Scheer Insights

Solving the Transportation Equation

The open houses for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) have begun in Montgomery County last week.  Which means that slowly but surely BRT will be coming to our county—and it could not come faster in my opinion.  BRT will help connect businesses, provide transportation options, and expand where organizations can recruit to further their growth.

How does Montgomery County remain competitive with markets like Boston? Sure, we are able to compete when it comes to an educated workforce, access to universities and colleges, and actual space for businesses to operate. We have the distinct advantage of direct access to the federal government and agencies.  If you line up the pros and cons of both markets—the winning piece would be who can solve the transportation equation the smartest and the fastest.

In the recent weeks, the mayor of Boston released his transportation plan titled Go Boston 2030 which is intended to improve transportation within the city and address a multitude of existing transportation challenges.  Read the article here.

So here is the deal—it is time Montgomery County moves quickly and efficiently in solving our transportation challenges.   Ease of navigating the county roads, the ability for employees to access their workplace economically and efficiently is one of the biggest recruiting challenges for major corporations.  If we do not begin to move forward with the BRT and other transportation options, we will continue to lose out to other major markets—especially frustrating to me and many others because this region is ripe for explosive growth.

Who Should Care About New Hires and Promotions at Scheer Partners?

Those Seeking Results-Focused Real Estate Solutions Should

 Scheer Partners capped off a successful 2016 and will continue to deliver comprehensive real estate solutions to the region in 2017.   How will Scheer Partners achieve this? By elevating the firm’s entrepreneurial spirit and capitalizing on the staff’s talents and expertise.

Here is who was promoted:

Brian Bouey promoted to Vice President and Chief Operations Officer.  Brian will be directly responsible for Property Management activities and overall operational duties of the firm, including IT, Human Resources, and Administration.

Matt Brady has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Sales Manager. In his expanded role, Matt will be responsible for day to day business development activities for brokerage, construction management and property management services.

Claudia Yates has been promoted to Creative Director & Operations Manager.  In her expanded role, Claudia will oversee the firm’s day-to-day operational functions, as well as provide creative direction for client interaction.

New hires include:

Matt Brown joined Scheer Partners as the Acquisitions Analyst.  Matt will be supporting the firm’s expansion in development and acquisitions.

Maurice Anderson joined the firm as Property Administrator. Maurice will support property management activities.

Michelle Corrado joined as Assistant Controller. Michelle will support the accounting department.

6 Secrets for Picking a Great Property Management Company

When it comes to selecting a property management company to operate your facilities, here are a few tips to keep in mind during the selection process:

  1. Customer Service. Select a property management company that is prompt, courteous, and eager to help prospective tenants through the leasing process.   Remember, you never notice customer service until it is badly done.
  2. Quick Turnaround. When your building is dormant, you may as well be flushing money down the drain. One great tip is to select a property management company which also has commercial real estate capabilities.  The property management team and the brokerage team can work together to help you develop a pipeline of tenants, so, when one leaves, a new tenant is quickly turned around. A good property management company will also be able to identify cost savings measures to keep your asset stable and cash flowing during dormant times.
  3. Key Holding, Legal and Licensing Details. The busy work of your facility is what your property management company should be handling.   A good PM will keep the property operating legally including key holding, insurance, property tax, levies, building permits or licensing and bank account management.   But best of all, they will keep you informed of the details in a timely and accurate manner.
  4. Repairs and maintenance. Ideally, your property management company will either have their own repair and maintenance staff or have a subcontractor agreement with a repair and maintenance company.  If something goes wrong in your property, and it always does, you need to have a team who can respond quickly and get the job done immediately.
  5. Understanding who is the boss. A great property management company will never lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the day, they are servicing the property owner.
  6. Don’t expect a superhero. Don’t get an over-inflated sense of entitlement and expect too much from your property management company. Have open lines of communications with your property manager, define your expectations, and ask a lot of questions.   When you are communicating with your property manager and setting and managing the expectations, you can then possibly expect a superhero.

 

 

Scheer Partners Awarded Development Consultant Contract by the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County

Scheer Partners was recently selected by Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission to provide development consulting services.    Contract was awarded based many factors including the following:

  • More than a decade of experience in entitling and permitting new construction projects.
  • Robert Scheer, President of Scheer Partners, has participated in more than a thousand acquisitions, development, and disposition transactions.
  • David Edgerley, Senior Vice President of Scheer Partners, is the former Director of Economic Development for Montgomery County.
  • Experience in executing and providing advisory related to disposition.

Scheer will support HOC’s Real Estate Acquisition and Development Activities with focus on mixed-income multifamily projects, including transaction structure, entitlements and construction processes.

Learn Something New Without Leaving Your Office Desk

Join us for upcoming free webinars lead by industry and economic experts in the region.

Thursday, September 15th at 2 PM. Transportation, construction developments, oh my Bethesda! Register here.

Thursday, September 22nd at 2 PM. Understand what is the most important ‘thing’ your business must have to be successful. Register here.

Thursday, October 20th at 2 PM. Devil is in the detail—office building insurance clauses you need to understand. Register here.

Looking for Ways to Save on Building Energy Costs: There is a Webinar for That

Join experts from Scheer Partners, Recurrent, LLC, Montgomery County Division of Environmental Policy & Compliance, Department of Environmental Protection, and the US EPA ENERGY STAR program  for an informative webinar on cost savings strategies through energy benchmarking.

Hear from the experts on:

  • How and why energy benchmarking has become law in Montgomery County,
  • How energy benchmarking will positively impact your building operating costs
  • What the new compliance standards in Montgomery County are,
  • What free online tools are available to you for energy benchmarking;
  • What to do to ensure you meet the required 2016 deadlines

Webinar will be held on Thursday, November 12th at 2 PM EST (live from your computer!). RSVP to kgroppe@scheerpartners.com.

Accounting for Real Estate Leases or We’re not in Kansas anymore!

Big news folks, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is modifying how real estate leases will be presented on a company’s financial statement. (YAWN) But wait, this is very meaningful to both real estate owners and tenants, especially if you borrow (LOL). Click here for the details.

ICYMI: Watkins Mill Interchange Project

The project, which has been designated the “Number 1 Transportation Priority for Montgomery County,” is slated to begin construction in the early spring of 2016 and the estimated completion date sometime in 2018. The road construction project has spurred on two residential and commercial developments.

Watkins Mill Road Extended:

The project will connect Watkins Mill Road east of I-270 to Frederick Road/Maryland Route 355 and, ultimately, to the Metropolitan Grove station and interim terminus for the Corridor Cities Transitway. In the future, the State will build an interchange at I-270 and Watkins Mill Road to relieve congestion at the Maryland 124/I-270 interchange, and the Frederick Road/Montgomery Village Avenue and Quince Orchard Road/Clopper Road intersections. Watkins Mill Road Extended will be a six-lane highway that includes a sidewalk, a bike path and street lighting.

Residential and Commercial Developments:
Sitting on 200+ acres, Watkins Mill Town Center, is slated to include 4.5 million square feet of Class A office space, a hotel, restaurants, retail and more than 2,200 homes and apartment units. Currently, the residential component of the project, The Parklands, is the fastest selling residential community in Montgomery County.

The Spectrum at Watkins Mill is a $270 million, 40-acre, mixed-use urban village. Strategically located at the intersection of Watkins Mill Road and MD Route 355, The Spectrum is situated at the heart of Montgomery County’s I-270 bio-tech corridor.

 

Project Timeline:

Today: Planning completed.

September, 2015: Engineering completed, including stream restoration and structure plans.

September, 2015: Solicitation of road construction bids.

February, 2016: Road construction begins.

September, 2018: Traffic allowed on Watkins Mill Extended.

Managing Your Building Emergencies Starts with a Plan

As we sit in our buildings throughout the region, we’d like to think that we’re protected from emergencies by our sprinkler systems, electronic alarm systems and staff. However, much as we don’t want to think about it, an emergency situation can happen, and your building should be prepared.
Taking a few steps now can help you manage an emergency, should the situation arise.
You will need to have a written plan on hand in the event of fires, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, and any other unforeseen emergencies. Here are a few suggestions of items which should be addressed in your emergency plan.

Plan for No Power
o The emergency generator should be tied to all life safety and security equipment first. Any left over capacity can be tied to server and other important equipment related to your business activities.
o Generator should be run and tested weekly and should be on a quarterly service contract with a generator service vendor.
o Generator fuel levels should be checked weekly and re-filled if it drops below 70% capacity.

Summer Storm Preparations
o As you enter summer months, your building should: be equipped with the necessary tools to remove down trees and branches.
o Have the capability to manually turn off electricity and plumbing.
o Have equipment on hand to secure broken doors and windows from possible flying objects.
o Landscaping contracts should include a cleanup option to assist in cleaning up brush and debris after a storm.
o Be sure to have staff in place and available to clear all pedestrian areas immediately after a storm as necessary.

Staffing Property During an Emergency
o Dedicated staff should stay centrally located between facilities for quick reaction as needed.
o Property Managers should be on call and available at all times

Emergency Vendors
o A list of all emergency vendors should be maintained and readily available for all locations. Possible suggestions include:
? Fire Department
? Utility company
? Landscaping companies
? Electricians
? Plumber
For more information on what should be in your property’s emergency plan, please contact Charlotte Cassell at ccassell@scheerpartners.com