The top Players in Commercial Real Estate

Building large commercial real estate properties has become somewhat of a challenge lately for large developers, but it’s not just the real estate developers who keep the commercial real estate market moving. Big players in the financial arena who lend money to developers for large commercial projects play a big role in commercial real estate, but with many banks and other traditional lending institutions seeing a decrease in lending over the past year, alternative lenders have filled some gaps in the construction lending sector. However, there are some top players in commercial real estate game who scored big with some of the largest commercial real estate projects in 2016.

There are a lot of big players in commercial real estate across the world but some deserve more recognition than others. A recent article in Commercial Observer recognized the top 50 most important people of commercial real estate including Andrew Farkas, Roy March and James Flaum, among others. Here are two of their top picks and some of their accomplishments.

Raymond Qiao, Chief Lending Officer at Bank of China, was ranked number one on the list and for good reason. When most people think of China, they don’t think of big real estate, but the truth is that the Bank of China not only originated $4.5 billion in commercial real estate loans across the globe, Chinese money played a big role in U.S. real estate investments and lending in the past year and Raymond Qiao and the Bank of China were at the forefront.

Alan Wiener, Group Head of Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, came in a close second to Qiao, but it’s a very fine line. Wiener and his team can take the credit for roughly $15 billion in U.S. commercial real estate loans. Based in San Francisco, the lending giant started the year off with a big score by closing on a $2.6 billion loan for Starwood Capital Group. With deals like these and many others, it’s easy to see why Alan Weiner is at the top of the list.

Destinations for a Cayman Islands Vacation

The Cayman Islands are home to many beautiful tourist attractions, besides the beautiful weather and amazing beaches. The Cayman Islands are also home to amazing sights, such as the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park, home to a wider variety of plants and wildlife, such as fruit trees, the world’s largest orchids, over sixty species of vibrant butterflies, and the delightful blue iguanas.

The Tukka Restaurant and Bar, where celebrities like Taylor Swift have been spotted on vacation, where you can watch your chef prepare locally caught fresh seafood right in front of you and dine on their porch right there on the beach. Don’t forget their desert buffet, where you can find anything from peach cobbler, to brownies, to cheesecake.

Enjoy the Cayman Islands’ Sting Ray City. A naturally-occurring congregation of many species of sting ray and a wildlife conservation zone which has been featured on the covers of National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal and is a premiere destination for diving enthusiasts across the globe, playing host to names like Richard Branson and NBC’s Al Roker.

Take a tour of the Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery, sample their offerings of locally-made rums and artisan spirits such as Seven Fathoms, Governor’s Reserve and Gun Bay Vodka. All the while, learn how they’re made and all the loving care that brings their tastes to life.

And then, after a full day and a full belly, retire to one of the islands many luxurious hotels, such as the Marriott Beach Resort, the Ritz-Carlton, or the Seafire Resort Spa, which has played host to Nashville star Marren Morris, and is home to three restaurants and two pool bars, a 1770-square-foot fitness center, 8,500 square foot Spa At Seafire, and the 7,076 square foot Aurea Ballroom, perfect for social or business meetings.

How to Effectively Advertise Real Estate on Facebook

If you want to reach a broad audience, help expose your name to a vast community, and ultimately sell your listing quickly, consider using Facebook as an advertising medium. Facebook is a great tool to accomplish this and much more. According to real estate expert and owner of Fortunebuilders, Than Merrill (https://www.facebook.com/thanmerrill), it is a unique marketing tool and when used correctly can be a fantastic way to generate leads. Here are a few tips to making sure you get the most out of your time and investment.

#1 Pictures Sell: Make sure you use a real photo from the listing you are selling. Kitchens and buildings with curb appeal are great choices for getting people’s attention.

#2 Include important information but not too much! People want to be able to click and find out what they want. They want easy access to wanted information. Make sure you have bold letters that tell the location and the price. But don’t share too much. People, who are selling a home, may not want their personal address given out to the public for privacy and safety reasons. Make people use your link to gain information. This is a win win for you and the owner.

#3 Market the right audience! The good news is that most people who own homes in America today, tend to use and be on Facebook. And there have been actual studies showing “that people whose friends have positive experiences in the housing market are more likely to buy themselves. They’re also more likely to buy a larger home, more likely to pay more for a home, and more likely to make a bigger down payment when their friends are making successful investments.” (http://www.citylab.com/housing/2016/05/what-your-facebook-friendships-say-about-your-housing-status/484094/) So make sure you pick an audience that would be interested in your listing.

#4 Create a Facebook page that shows your name in bold so that it gets out there and people see you as an active agent. Remember that Facebook is a great way to gain new business as well. Make sure your page is clear and easy to navigate. And most of all make it easy to reach you. Have a link or phone number that people don’t have to search for.

#5 Finally, give it time and remember that the more people see you add or name the better. More, in this case it better. Much better. Studies show that advertising works when a person sees your message over and over. Make sure you don’t cut corners but make that happen.

Hotels to Stay at in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are one of the most beautiful and relaxing vacation destinations on the planet. The Caribbean Islands are hailed as tropical paradise and these islands are the perfect balance of nestled natural beauty and accommodating amenities. The biggest thing to consider when taking such a robust trip to get away is where to stay. The best hotels in the Cayman Islands are not only cozy and appropriate, there one will also be likely to run into a celebrity or two while vacationing. The three best hotels to stay in while in the Cayman Islands are on the Grand Cayman Island. These hotels are the Kimpton Seafire Spa Residences, The Westin Grand Cayman, and The Grand Marriott Beach Resort.

The Grand Cayman Island is the most visited and accommodating island in the Cayman Islands. It features the world renowned Seven Mile Beach and this is the main location of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. This is a luxury beach front resort hotel that is located on over 100 acres of spacious tropical land. Portions of the resort also extends to the other island chains of the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. This hotel features the island largest ballroom at over 9,000 square feet, two restaurants serviced by celebrity chef Eric Ripert, pools, spas, golf courses, and much more. Such celebrities as Tom Cruise, Katie Couric, Anna Kournikova, and others have been known to stay here.

Another hotel to stay while in the Cayman Islands is The Westin Grand Cayman. This hotel is also on the famous Seven Mile Beach. It features the typical amenities of a first class hotel in this location with golf courses, water activities, and such, but also an oversized outside pool with a swim up bar. The rooms are known for their outdoor ambiance and private balconies.

The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is definitely worth mentioning in this conversation. This property features 4 impeccable restaurants, almost 300 spacious luxury rooms, unique spas and beachfront natural life. The Westin Grand Cayman and the Grand Cayman Marriott is possible to feature such stars as Christina Aguilera, Dave Letterman, David Copperfield, Liam Neeson, Sandra Bullock, and Spike Lee.

Snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, boat trips, fishing, surfing, and more can be enjoyed at these hotels. Regardless if your focus is relaxation on the beach, water activities, spotting celebrities, or meeting locals and natives alike while enjoying the night life, it can be found at these hotels. Enjoy your trip to this paradise and keep an eye out for a familiar face.

Alixie Callen Will Become First Woman Head of St. George School

Alexandra Callen was named the very first female to head St. George School a 120-year-old high school located in Middleton Rhode Island. She has a Bachelor’s and Masters from Brown University and a Doctorate from Harvard. She has many years of leadership and teaching experience in public and private schools.
She served as principal of Acton-Boxborough High School from 2008-2013 located in Acton, MA. In 2004-2008 she was assistant principal of Needam High School (see: Alixe Callen LinkedIn). The chair of St. George’s Board of Trustees Leslie B. Heaney described Alexandra as a brilliant educator that devoted her life to education and the wellbeing of students.
Alexandra plans to continue to nurture students and help them prepare for college. She is honored to be chosen as head of the St. George School. The backing of the Board of Trustees is icing on the cake she said. She will begin her position on July 1, 2017. Currently, she now is the upper school director at Lakeside School in Seattle.

When she attended college she assisted with graduate courses in school reform, design, and leadership for secondary education. She is married and has two sons. When she lived on campus in Middlesex with her husband and sons she served as dorm parent. Her mentor was Ted Sizer. She has taught social studies and English at the Sedona Red Rock High School in Arizona.

Alexandra has strong ties to New England and four of her relatives graduated from St. George. They were her great grandfather, grandfather, great uncle, and uncle. The Board of Trustee chose the best candidate that fit their vision of a leader for the future of the school. She stood out among many other qualified exceptional candidates that applied for the position.

When becomes head of St. George School she plans to keep helping the staff and students become contributing members of the community, excel in learning, and make sure teaches and students and watch out for each other.

Why Fracking is Good for the Country

The use and application of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been around for decades. However, until the production boom centering around the Bakken Formation in North Dakota began hitting news headlines, the general public had never heard of fracking. Hydraulic fracturing, when used in combination with horizontal drilling technology, provides America the opportunity to tap into the vast oil and gas deposits within our own country and not have to rely as heavily on foreign oil.

What is Fracking?

In simplest terms, fracking causes micro-fractures in the rock thousands of feet below the surface. A mixture of sand and water is forced into those cracks and widens the cracks enough to allow the oil and gas that is trapped in the rock formations into the pipes where it can then be brought to the surface.

Benefits of Fracking

  • Jobs

    A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 21st Century Energy Institute estimates that 1.7 million jobs have already been created because of fracking. They expect that number to increase to 3.5 million by 2035. This includes jobs directly connected to fracking, such as those working on the wells themselves, and jobs indirectly connected, such as contractors creating gravel roads. These are large numbers and most of the jobs provide a family wage income. The creation of jobs is essential for America’s economic output.

  • Energy

    Fracking in the U.S. has been primarily for natural gas production. America is now the top producer of natural gas in the world. In 2016, for the first time in 60 years, our natural gas exports exceeded our imports. It is projected that U.S. natural gas production will increase by around 50% over the next 20 years.

    The cost of natural gas to the American consumer has been steadily decreasing for the last decade. This saves money on utility bills, but more importantly, it lowers our dependence on electricity to heat our homes and to cook our food. Natural gas is known as a “clean energy.” While not as green as renewable energy solutions, natural gas emits 50% less carbon dioxide than coal.

  • Foreign Relations

    As the energy revolution in America continues, our demand for foreign imports lessens. This is safer for American oil and gas companies who no longer need to operate in high conflict areas. It is also good for the American trade deficit. Foreign organizations such as OPEC will have less and less sway over our international decisions.

Extravagant Nightlife and Nature’s Splendor – 4 Cayman Island Tourist Hotspots

Tourists vacation in the Cayman Islands for a variety of reasons. Some seek out the celebrity lifestyle, indulging in the extravagant nightlife, while others thirst for exotic experiences that symbolize the natural splendor of The Caymans. Here are four enticing hot spots that will provide both.

Extravagant Nightlife

· The Macabuca

It’s said, “When the sun goes down in the Cayman Islands, the stars come out”. Many of the island’s restaurants serve up exquisite Caribbean quinine and present live entertainment nightly. The nightlife in the Cayman Islands is a hot tourist attraction, especially at the Macabuca and The Cracked Conch. Perfectly positioned in the heart of the Cayman’s famous seven-mile strip of beach, the Macabuca is sprawling with space and frequented by celebrities and worldly dignitaries. Both Taylor Swift and the Ken’s created quite the stir when she was spotted dancing under the moonlight at the Macabuca.

· The Wreck Bar & Grill at the Rum Point Club

Drift up the beach a few hundred yards and Cayman guests will find The Rum Point Club, home of The Wreck Bar & Grill. While Rum Point has activities throughout the day, this corner of the Cayman’s really ignites when the sun sets. Patrons staying on other parts of the island can enjoy a $5 ferry ride from Safehaven Dock to Rum Point. Tom Cruise likes to beach his jet ski and stroll up for a “cocktail” at the Wreck Bar.

Nature’s Splendor

· The Mastic Trail

The Cayman Islands radiate with the spectacular beauty of nature. A trek along the Mastic Trail is the perfect remedy for an adventurous spirit. Named for one of the region’s native trees, the 200 year old trail meanders deep into a primeval woodland that has evolved over two million years. Buried in the heart of the Mastic Reserve it presents a true image of the Cayman Island’s splendid natural magnificence. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter enjoys quiet strolls along the Mastic Trail when vacationing in the Caymans.

· Cayman Turtle Farm

Another favorite attraction that resonates with nature lovers is the Cayman Turtle Farm. Island guests frequent this attraction, an enjoyable experience where people can get close to one of the world’s oldest living creatures. Visitors can observe assorted breeds of sea turtles, including some on the endangered list. The Cayman Turtle Farm’s work strives to preserve one of nature’s most delicate and endearing animals.

Visitors should take time to enjoy the Cayman Islands for both its exotic nightlife and the exquisiteness of nature. Guests need to keep one eye on the island’s exquisite beauty with the other on the lookout for famous celebrities. The Cayman Islands have a lot of both.

Historic St George’s announces first woman as head of school

St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island has announced that they have appointed their first female head of school, Alexandra Callen. She will be the twelfth head of school since the 1896 founding. She will be replacing Eric Peterson, who has been at the school for the past thirteen years. Callen is a descendant of several alumni.

Callen is coming from being the upper school director of the Lakeside School in Seattle. Before that, she was principal at Acton Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Mass. and assistant principal of Needham High School in Needham, Mass. She has a bachelor’s and master’s from Brown University, along with a master’s and doctorate from Harvard.

Callen’s family members who are alumni are great-grandfather, Johns H. Congdon ’03, grandfather, James B. Congdon ’41, great uncle, Charles B. Congdon ’40, and uncle, James B. Congdon Jr. ’66. Her husband, James Bailey, is an educator. The couple has two sons, Zander and Miles.

“My entire career has been spent helping teenagers to be kind, to watch out for each other, and to be contributing community members,” said Callen. “To now do that work in a school that has such deep roots for my family makes me humble and proud.”

St. George’s is one of the five elite prep schools that are unofficially called St. Grottlesex. The school has graduated Vanderbilts, Bushes, Astors, and Mellons. It is situated on Aquidneck Island across from Newport. The campus itself is known as the Hilltop.

In a statement, the trustees said, “We are confident that [Callen] will steer the course boldly for St. George’s, continuing to build on our longstanding strengths while at the same time moving St. George’s confidently into the future. She is fully prepared and eager to build upon our forward-thinking curriculum, to foster our safe and welcoming community, and to support our teachers in continually expanding their expertise in teaching and learning.”

Alexandra Callen was introduced to the school by the Board of St. George’s on December 9.

Resource America Picked Up by New Investor

C-III has purchased Resource America in a merger of two brands that create one of the largest and most-diverse real estate companies in the world. The two companies combine portfolios of commercial, industrial and residential real estate, and they will join forces as C-III takes over operations for both companies. This article is a look at what will happen at Resource America becomes the latest little cousin of the C-III brand.

#1: Why Is the Deal Important?

The deal is quite important in that it helps save Resource America from falling out of the top of the industry. The industry is quite dynamic, and companies that remain stagnant for a time will lose their favor among investors. Resource America will have new life under C-III, and the shareholders are paid handsomely for the shares they hold in the firm.

#2: How Does Commercial Real Estate Improve After the Deal?

Commercial real estate will have a larger partner in the combined companies, and it is a wonderful place to go for a sale or purchase. Companies seeking their first piece of commercial real estate may shop with someone from C-III, and they will ensure a sale is completed properly. Everyone who shops with the two companies will have more locations to shop, more service and better prices.

#3: How Will Companies Save Money Through C-III?

The company has more resources now that it has acquired Resource America, and C-III becomes a more-trusted company, under the leadership of CEO and Chair Andrew Farkas. They are a large firm that wishes to help more people, and they will expand their business to all the places where Resource America is aiding customers. Their offices will combine in a large package that helps clients with their real estate needs. Every new customer with the firm is backed up by their financial resources, and they will see there is a plain difference between what C-III can do and what other companies will not do. Service saves money, time and energy.

The large merger between C-III and Resource America gives hope to real estate shoppers who are seeking a better experience. Businesses and individuals must purchase large pieces of real estate that are priced sometimes in the millions. Their investments are carried out by the professionals at C-III and Resource America. They have quite a few options when shopping with their newest partners, and the money saved may be re-invested in new locations around America.

Beautiful Places to Visit in the Cayman Islands

Sublime Seven Mile Beach

Sublime Seven Mile Beach is a famous spot to visit in the Caribbean. The long stretch of sand is lined with coconut palm trees and turquoise waters. Massive amounts of tourists spill out of cruise ships, stepping on to the beautiful, peaceful patch of sand. Lavish homes and upscale hotels like Ken Dart’s Residences at Seafire and Kimpton Seafire Hotel give tourists the view of a lifetime. The Sublime Seven Mile Beach is typically free of mobile venders so that guests can relax and enjoy what the area has to offer.

Stingray City

Stingray City is a must see when in the Cayman Islands. It offers crystal clear waters where guest can mingle with the friendly stingrays by feeding, petting, and cuddling them. If someone ever had a fear of stingrays, that fear would be gone by visiting this lush paradise. Guests can also dive, swim, and snorkel alongside of the stingrays. A couple celebrity sightings have occurred right here in this city. Tom Cruise was reported to have went to Stingray City on a dive trip for the holidays. Also, former President Jimmy Carter spent New Year’s Eve visiting here as well. Taylor Swift is another celebrity spotted in the Cayman Islands. It is reported she loved her visit because staff at the areas she visited treated her with the utmost respect so that she could relax and enjoy her vacation.

George Town is offshore and considered Cayman’s attractive capital. Cruise ships fill the harbors. Also lining the harbors is a sea of restaurants and shops. The Administration Building is called the glass house. In this beautiful capital guests will find several attractions to visit. The Cayman Islands National Museum is a great place to learn the history of the islands. Fort George was built to protect the islands from the pirates and Spanish. But today only a portion of the wall remains.

Atlantis Submarines

Atlantis Submarines offers one of the best underwater experiences without getting wet. The submarine holds 48 passengers and takes guests down about 30 meters. There they can look through the large viewing windows at the shallow reefs, tropical fish, and shipwrecks.

Hell

On the north side of the Grand Cayman is a town called Hell. In 1962, Hell opened its own post office so that guests can officially mark their visit. Hell offers a sinister rock formation which is what inspired its name. The boardwalk provides easy access to view this beautifully, dark rock formation.