Bright spots in a dark coronavirus-affected commercial real estate world – Daily News

on Apr13
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Those of you who know me realize I’m a “half-full” guy, an optimist. After all, commercial real estate brokerage requires us to be upbeat.

Transactions can be clipping along nicely when something unforeseen derails them. To keep deals on track, you need to believe things will work out for the best using solid resolve and having a problem-solving attitude.

Frankly, I was a bit down last month when our world morphed into the reality of COVID-19 quarantines, a precipitous drop in business, working remotely and staff furloughs.

We were bombarded every day with a torrent of terrible tales, increased body counts and venue closures. I had to turn off the news, pull myself up and return to my daily routine of advising commercial real estate owners and occupants. By what should I say to them amid the uncertainty?

Well, as thin as these words appear, we are all in this together. No one’s to blame. In order to survive, we must cooperate. Communication is key. Our clients want solutions.

So, I pivoted into a resource and developed talking points for rent forgiveness and how to request mortgage relief. Numerous webinars educated me on the CARES Act. I attended ZOOM calls with strategic partners such as wealth managers, bankers, commercial insurance brokers, mergers and acquisitions, accounting, human resources and legal professionals.

What developed was a nice list of the assistance I could provide. So, I started dialing the phone.

As the phone calls added up, what I didn’t anticipate were the bright spots in an otherwise dark world. Indulge me while I share a few.

One of my clients applies adhesives to rolls of tape. His business is booming! Why? Admittance wrist bands to hospitals are supplied by his main customer.

Aerospace tooling operations are bustling. Military airplanes are still flying. Parts are replaced. Plus, many make ventilator components.

I got a request recently from one of my colleagues. A company has countless drums of hand sanitizer scattered across the nation. What they needed was a plastic bottle manufacturer who could blow mold the bottles and fill them — immediately.

Speaking of sanitizer. How about my client who builds the metal bases on which the sanitizing stations rest. Yep. Crushing it!

You’d believe pool chemicals might be a bit of a luxury. Not so! Pools must be kept clean and germ-free lest the bad virus starts to grow. My supplier of pool chemicals has benefited from a pop in sales.

Construction crosses many subsets of industrial occupants. All are essential to keep the infrastructure humming – heating, cooling, electricity, roofs and the like.

As our society adjusts to online ordering and home delivery operations such as e-commerce, transportation and maintenance of vehicles are slammed.

Empty store shelves require replenishment. Anyone along the supply chain – makers of toilet paper, warehousers, truckers, and grocery store personnel — are working non-stop.

Akin to the aftermath of those devastating brush fires which blacken the landscape – green shoots of do appear.

Stay well, dear readers! This too shall pass and we will be stronger and better as a result.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104.

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