  • Late payment handling and penalties if any
  • Conditions for surrender of premises (remove or leave tenant improvements)
  • Outline of tenant improvements paid for by the seller
  • Amount of any concessions or inducements
  • Detail of renewal options if any and any first rights of refusal for re-leasing space or taking over adjacent space
  • Any miscellaneous provisions
Prudent owners of commercial real estate recognize the value of these documents and prepare them in advance of offering a property for sale to ease the absorption of information by potential buyers. If the due diligence process is painless, you can get it sold more quickly. If you make the process easy and straightforward, you'll also generally realize higher net sale proceeds at the end of the day because, when comparing your investment property to another one, yours looks (and is!) better managed and therefore represents a lower risk.

For a sample of a blank Lease Abstract, just email me and I'd be happy to forward one to you for your personal use free of charge.

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The 10 Secrets to Successful Commercial Real Estate Investing

Hint: The real secret is that there are no secrets...

The fact of the matter is, there is no secret, no hidden recipe for success. What works for one investor might not, and often won't, work for another.

Investing in commercial real estate, as it turns out, is very personal. I don't mean that investors should fall in love with their properties, just the opposite, but each of us has different likes and dislikes. Some just love personal interaction and gravitate to investments that allow them to meet and work with diverse people; apartment buildings for example. Others really enjoy the chase and like to invest in single tenant retail properties where there's a lot more involved in getting that big tenant that can make or break an investment property's future.

What it really boils down to is careful consideration of your aptitudes and extreme due diligence.

1. What kind of personal interactions do you enjoy?

2. What kinds of property get you excited? The answers to these first two questions will guide you to the right type of property to look for.

3. Decide on an investment goal or series of goals. What kind of return do you expect? What size of real estate empire do you plan to build?

4. Look for a market, not a building. What does that mean? Don't find a product before you find a market that is demanding it. Take a look at the geographical area that you'd like to invest in and find out what's hot, what part of the real estate market is growing and in demand and look for properties that can fill that need.

5. Look for properties with 'upside'. What's upside? Opportunity! Properties that have tenants that are paying below market rents, properties that need a facelift, vacant buildings are great if you have a relationship with tenants and can fill them quickly, properties with excess land that can be developed, etc. The list is endless and only limited by your creativity and market demand.

6. Do a thorough analysis of any properties that appear to meet your investment criteria to ensure that you'll be able to meet or exceed your goals.

7. Get professional assitance when necessary. You should consider using the services of a commercial REALTOR®, these people know the market and they know the players. They are generally compensated by the property sellers, so, in most cases, these services won't cost a thing. Always, and I mean always, consult a lawyer before you commit yourself to a deal. Consult an accountant before you commit to a long term strategy of investing. Hire inspectors and contractors to give you an idea of the physical soundness of a building before you buy it. Don't forget the evironmental engineers - a large number of commercial properties will need environmental assessments prior to securing financing.

8. Develop a good relationship with your source of funds. Financing isn't just challenging in 2009, it's always challenging. Get to know what your financier likes to see in a property proposal and provide it. Don't try to get fancy and don't try to convince them that 'this time it'll work'. Just the facts with a coating of opportunity.

9. Be persistent. You'll have to look at a lot of real estate before you finally get to do a deal that works. Robert Kiyosaki is probably pretty close to the truth when he says, you'll have to look at 100 properties, make offers on 10 of them, attempt to finance 3 of them and finally buy 1.

10. Don't fall in love with a piece of real estate! There will always be another deal, another property to pursue. Do not, and I can't stress this enough, DO NOT fall in love with the idea of investing so wholeheartedly that you buy the first property to come along. There are always great properties, but not all of them are right for your particular investment needs. If you feel like you have to shoe-horn it into your criteria, you should probably be moving on to the next one.

See? Nothing fancy, nothing far out. Simple, good old fashioned hard work and a clear set of goals and expectations will get you further ahead than any slick systems the 'guru's might want to sell you or any so-called 'secrets'.

Want to bounce around some ideas? Drop me a line, I'm always happy to help.

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If You Wait Too Long To Jump In The Water, The Sharks Will Be Waiting For You!

What happens when a bunch of chum (commercial real estate investors) drops into shark infested waters (the marketplace) before you jump in? If you wait just a bit, when you hit the water, the sharks will be waiting for you. The commercial real estate market is nearing the bottom and those who jump in now will be able to eat the late arrivals alive!

UK CRE bottoming: Reuters article

"The strong appetite for prime assets appears to have broadened out sufficiently to allow a stabilisation and improvement in the wider market," Wylie said in a statement.

"Although concerns remain over the near-term prospects for secondary assets with weaker covenants, this month's figures seem to confirm that investors have awoken to what is now widely being seen as a once in a generation buying opportunity."
NA CRE close enough: CPNOnline article
For the most part, the investment community has been holding back on commercial real estate acquisitions, waiting and waiting for the market to hit bottom. But according to a new report by CB Richard Ellis Investors, while the bottom may not be at hand just yet, it's close enough.

So, now really is the time to buy; holding out for rock bottom may very well result in lost opportunities. "There's been so much focus on the downside, particularly over the last year, and there's been good reason to be mindful about buying properties," he said. "But much of the downturn has passed and much of the re-pricing has happened. You can still be in defensive mode, but you can buy properties on that basis. In the market now, there are more attractive opportunities, so you don't need to be an aggressive buyer to take advantage of those opportunities."
Before you start writing nasty comments about the lack of funding for your projects, let me interject. I get it that money is tougher to get these days. I get it that investors are under a brighter light right now and it really is difficult to get financing for some deals.

That bears repeating: some deals.

There are a lot of really good deals out there right now, you just need to know how to find them. Financing can still be found too, you just need to look a little harder. In my daily business, I'm starting to get a lot of calls from investors and developers interested in cautiously getting back into the market as well as mortgage brokers looking to place money. It's still who you know that will see you through these uncertain times.

Seize opportunities when they arise or you might just get eaten by the sharks.

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Stand Up and Receive Your Business Excellence Award!

It's just about time for the annual Business Excellence Awards Dinner presented by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. There are 17 categories of awards from Entrepreneurial Spirit to Business Citizen of the Year. Self nominations are allowed - so go ahead, nominate your own local company, and good luck!

About the Awards

The Peterborough Business Excellence Awards publicly recognize and honour local businesses that have demonstrated a passion for excellence.

The Greater Peterborough Chamber Of Commerce and the Small Business Week Committee have established the Peterborough Business Excellence Awards in order to promote the advancement of responsible business leadership and prosperity within the community.

Benefits of Participation

  • Your company will gain recognition as a top achiever and will join leading companies in Peterborough, as an outstanding member of this community.
  • Your business will be recognized by media and business newsletters.
  • Three Finalists will be recognized at an awards dinner on Wednesday, October 21st.
Many noteworthy and accomplished companies will be recognized and honoured with these prestigious awards.

Deadline for Nominations: August 31, 2009. Click here to view and print the nomination forms.

If you have any questions, please call the Chamber Office at 748-9771, or email your inquiry to excellence@peterboroughchamber.ca

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Pessimism is Probably Good News for the Commercial Real Estate Business

Bad News is Good News article from seekingalpha.com

Anyone who reads this blog regularly is probably getting sick of hearing me say this, but here I go again: When everyone else is selling, you should be buying. When everyone else is in a state of immobility, especially after a major market shock like we've just seen, you should be buying. Those who get back in the game now will look like geniuses in 18-24 months.

From the article linked above:

"Predicting a bottom is a fool’s errand but it would be equally foolish not to watch for signs of recovery. Hidden and overshadowed by all the bad news in the report is the fact that sales actually picked up over the last 3 months. Transaction volume showed a nice increase in the 2nd quarter, the first such up-tick in nearly 14 months.

I don’t know when the turn around will happen, but I do know that a predominantly bearish sentiment is a bullish indicator and that just because something is counterintuitive doesn’t mean it’s wrong."
Let's get back in the game before we catch ourselves standing on the sidelines wondering what the heck happened while the smart money laughs all the way to real estate fortunes heretofore unknown!

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"Numb3rs" Real Estate Valuation Explained

Just saw an episode of Numb3rs from Season 4 (Number 11, I think, "Breaking Point"). It dealt with an investigative reporter who went missing. She had uncovered a shady real estate developer who had been undervaluing properties in a poorer neighbourhood where he was planning to build a mixed use retail and condominium project. The reporter, Bonnie, was going to break the case on the evening news and the developer had her kidnapped until a zoning board vote passed that would allow his project to move forward unopposed.

Sounds familiar...well without the kidnapping and the criminal minds etc., etc. of course.

As part of finding the bad guy, as he does every week, Charlie Eppes uses mathematics to crack the case. In the process he gives a fair explanation of how real estate values are affected by neighbouring properties. Actually, it's better than fair, it's great! If you get a chance to watch the episode, it was very well done with some impressive character development that is sometimes lacking on the show.

To hear the clip with Charlie's explanation, listen here. Enjoy!

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