CSR Cares Donates $5,000 to Kick Off 2019

CSR Cares is proud to donate $5,000 to one lucky charitable organization each quarter! The donation doesn’t just go to any charity, it goes to a deserving group that falls within CSR Cares’ founding values: to help the children and people in our community. This quarter’s winner and recipient is Max Rhymes,  a scientifically written children’s book series designed to condition children with a positive belief system at the subconscious level. As the children grow, they will be able to draw from this knowledge they learned at an early age and create a path toward success. CSR Cares’ donation will go towards the production and distribution of hundreds of books for young children to have.

CSR Cares is honored for having such generous agents to contribute donations on a monthly basis, in addition to what is received from external donations. This wouldn’t be possible without a community effort. At the conclusion of each quarter, CSR Real Estate Services votes for one lucky winner to receive the $5,000 in hopes to make a difference in the community. To learn more about how you can nominate an organization for a grant, click here. To view past recipients, click here.

CRE 2018 Year in Review – Silicon Valley

It’s no surprise that within a 24 hour time period the Silicon Valley real estate market can make drastic changes, dancing along the price, occupancy and inventory charts – let alone an entire year. Here’s a jam-packed list of the major headlines for Commercial Real Estate pertaining to Silicon Valley, California’s technology hot spot.

  • Facebook was responsible for the largest office lease in San Francisco for 2018. The social media giant leased over 1.1 million square feet in San Francisco, making it the third-largest tech tenant in the city following Uber and Salesforce.
  • Silicon Valley made for about 21% of the nation’s new office construction.
  • A collection of major retailers went extinct leaving business owners and real estate professionals to get creative with how big box spaces will be utilized in the future. Toys ‘R Us, Kmart, Sears, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Walgreens, GAP were among the few to officially close many, if not all existing stores in 2018 as E-commerce steals the spotlight.
  • New building designs omit concrete in the structural framework in attempts to be more eco-friendly. Imagine the structural deficiency potential there – yikes.
  • Confident foreign capital continues chasing U.S. Commercial Real Estate.
  • High tech accounted for nearly 20% of office leasing in Silicon Valley in 2018.
  • High overall mature market growth in 2018, right behind Northern Virginia.
  • Senior Housing occupancy trends plummeted as independent living occupancy rates sky rocketed. Could this correlate with medical advances and the ability for the elderly to remain independent and healthier for longer periods of time?
  • Commercial real estate prices rose across a multitude of sectors/industries by about 7% compared to the same period last year, according to Real Capital Analytics’ Commercial Price Property Index report.

As the economy strengthens and the ever-anticipated economic correction surfaces, only time will tell what lies ahead in 2019 for commercial real estate in Silicon Valley.

5 Things to Avoid When Entering Into a Lease – Office Space Edition

Congratulations –  You have, or are working within a successful business that demands office space. Now’s the time to either obtain your first office, or expand into an exciting new space to more adequately accommodate your growing workforce. Not so fast, though. As with anything, there are a few pertinent components to selecting your company’s ideal office space. Eliminate potential stress triggers when deciding to enter into a lease agreement to better focus on what matters most; your business.

5 Things to Avoid When Entering Into a Lease – Office Space 

Failure to Align with Corporate Ideals

It’s easy to get excited about a big move and disregard details that could potentially effect crucial goals of a business. Failure to clearly identify current and long-term priorities is a significant mistake any company can make when looking for office space. It is critical to take a step back and view the bigger picture in terms of what is important to you and the company. Similarly, it is important to identify how corporate image will be impacted based on the commercial space selected. Corporate image is important to convey to your customers, prospects and employees. You don’t necessarily see luxury brand retail stores situated next to a fast food restaurant or with similar aesthetics for that matter. Same ideals stand for office space, in the look, layout and feel of that particular office.

Not Properly Evaluating Layout of the Space & Location

You just signed the lease to your new office space and are over the moon with excitement. It’s move in day and the stress hits immediately by lack of storage, desk space or room for specialty equipment. Not adequately estimating the amount of space needed for equipment and employees is huge! For instance, on average, for every employee you should account for at least 151 square feet of workable space. Having too much space could pose as a short-term issue if massive growth is anticipated in the near future, otherwise those are just more budget-straining dollars that could have been allocated more effectively. Contrarily, if there is not enough space as-is with your new lease, this can hinder employee productivity and effective forms of collaboration.

Additionally, the question needs to be addressed in what type of environment does your business require? Are you going for a more traditional office space with some cubicles and closed offices? Or perhaps a modern open floor plan to maximize collaboration efforts on massive projects.

Location, location, locations – a seemingly obvious factor that is too often overlooked. When considering locations for your next office space, take into account traffic patterns, visibility from the road, what’s in the immediate surrounding area and notice if there is ample parking and public transit nearby.

Throwing Away the Budget

Easily one of the most important questions of them all – what can I afford? Do your operating expenses, payroll, HVAC, furniture, insurance, maintenance, and moving costs align with your budget? It’s also important to educate yourself on what the current market is and trends presenting themselves. Does it make sense to hold off for another year due to the stability of the economy, or will the space you desire already be occupied by then? Lastly, ask yourself if your budget matches up with your corporate image? If you’re a rising leader in the technology industry, an attractive, modernized office space in heavily populated Silicon Valley sounds like an ideal move for you. On the contrary, if you’re a smaller startup with not much funding, this would not mirror the same office space options that would better suit the technology company with more prestige and capital. To play devil’s advocate for a moment, it’s also necessary to think futuristically. Is there a lot of buzz about a specific area you’re interested in about massive development happening in the near future? Perhaps budget isn’t everything in a decision when considering the future benefits of occupying that specific location – but critical nevertheless.

Not Considering Corporate Growth & Technology 

To nod back to a the previous point of “Not Properly Evaluating Layout of the Space & Location” ask yourself what’s the future growth of the company? Are there additional options to grow my business in this location in the future, or will it require another move? Technology is also a factor in every business now which impacts the day to day functionality of operations and the execution of best industry practices. Is there a certain technology that the business needs that is only available in certain locations? Perhaps your business needs access to data centers, requires a larger electrical capacity,  or may need backup power and servers.

Choosing The Wrong Broker – Or Not Having One At All 

This can inevitably be a costly error, but does happen often. Not only on a monetary value of cost deficit – but time as well. Considering commercial real estate contracts from beginning to end average between 60 days to a couple of  years, should be enough information to call your favorite local broker right away. In addition, the fact that a company’s second or third largest cost is typically office space lease, should inject concern into the budget-conscious business mind of the decision maker. There’s infinite reasons why about 90% of all office space leases signed in the U.S. are executed with a knowledgeable broker.



It’s Our Anniversary!

This past weekend CSR Real Estate Services celebrated its 15 Year Anniversary in conjunction with the crowd-pleasing annual Pumpkin Patch. Hundreds of children enjoyed the petting zoo, festive activities and of course, selecting their very own pumpkin. Parents, clients, friends and family from all over the Bay Area joined CSR in celebrating continued success on Saturday. To learn more about CSR’s 15 Year Anniversary, click here.



Big Box Bust – A Demise to Tech Craze

The Plunge

The big box bust that’s storming through the nation doesn’t seem to be lightening up any time soon. Unprecedented  retail mega-stores now shutting down at an incomprehensible pace due to evolving consumer trends via internet purchases and accommodating delivery services.  Kmart, Toys ‘R Us, Sears, Carson Pirie Scott, Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, J. Crew (U.S.), GNC, even Subways are shutting the doors in large batches across the country [1]. The iconic brands dissolving across the nation not only pulls at the nostalgic heart strings of many, but sheds light on the shifting ideals of what it is to be a retailer in conjunction with progressive consumer habits or preferences. With the shopping demand surging through the internet, this has left many retailers to discover a massive decrease in sales over the past decade. Some retailers, such as Rue 21, a tween clothing store, even filing for chapter 11 before even experiencing significant financial trouble as a proactive measure that is likely an inevitable hardship tumbling their way.

Tech giant, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has forever changed the way modern shopping behavior is executed. Everything from groceries, digital books, electronics, clothes, school supplies, pet food, and more can be purchased and usually delivered between a few days and even hours, depending on the type of account a user has. The unfathomable convenience bit makes shopping on Amazon extremely attractive in that one can shop for anything, at any time, and have it delivered directly to their desired location. Inevitably, as Amazon popularity skyrockets, big box retailers suffer drastically, causing a wave in the economy and the way in which commercial real estate evaluates retail sectors [2].

With vacancy rates increasing in large shopping malls, the challenge of finding occupiers for big box spaces becomes evident. Throughout the U.S., stores previously occupied by, now-bankrupt,  retailers are being converted into shared office space or restaurants.  More than ever, mall owners are welcoming unconventional tenants to obtain some of the estimated 200 million square feet of retail space that has closed, or expected to do so since early 2017 [3].

“Landlords need to be creative, strategic and quick with their large-sized vacancies — the Silicon Valley has become a hotbed for small- to mid-sized retailers coming from all parts of the country to take advantage of our increased population density and disposable income. These large vacancies can be flipped into very lucrative, higher dollar-per-square-foot units with the right strategy in place.” explains Senior Vice President, CSR Commercial Real Estate Services, Jonathan Hanhan.

Getting Creative

As countless big box stores remain vacant, the leaders in commercial real estate are challenged to think outside of the box (pun intended). Ginormous buildings with a naturally open layout, such as Macy’s department store, have been converted into movie theaters, music entertainment venues, and even sporting arenas [4]. This new wave of occupancy bingo creates massive opportunity to get creative and move fast. In conjunction with the e-commerce craze, more of these spaces are being converted into warehousing units. In other areas, restaurants, fitness centers, and office space is taking over. Iconic Silicon Valley’s tech bubble creating crisis for local retailers with the rest of the nation not far behind.

Big Box Bust - Numbers don't lie

Are you a business owner looking to buy, sell, or lease commercial property? Contact our experts today.

The information furnished has been obtained from sources we deem reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and changes. Although CSR Commercial Real Estate has no reason to doubt its accuracy, we do not guarantee it. All information should be verified by the recipient prior to lease, purchase, exchange, or execution of legal documents. 2018 CSR Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.
[1] https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T052-S001-12-retailers-that-may-soon-disappear-forever/index.html
[2] https://www.investopedia.com/news/5-companies-amazon-killing/
[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/08/coworking-spaces-are-one-way-mall-owners-are-filling-empty-stores.html
[4] CoStar

3 Notable Sales in Q2

Industry professionals, Tony Odom & Jonathan Hanhan, successfully closed deal after deal in CSR’s Commercial Real Estate division in the 2nd quarter. With a typical deal taking anywhere from 6 months to multiple years to sell, or lease, these featured time-efficient, model transactions set the bar for local competitors in the Bay Area.

425 E. Santa Clara St, located in downtown San Jose, posed as the ideal opportunity in ever-growing Silicon Valley for highly-desired office space. An increase in the implementation of collaborative office spaces in famously tech-savvy Silicon Valley has become evident in the past decade. With 9,848 SF of stand-alone office space, secured onsite parking space, and additional revenue potential created endless possibilities for eager buyers.

2730 Bayview Dr, Fremont, CA symbolizes massive breakthrough in the marketplace as CSR Commercial Real Estate strategically earned the business of Fremont with virtually no inventory in the immediate area. Not only did the 2,501 SF industrial condo complex sell in just four days, but also closed in 16 days and sold at an unprecedented price of $350 per SF.

135 El Camino Real, located in coveted  technology hub, Menlo Park, CA, sold in record timing. It’s high-traffic location, walking distance from Downtown Palo Alto, created a realization of its true rarity in having the opportunity to own in the surrounding area. The 1,450 SF building is situated in a mixed-use zone, just minutes from infamous Stanford University.

Are you a business owner looking to buy, sell, or lease commercial property? Contact our experts today.

The information furnished has been obtained from sources we deem reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and changes. Although CSR Commercial Real Estate has no reason to doubt its accuracy, we do not guarantee it. All information should be verified by the recipient prior to lease, purchase, exchange, or execution of legal documents. 2018 CSR Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

7 Commercial Real Estate Terms You Should Know

1. Net Operating Income (NOI)

Net Operating Income (NOI) is equal to your gross rental income minus your expenses.
NOI = Rental Income – Expenses

Those expenses do not include mortgage payments or depreciation, but specifically property expenses. NOI is the center of every commercial real estate transaction.  As the NOI increases, the property value will increase as well (and vice versa). If the NOI goes down, the property value goes down.

2. Cash on Cash Return

Cash on cash return is also known as ROI, return on investment. Cash on cash is basically one’s annual cash flow divided by owner down payment.
ROI = Return On Investment

It’s a very important concept because it’s not how much money one will spend on the property, but how fast money is coming out of the property. The time it takes to receive an overall return on investment is critical to financial cash flow as well.

3. Cap (Capitalization) Rate

A Cap Rate is used to measure a building’s performance without considering the mortgage financing.

Cap Rate = NOI divided by the sales price

A high cap rate which is between 10-12% usually typifies a higher risk investment and a low sales price. A low cap rate, is between 4-6% making for a lower risk investment with a high sales price.
If cap rate is equal to NOI divided by the sales price, one can flip that equation over and say sales price is equal to NOI divided by the cap rate.

4. Debt Coverage Ratio

This is a term used frequently among lenders. All commercial lenders want  the mortgagor (buyer) to be able to pay the mortgage and have something left over. Debt coverage ratio, DCR, determines how much is left over.

DCR = Debt Coverage Ratio

Lenders usually want to see a Debt Coverage Ratio of at least 1.2% or more. DCR can be determined by  NOI divided by annual debt service. Debt service is 12 months of mortgage payments.

5. Price Per Unit

This term is at the heart of determining what a property is worth and also what to offer when considering buying a property.  Knowing how much to pay for the property is essentially the price per unit and price per square foot.  For example, a $500,000 apartment building with 10 units would equate to a $50,000 price per unit. The same calculation can be done for the square footage.

6. Building Classification

Class A

Class A buildings represent the newest and highest quality, the best location and highest rent potential – attracting top quality tenants. Modernized buildings in ideal neighborhoods are common.

Class B

Class B buildings are usually a little older, but they’re still of exceptional quality. Oftentimes value added investors target these types of buildings as investments since well-located Class B buildings can be returned to their Class A level.  An ideal objective to have is to find a Class B building in a Class A neighborhood and renovate that building to achieve Class A rents.

Class C

Class C is the lowest official classification and the buildings are identifiable as older. Sometimes one can find Section 8 tenants inhabiting Class C buildings. They’re built in the ’80s and back.  If you are an apartment investor, these days today class C is the way to go because the ratio between the price per unit and the rents are still good.

7. Types of Leases


There are one year leases,  9-month leases, or month-to-month leases. A strong strong legal instrument is advised to lock in any legal agreements.

Office Buildings and Shopping Centers

When it comes to Office Buildings and Shopping Centers, there are three types of leases. A full-service lease where the landlord pays for everything is identified as a “Gross Lease”. Contrarily there is a triple net lease (NNN) where the tenant pays for everything from taxes, improvements and amenities. Lastly, a modified gross lease is somewhat of a hybrid version of the previous two.

Contact a Commercial Real Estate professional today

Source: Commercial Property Advisors

Where are They Going?

It’s 2018 and there’s an ever so interesting pattern of Americans relocating across the nation.  The ideals of living close to aging relatives and keeping the same job for 20+ years has vanished, making room for modernized moving habits. Who is moving exactly? Where are they moving to and why? The top states will be further evaluated in the context – the reasons may surprise you.

With a strengthening economy, the housing crisis of 2007 years in the past, millennials making a breakthrough in the job market, a new wave in geographic mobility takes over the more confident market. Statistics show, that now more than ever people are moving. Whether it be to explore life away from home an attend an out-of-state university, relocation for a job, entering into a completely different job market, differences in local economies, or just plane old preference and quality of life. Believe it or not, Americans are likely to move more than 11 times in their lifetime [1]. To focus more demographically, in recent years 17.3% of those that are moving to another state are under the age of 18. For those 65 years and older can account for 6.7% of out of state moves…helloooo Florida! The median age of movers from different states you ask? Around 28 years old [2]. To put this into perspective, in the state of California, in the year 2012 alone, approximately 493,641 people moved from other states to California. While that number may be alarming for a single state, the total moving out of California in 2012 was about 748,252 people. While those numbers solely reflect one state’s newcomers and leavers, data sources reveal that nearly 7.1 million Americans relocated to a different state within the U.S. during that year. So where are they going?

It’s obvious that different people have different reasons for moving. More often than not, the cost of living has a huge impact on these decisions. Texas, despite it being our second largest state in the U.S. (you forgot about Alaska, didn’t you) has a relatively lower cost of living from, let’s say Illinois. Data reveals that it is 21.51% cheaper to live in Houston, Texas than it is in the suburbs of Illinois [3]. In 2015, Texas experienced a 7.8% bump in population [4]. With this in mind, prices have begun to rise incrementally in various cities to make way for economic adjustment. Similarly, Jacksonville, Florida has experienced a 5% increase in migration, primarily from those in more expensive states just north of the Floridian paradise – New York and New Jersey.  More recent findings, from 2016, uncover the top states subject to domestic migration. The fastest growing states are as follows (listed in ascending order to highest population growth): Arizona (1.66%^), Colorado (1.68%^), Oregon (1.71%^), Washington (1.78%^),  Florida (1.82%^), Idaho (1.83%^), Nevada (1.95%^), Utah (2.03%^) [5]. Why these locations in particular? Beautiful views, nice weather, low taxation (if any), job growth, and housing opportunities.

On the contrary, these eight states are seeing a loss in population, despite some of them being prime tourist destinations: New York (-.01%), Mississippi (-.02%), Pennsylvania (-.06%),  Wyoming (-.18%), Connecticut (-.23%), Vermont (-.24%), Illinois (-.29%), and finally, West Virginia (-.54%) – that’s 10,000 people!

While natural growth, such as birth rate, accounts for nearly 55% of the national population increase, for the eight states detailed above, domestic migration was the largest contributing factor to population growth.  In sum, migration is responsible for 76% of all new state residents among the eight fastest-growing.

Let’s break things down a bit from a comparison standpoint. What is it that West Virginia (experiencing negative growth) lacks that states like Utah (the state with the most positive growth in population) possesses.

West Virginia:

  • 1 year population growth rate: -.54%
  • Has a relatively high death rate due to an older population
  • One of the lowest birth rates in the country
  • Unemployment rate is one of the highest at 5.4%
  • 17.9% of the state lives in poverty


  • 1 year population growth: 2.03%^
  • Has the largest average family size
  • Has the lowest death rate in the country due to a younger overall population
  • 3.1% unemployment rate
  • Beautiful scenery  and relatively low cost of living

Where are you headed? Should you be interested in moving within California, our residential experts are here to help. Moving out of the Golden State elsewhere? No problem, our relocation connections and nation-wide network are just a phone call away. Contact your preferred agent today!




[1] https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-many-times-the-average-person-moves/

[2] http://www.governing.com/gov-data/residents-moving-to-new-state-demographics-population-statistics.html

[3] https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2017/06/21/10-cities-americans-are-moving-to-and-where-they-are-moving-from/#4aac738a41b8

[5] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/01/15/fastest-growing-and-shrinking-states-closer-look/1019429001/


CSR Sets New Donation Record

CSR Real Estate Services sets a new personal record for donating proceeds directly to Make A Wish – Greater Bay Area (MAW). For the past 26 years, MAW has put on a bbq, fiesta, or party of some sorts in an effort to raise money to grant a child’s greatest wish. But this isn’t just any child – The Make A Wish Foundation seeks out an especially deserving child battling an illness within the immediate Bay Area. This year, the goal was to raise (as a community) $60,000 to make a major difference in  deserving family’s lives. According to the Make A Wish website, the Bay Area was able to grant over 400 wishes in 2017 alone. With that incredible motivation, CSR joined forces with willing companies to create the major impact.

July 26th, 2018 was fiesta time in the name of charity, where over 300 guests gathered poolside at Almaden Valley Athletic Club (AVAC) for tacos, a cold beverage, prizes, great music and more. In the end, CSR was able to write a cumulative check to Make A Wish – Greater Bay Area for $18,837.60 to bite off a large chunk of the overall $60,000 goal. The following week, Chicago Title put on a spectacular softball tournament to further raise funds for the ultimate gift for these children. “It is expected to greatly surpass $60K, and we’re really excited about that” a source announces.

A Historical Reflection: 

2012 – $3,600.00

2013 – $5,150.00

2017 – $12,300.00

2018 – $18,837.61


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Types of Commercial Leases

One of the most important aspects of managing commercial real estate includes understanding leases.

A lease is like a partnership. It outlines how the business relationship between the lessor and the lessee will proceed. Following are some types of commercial leases that you, as an investor, may encounter.

The Triple Net Lease (which is abbreviated as “NNN” in advertising) is used extensively in commercial real estate. It is popular for multi-tenant and single-tenant industrial and retail properties.

The three elements—the “triple”—are Taxes, Insurance, and Operating Expenses. In a true NNN lease (and many so-called NNN leases are not “true” NNN), the tenant pays a basic rent to the landlord, and in addition pays ALL the operating costs of the property: the real estate taxes, all the insurance premiums, and all the operating expenses—from utilities to maintenance contracts, pest control to security. The tenant is responsible for everything under this form of commercial real estate lease.

In a single-tenant building, many if not all of these costs will be directly paid by the tenant. Even the tax bill will be invoiced to the tenant. In a multi-tenant building, it is more common for the landlord to be invoiced for at least some of the operating expenses (taxes and insurance at least) that will be collected, often monthly, from each tenant according to their prorated share. This separate collection is often called “CAM,” for Common Area Maintenance (although it may include non-maintenance items such as insurance and real estate taxes).

A Gross lease, sometimes identified as a Full Service Lease, in its pure form has the tenant paying a single flat sum each period to the landlord as the total rent, with the landlord responsible for all costs of operation of the property. A one-night stay at a hotel is such a lease, as are some short apartment leases.

More often, Gross leases should be called Modified Gross, because under their terms a tenant will be required to pay some of the operating costs (electricity, water, cleaning, for example), and/or the rent each year may increase by the amount that the operating costs—or the tenant’s share of them—have increased in the previous year.

Like anything else in real estate, it is important that you understand the agreements and the terms before entering into a deal. Understanding commercial leases isn’t as difficult as performing brain surgery, but you need to do a little homework all the same.

Source: Commercial Property Advisors