“The due diligence stage is an essential element to a successful commercial transaction.” TDS Law (https://www.tdslaw.com/resource/the-importance-of-due-diligence/ )
There are many articles written that state the importance of due diligence, and the difference between legal and business due diligence. A quick Google search will bring up numerous pages of resources but here are a couple of real-world examples that show how Meissner Jacquét can add value to your acquisitions efforts.
- Retail center: Our lease administration team was able to identify built-in improvements in the leases that the previous owner was either not aware of or didn’t take advantage of. There was underbilling, erroneous caps applied, incorrect CAM pool denominators, and more.
Bottom Line: Through Meissner Jacquét’s due diligence process, our client was able to identify ~$1.6MM of previously unrealized value.
- Mixed-use new development: A client was looking to buy a new development retail center. The assumptions were that the income represented was accurate and that the CAM reimbursement was equal to what the leases allowed. Given this was a new construction project, there was no tangible history to rely upon. The Meissner Jacquét lease administration team was able to identify that the presumed income and recoverable expenses were not verified.
Bottom Line: Our client was able to bring down the purchase price by ~$100,000.
While it is always important to have an attorney review and advise throughout the commercial purchasing process, there is much value to be gained by having a knowledgeable and experienced professional perform a thorough review of the leases and governing documents. Due diligence is not just about “crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s”. Proper due diligence has real-world implications. It is essential to verify that the income and expenses provided by the seller are accurate.
Don’t rely on the Sellers reports alone, particularly their Pro-forma statements calculating net income used to value the property. That report should be vetted and verified by the buyer – this is our expertise! Meissner Jacquét will verify that the information on the proforma is accurate.
Meissner Jacquét is well-positioned to provide the support you need so that you can focus on your business goals.
Contact us today and let us show you how we can transform your Commercial Real Estate operation.
CONGRESS PASSES 2020 COVID RELIEF& YEAR-END STIMULUS
EXTENDED SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS
ENERGY TAX EXTENDERS MADE PERMANENT
The “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021” (H.R. 133) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. It includes extensions of COVID relief measures, resources for vaccine distribution, tax extenders, and appropriations to fund the government.
San Diego Business Journal:
Congratulations, Tim Meissner!
Tim Meissner is president of Meissner Jacquet Commercial Real Estate Services. Established in 1992, the company currently manages a commercial real estate portfolio of more than 15 million square feet and has managed more than 75 million square feet of commercial real estate since its inception. Meissner’s primary function as president is client services, where he is directly responsible for the firm’s senior management team.
The Value of Well-Functioning Property Accounting
- Timely and accurate financial reports
- Transparent procedures and processes
- Thorough reports that are easy to read and interpret
Yardi Systems has become the industry standard in real estate operational and accounting software. Meissner Jacquet has invested over $1 million in perfecting this platform over the last two decades. We’ve built custom reporting, workflows, streamlined processes, and procedures to utilize Yardi’s powerful and ever-expanding software and bolt-on modules.
Our diverse group of third-party clients demands speed, accuracy, transparency, and the ability to model various scenarios within one centralized platform. The Yardi Voyager software fills all these requirements. Yardi is the Rolls-Royce of software in the real estate management market and it is one of the most comprehensive and costly software to own and maintain.
Meissner Jacquet is well-positioned to provide the support you need so that you can focus on your business goals.
We are experts in:
- abstract lease documents
- setting up chart of accounts
- coding invoices for approval
- entering rent receipt
- reconciling accounts
- producing financial statements
- completing CAM reconciliations
- and assisting in budgeting and forecasting processes
Our clients are up and running in Yardi in 30 to 60 days. MJ experts are available to train your property managers and your top-level executives to become proficient at navigating and pulling data from anywhere in the world.
Written by Dustin Sutton, Business Development & Real Estate Manager
As a young Black man recently graduated from college, I relocated to San Diego from Philadelphia, drawn by the beautiful beaches and weather. Like many young people just starting out, my first few jobs were short-lived and unsuccessful. But then I landed a job as a leasing agent at a boutique residential real estate firm that offered exposure to commercial real estate through the mixed-use assets they managed. I found that my skill set and sales experience was a good fit for real estate in general. Before long I had an opportunity to work on the commercial side full-time. I’ve now worked for over 10 years in commercial real estate, including working for three companies in leasing, property management, asset management, and business development roles. The work has been rewarding, challenging, and has provided opportunities for growth and advancement. Among the advantages of being in this industry are the many professionals I have worked with, who have generously shared their expertise and encouraged me to continuously seek improvement. I have been part of terrific teams and have had a few very supportive mentors.
While working with so many excellent individuals is definitely a plus, in my 10 years in this field, I have never had a Black manager, mentor, or client. When I go to meetings and conferences, I always look for other Black faces. When I read newsletters and publications, I commonly scan the pages to see if there is anyone that looks like me. At one point in my career, I interviewed with a large, national commercial real estate firm with offices in San Diego. While waiting in the lobby for my interview, I looked at a photo of the company’s executive leadership. I was struck by the fact that there was not one Black face in the group! In fact, I can count on one hand the number of Black real estate decision makers that I have met through my day-to-day real estate dealings over the past 10 years.
It is not a secret that the commercial real estate industry in the U.S. lacks racial diversity. In San Diego, the real estate industry even further reflects a lack of diversity in the demographics of the local population. As a Black man, I am intensely aware of the racial inequities and systemic racism in our country and, like other Black people in this country, I have experienced its effects personally. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breanna Taylor deeply saddened me, but the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement/protests gave me hope and reason to believe we can do better as a society.
Seeing people of all races, genders, and ages speak up and take to the streets regarding racial disparities has motivated me to think more seriously about how I can play a role in creating real and lasting change. For years, I have envisioned being a resource for young Black professionals trying to find their way, but I was unclear about how I could make a significant impact. Recently I founded a group called the Black Commercial Real Estate Network (BCREN). The mission of BCREN is to provide a community of connection, idea sharing, support, and mentorship for Black members of the commercial real estate industry. An important goal for us is to provide Black youth with an awareness of the real estate field and of professional opportunities within the industry by connecting with Black youth in schools and youth organizations. Through this group, we are working to create a network of Black professionals not only in San Diego, but across the country to provide a community of talented resources for each other and the industry at large. Being a part of this group has been an amazing opportunity to have open and honest conversations with other Black professionals within this space. We are making new connections, exploring new ideas, and collaborating on related projects. We have been in contact with several schools and universities with the intent of having a presence at career days and giving presentations online and in person.
It’s true, we face incredible challenges in today’s world. Meeting these challenges will require creative, sustainable, and flexible solutions. I believe, that like all industries, the commercial real estate industry will be better positioned to face these challenges with a diverse composition of talent, and a group of people with voices and thoughts that reflect a variety of human experiences. I have had some of the most open and honest conversations of my life these last few weeks. The fact that we, as a society, are able to have these very hard, and for many, uncomfortable conversations is truly incredible. We need to keep the conversations going and we need to create actionable steps forward. I intend to do so and now I know that there are many other people that are willing to take this journey with me. I am starting to feel more hopeful. This feels like progress.
LA MESA SPRINGS SHOPPING CENTER
On the afternoon of May 30, Cheri Eckis, a Senior Portfolio Manager with Meissner Jacquet Commercial Real Estate Services discovered something alarming. She was on Mt. Helix and could see the traffic stopped on the 8 freeway because of a protest. A friend told her there were posts on social media indicating that protestors were moving towards the La Mesa Police Department. La Mesa Springs Shopping Center, a neighborhood center that Eckis has managed for ten years, is directly across the street from the Police Department. She immediately contacted the property’s security guard and they continued to communicate via text the entire night. Her team reached out to the property’s insurance agent to advise that there may be damage and to determine the next steps.
At some point after dark, the peaceful protest gave way to looters and rioters, and chaos ensued. Through the course of the night, rioters set two Vons delivery trucks in the parking lot on fire, bashed in windows and doors, looted the stores, sprayed profanity-laced graffiti around the property, and set a fire inside Vons and Play it Again Sports. Eckis’ heart broke as she watched the violence unfold via social media. “All I could think was, it’s a 40+-year-old structure, it’s going to burn down, but fortunately, the fire sprinkler systems kicked in and put the fires out quickly.”
Fred Hochrein of San Diego Building Services Security, the security company for La Mesa Springs, started calling 911 when the violence erupted; it took him 45 minutes to get through. He and a fellow guard began to circulate the parking lot from a safe distance in his vehicle and they watched as the crowd grew.
Hochrein described the scene: “I called the police again for the second or third time and requested assistance. It was at that moment the large crowds began to overcome and enter the Vons storefront. [I heard] breaking glass, people screaming and [watched] a frenzy of people running along the plaza front destroying property, entering businesses, and leaving with merchandise. A group of people running from Play it Again Sports wielding bats, approach[ed] my car. My guard and I exited the parking lot and stayed above the perimeter to observe. Again, I reached out to police only to be told by dispatch that they were aware of what was happening and doing the best they could.”
Meanwhile, the looting and rioting continued. After seeing a few people with handguns, and realizing he and the merchants were seriously outnumbered, Hochrein advised Eckis that he was going to “bow out.” However, he stayed on the scene but made himself invisible to avoid being a target. “There was nothing he could do to stop it,” Eckis advised. “The police weren’t even there.” Finally, after 11:30 p.m., she was notified that the riot police were on the scene, but the damage was done.
Eckis knew the “place was going to be a mess,” and she needed to contact vendors to help clean, board up the windows, and cover the graffiti. “We couldn’t do anything until the situation was stable and we had our services lined up and ready to go. We turned the irrigation off due to some broken lines and brought in cleaning crews.” She arrived on the scene early the next morning, having already called in several vendors (Lot Management, San Diego Building Services, and Faro Lafata Enterprises) for help with the cleaning up and boarding up windows and doors.
When she got there, “the center was already packed with members of the La Mesa community. They brought their own brooms, trash bags, paint, and gloves to help clean up.” She asked someone in the parking lot of California Coast Credit Union if they were with the bank and the person replied, “No, we live up the street.” Hundreds of volunteers worked together to clean up the broken glass and debris and to paint over the profanity from the night before. Members of the community brought bottles of water to hand out to volunteers and Round Table Pizza, a longtime tenant in the center, handed out free pizza and soda to the volunteers. Starbucks, another shopping center tenant, brought coffee to the crowd. “To me, it was like the community was saying, ‘Last night was not La Mesa; you’re not going to do this in our community,’ and it was personal to them,” Eckis said. Most of the tenants are long term, and as this shopping center is within walking distance of many homes, it is part of the fabric of this family-oriented community.
General Contractor Faro Lafata of Faro Lafata Enterprises brought in plywood on behalf of the property owner and, working in conjunction with construction workers from the apartment construction site across the street, proceeded to board up all broken windows and doors. Ownership paid for the plywood, but the labor was all donated by these contractors. Eckis helped sweep up glass in several suites.
Eckis met with each of the tenants, advising them to contact their insurance company immediately and to assess the damage to each of their suites. As for the exterior of the property, she says, “The common area didn’t get hit as hard as the individual tenants.” Most of the common area damage, aside from two electric vehicle charging stations being vandalized and the landscaping being trampled, was graffiti. “The community brought paint – all different colors – and painted over the hate. They covered everything up that day, they just brought what they had in the garage. It was awesome. The community came together that day – churches came together in the parking lot and prayed over the community.”
By the following Monday, local artists came to paint murals at La Mesa Springs. La Mesa Glass donated all of the replacement glass for the broken windows and doors. As of today, much of the glass has been replaced but the plywood is back over it due to two additional notifications of protests in the area. Many of the tenants were open for business the following day. Vons was reopened within a week, despite the fire inside. A local radio station is holding a drive for Play it Again Sports – to drop off used sporting equipment to help the business.
Eckis says La Mesa Springs is “really a special property to me. When we took over management, there was a pigeon problem, a homeless problem, and some deferred maintenance. We have taken care of the deferred maintenance, installed new LED lighting, renovated the landscaping, added electric charging stations and increased the level of service to the property, all without increasing the CAM more than ten cents in the past ten years.”
Though most of the tenants are considered essential services and were able to stay open despite the state’s stay-at-home order, a few tenants – Sport Clips, Diamond Nails, Wang Ho Tae Kwon Do, Crazy Fred’s, and Play it Again Sports have been closed and are planning to reopen shortly. The community has started several GoFundMe accounts to help these tenants reopen and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce has set up an account for the more than $200,000 in donations received outside of the GoFundMe accounts. The Chamber is ready to help the tenants rebuild using funds from this account. “Mary England, the President and CEO of the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, has been awesome.”
San Diego Building Services Security typically has one standing guard in the morning and one in the evening for a total of 16 hours per day; however, Eckis advised that she increased their service to 24 hours per day for a couple of weeks after the incident. They also provided additional guards the next day to maintain the peace and make sure people did not try to go inside the tenant spaces.
“Overall, there’s really nothing you can do as a manager in a situation like this where the police couldn’t go in. You certainly do not want to send your own security company in where the crowds just want to burn down buildings. Just let police gain control, which they did.”
When asked if she had any closing thoughts, Eckis replied, “I can’t look back and say, ‘What would I do differently?’ In this situation, the only thing we could do is react. As a manager, making sure all the tenant’s certificates of insurance were up to date is key. Kudos to my Administrative Assistant Lisa Johnsen for consistently making sure they are. Also, having good service providers we can rely on to be there first thing to help us. Communication is very important – we are staying in communication with our tenants, letting them know what we are doing and that we’re here to help.” Eckis added, “It was a really emotional time for all of us. I shed a few tears with the tenants that day.”
The New Normal: Opening The Office Back Up Post Covid-19
After more than ten weeks under California’s Shelter at Home order, the Meissner Jacquét team is excited to start returning to the office. What does that look like in our new normal, you ask? Lots of new signage, additional glass dividers, temperature checks, and wearing masks when not at our desks, just to name a few of the changes. Many things have changed, and we thought we would share some of the things we are doing to keep our team and our visitors safe. Please keep in mind that each business is unique and the requirements for your business may be different than ours, so please check and follow the County of SD’s requirements for your business. SD County’s COVID-19 Website
Meissner Jacquét has remained fully operational during this entire crisis, with the majority of our team working from home and a small group of individuals in the office. We have implemented a staggered return to the office, and on Friday, May 15th, the first wave of MJ employees returned to the office, with new COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Below is a downloadable copy of our Safe Reopen Plan for your review, but a summary is below:
- Posted the County of San Diego’s required document at the entrance of our business.
- No visitors are allowed beyond the front lobby.
- Each employee is required to check their temperature upon arrival before reporting to work and required to sanitize their hands after entering our suite.
- Social distancing plan for the entire office, including a one-way path of travel throughout the office and new break room protocols limiting the number of people in the area at one time.
- Masks are required when away from the workstations.
- Because our cubicles are only 4 ½ feet tall (to facilitate that open work plan environment that was popular pre-COVID-19), we added 16 inches of glass to the top of all workstations to facilitate social distancing.
- Increased sanitation in common areas, including sanitizing conference rooms after every meeting, and sanitizing frequent touch points and the break room three times per day, in addition to the nightly cleaning by the janitorial company.
It is our hope that as California opens back up for business, these protocols being adopted by all businesses will keep the virus at bay and all of us safe. We wish you, your team, and your family good health.
If you would like more information about what we’ve done, the plan created, or suggested resources for any of the work, please contact us at: email@example.com
For more information about Meissner Jacquét and our services, please go to Meissner Jacquet’s Website.