Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Head for the Hill

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Head for the Hill

Article excerpt

On April 30, approximately 220 IREM(R) members and 80 CCIM Institute members converged in Washington, DC to make the voice of commercial real estate heard on Capitol Hill. Members met with more than 160 senators, members of Congress and aides to discuss five pressing issues of importance to the property management industry: preventing banks from expanding into real estate brokerage and property management, closing costly loopholes in the bankruptcy code, accelerating the depreciation of tenant leasehold improvements, ensuring that property owners and managers have the chance to resolve ADA accessibility compliance problems before lawsuits are filed and allowing new building security equipment to be expensed in the year of its installation. This year's meetings resulted in commitments from numerous lawmakers to either co-sponsor or support these pieces of legislation when they come to a vote.

Members of both the Institute and CCIM expressed their concerns about these issues to their legislators. In particular, the property managers and brokers voiced concerns about the banks in real estate issue.

"Real estate management involves a living, breathing building that requires specific expertise," Steven Ring, CPM(R), said during a meeting with Paul Nitze, a legal assistant with Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) office. "Banks' lack of expertise in the area of real estate could lead them down the wrong road."

Bob Rosenberg, CCIM, agreed that financial institutions do not have the expertise to effectively perform the management and leasing functions inherent in real estate. "Their decisions would be out of touch with real practice as they have no familiarity with what makes for good, sound real estate business decisions," Rosenberg said. "Real estate is a cyclical business so that you really have to have your ear to the ground at all times. The banking industry has proven time and time again they don't have that street sense."

Carol Glasow, CPM, said it simply doesn't make sense for banks to enter the real estate business. "From a fair play perspective, we're not interested in getting into banking yet they're eager to jump onto our playing field. Perhaps banks just need to find other revenue sources."

Rosenberg agreed the banks are pursuing additional fees. …

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