Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Answers to my interview with Rob Oryl from Value Nation

Rob's Blog:

"Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Interview with Joe O'Donnell owner of Omega Commercial Real Estate Inc.

What area do you service?
The office and industrial markets in Philadelphia and suburbs area. Mostly Montgomery and Chester Counties but I have completed deals in other parts of the country as well.

What is the number one tip you give all your clients?
If you are a landlord, get aggressive with your proposals immediately. Too many landlords are still playing the game with valuations and proformas from 2 or 3 years ago. Also, pay your bills and pay the brokers. I know it sounds basic but it can make or break your reputation. Real estate is like politics – it’s all local. Our brokerage community is small and if a landlord gets a reputation for stiffing brokers he is going to have problems in a good market and big problems in a bad market. If you are a tenant, explore the market early and often. Real estate is typically the number two company expense after payroll. There are great deals out there to be made. Time is your biggest asset when I comes to finding new space. Hire a professional. Use a COMMERCIAL real estate broker. Someone that practices commercial real estate on a full-time basis. We are seeing some “resi-mmercial” (residential focus, commercial pretenders) pop up since the residential market has slowed down.

If someone is considering leasing office space what points would you tell them to consider?
Besides call me?! It is very much a tenant’s market right now. There is a flight to quality for companies that can afford to move. Class B & C tenants are fleeing to Class A properties for little or no increase to what rent they are currently paying.

If someone is considering leasing retail space what are some points you would tell them to consider?
Avoid or limit the personal guarantee. PG’s are not common in office or industrial space but very common in retail. There was a landlord who wanted my tenant/client to sign a PG for the entire 10 yr lease. We disputed this because the landlord’s risk is mitigated after a few years. We won and lowered the rent, capped the operation expense and put together a great deal.

If a group member was trying to decide between leasing commercial space and buying something what should they know?
If you are an owner occupier there are some great financial programs out there for you including the SBA 504, USDA Financing and Economic development financing. You have to “run the numbers” and do an analysis. I can help people analysis and decide the best course of action.

Why did you go into business for yourself?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I tried working for other companies and did not like the way certain employers did certain things so I would move to another company. Then I realized the only way for me to be happy about how a company runs or performs is to own it.

What was your background before starting Omega?
Right out of college I worked for a staffing company. A lot of hours, little pay but great training. Then I worked for the family import/export business. That business went through a transition and the future was uncertain in 2002. It survived the transition but I stumbled into commercial real estate in the interim and haven’t looked back. I worked for a small tenant representation firm in Bala Cynwyd for 5 years and full service commercial real estate in Conshohocken for 2 yrs. I started OMEGA Commercial Real Estate, Inc. in October 2009 and am loving it.

What are you doing to develop new business?
I try and hit at least two B time (AM or PM) events per week. Staying in people’s faces is key in any economy not just a recession. I also am a big believer in email and direct marketing. Cold calling works to a certain extent but I get most of my business through referrals.

What is the biggest challenge you are facing and how do you plan on overcoming it?
The economy is tough right now. Most tenants are not moving in this market and money is tight for everyone, including some landlords. Completing a lease deal then finding out the landlord has no money to do what he or she promised or even worse they are losing their building to foreclosure. These are new recent experiences for me and all too real. Having agreements signed. Your eyes dotted and t’s crossed gives you as close to legal preparedness as you can get. As Warren Buffet says, “when the tide goes out you learn who has been swimming naked.”

Interested parties can contact Joe at , or at his office (610) 616-4604.

This interview was conducted for the Original Solutions linkedin group (exclusively for business owners) :"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.