Rob Harman is the President of The Delaware Association of Realtors and a Broker with Alliance Real Estate Professionals in Seaford, DE. In this short article, Harman discusses the current state of the commercial real estate market in and around his city and provides some excellent tips for current and would-be property investors.
Rob Harman has been involved with commercial real estate for most of his adult life. Harman remembers, “I began in D.C. managing commercial high rise office buildings in the northwest for two different private companies before finally being taken on by the Federal Government.” He continues, ” I was the building manager for a new Class A building at 17th and K Street with legal and accounting firms that represent industries on capitol hill.”
During the 80s, Harman joined the General Services Administration and managed buildings which included the State Department, Department of the Interior and yes, even the White House Group. “That included East and West Wings, Old and New Executive Office Buildings, Blair House and several other buildings,” explains Harman. ” I was privileged to serve during the first four years of the Reagan administration before moving my family to the eastern shore to start a business.”
Harman has been a licensed Realtor since 1995 in Delaware and a broker in Maryland and Delaware since 2000. He has been instrumental in doing a variety of commercial, industrial and business transactions, including solar farms for a power provider, chemical plants, medical offices, retail stores and office space.
When asked about the current state of commercial real estate in his area, Harman has a lot to say. “I have seen a couple of swings in the market in my lifetime, but this past decade has been particularly challenging to investors and developers alike. While the market is returning slowly, investors are understandably cautious in choosing investment properties.” Harman continues, “Returns on investments are the paramount consideration of course, but future risk is now added to the mix as well to assure an exit plan is in place for the next inevitable fall. Timing is everything.”
Harman cites a recent example of the perils and opportunities presented by timing. “I recently sold an automotive dealership that had sat vacant for years because of some environmental concerns. The investors that purchased the property were able to take the risk of closing quickly because they had cash and thus eliminating the holding costs and delays associated with bank financing,” Harman recalls and then summarizes, “Now that the concerns have been quantified, the property has several higher offers to consider netting the original purchaser a healthy profit.”
Asked about how investors or developers may best mitigate risk and leverage timing to their advantage, Harman had some sage advice. “There is always risk involved with a real estate investment purchase, but historical information and the advice of a knowledgeable local broker can quantify the risk and limit the exposure.” Harman explains, “Sometimes properties that have grown stale on the market for one reason or another, become more attractive with some curb appeal improvements. Buyers are also motivated by changes in their markets. In the case of the dealership I described, several dealers experienced upturns in auto sales and caused them to consider expanding into changing market areas they had not considered a few months earlier. It’s all about the timing along with global confidence in the future.”
It goes without saying that it is very difficult for the average property investor or developer to understand all the details and nuances associated with every commercial real estate deal available in any given market. Therefore, it is always wise to deal with an honest and knowledgeable professional and someone that has his or her ear to the ground on a daily basis.
Rob Harman certainly fits that bill. In parting, Harman offers this piece of advice, “Everyone agrees that real estate is still one of the best investments available. I continue to make money for my clients regardless of the market trends.” Harman explains how he’s able to do this, “You can make money on real estate when you buy it, as well as when you sell it with the right advice. I enjoy my profession and take pride in helping fulfill my clients investment plans and creating new friendships along the way.”
Rob Harman is has received “The Realtor of the Year” and “The Good Neighbor” awards and has been featured as a commercial real estate expert on WBOC television. Anyone seeking further information about Rob Harman and his services are encouraged to visit his site at: http://www.are-pros.com or to call his cell at (302) 462-0510.