Weird Signs and Indicators

We use signs and indicators in our daily lives to tell us what to expect. For real estate business decisions, there are some very interesting and also odd indicators that reflect the current business climate that can give indications of future trends.

If you were interested in investing in a restaurant, wouldn’t it be nice to know how well this restaurant and others in the area were doing. My wife and I were having dinner in Coconut Grove and in strolled “The Flower Guy”. Every night, he goes into every restaurant, singing opera songs and selling fresh roses. If you want to know how business is doing, you might just ask “The Flower Guy”.

We have an office in a highrise office building, and every day I see “The UPS Man” delivering packages to our floor. If you what to know general business trends, you could ask the “UPS Man”. He knows by the volume of packages how the economy is doing. In fact, UPS must make decisions on the future of the economy so they have enough trucks and drivers, but not too many.

Many years ago a friend of mine said he could predict the amount of new home construction before anyone. He just had to ask “The Survey Stake Man”. This is the man who cuts the wooden stakes used by surveyors to lay out subdivisions and new homes. The first thing a builder has to do to start building is have the site surveyed and lay out the foundations. As the demand for survey stakes changes, we can expect a change in new home construction.

If you were investing in a hotel or motel, wouldn’t it be great to be able to verify the occupancy for the past several months to see how well this hotel is doing compared to the competition ? Just ask “The Linen Man”. He picks up the soiled linen and delivers the clean linen. He knows exactly how much business his clients are doing each week. Or you could ask “The Bakery Man”. He delivers fresh bread and rolls each day. Hotels are only going to order enough baked goods for their daily guests.

A quick way to check up on the operation of an office building or shopping center is to track the number of cars in the parking lots. If the lot is empty, it could mean a shortage of tenants or customers. On the other hand, if the parking lot is full, it might suggest this is a good place to help tenants relocate to larger spaces. Or you could ask “The Parking Attendant”, he can tell you if the number of visitors has changed and also the occupancy level in the parking garage.

If you want to know the status of real estate sales activity, just ask the “Sign Man”. As the economy cools down, real estate prices don’t generally decline, but the amount of sales activities do decline, with a resulting decrease in the demand for new “For Sale” signs. Although I asked my “Sign Man” if there was a change in the number of signs he painted, he said that the number of signs was the same but oftentimes, signs were for the same companies. This is a indication of companies merging with others.

These and other indicators can help you make real estate and business decisions based on very direct local market indicators.

Call us – we know how to read the signs and indicators of the real estate market.