CSR Commercial Capital Closes $17M Construction Loan

CSR Commercial Capital closed on a $17,000,000 construction loan for a 4 story mixed use podium build project located at 955 South First Street just south of downtown San Jose.  The project consists of 50 apartment units ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms, along with five ground floor retail spaces totaling 5,136 s.f. Parking for the project consists of 74 residential spaces and 28 commercial spaces.  Tenants will also benefit from lush landscaping, a 452 s.f. children’s play area, and over 5,800 s.f. of courtyard space featuring barbecue and picnic areas.

The project was brought in to CSR Commercial Capital by the President of CSR’s commercial sales and leasing division, Tony Odom, who previously acquired the property for the client.

“The most challenging aspect of this transaction,” commented Duane Hood, President of CSR Commercial Capital, “was that we had an out of country borrower who, although he possesses permanent residency and extensive experience overseas, is not a U.S. citizen and has not previously developed in the U.S.  Aside from those regulatory challenges, however, we could not have asked for a better client. His responsiveness and decisiveness were instrumental in his ability to close this loan and move this exciting project toward completion.”

A representative for the buyer and partner in the ownership group commented, “In addition to just obtaining the land, CSR acted as a full service commercial real estate firm throughout this transaction, including interviewing the architects and general contractors and working with the city and title company to resolve issues. Moreover, CSR interviewed many qualified lenders, then brought us the most competitive commitments. We were able to select a lender which best suited our needs. We couldn’t be happier with the work the team at CSR has done.”

Learn more about what CSR Commercial & Commercial Capital can do for your business.

EVENT: 3rd Annual Cars & Caffeine

Well, it’s that time of year again! Get ready for our 3rd Annual Cars & Caffeine Car Show! View tons of beautiful vintage cars of all years, makes, models and styles. Bring the whole family and enjoy music, coffee & breakfast in the morning as well as lunch, on us!  The event will be held on Saturday, April 28th from 8:00AM- NoonIf you’d like to have your car featured in the car show, please contact Analisa@CSRTeam.com for more details. Hope to see you there!

3rd Annual Cars & Caffeine Show

CSR Agent, Kelly Hunt, Featured in Top-Producer Panel

Tuesday afternoon, approximately 50 real estate agents attended a panel of some of the most successful, top-producing agents in the area. The five panelists shared their success stories and tactics to a room full of acquiring minds. The panel included decades of experience from Jenny Huang of Coldwell Banker, Dale Warfel of Keller Williams, Jerry Zang represented Bay One Real Estate Investment, Keith Walker of Intero and CSR’s very own, Kelly Hunt.

The seasoned veterans were asked a series of questions in which each thoughtfully answered to feed the curiosity of the growing crowd. The day concluded with open questioning from eager attendees. Discover what led to Kelly Hunt of CSR’s success in the past and present as well as what she plans to do to prolong an ever-changing market in the Bay Area.

Tell us a little bit about yourself for starters.

Hello Everyone, I’m Kelly Hunt with CSR Real Estate Services. I’m a licensed REALTOR®, a Certified Residential Specialist, an Accredited Buyer Representative, a Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource and a Senior Loan Consultant with over 35 years of experience in the real estate industry.  My primary focus is maintaining the highest level of integrity and professionalism, while helping my clients achieve a very important and life changing goal.

What is your number one source of leads?

I’m sure everyone has a different method of getting more leads but really, it’s based off of reputation. First starting off with what you can do on a budget, mailers, flyers and whatever else you can do. Even if starting off with no budget, do what you’re capable of doing. It really only takes one spark to get things started.

After selling a home for one person that worked in the county, soon enough I had 30 county employees in my transaction history. It all stemmed from one excellent transaction which then “mushroomed” into mass referrals. It’s all about quality of service. That being said, over 95% of my business consists of referrals and returning customers year after year.

How much time do you typically spend on new lead generation?

I wouldn’t say I spend a ton on generating new leads. Since my database is healthy and I’ve maintained it over the years, my database essentially works for me in sending over referrals. I don’t go around door knocking or cold calling. I don’t necessarily geographically farm in an area either. While those are definitely workable tools to lead generating, everything works differently for each agent. Whatever works best for you, or what you’re comfortable with is what’s best.

Again, I can’t stress enough how your CRM (Client Relationship Management) or database is a major key to success! Keeping everyone organized even from years ago will have your database work for you in the end. Lastly, reputation is your lead generation! Client and community reputation is everything. Say an agent knows you against multiple offers. They know you’re ethical, professional, on top of your game, polite and are the whole package – they’ll likely pick you for reputation over another agent. It’s that simple.

Say you have some free time, what are you up to?

I usually exercise in the morning. Work/life balance is so important for a healthy self. At CSR, our company culture reflects that as well.

Do you have a team and at what point did it make sense to?

I hired assistant early on after I started producing. I do receive support amongst the company I work for too with the support staff, which is great. You do have to think of yourself as your own company within a company. The minimum help I’ve ever had was a part-time assistant. He helps me so much with database management in making it a live organism. My contacts are receiving monthly newsletters, event invitations, direct mail and more – all from my database.  It really is a game of cost comparison. An assistant is less expensive than what a realtor’s time is worth in being able to accomplish high-level work for clients –  oppose to time-consuming, yet essential work like putting out open house signs for an hour. The only way to succeed in this business is to build your weaknesses up and get help where you need it. In the end, this saves time and money while making your business run more efficiently.

For newer agents in the room, what’s your advice to getting a deal as soon as possible?

Again, having a CRM and getting that started is the most important. Also, getting out there and being face to face with people, building authentic relationships is key. Building trust is so important in a world of uncertainty.  Something else that is very important to realize is that the more knowledge you have, the better. Don’t stress about one agent having more experience over the other – the experience will come. You will service clients above and beyond with having more knowledge to use as tools. Focusing on your quality of service and initial interactions is extremely important.

Who do you talk to if your new to the industry?

Everyone you know! Now you have a place to put them (in your database) and make yourself well known, well thought of and top of mind with consistent marketing. Be in their presence at all times: online, social media, website, direct mailers, event invites and more. We now live in a world where you can touch clients at any time for anything. People DO forget that you’re a realtor, believe it or not. Continue to market yourself and remind friends, family and past clients that you’re in the real estate business. From there, you can continue to add to it. Before you know it, years will have passed by and your database will be filled by the hundreds or thousands. Cultivate leads in the future that are high-quality referrals. For example, I had a call from a client which I sold a home to 10 years ago saying, “We get your routine emails, news letters, event invites and all.  You were always there and have stayed in touch, so we are reaching out to find a new home after all these years”. Build your database and make it fully YOURS. When in doubt, focus is key. Use your heart to service your client. That’s the best method.

Who would you recommend as a coach?

There’s lots of sources out there. Our office implements Buffini & Company and Tom Ferry. It really helps that we have a Mentorship Program too at CSR. New agents are paired with a seasoned veteran in the industry during the first couple transactions to get things started and ensure everything is done correctly to make for a smooth transaction process. This also provides someone to help you be accountable. It’s great to have someone as a guide or mentor outside of friends and family. They have no other relationship with you than to make sure you’re successful.

What’s your ratio of buyers v. sellers?

This can fluxuate, depending on the market, but in recent years I’ve had more sellers than buyers. Listings generate more business – that’s for sure. You should receive about two referrals from a listing if you do a great job. If you list, you last; is what we say. This also gives you more of a bit more of a controlled schedule. You never know what will come as a result from a buyer or seller. Honest, excellent work makes for a prosperous business.

When do you think the market will turn around?

We will have corrections, as we always do. But I really don’t see it happening any time soon. There are no indicators right now with the technology job market booming. We have Facebook, Google, Apple and more technology giants continuing to move to the central bay area, Amazon, eBay…the list goes on. Tax rates and loan rates have begun to adjust. It’ll be interesting to see in the future when or how sever the correction turns to be, but I think it won’t be for quite some time. The environment is way different than it was in 2007. If you’re worried as an agent, you shouldn’t be. You have to think about it like this: We are our own global economy in Silicon Valley. We always recover faster than the rest of the nation after a recession hits. Not only that, but as realtors, we will be okay and come out faster than normal.

Top 3 ways to leverage current listing for next listing opportunities:

Host open houses, engage people, build up contacts and as I’ve mentioned: one listing turns into 2 more listings. Buyer and seller packets you make are huge in that it explains how transactions work. Give clients something of value. Social media is huge and honestly very inexpensive to market on. Have something of value with your marketing info on it to leave behind with clients for them to refer to. Boost posts and see the number of hits you get.  Ultra micro-segment your database by industry, likes, preferences, region and more.  Be in contact with the open house neighborhood. Coming soon marketing is huge. Let your database know you’re doing business, of course. Be sure to let neighbors nearby know before the sign goes up. This gives you a chance to learn more about the neighborhood and the character it possesses.

What percent of income do you put into marketing?

I don’t put a specific amount of time or money into advertising. Of course, I spend money on postcards, buyer packets, Facebook boosted posts and what not. Spending money to benefit a client generates more valued leads. You can spend thousands of dollars a month on Redfin, Zillow or Yelp to only receive a small percentage of leads that you have no relationship with – this makes it easier for them to fall off too.

What is your secret to longevity and prosperity to real estate?

Again, reputation to me is everything in prolonging a healthy and sustainable business. If you’re doing things the way you should be doing them (ethically), that’s the way to do it. Be proud and passionate about what you’re doing and be happy to do it. Educating yourself is key. Things are constantly changing in every industry. Know your stuff! You can’t sustain doing anything unethical or wrong – it really just leads to a downward spiral. Have a clean slate each night and be proud of what you’re doing as a real estate agent in making dreams come true for home owners. That really is the key to success, longevity and prosperity in real estate.

Learn more about Kelly Hunt.

We Love Our Affiliates!

At CSR Real Estate Services, we highly value our clients, employees, agents and of course, our trusty affiliates. On Thursday, February 22, 2018 we hosted a special event as a display of pure gratitude we have for those in our business circle. Pizza and beverages were enjoyed while the big NBA playoff game, Warriors v. Clippers, painted the room with excitement. We sincerely thank all of our business partners and look forward to what 2018 has in store. Representatives in attendance include, but not limited to: Almaden Valley Athletic Club (AVAC), Chicago Title, Old Republic Home Protection, Premier Lending, WFG National Title Company and First American Title Company.

Dreams Near and Far

Real estate agent, Brandy Reading, talks with Matt Furman, right, home owner, as her clients Trevor, Eliza and 2-year-old Gwendolyn Masters tours the 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in San Jose, California, owned by Matt and Brooke Furman on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 during an open house. The Furmans are selling their home in hopes of moving closer to the Santa Cruz mountains. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

Featured in The Mercury News, the article details how the ever-growing housing market is hitting the younger generation the hardest. With an average income needed to live in a medium-sized home being $330,000 a year, it’s no wonder why there is so much struggle in purchasing a first time home in Silicon Valley. Read the article in its entirety, here. 

A Little Competition Never Hurt Anybody

It’s February which means it’s time to reflect on CSR Real Estate Services’ accomplishments. Of course these successes would be impossible without the undying dedication of its army of hard-working staff, expert real estate agents and seasoned Leadership Team. A huge congratulations is in store for all of the award recipients at the 2018 CSR Annual Award Ceremony.

  • Laura Bonafede Odom – *CSR Value Award*
  • Dina Bonafede – Top Listing Agent 2017
  • Rita Chao – Top Selling Agent 2017
  • Michael Kaldani – Rookie of the Year Award
  • Anna Kilgore – Most Improved Agent
  • James Laden – Transaction Coordination Award
  • Jennifer Murdix – Employee of the Year
  • Joanne Escobar – 2017 Team Player Award
  • Rita Chao – Top Producing Agent of the Year, President’s Club
  • Kelly Hunt – CSR Cares Award
  • Jeanette Salceda – Special Recognition, Dedication Award
  • Kelly Hunt – Award for Professionalism & Excellence
  • Jonathan Hanhan – Commercial Agent of the Year
  • Kelly Hunt, Dina Bonafede, Anna Kilgore, Laura Odom, Jeffery Lee, Allen Benjamin, Lupita Rodriguez, Stephen Whitlock, Alisha Pruitt – Top 10 Producing Agents in 2017 (President’s Club)
  • Johny Barney, Steve Cabral, Dave Campanga, Miles Pruitt, Jonathan Hanhan – Diamond Award for Outstanding Work

Congratulations to all!


Reaching New Heights

Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “Book of Lists” recognizes a compilation of the top-performing companies, by industry, within Silicon Valley. Released annually at the start of the new year, competitors evaluate how they rank among the rest.  It’s no surprise that CSR Real Estate Services continues to reach milestone after milestone over the years. The company’s various divisions embody professionalism, teamwork and ingenuity while placing a high value on integrity, passion and hard work. CSR Real Estate Services is proud to announce that over the past couple of years, both the Residential and Commercial division have continued to climb “The List” to earn a dual spot of Top 10 Residential & Commercial Real Estate Firms in Silicon Valley for 2017-2018. This is quite the jump when looking at just a few years ago in 2014 when they weren’t listed amongst even the Top 25. In 2015 the Residential division earned the title of Top 25 and leaped to 13 in 2016. That same year, the Commercial division joined the list and placed Top 10 out of the gate, matching that status in 2017 and meeting Residential there to bring home Top 10 all around.

“These are numbers that don’t really grasp the story in its entirety. In 2017 our office grew by 41 active agents while most other companies in our market may not have been so lucky. We have much gratitude and are thankful to have had to opportunity to gain so many wonderful staff members and agents over the past year through strategic recruiting, opening another office location in Roseville, California and having the privilege of merging with Silicon Valley Associates Real Estate. Just wait and see what we do in 2018,” details Terry Meyer, VP of Operations and Broker Associate of CSR Real Estate Services.

While CSR celebrates their victories, employees and agents of the ever-growing company get back to work and continue setting higher goals to reach even more aspirations ahead.


Commercial Real Estate Outlook: 2018.Q1

Analysis from RCA pointed to a growing gap between sellers’ high price expectations and buyers’ willingness to pay those high prices. 
The small cap space closed the chapter on 2017 on an upbeat note. Commercial real estate in SCRE markets continued to experience advances in investment sales, as the momentum picked up in the final quarter of the year. Following on the second quarter’s 4.4 percent increase and the third quarter’s 3.6 percent gain in sales volume, REALTORS® reported that sales volume advanced a solid 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter. 
International transactions remained a fixture in  REALTORS®’ CRE markets in the final quarter of the 2017. The average international sale price was $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of the year. Indicating a likely preference for safety of capital over returns, the average cap rate for SCRE international deals was 6.7 percent.
Office demand softened in the fourth quarter of 2017, even as employment in office-using industries expanded.  Office vacancies increased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, to $32.17 per square footIndustrial vacancy declined in the fourth quarter, to 4.5 percent. Industrial asking rents advanced in the fourth quarter by 0.6 percent, to $6.92 per square foot.
With rising wages and employment, consumer optimism was well- reflected in the fourth quarter’s  holiday shopping season figures. Demand for retail spaces advanced, with net absorption totaling 3.1 million square feet during the quarter, according to CBRE. Retail construction activity slowed, with completions totaling 9.1 million square feet. The retail availability rate picked up, moving to 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter, as asking retail rents reached $17.12 per square foot.

2017 Year in Review

It’s no surprise that we had a big year in 2017. We opened up a second office in Roseville, CA, Celebrated 10 years of business in our CSR Commercial Division, increased overall brand awareness, threw some pretty epic events, doubled our staff, gained 30+ incredible agents, raised thousands of dollars as a charity and even conducted a business merge. Bring it on 2018!

Helpful Hints to Successfully Renew Your Lease

It is up to the Tenant to notify the Landlord of his/her intention to exercise the “Option to Renew”  during the lease specified notification window. Tenants need to be vigil about lease termination dates and option exercise timelines, not only to keep their renewal options in-tact, but to have better leverage when negotiating a renewal. Furthermore, if the Tenant does not notify the Landlord, the Landlord is not obligated to allow the Tenant to renew.

Avoid Costly Mistakes

One crucial mistake that a Tenant often makes, is to assume he/she can simply go to a month-to-month term until they find another location. Most leases will have a “Holdover” clause. These clauses in the lease agreement often allow the Landlord to charge a premium of sometimes as high as 200% of the last month’s rent.

How your Commercial Broker can help you

Keep in mind, it is always best to contact your commercial real estate professional at least a year prior to the expiration of your lease term to assist with these matters.  Commercial real estate professionals can:

  • Listen to your needs and provide specific options. Is it best to move or stay?
  • Explain current market conditions and how they affect your potential move
  • Provide a Lease vs. Buy analysis to see if it makes more sense to buy rather than lease
  • Perform a comparable analysis to assist in re-negotiating with the current Landlord
  • Find a new location and negotiate terms
  • Provide a timeline for tenant improvements and assist in coordinating move