Setting Realistic Expectations

As commercial real estate professionals, it is imperative that we properly set our clients’ expectations. With the current market being so restricted in terms of vacant space and available buildings, it is even more important that our clients have realistic expectations. A client who is willing and able to wait for the perfect space would be given much different advice than one who needs the space yesterday. For the sake of this article, I am assuming the client needs to occupy new space soon. I am also speaking specifically with the industrial market in mind, but the concepts should also fit for other product types as well.
Since the amount of available vacant space is so limited, the two primary objectives a prospective tenant or owner-occupant need to keep in mind are compromise and creativity.
Compromise- If a company needs to change or add locations soon, it is highly likely that the perfect space in the perfect location at the perfect price simply doesn’t exist. For example, a company looking to locate within a mile of US 131 might need to expand that radius to within three or even five miles of US 131. Much of the vacant space in our market is new construction. Typically, the price to lease a new building is higher than an existing building, so the client may need to be willing to compromise on the price. Some of this increased cost can by offset by lower utility costs due to better insulation and more efficient mechanical systems, both of which you would likely find in a new building.
Creativity- Location and price aren’t the only areas where the client may have to compromise. The other could be with the physical attributes of the space or property. This is where the creative minds of a broker, architect, or engineer could be the key component to getting a deal done. Maybe the ceiling heights are a little lower than desired, or the office layout isn’t exactly what the client had in mind. Maybe the manufacturing area is cut up into a few sections rather than being a wide-open space. Or, maybe there isn’t enough parking onsite. Rather than walking through a building and immediately saying, “this won’t work”, it is better to ask, “is there a way to make this work?” Or better yet, “how can we make this work?” Look into the possibility of moving or removing interior walls. Is there additional parking that can be leased at an adjacent property. Maybe a loading dock or drive-in door can be added.
Location, price and space won’t always align with our client’s needs. Setting realistic expectations upfront in the process is vital. Thinking creatively and researching options for our clients will create more work and require consistent communication. However, these are critical components to serving our clients and are some of the most important ways that brokers can add value, especially in our current market.


All CARWM subscribers can access RPR through the TOOLS tab. Select RPR to work within the program. All listings are integrated into the platform.

RPR is excited to announce practitioners now have the option to include traffic counts in RPR Commercial Property and Trade Area Reports. The data will display actual historical counts as well as Kalibrate’s projected counts, which are based on the last published traffic count, local area trend data and up-to-date demographic information.
Commercial real estate pros can use the new data to:
Identify and understand traffic patterns and historical trends.
Analyze and forecast potential customer traffic to detect high demand opportunities.
Evaluate locations for retail facilities, restaurants, real estate developments, cell phone towers, billboard advertising and more.
Users have a few options when generating an RPR Commercial Property report:
Set the appropriate distance around the property they want to include counts from.
Sort the data either by proximity or highest total count.
Choose whether they want one or two pages of traffic count data.

Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act

Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
By: Attorney Benham Wrigley, Wrigley Hoffman

On November 6, 2018 the voters of the State of Michigan approved by a 56% - 44% margin a ballot initiative to approve the cultivation, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult use in Michigan. This law known as the “Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act” (“MRTMA”) does not replace the currently effective Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”) nor the 2008 ballot initiative known as the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (“MMMA”) which established the caregiver/patient system. Michigan now has three separate
acts regulating marijuana in the state.

MRTMA establishes a regulatory system for the issuance of licenses for growing, processing, testing, transportation and sale of marijuana for use by persons 21 years of age and older. It is believed that many of the MMFLA systems currently in place will transfer into regulatory systems for the new act. A main distinction between current and future is that under MRTMA there is no supervisory board to handle the system as with the current MMFLA. All regulatory processes under MRTMA will be through the Department of Licensing and
Regulatory Affairs (“LARA”). Whether those functions are consolidated with the current Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (“BMMR”) or handed off to a new bureau within the department remains to be seen.

MRTMA, like the MMFLA, has five main categories of licensees: Growers; Processors; Secured Transporters; Testing Labs; and Retail Centers. The types and numbers for grower categories has changed and a new one known as the “micro business” added. Pay particular attention to it as it offers some unique opportunities.

As with MMFLA the municipalities will control primarily the number and types of operators allowed within the municipal boundaries. The significant distinction between MMFLA and MRTMA is that under the former the municipality must “opt-in” while under the latter the municipality must “opt-out.” This is stated without reservation by us, though the language in the act is not totally clear. The consensus of lawyers is that MRTMA has established an “opt-out” system as opposed to the “opt-in” system. Does that mean that on the effective date of MRTMA every municipality in the state is “in”? It could mean that but the consensus is “no”. Some municipalities anticipating the results of Proposition 18-1 acted to restrict all marijuana business activities within its jurisdiction. Your writer believes municipalities will soon act to “opt-out” with the idea that they can then decide later to opt-in and under what circumstances. With only
108 municipalities out of 1,773 having opted-in under the MMFLA, is it likely that fewer municipalities will eventually opt in for recreational use. There are some subtleties in the law as to municipal regulations which are beyond the scope of this blog but could come into play in some places. Beware and understand all state and local rules and regulations as we have learned in this field, the only constant is change.

There are new compositions for growers:

• Class A – 100 Plants maximum
• Class B – 500 Plants maximum
• Class C – 2,000 Plants maximum
• Micro-business– 150 Plants.

There are also limitations on who may obtain these licenses and the number of licenses a business can have. This limiting language requires substantial review and planning. Also note that under MRTMA the retail outlet is now known as a “retailer”.

MRTMA becomes effective 10 days after the election results are certified. The law grants to LARA the obligation to establish a system to regulate this business activity but it must begin accepting applications for MRTMA type licenses “within 12 months after the effective date of
the act”. Think and plan for application submissions around November 20, 2019 at the latest.
Could be sooner.

Will everyone switch out of MMFLA and begin gravitating to file applications under MRTMA? They will only if they now hold, or can obtain in the next 12-24 months, a license under the MMFLA. MRTMA prohibits granting a license (except microbusiness and Class A Grow) to any non-MMFLA licensed individual or entity for possibly up to two years from the date LARA first begins accepting applications. You can call that a grandfather clause. Thus, the MMFLA licenses are now gold and will become even more valuable over the next year or two while businesses jockey to get placed in one or both of the industries.

Commercial Alliance of REALTORS® Earns Top National Accreditation

National Association of REALTORS® Recognizes Local Association

Grand Rapids June 7, 2018 The Commercial Alliance of REALTORS® has earned the National Association of REALTORS Five Star Commercial Services Accreditation, a designation created to acknowledge the member services provided for commercial real estate practitioners. The Commercial Alliance of REALTORS is the only association in the country to earn the top accreditation.

Accreditation criteria include education, technology/forms, advocacy, community involvement, networking/events, and member participation. “The Five Star Commercial Services Accreditation is designed to provide benchmarks for local associations to work toward achieving,” stated National Association of REALTORS Commercial Membership Development Director Shara Varner. “The Commercial Alliance of REALTORS is the first and only association to meet and exceed these benchmarks.”

“As President of the Commercial Alliance of REALTORS, I am pleased that the National Association of REALTORS is recognizing the successful member services that are provided to our membership,” Mike Murray stated. “Our Board
continues to strive to create value and benefits that are important to commercial real estate practitioners.”

The Commercial Alliance of REALTORS serves the West Michigan area, with a membership of over 500 REALTORS and affiliates. Visit for more information.