Pricing Pain

This month, our topics ranged from franchising to Little Havana to European real estate investing trends.

Chad Bozza, senior vice president of fund investments and asset management at Munich-based BVT Equity Holdings, told the audience that European appetite for U.S. real estate investing is extraordinarily strong – and it’s not limited to condos.

His firm began syndicating investments to large groups of individual European “mom and pop” investors. They now work with some of the most prominent family offices and pension funds in Europe.

His European-based investors are seeking solid returns on well-located real estate in major metro markets such as Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York. Bozza’s investors see these cities as being important to their overall global diversification. The investors focus on grocery-anchored retail centers and AAA apartment projects located at “Main and Main.”

BVT and its affiliates have invested heavily in Miami over the years, a market that Bozza believes is strong, vibrant and full of opportunities. However, pricing is becoming an issue for his core submarkets and property type: Class A office space, luxury apartments and grocery-anchored retail development.

Sid Feltenstein is a member of the International Franchise Association’s Hall of Fame. We discussed the benefits and challenges of being a franchiser or franchisee. He says that the most important thing to do when creating a franchise system is to remember “it is all about them” – Bruce Turkel’s famous branding mantra.

The franchisees need to make money and have success for your franchise (brand) to be a success, Feltenstein says. A businessperson needs to make sure that the company issuing the franchise is financially solid and has a plan in place to make sure franchisees make a profit.

He says that there are all kinds of franchises available, not just food and beverage operations but also business services. He thinks the hot categories coming up will be home health care and unique food products such as artisan donuts.

Frank Rodriguez Melo is a regular guest on the show. He is the president of the local chapter of the CCIM commercial real estate trade group and his primary market focus is Little Havana. We discussed the trend to upzone the neighborhood. He says there are lots of good real estate investment opportunities there and that increasing density in the area will be OK as long as its inherent uniqueness is maintained. He sees Little Havana becoming the next South Beach sooner rather than later. He advises that anyone seeking to invest in the market should work with a bona fide professional and to perform significant due diligence prior to making an investment. ?

These were just some of the people that I interviewed this month on my show. If you’d like to hear their entire interviews or those from some of my other guests, visit FriedOnBusiness.com. And remember to listen to my show Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on 880 AM in Miami.

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