How Zillow Maintains Control in Uncertain Times

We are increasingly familiar with how to safeguard our health. What about our business interests, specifically real estate interests? Zillow provides interesting lessons. Zillow will seek to cancel iBuyer purchase contracts in a humane way, believing that COVID-19 constitutes a Material Adverse Change. Zillow will evaluate on a case-by-case basis. Zillow anticipates using financial incentives to extricate themselves. Lesson 1. Zillow is thoroughly familiar with its legal rights and responsibilities.… Read More »How Zillow Maintains Control in Uncertain Times

Retail Lease Restructuring (COVID-19): Heirarchy of Needs

Retail Lease Restructuring: Occupier Hierarchy of Needs Collect Lease Docs/Review.  Review Lease Provisions Relevant to COVID-19, e.g., force majeure, co-tenancy, go dark, kickout clause, early termination rights. Tabulate financial obligations, including but not limited to those stemming directly from the lease, e.g., wages, suppliers, Minimum Base Rent, Additional Rent, Percentage Rent, Real Estate Taxes. Ascertain corporate as well as personal exposure to liability as well as barriers to such liability,… Read More »Retail Lease Restructuring (COVID-19): Heirarchy of Needs

COVID-19 Update: Difficult Discussions About Rent and Other Commercial Lease Issues

Hope you and your loved ones are well. Of course, our primary concern has to be with the health and welfare of family, friends, co-workers and customers.  Once you’re doing everything within your control on health and safety issues, it is important to try and protect your business interests.  This applies to landlords, tenants and their lenders. The Interests of Landlords, Tenants and Lenders are Intertwined Regardless of whether you’re… Read More »COVID-19 Update: Difficult Discussions About Rent and Other Commercial Lease Issues

Should Retail Landlords Restructure Leases to Provide Relief from COVID-19?

Retail landlords and tenants are experiencing unprecedented problems due to COVID-19.  In many instances non-essential retailers have been required to shutter, part of the social distancing implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19.  For example, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has required that all indoor shopping malls in the state close, as the government continues efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Jurisdictions such as San Francisco promulgated shelter-in place… Read More »Should Retail Landlords Restructure Leases to Provide Relief from COVID-19?

Does Your Data Have Value?

Although physically intangible, and not yet recognized on balance sheets, your data has value. Dubious? A broad spectrum of businesses and professionals recognize the value of your data, including real estate agents and brokers. That is why they often buy leads. Moreover, just like real estate, the value of raw data can be enhanced. For example, companies like RedFin, OpCity/ and Zillow charge 30 – 35% (+/-) of the ensuing… Read More »Does Your Data Have Value?

Are Zillow’s and Its Premier Agents’ Interests Becoming More Closely Aligned?

Are Zillow’s Interests Now More Closely With Agents? Zillow is undergoing some dramatic changes.  We will briefly examine two such changes, seeking to determine whether they have brought Zillow’s interests and those of its Premier Agents into closer alignment. First Change – Best of Zillow The first change we will discuss is the roll out of the Best of Zillow badge, through which Zillow recognizes the top Premier Agents.  To… Read More »Are Zillow’s and Its Premier Agents’ Interests Becoming More Closely Aligned?

WeWork Watch – Event Driven (IPO)

Is there any Justification for Valuing WeWork’s Leased Space at $1,000 Per Square Foot? WeWork (new name: The We Company) leases spaces from some very sophisticated landlords including TIAA-CREF, Boston Properties, Beacon Capital Partners and Moinian Group.  In theory, WeWork has a simple business model, leasing office space and then subleasing the space to businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. A substantial part of the business model is… Read More »WeWork Watch – Event Driven (IPO)

Do You Invest in a Self-Storage REIT?

Concerned About Disruption of the Self-Storage Industry? If not, perhaps you should be. Size of the Self-Storage Industry We’re all familiar with the self-storage industry; in fact, many of us have rented a self-storage unit, storing surplus goods we don’t need immediately or can’t fit into our residence or garage.  But self-storage units are more than a convenience, collectively they constitute a substantial segment in the real estate industry. Just… Read More »Do You Invest in a Self-Storage REIT?

Will “The We Company” Work?

Will The We Company Work? WeWork, now The We Company, is one of many organizations whose fortunes have climbed to dizzying heights by leveraging the sharing economy.  With WeWork filing an amended draft registration with the SEC, an IPO is anticipated. So, it is timely to ask whether WeWork’s good fortunes are sustainable. WeWork’s Place in the Sharing Economy Before we drill down on WeWork, let’s take a brief look… Read More »Will “The We Company” Work?

Is Zillow “Uberizing” the Housing Market?

Zillow has a growing constituency interested in their continued evolution.  This group includes real estate agents, sellers and buyers of homes and investors such as hedge funds. While Zillow’s Premier Agent Program remains its cash cow, dramatic changes are inexorably altering the program and the company.  Let’s begin with the basics. Premier Agents pay Zillow for their share of voice, determined by an agent’s budgeted monthly spend as a percentage… Read More »Is Zillow “Uberizing” the Housing Market?