These properties present a unique opportunity to reform the American landscape. Changing ten percent of America is no small task, but it also is a chance to rebuild and show what we can do.
I am envisioning an organization that specializes in rehabbing distressed properties. The real estate landscape is changing. Vacant commercial buildings may not be desirable for the traditional retail storefront purposes, but other uses for these properties are emerging. People don't go out to shop as often as they used to, but they do go out for experiences and to meet people. Building spaces where they could have an experience of a lifetime, or meet lifetime friends, presents a very unique opportunity for those who are looking for new uses for these abandoned commercial properties.
Mixed-use development is also on the rise. Developers are looking to turn old anchor stores in malls into condominiums. They are in an ideal location since they are right near shops, and residents wouldn't even have to go outside to get to the shops--which is very convenient when the weather is bad. Add to this the innovative experience of living in a place that used to be part of a mall, and you have a very desirable real estate location. These places are right under our noses staring us in the face saying, "I'm prime real estate. Use me for something, please!"
Fifty percent of commercial real estate in Manhattan is vacant, because the space used to be offices. The space is abandoned because the paradigm of having a spacious office in the big city is being abandoned. Prudent real estate investors will see the unique opportunity this presents. That old office space is still in a very desirable location. The old offices can be converted into experience-oriented space like:
arcades and VR hubs,
indoor waterparks and theme parks,
performance art centers,
and the list goes on.
The possibilities are limited only by our imagination.
Also, while remote work is on the rise, people still need offices with easy access to supplies and networking abilities. That is why per diem or per-hour office space rentals companies are becoming popular. People don't care so much about going into an office. It's the need to go into the same office everyday that is a nuisance. Owners who used to rent out office space to companies on long term leases can just convert their model to accommodate remote workers who are just looking for office space for available at hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rates.
Boots on the Ground
I apologize for having such big ideas. No, I'm being serious. It's easy to have big ideas. Finding ways to actually bring them to life is the hard part. That's where the real work begins. But we have to start somewhere. So I am proposing a business model. My company, Rebuilders Property Solutions, LLC, is the first step. I aim to specialize in locating vacant properties, and then connecting the owners with interested buyers.
Here is what I'm envisioning: We can explore as many towns as possible, searching for distressed and/or vacant properties. Each town can have its own "boots on the ground". These boots can be local residents who focus on building relationships with people in their community. This advantage is huge. Many investors don't have boots on the ground in the town they are looking to invest in. The organization I am envisioning not only will have the boots. They will start with the boots. We will start with local community. Currently, I am making connections in my own community. I am going to local board and council meetings, attending festivals and any other gatherings I can find in my local community. That is how it needs to be done.
I've been trying to find a way to tie together my various passions (being a rambling spirit is not easy). Writing is a great passion to have in that regard, because I can write about anything. Over the past two years though, I have felt called to dive into real estate. About $20,000 later, I found myself with a real estate license, a decent real estate investor education, and an LLC (Rebuilders Property Solutions, LLC). But I have no prospects, no leads, and no kindred spirits who want to join me in this mission to revitalize our local communities.
That's fine, though. It's going to take time. I've been told that the niche I should really get into is community building, not real estate. Can't you see how they overlap, though? No one has more connections and leverage for community building than real estate agents and investors.
Are you a real estate agent or investor who has similar ideas as mine? Do you know anyone else who might? If so, feel free to reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 609-552-0481. Or, if you're looking to buy, sell, rent, or invest in real estate anytime soon, you can visit my other website with Weichert Realtors. I look forward to possibly work with you to accomplish great things.