Archive for September, 2007

Synergy conference – 2008

September 24, 2007

September 24, 2007. Good things come to those who participate.

Gary Lillie attended the CBOR meeting last Tuesday, the 18th, and signed up for the early bird registration to the annual commercial Realtors’ Synergy Conference that will take place April 23, 2008. There was a drawing for the early birds and Gary won; so his $195 registration fee was reimbursed. It pays to participate.

Commercial Realtors are vital to the economy of not just the local community, but also to the state and even the nation. One example is when, in 2003, Gary persuaded the Spanish Tier 1 auto supplier Grupo Antolin to locate a plant in Marlette, Michigan, instead of going to Mexico. Governor Granholm cited it as one of the signicant events for bringing jobs to Michigan that year.

This is taken from the Synergy web site:

What is “Synergy”? It’s an annual one-day conference with a Michigan commercial real estate focus. Synergy provides: Advanced real estate continuing education, Forums and panel discussions of timely specialty topics, Industry-wide networking, A complete industry trade show.Who attends “Synergy”? Michigan‘s leading commercial specialists in brokerage and salesDevelopers, Economic Development Agencies, Affiliated industry practitioners, Commercial Real Estate service providers.The keynote speakers are always excellent and the 2006 speaker, Michigan State University graduate Jack DeBoer, founder of Residence Inns and the Candlewood Hotel Company was an inspiration, as well as a goldmine of common sense business advice. In fact, you can hear his entire speech by going to and clicking on archives.

It’s 23 minutes and 19 seconds of your time worth spending.


Why we want professionalism

September 17, 2007

September 17, 2007. It is the opinion in our industry that Realtors have some of the strongest associations in the country. The reason is twofold; 1) a strong desire to constantly improve our profession, and 2) the realization that we operate under a microscope.

There is a track record of the United States Justice Department, IRS, HUD, SEC and many other agencies, plus consumers’ groups, attacking the real estate industry for one reason or another.

Typically the real estate industry comes out on the winning end, although there have certainly been cases where individuals or individual companies have been found responsible for one wrongdoing or another. That’s true in any industry. Sometimes it’s warranted and sometimes not. It’s the latter case that keeps every practitioner uneasy and extra cautious about not only staying ahead of the curve on new legislation, but actually proposing it in many cases.

Such was the case with the yearly Continuing Education requirements in Michigan, in order to renew your real estate license.

That piece of legislation was proposed by the Michigan Association of Realtors and passed by the Michigan legislature back in the 1970s. Gary Lillie was one of those who went to Lansing to lobby for it.

Gary entered the real estate brokerage business in 1967 and as a personal philosophy has always believed in continuing education; making it a requirement was one of his core beliefs.

With that in mind, Gary will attend the Michigan Commercial Board of Realtors (CBOR) meeting on Tuesday. The keynote speaker will be Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who will give an update on issues relating to the commercial real estate industry.

Bob Hobbs is selling!

September 10, 2007

September 10, 2007. While Gary was in Washington, D.C. reuniting with Seabees from MCB-3, the unit he served with in Vietnam, the office continued to hum along.

Bob Hobbs was spending a lot of time with developers; signing letters of intent on some very large buildings that are candidates for mixed use rehabbing. The buildings will most likely have commercial on the first floor, offices on the next one or two, and condos above that.

Bob is an expert at analyzing real estate, both financially and conceptually. He has been involved in the acquisition of tens of thousands of rental units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space.

Bob has looked at warehouses in the south and determined that they would make successful ice skating rinks! And, the concept proved to be hugely successful.

Bob has great contacts in the architectural and banking fields, and being a former CPA he knows how to analyze the numbers.

Bob Hobbs has impressed a lot of people with his knowledge. If you want to be dazzled, have him show you an example of a tax-credit, new-construction spread sheet, and explain to you what you are looking at.

If you can understand it, Bob will take you on as a client.

Investment land listing

September 3, 2007

September 3, 2007. Gary listed a great piece of investment land today. Actually, it is a re-list at a much lower price than the previous list price.

The property is 88 acres of land on the north side of Dundee. It fronts on both Stowell and Rightmire roads. The 88 acres has about ¾ mile of road frontage, plus over ¼ mile of frontage on the River Raisin.

The state of the economy has a lot of people holding back from purchasing investment land, but doesn’t that go against logic? The time to buy is when competition and prices are down, not when people must take a number in order to wave bundles of cash at sellers.

This 88 acres was once sold for $1,200,000, but the sale fell through when the out of town buyer decided the project was too far away for him to work on it. It was then listed at the much reduced price of $880,000 in order to close out a family trust.

Now, the price is even better – $740,000! That’s a bargain for land that could potentially hold 200 lots if sewer and water can be brought to it.

The sewer and water lines are just up the road a ways, but even if they can’t be brought to the property, with the amount of road frontage, there’s always the option of splitting the land into estate-sized lots, rather than subdividing it.

If you don’t know the difference between “splitting” and “subdividing,” no problem; give Gary a call and he’ll answer all of your questions.

There is no secret; no trick, to making money with land. There is only logic. Logic tells you that if you buy land in the path of development, if everything else is equal, you will do well. Mark Twain said:

“Find out where the people are going and get there first.”

That advice is even better today than it was back then. Plus, there is a bonus to buying land – unlike stocks and bonds you can plant trees on your investment!