Bill Baker


Preparing for Opportunity
Quote of the Week:
"Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity."  
Henry Hartman
Are you prepared so when opportunity arises you are ready to act?   Even if an opportunity presents itself, how do you know if it's a good one?  Questions we all ponder; and questions I hope to help you answer. 

Opportunity is simply a situation or condition that is favorable for attainment of a goal.  It's being in a good position; getting a great chance for advancement or success. 

Over the centuries, many Americans have embraced the opportunity to invest in land and made a fortune.  They bought land at a cheap price and sold it at many times its original cost. Some others, not so fortunate, lost their investments.  What is the difference?  Why are some so successful and others not?  Several reasons come into play: foresight, knowledge and a little luck. 
If you are a lucky person, good for you, that's one thing you have going for yourself.  I'd love to bring you luck, but since that's beyond my area of influence, we'll talk about the other two areas where I can help:  foresight and knowledge.  Foresight is prudence and looking toward the future.  Knowledge is becoming acquainted with the facts, investigating, and becoming familiar with a topic through experience over time.  Working with seasoned professionals will increase your odds for successful investments. 
If I were to work with you on investments, we would give careful consideration to these important elements:  Is the land located in an expanding area?  Is it a growing development?  What is the future potential for this land?  Could it be rezoned as retail? (which is the most valuable category of commercial property).  What is the current supply and demand?  What changes may occur that would affect the future supply and demand?  What purpose do you have for the land?  Are you considering developing the land for a particlar function? 
Understanding the principles of Supply and Demand, ideally you want to buy when there is alot of property available, because you can buy at a good price.  When the area develops more, there is less supply, demand for property goes up and so do prices.  Land's value can appreciate rapidly.  Did you know that Disney World was once swampland?  After the development of Disney World, all the surrounding land value skyrocketed.  Talk about inexpensive land that generated a fortune!
What is your purpose for the land?  If you are interested in long-term holding, you would buy land at a good price and just hold onto it until the best time to sell comes around.  If you are looking for medium-term investment, you may be interested in property that you can develop and subdivide.  Maybe you need space for your business, so you purchase a parcel of land larger than you actually need and you subdivide the property and sell off separate tracts, or you develop the property to rent, lease or sell the extra space.  This way, you can build, for your business, exactly what you want and need.  If you want to see faster returns on your investment and are willing to take risks to get it, you may speculate on a land purchase because you can see that growth and change is coming to the area and you're confident the property will soon be worth much more than you can buy it for now.
Foresight, knowledge and a little luck.  Even if you are lucky, a little foresight and knowledge will give you that extra confidence and reassurance that you are well prepared when the right opportunities become available.  We are living in a time of much opportunity, so let's get prepared.  Call me to talk about your goals, investment objectives, and the great opportunities that await you.  "Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it." 

"Once in a lifetime Opportunity" 

I269 corridor sign
"a once in a lifetime opportunity," is how Jim McDougal, director of the DeSoto County Planning Commission, described the highway
When complete, it will be an outer loop for the entire Mid-South region.
Beltway that provides easy access into & out of Memphis
Link along I-69, (NAFTA hwy) connects Canada &Mexico on interstate through the heart of US

Parts of TN 385, Paul Barret Parkway (northern Shelby County) and future stretch of 385 (along the Shelby/Fayette county border )
"It's not just another interstate highway. It's an international trade corridor.  In that context, if we don't think about it like that, we're not even going to begin to realize the potential that it has." Jim McDougal
Will bring increased capacity to the region's logistics, distribution, transportation industries, & even more opportunities to the Mid-South.
Staying Positive in a Negative World
Quote of the Week:
"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." 
Herm Albright, 1876-1944, German born artist, musician, philosopher and world traveler
I hope that quote makes you smile, it does me.  You've heard the saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."  I say, "if you don't want to join 'em, beat 'em!"  Have you ever been around a chronically positive person and wondered "How in the world does she stay that way?"    You've probably also noticed that she's one of the top producers in the company.  She's got a secret, and we're going to learn what it is.

Where does your attitude come from?  Is it easily swayed by your environment or circumstances?  Or is your attitude a solid force in your life?  Attitude is formed by our day in -day out thoughts and emotions, and affects all aspects of our lives.  By becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings, we can begin to recognize how they affect our attitude.  Our attitude determines how we handle the circumstances we will encounter every day and have direct affects on our health and relationships.  Are your thoughts focused on the bad news you hear on the nightly news or the gloomy articles you read?  Are you consumed with ideas like "I can't do this" or fears like, "What if I fail?"  Health professionals have proven time and time again that a negative attitude can adversely affect the major systems in our bodies, by causing high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, the list goes on and on. 
So, how do we stay positive when the negative seems to surround us?  Here's some suggestions:

1.  Write down your negative thoughts, then turn them into something positive.  For example:  negative thought - "There's no way I can finish all that I have to do today!" can be turned into - "I will get most of my list done today, and will finish it tomorrow." See the difference?  The first thought is overwhelming and discouraging.  The second reveals that there will be an accomplishment today and makes plans for tomorrow. 

2.  Offset negativity.  Many people are becoming discouraged with the continuous bad news about the economy and unemployment rates.  Sure, times are tough, but we Americans have been through them before, and we will probably go through them again.  Nothing is accomplished when we feel helpless.  If you read the newspaper alot, offset these negative reports by reading a self-help book or motivational writing.  If you watch the nightly news, watch a comedy after that. 
3.  Don't stuff your feelings.  Many of us choose to remain private about our struggles, but we love to proclaim our victories.  If you are going through a tough time, find a friend or associate with whom you can honestly share how you feel.  "How's business?" is a question many of us try to dodge today.  We don't know how to answer that question.  We can dump on the asker of the question, or cover up the truth with the prompted answer "Great!", but neither of those approaches help either of you.  An honest response would be, "Not so good right now.  How about you?"  Then follow up with, "What are you doing presently that is making a difference?" and "What positive changes are you seeing?"  If a new approach is working for someone else, chances are you can tailor make it to fit your business.  Be open to new ideas, suggestions and help. 
4.  Work some, play some.  "All work and no play makes for a very dull boy."  Workaholics are rarely happy people, and neither are their families!  That's why the motto at Keller Williams Realty is "God first, Family second, Work third."  We were not created to work 24/7.  Our creator knew we needed rest to revitalize and re-energize.  And, don't feel guilty when you do play.  It's good for the body and the soul, and you will find that your mind thinks more clearly.   

5.  Help someone else.  If you are struggling right now with meeting your goals, take a step aside and help someone else with their's.  Your experience and knowledge is unique and can be of assistance to another person.  Spend a little time visiting with another professional and learn about his business.  Give a referral, offer creative ideas and suggestions.  Many times being on the outside, looking in, can offer a fresh new perspective.  And, if you help others, they will be glad to help you back.  There are a host of networking groups in the Memphis area, like BNI, Small Business Chamber, etc. that are specifically designed to provide just such an environment where you can meet other business professionals and help each other.  In visiting with a homebuilder recently who is struggling, he shared this insight with me:  "He's doing well, while I'm not.  The only difference between him and me is that he networks, alot, I don't."   Networking is natural to some, more difficult for others of us.  My suggestion is to give it a try and you'll get use to it, remember what your piano teacher told you, practice makes all the difference!  Embrace the opportunity to meet other people in your field, and in fields that compliment your business.
6.  Strengthen your spiritual life.  Reseach proves that people who have a developed spiritual life live longer, more satisfying lives and are happier, more content and peaceful.

7.  Laugh a little.  Laughter is a powerful mood booster.  Tell me that there aren't a dozen things that happen to you each day that you couldn't just throw your head back and laugh about!  That is, if you don't take everything too seriously.  It's even good to laugh at your self. 

8.  Learn something new.  Learning exercises the mind and can open the opportunity to a new interest.  It may also trigger some new ideas and creativity in approaching old topics. 

If a negative attitude is dragging you down, knock it up a notch.  Try some of these suggestions and just see if it doesn't make you feel a little better.  Your attitude determines your altitude.  Expect the best, not the worst.  
Building a Foundation for the Future
Quote of the Week:
"A successful person is one who can lay a foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." 
David Brinkley , American newscaster, 1910-2003 
This quote reminds me of the advice we all received from our grandmothers, "If the world gives you lemons, make lemonade!"  We've all suffered tough times, the question is:  How do we make the best of them?  What bricks have been thrown at you?  Declining business?  Lost sales?  Higher costs?  Fewer customers?  Lower ticket averages?  Bad investments?  Shrinking equity?  Deteriorating 401k plans?  Reduction in workforce?  You've taken the bumps and bruises, let's start building.
Start laying down all those bricks, for they each represent a lesson well learned.  You may see various shapes, colors and textures; that's OK, it makes the structure more interesting.  All of our life experiences, good, bad or even the indifferent ones, all work together to make you who you are today, with the wisdom acquired, knowledge gained, and experience well earned.   
Mortar holds the bricks together.  Let's take some of Grandma's lemons and turn them into lemonade.  We will mix the mortar from elements of today's economic climate, although perceived as negative by many, there are many advantages to building your foundation today.  Higher unemployment means that the labor force is plentiful, laborers are looking for work, so are subcontractors.  Contractors have fewer projects on their schedule, they can get to your project quicker and finish it faster.  Builders, willing to build to suit, may be easier to negotiate with, so it's a great time to ask for more options that tailor fit your needs.  Supply and demand teaches us that when consumers are buying less, prices go down, that includes the cost of building materials.  Real estate sales are falling behind last year, so sellers are more motivated so that great deal you've been waiting for may be available.  The stock market is unstable, so invest in new areas, like land and development. 
If you are ready to start building a foundation for the future, let's get together and talk about your goals and find a way to make it happen.  I have a network of resources to help you, including Business Bankers and Contractors, who I can recommend with confidence.  
Grandma's advice was good, and so was Grandpa's:  "Land is always a good investment." 

What Direction are you Headed?
Quote of the Week:
"One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife." 
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American Poet, 1850-1919
What direction are you headed in this current storm?  Have you set your sails to go East or West?  The winds blow the same for all of us, yet some succeed and some do not.  We watch the news and listen to sad stories of desperate people.  Yet in some of the most desperate times in our history, those who saw opportunities rose to wealth and good fortune. 
This reminds me of a story I once read about two brothers.  One was homeless and poor, the other brother was successful and happy with his life.  The homeless brother was asked, "What happened to you to make life turn out this way?"  The homeless brother answered, "I had a terrible childhood, full of abuse and neglect."  The successful brother was asked the same question, "What happened to you to make life turn out this way?"  His answer was much the same as his brother, "I had a terrible childhood, full of abuse and neglect."  The homeless brother chose to wallow in his sorrow and continue the destiny he felt his parents laid out for him.  The successful brother saw a different destiny, one of change, his past inspired him to seek a different and better life. 
Things are not status quo right now.  What worked in the past is not working now.  To succeed, we must think differently, creatively and out of the box.  It's not a seller's market, we can all agee on that.  Yet it is a buyer's market.  It is the perfect time to invest in your future.  There are good deals to be made and good investments to make in real estate.  I have a network of professionals ready to help, business lenders, insurance providers and the entire professional staff of KW Commercial, all who will be working to achieve your goals and dreams.  If you want to make the current storm work for you by filling your sails with the gusts of wind, call me and we will find an investment where you can build for the future. 

Article written by Jo Baker

Turning Small Opportunities into Great Enterprises
Quote of the Week:
"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises." 
Demosthenes, Greek Orator, born 385 BC
Bleak - a word commonly used to describe the current real estate market.  But, according to new research, apartment and industrial properties are expected to rebound sooner than other sectors.  When?  Research suggests later this year or at the beginning of 2010.  Don't you want to be at a place of advantage when the rebound occurs?   
"In general, apartment and industrial markets should be less negatively impacted by market fundamentals in the near term, with strong fundamentals in the longer term making them less risky investments," says Alan Billingsley, head of research in the Americas for Deutsche Bank Group's Asset Management investment division, which has more than $67 billion in assets under management.
Apartments:  A remarkably strong recovery for apartments is projected between 2011 and 2015, owing much to a slowed new development pipeline. Deliveries of new apartment units are forecast to drop to 1993-94 levels of 40,000 annual units by mid-2010.  "Over time, apartments have provided the most stable income and appreciation for investors' portfolios," says MacDonald. "They have proven to increase returns and stability of an overall real estate portfolio, and the demographics speak well for apartments."
Industrial investments:  Deutsch recommends that investors keep their eye on industrial investments.  The downturn for industrial properties is expected to be less severe than other sectors due to a general lack of overbuilding and less severe cutbacks in tenant demand for space. Industrial should also bounce back to health more quickly than other types of property. 
Finding a good buy in Industrial property today, could pay off big when the market rebounds, and it will.  I know of several good industrial properties available right now that could be just the investment opportunity your portfolio needs.  Call me at 901-262-8171 today to learn more.

Source:  Ben Johnson, National Real Estate Investor

Commercial Property Is A Great Investment  
The value of residential real estate is at the mercy of the market.  Depending on the amount that comparable homes have sold for, your home will be valued accordingly and equity is eroding away.  That's not the case in commercial real estate.  Commercial Real Estate investors can actually make their properties appreciate regardless of market conditions. How? Commercial Real Estate is commonly valued by the properties cash flow, or Net Operating Income generated from the property.  If you increase your Net Operating Income, you increase your cash flow AND the value of your property.  Buy an empty building, clean it up, and rent it out.  Buy undeveloped land, build a building or build to suit, and get a tenant.  You have just transformed a no income property into a positive cash flow property that is appreciating in value.
Source:  Karen Hanover, a highly successful real estate investor and syndicator with over $32 million in personal property ownership, licensed commercial real estate agent with Marcus and Millichap, the largest national commercial brokerage in the country, Certified Commercial Real Estate Advisor, President of the National Apartment Investors Association, Board of Directors Member of the National Commercial Real Estate Advisory Board and Senior Instructor for Self Storage Education Institue and Apartments Education Institute.
 articles written by Jo Baker, [email protected]