Types of Commercial Real Estate

It is true that commercial real estate comes in all different shapes and sizes. There are large companies and corporations that operate a variety of different locations. Then, on the other hand, there are small business owners that are only in control of their space. There are five different categories that this type of property is often divided into with multifamily dwellings like apartments sometimes being added on as a sixth category.

Leisure

Hotels, restaurants and sports facilities are considered to be commercial real estate that falls into the leisure category. It makes sense as these businesses and buildings are where people look to have a good time and relax. There is a wide variety of different companies that all fall into this category. An owner of the property may run the business his or herself or lease it out to someone else.

Retail

Shopping centers, stores, and malls are all considered retail property. Here customers are walking into the building, looking at a company’s goods and making a purchase. There are small stores that specialize in only one thing and malls that take up several city blocks. Size can vary from one property to the next in this category. It is not unusual to see a group of retail spaces all put together in one shopping center. The goal is to find a place that is easily accessible for customers.

Office

Everyone needs a space to work and offices are an important part of commercial real estate. There are a variety of different industries that require a central place for employees to work and customers to visit. Again, there is a real variety in the type of offices and office buildings available. Some are state of the art and ready for the latest technology. Others are older and may not have all of the same amenities. In some cases, homes can be rezoned and converted into office space, depending on the location of the property.

Industrial

Industrial space is considered to be things like warehouses, garages, and distribution centers. In these buildings, there is an inventory that is being stored. This category of commercial real estate often includes large buildings with lots of space. In many cities, these buildings are all grouped together because of zoning laws.

Healthcare

Separate from all the rest, healthcare centers, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes are completely separate from the others. This commercial real estate category is very specific in that the buildings need to be properly equipped to handle all of the different services that will be provided. They need to be accessible to patients as well as the medical staff.

Top 5 Reasons Why Vacation Rental Properties Are Popular

If you are on a vacation but don’t want the idea of staying in a hotel room, try grabbing the advantages offered by vacation rental properties. Discussed herewith are the top reasons why this type of properties has become popular over the past years.

They are cheaper.

Vacation enthusiasts always look for ways to lessen their expenses in order to enjoy more of the specific place they visit. Usually, they cut on lodging to be able to go to more tourist attractions. Vacation rental properties are generally cheaper than having to occupy a hotel room.

They offer the convenient setting of a home atmosphere.

Vacation rental properties give travelers the comfort and convenience of staying in a place that offers a home setting. Every day, after a tiring day of going here and there, travelers can have a relaxing retire in a space they can call their second home. The home setting of vacation rental properties create impressions that travelers have not actually left their homes. Like the usual homes, travelers can cook for themselves at fully functional kitchens. They can also enjoy the functionalities of other house parts like the living room, dining room, bath room, and bed room.

They have full-scale features and amenities similar to top-notch hotels.

Who says that vacation rental properties do not have features and amenities to match those of hotels? From swimming pools to game rooms and billiard halls to bar areas and theater rooms – vacation houses offer a wide range of extras to make the stay of travelers worthwhile and memorable. Adding a touch of relaxing comfort are landscaped gardens and lawns where the temporary residents can interact with the wind and sun. The available space to move freely and privately is far better than what is offered by most single rooms in a hotel.

Vacation rental properties are well-maintained.

To attract more travelers to spend a few days and nights in their premises, vacation rental properties are made attractive and appealing by their owners. The property owners ensure that their vacation houses are well-maintained all throughout the year because travelers don’t choose specific season when they want to visit a certain place for leisure and adventure. The owners also make sure that the properties are clean and in good shape to be at par with competing properties and hotels.

Vacation rental properties have 24/7 on-site assistance.

Making the stay of temporary residents in vacation properties is the 24/7 on-site assistance given by the owners. The temporary dweller can keep in touch with the owner or with the management company and raise concerns like immediate fixes on faucets and other fixtures in the property.

If you are contemplating of going into a vacation and don’t have a place to stay yet, why not let your friendly local real estate agent jump in and help you find the right vacation rental property that suits your budget and personal preferences.

Desare Kohn-Laski is a proud and experienced Florida realtor who is knowledgeable and familiar of the East Coast Florida real estate market. Some of the areas of her service include Parkland, Fort Lauderdale, and Hallandale Beach. Stop the chase for your dream house with her professional assistance.

Property Investments – Direct and Collective Investments

Investment Options

Access to property investments is well-established, with a range of direct investment opportunities and collective investments available for both retail and institutional Investors alike. In the first instance we should look to the range of property sub-sectors available for consideration, and further investigate both direct and collective access points for the sector in general.

The main property sub-sectors that may be available for smaller investors are:

Residential
Commercial
Student Accommodation
Care Homes
Hotels
Leisure / Tourism
Development
Agricultural
Forestry

Within each sub-sector lies a range of possible entry points for Investors; broadly categorised as either direct investments or collective investments. Collective investments being either regulated or unregulated fund arrangements, where Investors capital is pooled so as to acquire a basket of assets, or participate in a project with a large capital requirement. Direct investments on the other hand are simply straightforward acquisitions of property assets by the Investor. There are, for example, funds for residential, student accommodation commercial and most other sub-sectors, and likewise, there are options for Investors to directly acquire investment properties in each of these sectors via freehold or leasehold title.

Direct investments – Simply the acquisition of property assets by the Investor, direct property investments take many forms; from the acquisition of property for improvement and sale; through to acquisitions for leasing/rental to a tenant or operator. For the Investors with sufficient capital or finance, direct investments remove the majority of risks specific to collective investment schemes where Investors are reliant on the external management of a property portfolio. Direct investments do however carry asset-specific risks; property assets can incur significant financial liabilities including on-going maintenance, tax and round trip purchasing costs (the cost of buying and selling an asset).

Property investments, especially direct property investments, provide the Investor with a level of security that paper-based investments do not due simply to the fact that quality property assets retain capital value throughout the long-term, which in the case of well-chosen properties in good locations, is unlikely to fall and cause the Investor a capital loss. Provided the Investor is prepared and capable of tolerating the illiquidity associated with physical property assets, this asset class provides true diversification out of traditional financial assets such as stocks bonds and cash.

For the direct Investor, careful consideration should be given to the due diligence process during the asset identification and acquisition stage, as in most regions this will require specific professional input from legal practitioners, surveyors, valuation agents, and in the case of niche property investment projects with a specific strategy Investors must also consider the counterparty risk in that in many cases Investors might be reliant on the performance of a strategy manager to achieve the expected returns from investing in their strategy.

Collective investments – Property funds come in all shapes and sizes, and invariably involve a Fund Manager acquiring a basket of properties in line with the fund’s investment strategy, and managing those assets on behalf of Investors in the fund. There are funds, both regulated and unregulated, that invest in all of the major property sub-sectors. One can find opportunities to invest in residential real estate, student accommodation, care homes, commercial real estate, shopping centres and property developments. Some of these funds cater only to large Institutional Investors, whereas other offer lower entry levels for smaller Investors.

The structure of collective property investments varies from fund to fund. Some are highly regulated affairs, established and operated by major asset management groups, others are small, niche operations established to capitalise on current short term opportunities or niche sectors or markets. Collective funds may be listed on an exchange, allowing smaller Investors to trade in and out of the fund as and when they please. This removes the potential illiquidity associated with the property asset class, however this also detracts substantially form the returns generated from the underlying property assets as some capital is never invested in order to ensure that redemptions can be made from cash without liquidating part of the underlying portfolio.

Whether listed or unlisted, regulated or otherwise, collective investments in property assets offer access to the asset class for the smaller Investors, although in many cases the cash flow dynamics of securitised investments differ greatly from direct investments in property assets.

What’s Your Perfect Hotel?

Travelling in India is fun but challenging. And finding the right hotel for your family is even more so. I have always been curious about the ‘right fit’ that each traveller seeks for their hotel stays. Is it the location, the luxury quotient and great food? Or is it an intimate atmosphere, efficient service, outdoor activities and places to explore? My conclusion is that, as with many other things in India, perhaps the search for the perfect family hotel also defies a logical decision-making process.

Travelling as adults is relatively straight forward. We are more flexible. Add a few kids into the equation and it is a very different story, especially when it’s a long, arduous journey.

As with so many things with today’s India, the tourism sector has seen rapid expansion over the past decade and there are now far more hotel options than previously. No longer are the only choices seriously high-end chain hotels (think the Oberois) grotty, over-priced mid-range hotels, or scruffy back-packer haunts. Added to these are ‘heritage hotels’, decent independent luxury hotels, and homestays.

But is it possible to define which of these would make an ideal hotel for families with children?

Of course, the location is pretty critical. That is the ease of getting there, as well as its location in relation to planned activities. A well-located hotel can save you many hours on India’s sometimes dreadful roads where pit stops are few and far between, thus resulting in less, “Are we there yet?” questions from the children.

Food – As Indian eating times, as well as the actual food, often differ to that of Western children, the whole issue of feeding the troops can be a major cause for heartburn for parents particularly with younger children. However, it is possible to find hotels for children that serve child-friendly food (even if from a limited menu) at a time when the kids want it. It has to be said that hotels that have specific kids menus and high chairs are harder to find.

Facilities – Lots of space to run around and be active, along with a pool is an obvious requirement for families. Proper babysitting facilities, which allow parents to enjoy their evening as much as their children enjoyed their day, are a serious bonus. A special kid’s camp or day care activities are still pretty rare.

Extra beds – This little add-on can drive up costs quite considerably, along with the annoyance factor of the extra bed(s) never being in the room when you arrive. However, there are hotels that charge a reasonable charge for extra beds and have rooms that can comfortably accommodate two extra beds. In my experience, it is worth asking and asking again how the system works in ‘that hotel’.

Safety & interconnecting rooms – With a larger family or with older children, some parents prefer to have their kids in an adjacent room, but directly accessible. However, outside of the larger chain hotels, very few independent hotels have interconnecting rooms. The tricky part here remains that of getting a hotel to commit to reserving them for you. A suite may not always be available or affordable.

Of course, this all begs the question, do such hotels exist that meet the above criteria and what type of hotel are you best considering? The independent hotels (boutique or otherwise) offer the most interesting opportunities to discover the real India. These are usually built and run by an individual or family, but are full service hotels. And these are many a time, your best options in less developed and remote destinations. However, they come with a question mark – are they as good as they say they are? Independent hotels that are well located, provide a feeling of safety, comfort and familiarity from the moment you arrive, that have extra beds in place and does not charge a fortune for them and will serve child friendly food at any given time. They do exist, and finding them can be delightful even if there are not enough of them. Developed tourist areas in Rajasthan, Kerala & Goa offer a better chance to find such hotels.

Some of them are

Flameback Lodges, Kollam – Private cottages, away from all activity and each room offers a fabulous view of the private lake. Flameback really is a home tucked away in the midst of the jungle.

Red Earth, Kabini – Soak in the serenity and the sounds of the jungle at the Red Earth Kabini. Situated close to the Kabini dam, across the Kapila River, the resort is surrounded on two sides by water. Cottages are spacious and space for the kids to run around.

Marari Beach – Far from the madding crowd, and distant from the world of trendy hotspots and beach raves, Marari’s lietmotifs are space and silence. A stretch of virgin white sandy beach with clear blue waters is amazing to play in.

As the independent family friendly hotels are relatively unknown, many travellers tend to choose the tried and tested option of larger chain hotels. Big chain hotels trump others in consistency, better trained staff and rewards. However, they do disappoint when it comes to delivering authentic experiences in India.

Notable exceptions here however would be hotels in Rajasthan. Like the:

Bungalow on the beach, Tranquebar – Built in the 17th century, the Bungalow offers a living history. It still retains the charming essence of the years gone before and of course the beaches. It offers its guests a chance to immerse themselves in the simple way of life.

Fragrant Nature, Kollam – Fragrant Nature Resort lies on the undiscovered shores of Lake Mala in southern Kerala near Kollam (Quilon). The resort’s cottages blend with the secluded beauty of the natural surroundings. The resort is also about the excellent food and the leisure and cultural activities.

Vivenda dos Palhacos, Goa – Vivenda dos PalhaƧos is a distinct home with a sprinkling of everything Goan. A modest Portuguese Mansion, built in 1929, greets visitors from the front. An older, Hindu house, made from thick rammed earth walls, is tucked behind. The aesthetically decorated rooms reflect warmth and welcome.

And how do the heritage hotels fare? They can range from the small and quirky to the majestic. Well run heritage hotels are fascinating, but probably not a great fit for families – think safety, more objects to break, narrow stairs etc. However these hotels offer a great opportunity to stay in & experience a “piece of history”. Outside of the popular Rajasthan heritage circuit, there are some lovely heritage hotels to be discovered in the south – in places like Tranquebar, Pondicherry, Fort Kochi, Madurai & Coimbatore.

Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur – One of India’s first heritage hotels, it was built exclusively for the younger brother of the Maharaja in the serene desert of Rajasthan. Decades later, the Haveli has been opened as the perfect way to experience the legacy and get a taste of this royal luxury.

Royal Heritage Haveli, Jaipur – Built in the 18th century the Haveli opened its doors after 150 years as boutique hotel. Sprawled over 100,000 square feet, complete with rambling lawns, serene courtyards, plush interiors and stately living areas offering an escape from the mundane with exceptional hospitality perfected over generations.

Homestays, the Indian equivalent of a Bed & Breakfast have come a long way over the last few years – however the service offering varies widely. And the interpretation of a home stay can vary. Do the hosts stay in house? Or do they stay in a separate annexe or not at all? Is the food really home cooked and authentic or just general fare? The comforts and amenities vary widely as well. A coffee estate homestay can be a whole different experience to one in a city – in terms of space, service levels and facilities. Research and recommendations will play a bigger role in selecting an ideal homestay. Locating them on arrival can also be difficult as the typical Indian way of asking locals for directions may not produce results – they may not always be aware of smaller homestays. The biggest advantage with homestays, however, is when you find great hosts who are not only knowledgeable, but also are passionate about food and service. Homestays of course are also likely to be inexpensive in comparison to the others.

Shenbaga Vilasam – It offers a glimpse of the rich, rustic flavours of the village. Built in the early 1900’s, on hundreds of acres of farmland as a private home, it offers glimpses into a long lost past filled with culture and traditions, with all the facilities that modern technology offers.

In many cases, I’d choose a combination of hotels depending on the itinerary – but attention to detail will make all the difference.

White Sky Hotels and Resorts are a handpicked collection of beautiful hotels across India.Our hotels are for those who dream of the freedom of exploration, discovery and travel with style, simplicity and elegance.