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Google's Next Venture Could Have Tremendous Impact on San Jose Real Estate

Google is notoriously tight-lipped about its expansion plans, which is why it came as such a surprise this Thursday when the tech company confirmed it has been eyeing San Jose’s Diridon Station district as a possible location for new corporate offices.But even more surprising is the fact that these won’t be any average Google offices. No. Instead, the company has ambitious plans to build a 6 million sq. ft. campus that could accommodate upwards of 20,000 new jobs. When fully built out, this would be the largest Google office complex in the world—twice the size of its “Googleplex” corporate headquarters in Mountain View.“We’re excited to have the support of the San Jose city council as we evaluate our options at Diridon Station,” a Google spokesperson said yesterday.San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo admitted that his office had been courting Google for years. The city realized there was a tremendous opportunity to add new mixed-use, transit-oriented development around the BART station.Apparently, after further consideration, Google agrees.While the plans are not set in stone, the city has offered to roll out the red carpet to make the deal happen. This includes selling land owned by the city in order to assist Google with the assembly of the entire 240-acre area that would be needed to build the mega-campus ().

San Jose property managers and apartment owners are already on notice. If Google’s transit-oriented tech village becomes a reality, this would have a tremendous impact on San Jose’s real estate market.

To put the scale of this development in perspective, San Jose currently has only 10 million sq. ft. of office space. Adding another 6 million sq. ft. would be transformative for the city’s economy.And it will bring San Jose’s already strong housing market to new heights. The tens of thousands of people who work at Google’s San Jose offices will need somewhere to live. The promise of Google’s high-paying jobs is sure to spark new residential development.“I wouldn’t be surprised to see speculative real estate developers gobbling up San Jose rental property before the details have even been finalized with Google,” says Mynd co-founder Doug Brien. “Investors will be eager to scoop up San Jose rental property before they get priced out.”Investors who break into the market now, or San Jose property managers and landlords who already own local real estate, will benefit from elevated rents in the short-term as supply rushes to keep up with demand. “Since it is notoriously difficult to build in the Bay Area, it could take years for these new rental units to materialize,” Brien explains.Many San Jose officials have called the proposed campus “transformational” for the Diridon district. That’s true. But it will also be transformational for the city’s housing market -- for renters, San Jose, CA property managers, apartment owners and investors alike. We’ll continue to monitor the development as new details become available.


What do Advances in Healthcare and Real Estate have in Common? More than you think.

People are living longer. A lot longer, thanks to advances in medicine and technology. This is going to have a major impact on real estate. Two industries often considered far apart – healthcare and real estate – are indeed more intertwined than most people realize.Our increased longevity has a lot to do with stem cell research, so let’s start there.The human body is a collection of over 30 trillion human cells, each of which is derived from a single stem cell. Stem cells have the remarkable ability to replicate and differentiate into the body’s other types of cells – brain, liver, skin and other organs. If that wasn’t impressive enough, stem cells are also the regenerative engine of the body. They help cure disease and extend a person’s lifespan. “They are nature’s perfect repair kit – ready to be mobilized and facilitate repair when needed,” says Dr. Robert Hariri, a stem cell expert.So why don’t we live forever?Current theory points to two reasons: First, the human body eventually depletes its reserves of stem cells. Second, stem cells go through various changes () over the course of a person’s life, making them less effective the older a person gets.Remarkable advances in stem cell research could be changing all of that. Life-ending ailments like cancer, HIV and heart disease could all soon be a thing of the past.

Peter Diamandis, an engineer, physician, entrepreneur and co-author of the New York Times bestseller “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think” recently laid out some of the extraordinary medical advances that were made just last year:

  • Immunotherapy helped nearly cure patients of certain types of cancer. Doctors removed immune cells from patients, tagged them with “receptor” molecules that target the specific cancer, and then infused the cells back into the body. A staggering 94% of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia saw their symptoms disappear entirely. Patients with other blood cancers had response rates greater than 80%.
  • A team of Chinese scientists became the first to treat a human patient with an aggressive form of lung cancer with the groundbreaking CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique.
  • Harvard stem cell researchers created “insulin producing” cells to cure diabetes in mice.
  • Biologists at Osaka University in Japan discovered a way to use a small sample of adult skin to grow the retinas, corneas and lenses that make up the human eye.
  • Cell biologists found that systematically removing a category of living, stagnant cells can extend the life of mice by 25%.

And just think – these medical advances are just the result of stem cell research. Advances in other technologies, such as 3D printing, are also poised to help people live longer. Doctors in Spain recently 3D printed and implanted a titanium rib cage into a 54-year-old cancer patient who had lost his sternum and pieces of four ribs when doctors removed a large tumor.People are already living longer than ever. Medical advances such as these mean that a person’s longevity is likely to increase even more in the years to come.According to the UN, in 1950, only 1 in 15 people aged 60 or older were 80 or more years old. In 2000, this ratio had increased to 1 in 9. By 2050, it is expected to hit 1 in 5. By 2050, the United States will be home to more than 30 million people aged 80+, compared to 9 million today.Really cool stuff, right? But you may be wondering what this has to do with real estate….Simply put: the fact that we’re living longer is going to have tremendous implications for the real estate industry, whether people realize it or not.The ability to have children later in life may impact where people want to live (). People are waiting longer to get married and have children. Between 1970 and 2014, the average age of a first-time mother jumped from 21.4 to 26.3 years old. Some women are waiting much longer to have children; the number ofwomen over 40 having children has doubled since 1990 alone. New fertility drugs have made it easier for older woman to get pregnant later in life, and advances in technology have helped children born through these traditionally high-risk pregnancies less risky.The ability to have children later in life means young adults aren’t under as much pressure to get married and have children. They can spend some time focusing on their careers first. This will likely influence where a person wants to live, and what types of housing they want. It used to be that people would move to the suburbs in their late 20s, early 30s when it was time to start a family. With people settling down later in life, this may increase demand for apartments in urban areas – particularly cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York that attract young, professional talent.Demand for traditional family-sized housing may decline. As people live longer, a smaller proportion of their lives will be spent at home with the nuclear family. Most children live at home until they turn 18, give or take a few years. Call it 20, for simplicity’s sake. For the person who lives to 65, this means about 30% of their life is spent living at home with their nuclear family. The proportion drops to 22% for people who live to 90, which will increasingly become the norm. This trend could result in less overall demand for family-sized housing relative to homes designed for singles or couples.…but demand for multi-generational housing may increase. On the contrary to the point above, demand for multi-generational housing may increase as people live longer and parents begin moving back in with their adult children. As people live longer, there may be an extended period of time where people do not want to live alone (), but who are not ready to move into a senior living facility. Call these people who are predominantly independent. This may drive demand for homes that offer an in-law suite for parents to move back in with their children at a later stage in life.An extended retirement period could affect where people want to () live. Retiring by age 60 is already a thing of the past. As people live longer, healthier lives we suspect to see more people waiting until age 70 or 75 to retire. Some will delay retirement voluntarily; some will be obligated to financially. In any event, if people are living to 100 or 120 years old, they will have a significantly longer post-retirement period than people have today.There are a number of ways this might affect real estate. On one hand, if people are more physically active in their later years, this may increase demand for walkable, transit-oriented areas. This allows older people to ditch their personal vehicles while retaining easy access to medical care, social and cultural activities, and the other amenities these places tend to offer. However, real estate in walkable areas can be pricy. People will be required to stretch their savings over a longer timeframe as life expectancy increases. This may drive demand for places with a low cost of living, such as urban areas in the Midwest versus more expensive coastal cities.Homes will need to be designed with accessibility in mind. Only 1% of U.S. housing units have all five of what are known as universal design features: no-step entry, single-floor living, extra-wide doorways and halls, accessible electrical controls and switches, and lever-style door and faucet handles that are easier to grab than knobs. These design features are going to be more important as people live longer.Forward-thinking real estate investors are starting to design “homes for life,” or homes that incorporate design features that work for both young families as well as ageing adults. For instance, a first-floor bedroom provides the option for one-level living but can also be used as a home office or playroom. Positioning sinks and vanity cabinets lower makes them easier to use by children and people in wheelchairs alike. It is much more cost effective to integrate accessibility into units at the outset rather than trying to retrofit them down the line.When it comes to discussing the impact of aging Americans on real estate, most industry professionals default to a conversation around downsizing. Sure, some people will want to trade in their McMansions for smaller, more appropriately-sized homes, apartments and condos. But unit size is just the tip of the iceberg. Increased longevity is going to have significantly greater impacts on the real estate industry. This will only accelerate as medical technology improves. Real estate investors who consider these impacts now will be positioned to reap the rewards in short order.


How Working Remotely Will Impact the Future of Real Estate

We're becoming a more globally connected society right before our eyes. In 2010, only 1.8 billion people had access to high-speed internet. By 2016, this had increased to 3 billion. And according to experts, it is possible that all of the world’s 8 billion people will have high-speed internet access as early as 2022.The proliferation of high-speed internet is boosted by advances in technology. Companies like Google and Facebook are leading the way by testing solar-powered drones that could deliver high-speed internet to remote areas from the air. Really high-speed internet. Google’s Project Skybender aims to deliver data using 5G technology, which some say could be 40 times faster than the 4G service we’re accustomed to today. Not to be outdone, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has asked the FCC for permission to launch 4,425 satellites into space as part of a plan to blanket the Earth with broadband.The widespread availability of high-speed internet is already changing the way we work. Working remotely is on the rise, and it’s become easier than ever for companies to hire people abroad. Case in point: approximately 30% of Mynd’s team works remotely, from as far away as Eastern Europe. Most of the remaining 70% work at least one day per week from home.Platforms like Slack help to streamline project management, and Google Hangouts allow us to have virtual meetings as easily as if we were all in the same conference room here in Oakland.It’s not just employees who love the ability to work from home. Employers see the benefits, too. Overhead costs are lower, and studies show that working from home can increase productivity. Perhaps most importantly, a remote working culture gives companies access to a global talent pool, rather than a local one. And, for companies in high-salary areas like the Bay Area, much of that global talent can be hired for a fraction of the salary of local employees.The trend toward working remotely is going to have major implications for the real estate industry. Here are a few key considerations for real estate investors to monitor closely.

People may become less tethered to more expensive work centers.

The cost of real estate is sky-high in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Boston – and with good reason. These cities are major employment hubs that attract people from all over the world in search of well-paying job opportunities. Working remotely may mean that people no longer need to live in those areas in order to land jobs with companies based there. They can move to cities like Park City, Utah where the quality of life is high but job prospects are few and far between.“This should lead to ascending real estate values in the most beautiful vacation spots, though it will take some time for that trend to accelerate as people reluctantly leave more ‘target rich’ () environments for the tranquility of their desired turf,” according to Forbes article on the subject.Zapier, a San Francisco-based tech company, has gone so far as to offer employees $10,000 to move away from the Bay Area where the cost of living is lower. Zapier will undoubtedly recoup the incentive through lower overhead costs, but the company also sees it as a way to offer employees a higher quality of life by allowing them to work remotely in an area that is less expensive. Zapier has nearly 70 employees around the world, all of whom work remotely.

Workers may be willing to live farther from downtown.

Not everyone will be able to work from home every day. It’s just not conducive to some occupations () and some employers will want their team in the office more frequently than not. Nonetheless, a Gallup survey released last month found that 43% of Americans work remotely at least some of the time. The newfound freedom to work from home () will inevitably affect where people decide to live.Those who long for a single family home in the suburbs may flee the city, accepting a longer daily commute if they only have to make the trip a few times a week. In exchange, they’ll enjoy the larger homes, lower real estate prices, better schools and neighborhoods with lower crime that typically characterize the suburbs.

Demand for specific housing features will change.

The shift to working remotely is rocketing the importance of home offices. Working from the sofa, beach or Starbucks just doesn’t cut it anymore. It might be easy to integrate a home office into a single family rental property, but it will be harder to provide in smaller multifamily rental units. But this doesn’t mean multifamily owners should turn a blind eye to the working remotely trend. Many multifamily developers are now building co-work spaces into their rental properties.“When I was looking for apartments, a lot of buildings said they had an office, but when you got there you’d find this sterile room from the 1990s, lots of brown and mauve,” explains Maani Safa, the co-founder of Etch. “A space like that is utterly useless – an office should be about invoking a feeling of creativity and calm, it should be a place I want to bring people. Otherwise I’d stay in my apartment.” Safa ultimately leased a two-bedroom apartment at the Abington House in West Chelsea, a multifamily building that offers a modern co-working space on the ground floor. Other developers are following suit, adding collaborative work studios and computer bars as part of their amenity packages.Based upon these predictions, it might seem as though the growth of the remote workforce is going to spell the end of cities’ popularity. Not so fast. While some people may relocate to more affordable areas, we suspect demand for downtown living will remain high. Cities offer a dense collection of restaurants, arts and culture, entertainment and job opportunities that is hard to replicate in the suburbs. So we anticipate people will continue paying a premium to live in walkable, transit-oriented areas for the foreseeable future.Real estate and technology are often looked at as different realms—but there’s growing overlap between the two sectors. It is important for real estate investors to monitor these trends closely in order to understand how advances in technology will impact the future of real estate. Those who remain at the forefront will be best positioned to protect their portfolios as the market shifts.


Why We are Training Our Team to Be Real Estate Investors

Why We are Training Our Team to Be Real Estate Investors

There are so many ways Mynd differentiates itself from other property management companies: through the integration of technology, the use of real-time analytics, building a rock star team of property managers with decades of experience – just to name a few.  But we don’t stop there.Early on, my co-founder Doug Brien and I realized how important it was for all members of the team to understand real estate investing. In order to help you maximize value, everybody at Mynd needs to understand the pain points felt by Bay Area landlords ().So we set out to build a team of incredible people who are passionate about real estate. That was our starting point. But passion only carries you so far. We wanted our team to truly understand the nuances of the industry. How should they be thinking about cap rates? What are the tradeoffs between yield and expected appreciation? How do taxes influence a decision of where and how to buy – and when does it make sense to do a 1031-exchange? Technology is already starting to impact real estate, but how? What does this mean for real estate investors, and how can it help boost their bottom line?That’s when it clicked: we should be coaching our employees about real estate investing!Doug and I amassed a tremendous amount of investment expertise founding and running Waypoint Homes, where we bought and managed over 17,000 single family rental homes across 13 U.S. markets. Instead of keeping that knowledge bottled up, we should be sharing it with our team.We’ve rolled out a series of lunchtime talks to explore questions like those above. We’ve started to meet with each team member one-on-one to understand their individual investment strategies and real estate goals. And we just hosted our first live educational event, “Increase Profits: Tech’s Impact on Real Estate & Property Management,” which brought together some of the Bay Area’s leading real estate professionals to help educate our network, customers – and our staff – stay on the cutting edge of emerging trends.Once upon a time, property managers could get by on their 20+ years of experience. But today, technology is disrupting the industry unlike anything we’ve seen before. Experience alone won’t cut it. Continual education is key.And it’s a win-win.We’re hoping the real estate education helps our team develop their own dual-income stream: one active, the other passive. We already have a team of smart, creative people who are passionate about real estate investing – now we want to teach them how to put their money to work for them and grow that money over time.Our customers win, too. The ability to think like an investor helps our team take care of our landlords more thoughtfully. The people working on your account know how to do more than just lease properties and manage service calls. They’re also constantly thinking of ways to maximize your value. It’s not just their job. It’s a mindset. And it’s how we help Mynd your business.Employee education and investor training is just one of the many perks that Mynd offers to its employees. We may be a startup, but we’re in this for the long haul. And that means we’ve got to attract and retain the best people possible. It’s a virtuous cycle. People love it here so they work hard and provide incredible results. Our customers are happy. The word spreads and our landlord base grows. Then we get to add even more amazing, real estate-minded people to our team. It’s how we’ve grown our team from just a handful to more than 40 over the past year, and suspect it’s a leading reason for why the company’s customer base continues to increase by 30% per month.And just think: we’re only getting started. The best is yet to come.


How Will Self-Driving Cars Affect Real Estate?

For a long time the idea of self-driving cars was fantastical, something we’d expect to see in an episode of The Jetsons but certainly not here on our own streets. But alas, it’s 2017 and the rapid progression of technology has made self-driving cars a reality. Google and Tesla have each put self-driving cars on the roads in California, nuTonomy is testing its technology on the streets of Boston, and Michigan recently passed new legislation to make the state a haven for companies looking to pilot other self-driving technologies.Self-driving cars are real, and they’re going to become widespread faster than most people expect. Some say that Uber will begin offering its first driverless rides just two years from now, with broad-based adoption within five years.As driverless vehicles become common, the cost of ride-sharing will become substantially lower than the cost of car ownership. The biggest cost of an Uber ride today goes to pay the “salary” of the Uber driver; however, an autonomous car needs no driver, so the market price should be cut by more than 50%. In addition, most cars are parked 96% of the time, which is highly inefficient. Driverless cars can be on the road almost 24 hours per day, further lowering costs.People are already driving less than they used to. According to architectural designer Jeff Speck, in the late 1970s only 8% of 19-year-olds opted out of getting drivers’ licenses, whereas today, that number has tripled to 23%.This combination can only mean one thing: pretty soon, car ownership is going to become a thing of the past for most people. And that’s going to cause a major shakeup in the real estate industry.

Here are five ways we suspect self-driving cars will affect residential real estate:

  1. Parking lots and garages will become less necessary – if not obsolete. Parking lots and garages in apartment buildings can be converted and repurposed to make way for additional residential units and/or resident amenities, such as a fitness center, movie room or outdoor pool.
  2. Cities will lower their parking requirements, thereby allowing developers to increase residential density. The number of units a developer builds is often constrained by his ability to meet a city’s parking requirements. For instance, he may be required to build 1.5 parking spaces per residential unit. In land-constrained cities, there is often not enough space to build the requisite number of parking spaces so developers can’t build as many units as they’d otherwise like (). As car ownership declines, cities will begin to lower their parking ratios. We’re already starting to see this happen in cities like San Francisco. Ultimately, lower parking ratios will make it easier for developers to build more units at any given multifamily project.
  3. Housing will become more affordable. The average parking space is only 330 square feet in size but can add anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per space to a development’s total project costs (). As cities lower parking ratios, new development projects will become more affordable. Existing buildings will also become more valuable if they have parking spaces can be converted into living units.Cost savings won’t be constrained to multifamily buildings; owners of single family homes could get a boost too. An estimated 13% of every single-family lot is now dedicated to a garage. This space could be converted into an office or in-law suite. Owners can then turn around and rent these accessory units out on websites like Airbnb, which in effect will make single-family homes 13% more affordable than they were previously.
  4. Neighborhoods that currently lack parking will become more attractive.Anyone who’s familiar with San Francisco knows how bad the parking crunch is in the North Beach neighborhood. Unless you have off-street parking, finding a place to park can be a nightmare. For some people, this makes North Beach a no-go when it comes to deciding where to live. When self-driving vehicles become more prevalent and people begin to forego private car ownership, areas like North Beach could become more appealing. Property values and rents could both rise as people no longer need to worry about where to park their cars.
  5. Commuting patterns may change. People might be willing to live farther away from the city center when autonomous vehicles become the norm. Driverless cars will allow people to be productive during their commute; they can make phone calls, shoot off emails, read the news, or take a nap. This could make fringe and suburban markets more popular, where people have access to more land, bigger homes and better schools.

As real estate investors, we have to stay ahead of the trends. We can’t be naïve or blind to advances in technology. Driverless cars are coming, and they’re coming fast. Most investors plan to own their investments for 10 years orare more, and things are going to shift dramatically over the next decade. Investors who can anticipate these changes and invest accordingly will be well rewarded in the long-run.


With All Eyes on San Jose Expansion, Google Quietly Picks up 52 Parcels in Sunnyvale

Google is on the move again. Just a few weeks ago the tech titan announced its plans to build upwards of 8 million square feet of office and R&D space in downtown San Jose, a move that real estate experts call a “game changer” for the city.

But it seems Google isn’t going to put all of its eggs in that basket.52 Parcels in SunnyvaleLast week, news broke that Google has been silently buying up parcel after parcel in Sunnyvale. Google has locked down 52 Sunnyvale properties, to be exact, for a grand total of $820 million. The properties are located on more than a dozen streets, but all are clustered close together in an area known as Moffett Park. Moffett Park is just four miles south of Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View.In total, the Sunnyvale properties consist of at least 2.3 million square feet of space and are spread across a number of property types from office to R&D and industrial buildings.“This is a huge land grab,” says Chad Leiker, a first vice president with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. “It’s a major repositioning of what’s going on in Sunnyvale.”

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, acquiring these properties allows Google to fill the gaps between its other Sunnyvale offices—some of which Google leases, some of which it owns.Google was able to fly under the radar in Sunnyvale by purchasing the properties through its real estate brokerage partner, CB Richard Ellis. CBRE began acquiring the parcels through multiple transactions as far back as 2014, according to county records. Google used a similar method to acquire properties in San Jose, in which it partnered with real estate giant Trammell Crow as a conduit to avoid attention being drawn to the deals.Earlier in the week, during an interview with CNBC, an industry insider revealed that Google already has 72,000 employees but needs additional space to grow into. It is estimated that Google could house upwards of 11,000 additional employees at the Sunnyvale properties it has under agreement.Once the sales are finalized, Google will have offices scattered between San Francisco and San Jose, a disaggregated approach that stands in stark contrast to rivals like Apple and Facebook, whose Silicon Valley employees tend to be concentrated closer together.Google has stayed mum about the transactions, suffice to say that it has indeed purchased the properties in question. “That is all the information we have to share at this time,” said Katherine Williams, a Google spokesperson.Although it remains to be seen what Google has in mind for its new Sunnyvale real estate, one thing is evident: Google has no plans of slowing down its expansion efforts in Silicon Valley—another positive signal for multifamily investors that demand for Sunnyvale apartments will only continue to grow.


Adobe's Expansion Plans Yet Another Validation of San Jose Real Estate Market

San Jose property managers and investors were in a frenzy when Google announced its ambitious plans to build a 6 to 8 million square foot office and R&D complex near Diridon Station. The scale of development far surpasses anything San Jose has seen before.But as it turns out, it’s not just investors or San Jose property management companies who are excited by the news. Since Google announced its plans last month, a number of other companies have announced their intention to relocate to or expand their presence in San Jose.Just last week, Adobe Systems joined the fray.

Adobe's Expansion

On Thursday, Adobe announced it was planning to buy a property near its main offices in order to expand its already massive, 3-building headquarters in downtown San Jose. By adding a fourth tower, Adobe would be able to more than double its downtown workforce from 2,500 employees to an estimated 5,500.“It’s an exciting time for Adobe, and we continue to thrive and grow as a company,”said Jonathan Francom, Adobe’s vice president of employee and workplace solutions. “We are doubling down on San Jose with .”Adobe will be purchasing the parcel, located at 333 W. San Fernando Street, from Wolff Urban Development and JP DiNapoli Cos. The purchase price has not yet been disclosed, but real estate experts suspect it will be steep. Earlier this month, Boston-based AEW Capital Management purchased a downtown San Jose office building for more than $80 million, a record $509 price per square foot for the area—a number that shattered the previous record by about $90 per square foot.Francom acknowledges how hot the San Jose market is, but says it’s worth it.“As we know, land in the Valley is at a premium, but there’s a reason,” he says. “It’s a great place for us to continue to invest in our growing population in a great place that has a deep talent pool that we can leverage for our future needs at Adobe.”In many ways, Adobe is considered a pioneer among downtown San Jose office tenants. Adobe was one of the first major tech companies to buy real estate in San Jose when it built the first portion of its 900,000 square foot headquarters at 345 Park Ave. more than two decades ago. Their latest expansion plans just reaffirm the company’s commitment to San Jose.The news has San Jose property management companies, landlords and investors buzzing. Google’s expansion plans are exciting, to be sure, but its San Jose mega-campus could take years to construct. The parcel that Adobe plans to buy has already gone through the entitlement process; an 18-story mixed-use tower has already been approved by the City. This should allow Adobe to break ground much faster than Google, meaning more jobs in downtown San Jose on an even shorter timeline.“We were thrilled to hear about Adobe’s expansion plans,” says Mynd co-founder Colin Wiel. “Although Adobe’s plans to purchase the parcel at 333 W. San Fernando have been in the works since early this year, the announcement last week is simply further validation of the San Jose office market. And for San Jose property managers, landlords and investors – further validation of the local rental market. Just as investors are willing to pay a premium for office space, we’re seeing more people pay a premium for San Jose homes and rental properties.”Just how far prices will climb remains to be seen.“The growth of downtown San Jose has some investors thinking the sky’s the limit,” says Wiel. Markets always ebb and flow, but if these corporate expansion plans come to fruition, demand for rental housing will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.”


Landlords, San Jose Property Managers Call Google Mega-Campus a Game-Changer as News Spreads that Development Could Swell to 8m Sq. Ft.

San Jose was already buzzing with news that Google is in talks with the City to build a 6 million square foot “mega-campus” near Diridon Station. Landlords and San Jose property management companies instantly speculated on the impact this would have on the local real estate market.Then, just a few days after the initial plans were leaked, City officials dropped another bomb: the mega-campus Google has in mind could actually swell to closer to 8 million square feet.A staff memo prepared in advance of a City Council meeting this week indicated that the massive development could actually be one-third larger than previously indicated. “Preliminary discussions with Google indicate interest in planning and building a master-planned transit-oriented development that includes between 6 and 8 million square feet of office/R&D space and retail/commercial amenities,” the staff report states.

Just how big is 8 million square feet?

To put it in perspective, that would be about the same size as five major regional shopping centers the size of Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose. Or, roughly the same size as the rest of downtown San Jose’s office market combined. It would be more than two and a half times the size of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.Google envisions the campus as a way to combat gridlocked traffic and needlessly long commutes. Unlike the corporate campuses of yesteryear, which were located in sprawling suburbs, this mega-campus would be a new model of sustainable, transit-oriented campus design. Rather than the campus being walled-off from the rest of the community, Google’s San Jose campus would be integrated into the heart of the city.Already, local officials are speculating that the project could create upwards of 20,000 new jobs. This would be a game-changer for the city, agree San Jose property managers and real estate investors.“The scale of development Google has proposed is unlike any that San Jose has seen before,” says Mynd co-founder Colin Wiel. “And it is perfectly aligned with the other live/work trends we’ve been seeing in recent years. Young, creative people want to live in areas chock-full of amenities so they’re choosing to live in urban areas. Employers are responding. Google’s plans for a mega-campus in San Jose are indicative of the tech industry’s desire to locate as close to their workforce as possible.”Key to Google’s redevelopment of approximately 240-acres is the City’s willingness to sell 16 city-owned parcels to the tech giant. Tomorrow night, the San Jose City Council will vote on whether to open negotiations with Google to that end. Local landlords, developers and San Jose property management companies will be watching closely.Stay tuned as plans for the area continue to unfold. We’ll keep San Jose property managers, apartment owners and investors updated as we learn more along the way.


Self-Managing Rental Property: What Is Your Time Worth?

You’ve heard the familiar proverb “time is money,” but what does that actually mean? Have you ever stopped to think about what the actual price of your time is? When you start assigning a dollar value to each hour of your day, you gain a ton of clarity on exactly how much your time is worth, and you may start thinking more about how your time is spent. As a rental property owner, what is the cost of your time?

Stressed Gesture Businessman Workplace Concept

Clocking in for Cash

Property management is a full-time job – and a tough one at that. Without good management, even the best properties can end up dropping in value. When you consider everything that goes into managing your own properties, assess how much time needs to be allocated to finding and screening tenants, maintaining and repairing units regularly, getting familiar with East Bay compliance laws, and resolving tenant issues. And once you start thinking about scale, be careful about spreading yourself too thin. If you compromise the level of attention you pay to acquiring the right kinds of properties and getting them in top shape for renters (), what you’re really compromising is the potential to maximize profits.Additionally, if you’re finding it fruitful to maintain just a couple of properties, and are not necessarily keen on building your portfolio, it’s still imperative to know exactly how your hours are spent. It’ll give you a better understanding of your overall capacity, which may allow you to explore other opportunities to build high net worth.

By the Numbers: An Analysis

Clock face and American currency

So, how does this all play out? Let’s use a nice, round number and say your “billable” rate is $50/hour. We’ll say it took you an hour to take pictures, record a video walk-through, and list the unit on East Bay property rental sites. On top of that, a total of 14 hours across three days to respond to multiple prospects, coordinate with them to show the unit, get the lease signed, and go over leasing terms and paperwork with the new resident. Mind you,15 total hours – or $750 – to complete all of this is nothing short of a miracle. You can assume a typical property management company in East Bay would do this for about $900. It would also cost a few hundred bucks to take pictures and market the property, which means there’s a potential to perform all of these tasks at cost. That is, if we’re assuming this is how you want to spend your time and that you work like a machine. But, if you would rather focus on your primary job, spend time with family, or travel, why do the things a property manager can probably do better?It’s also important to consider the potential risks. Do you have a process for selecting your resident? Do you abide by Fair Housing? Do you even know what Fair Housing is? There are lots of major risks associated with selecting your residents – physical property damage, consistent late payments, messy evictions, etc. Is the risk worth the reward?

The Challenges of Self-Managing Rental Property

Most property investors will, at some point, take a stab at self-managing. It’s true that there are some perks to managing your own properties. You can get some hands-on experience, you don’t have to pay anyone to perform the everyday tasks associated with this business, and you have more “control” over how your properties are managed. But, how is “control” defined? For some, it might mean being across every single detail and dealing with every step of the process yourself. For others, it simply means having full transparency of the interactions that are being had with residents as well as R&M services, knowing how your properties are performing at any given time, and being well-informed. The “control” is perceived through easy access to information and the ability to remain seated in the decision-maker’s chair. Regardless, the advantages that come with self-managing a feasible number of properties can leave owners feeling like this “job” is completely sustainable – and “free.”Handling Resident Relations and Concerns While Self-Managing PropertyHowever, the pain points that are commonly felt by investors who are self-managing an ever-growing portfolio of properties easily outweigh the perks. As a self-manager, you’d have to deal with every single resident’s grievances – everything from addressing disputes between tenants to more serious issues like being told there are rodent droppings in your unit’s kitchen cabinets. You don’t have time to mitigate tenant discrepancies. Nor do you want to deal with finding and hiring expensive exterminators to rid your unit of pests, and wonder afterwards if they even did a good job. Not to mention handling messy evictions, staying on top of East Bay compliance laws for every city and county you own property, managing requests for rent payment extensions. Shall I go on?Ultimately, what makes sense to one property owner may not apply to another. Whether you decide to delegate managing your properties to experts or take it on yourself as a full-time job, evaluate what options would benefit you most when it comes to property management. You’ll have to calculate the hours spent and then ask yourself again – is it worth it? Remember, it is very common for those that self-manage to view property management as a “free” responsibility. Hopefully you are gaining a better understanding that property management is not free of cost, because your time is valuable and can be used in many different ways.

Down to the Bottom Line

What’s your real bottom line after calculating all the labor you’ve put in? As a thoughtful investor, you know the importance of tracking your time on all property management and real estate-related activities. You’ll soon realize that as you gain more experience as a property owner and your approach to property management gets more sophisticated, delegating responsibilities will create more efficiencies at scale. This is especially important if you’re planning to further develop your investment portfolio, or if you’re already doing so. The reality is that savvy investors tend to build “teams” of people and companies that do portions of the work, which allows the owner/investor to maximize their time and value.

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Whether you own a property in Oakland, Hayward, Alameda, the East Bay, San Diego or Seattle, working with a local property management company can actually improve your bottom line. Property management companies typically have existing relationships with R&M service providers, which means they’re able to access those services for a better price and with a higher degree of responsiveness. You can also avoid fees associated with non-compliance issues, and save hours upon hours appointing a trusted team to manage and fill vacant units. Time really is a precious commodity, especially when you’re serious about building wealth in the most efficient ways possible.


MYND Property Management, Honored by Goldman Sachs for Entrepreneurship

Doug Brien, Co-Founder and CEO of MYND Property Management Among 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at 2018 Builders + Innovators SummitOctober 17-19, 2018The Four Seasons Biltmore ResortSanta Barbara, CAGoldman Sachs () is recognizing Doug Brien, Co-Founder and CEO of MYND Property Management as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2018 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California.For nearly 150 years, Goldman Sachs has been advising and financing entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the summit consists of general sessions and clinics led by seasoned entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders as well as resident scholars.As a former Super Bowl winning NFL placekicker, Doug Brien has transferred the same consistency, resiliency, humility and positivity that propelled his NFL career to help shape his mission and values as an entrepreneur in real estate. He is the former CEO of Starwood Waypoint (), received a BA from University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Tulane.“A dynamic economy depends on dynamic entrepreneurs who disrupt industries and occasionally give birth to entirely new sectors,” said David M. Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. “The purpose of Builders + Innovators is to support emerging leaders in their quests to innovate faster in order to grow their ideas. We are pleased to recognize Doug as one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2018.”

About MYND Property Management

Located in San Francisco Bay Area, MYND Property Management sits right at the intersection of cutting-edge tech and rental property management, a space that was untapped and ripe for innovative disruption. Co-founders Doug Brien and Colin Wiel previously founded Waypoint Homes and successfully took the company public () in 2014. Voted Best Tech Start Ups in 2019 and 2018 by the Tech Tribune, MYND is also backed by some of the best Venture Capitalist companies including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Canaan Partners and Jackson Square Partners. Today, MYND manages about 2,500 units in the Bay Area and San Diego and is actively growing nationwide.Press Related Questions: