Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Four Emotions That Can Lead to Life Change

by Jim Rohn

Emotions are the most powerful forces inside us. Under the power of emotions, human beings can perform the most heroic (as well as barbaric) acts. To a great degree, civilization itself can be defined as the intelligent channeling of human emotion. Emotions are fuel and the mind is the pilot, which together propel the ship of civilized progress. Which emotions cause people to act? There are four basic ones; each, or a combination of several, can trigger the most incredible activity. The day that you allow these emotions to fuel your desire is the day you’ll turn your life around.

One does not usually equate the word “disgust” with positive action. And yet properly channeled, disgust can change a person’s life. The person who feels disgusted has reached a point of no return. He or she is ready to throw down the gauntlet at life and say, “I’ve had it!” That’s what I said after many humiliating experiences at age 25, I said. “I don’t want to live like this anymore. I’ve had it with being broke. I’ve had it with being embarrassed, and I’ve had it with lying.” Yes, productive feelings of disgust come when a person says, “Enough is enough.” There is nothing so life-changing as gut-wrenching disgust!

Most of us need to be pushed to the wall to make decisions. And once we reach this point, we have to deal with the conflicting emotions that come with making them. We have reached a fork in the road. Now this fork can be a two-prong, three-prong, or even a four-prong fork. No wonder that decision-making can create knots in stomachs, keep us awake in the middle of the night, or make us break out in a cold sweat. Making life-changing decisions can be likened to internal civil war. Conflicting armies of emotions, each with its own arsenal of reasons, battle each other for supremacy of our minds. And our resulting decisions, whether bold or timid, well thought out or impulsive, can either set the course of action or blind it. I don’t have much advice to give you about decision-making except this: Whatever you do, don’t camp at the fork in the road. Decide. It’s far better to make a wrong decision than to not make one at all. Each of us must confront our emotional turmoil and sort out our feelings.

How does one gain desire? I don’t think I can answer this directly because there are many ways. But I do know two things about desire:
a. It comes from the inside not the outside.
b. It can be triggered by outside forces.

Therefore, while searching for your “hot button” of pure, raw desire, welcome into your life each positive experience. Don’t erect a wall to protect you from experiencing life. The same wall that keeps out your disappointment also keeps out the sunlight of enriching experiences. So let life touch you. The next touch could be the one that turns your life around.

Resolve says, “I will.” These two words are among the most potent in the English language. I WILL. Benjamin Disraeli, the great British statesman, once said, “Nothing can resist a human will that will stake even its existence on the extent of its purpose.” In other words, when someone resolves to “do or die,” nothing can stop him. When confronted with such iron-will determination, I can see Time, Fate and Circumstance calling a hasty conference and deciding, “We might as well let him have his dream. He’s said he’s going to get there or die trying.”

The best definition for “resolve” I’ve ever heard came from a schoolgirl in Foster City, California. As is my custom, I was lecturing about success to a group of bright kids at a junior high school. I asked, “Who can tell me what “resolve” means?” Several hands went up, and I did get some pretty good definitions. But the last was the best. A shy girl from the back of the room got up and said with quiet intensity, “I think resolve means promising yourself you will never give up.” That’s it! That’s the best definition I’ve ever heard: PROMISE YOURSELF YOU’LL NEVER GIVE UP.


Feeding the Insatiable Need for Internet Speed

By Bendix Anderson –

The Internet connection at University Village Apartments on Colvin Street in Syracuse, N.Y., seemed like it would be more than fast enough.

But by the time the property opened in 2009, the definition of “fast” had changed.

The students at University Village demanded connections that would let hundreds of them watch video clips and whole movies over the Internet at the same time. While students grilled property managers at town hall-style meetings, the developer rushed to have copper cables torn out and fiber-optic cables installed at the brand-new, Class-A property.

“We’ve got to provide it or risk not being 100 percent leased,” says Scott P. Casey, senior vice president of strategic business development for EdR, a REIT based in Memphis, Tenn.

Super-fast Internet connections are now the most important technological amenity developers and managers can provide at student housing properties.

Strike Up the Bandwidth
Fast Internet speeds have become something students depend on and expect—64 percent said they would consider relocating if Internet speeds were lower in their student housing than expected,according to data from J Turner Research.

“There is just this insatiable appetite for speed,” says Joseph Batdorf, president of J Turner Research.

Fast Internet is not only the most important technological amenity for students. It is also the third most important amenity of any kind for any demographic—a washing machine in the apartment, and a bathroom to one’s self, were the only amenities rated higher, according to J Turner Research.

“Students are doubling their usage every two years,” says Joe Coyle, president of University Student Living.

The race to speed up Internet connections began when students started to watch movies and television shows online. The need for speed has grown rapidly ever since.

All students polled by J Turner Research spent some significant amount of time using the Internet in their homes—86 percent say they spend more than 3 hours per day.

Multiple devices also make a difference—a quarter of students surveyed say that they connect to the Internet with more than three devices.

“Each kid is using three to five devices,” says EdR’s Casey. That multiplies the Internet needs at a property by several times. “A 500-bed property almost becomes like a 2,000-bed property.”

TVs and Smartphones
Some other forms of connectivity are no longer considered amenities, they are simply taken for granted. For example, students assume that they will be able to talk on their cell phones in their homes without dropping calls. In 2011, good cellular phone service rated as second most important amenity, after a large bedroom.

“It would be absolutely critical,” says Batdorf. “If they don’t have good cell phone reception, I think they’re dead. It’s like having a car with no AC in Houston.”

Bad cellular service would probably be exposed as soon as a student visits the community: Many prospective residents phone friends or family from the model apartment.

Students also still watch cable television and have begun to ask more high-definition television channels in their cable service. “Student are really demanding that, for the first time in years,” says EdR’s Casey.

Downswing in Apartment Construction

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor –

The Census Bureau reported on Wednesday that housing starts came in at an annualized rate of 836,000 in June, or 9.9 percent below the May total of 928,000. That’s because of a downswing of 26.7 percent in apartment construction—which tends to wobble around from the month to month—but also because single-family starts were down a bit. Single-family housing starts in June were at an annualized rate of 591,000, or 0.8 percent below May.

Compared with last year, however, starts are still ahead of the game. For all types of housing, the annualized rate in June 2013 was 10.4 percent higher than during the same month a year earlier. For apartments, the year-over-year increase in June was 7.8 percent, and the single-family total was 11.5 percent higher.

Permits, which serve as a forward-looking indicator, were also down 7.5 percent in June, to an annualized rate of 911,000 units. The drop was in multifamily permitting, however, which declined by 22.8 percent. Single-family permits eked out a 0.6 percent gain for the month. Compared with last year, housing permits were up 16.1 percent.

Growth still modest (or moderate) says Beige Book

The Federal Reserve released its latest “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District”—better known as the Beige Book—on Wednesday. The language was familiar: according to sources reporting from the 12 Federal Reserve districts, U.S. economic growth increased at a “modest to moderate pace” since the previous survey.

In most districts, businesses continued to hire at an increasing pace, or at least held steady. Some places are still cautious or reluctant to hire permanent or full-time staff, though the demand for part-time workers is relatively strong—a trend that mirrors the most recent jobs data. The New York; Richmond, Va.; and San Francisco districts reported high demand for technology workers, according to the Beige Book. Overall, the upward pressure on wages is weak, and the upward pressure on prices isn’t much stronger, except perhaps for energy.

In the real estate sector, both sales and construction activity continued to rise in June. “Demand for residential construction grew steadily, as multifamily construction remained strong and single-family construction continued to improve,” the book said. Commercial real estate conditions continued to improve as rents rose slowly and vacancies fell.

Wall Street had a modestly up day, befitting the Beige Book’s sentiment, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 18.67 points, or 0.12 percent. The S&P 500 gained 0.28 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.32 percent.

Service Sector Job Gains Drive Miami Multifamily Growth

By Jennifer LeClaire | Miami –

MIAMI—Several factors support Miami-Dade County’s place within the upper tier of multifamily markets in the country. So says the latest report from Marcus & Millichap.

M&M’s third quarter Apartment Research Market Report for Miami-Dade County reveals the number of workers in service industries has surpassed its pre-recession peak and is growing, though job creation in other employment sectors remains lackluster. The firm reports that residents employed at shops, bars, restaurants and hotels are lifting several segments of the local economy and sustaining low apartment vacancy.

“Also, housing affordability has improved throughout the South Florida region, but the homeownership rate has declined, expanding the pool of potential renters,” M&M reports. “The entire region, and Miami-Dade in particular, could also see a surge in housing demand if immigration reform is enacted.”

While prospects for a prolonged period of steady rental housing demand appear strong, M&M says new construction could create some occasional swings in vacancy as new multifamlyprojects are stabilized. Scheduled additions to supply this year and beyond, however, are a benign 2.2% of existing stock, minimizing the potential marketwide impact of development.

“Although expensive high-rise condos are forming on the waterfront, building rentals remains challenging due to limited land and higher costs to transport construction materials from outside of the state,” M&M reports. “Sales dollar volume topped $1 billion over the past 12 months, the first time that threshold has been breached in seven years. The most active segment of the market remains properties pricing from $1 million to $10 million.”

Broward County Housing Authority Receives $895K to Provide Rental Assistance to Homeless Veterans

Brought to you courtesy of

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Broward County Housing Authority (BCHA) $895K in supportive housing assistance to help chronically homeless military veterans and their families find a permanent place to call home. Part of the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, the 100 new vouchers combine rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA).

HUD-VASH is designed to help homeless veterans, many of whom are living with chronic disabling conditions, receive services that will assist them in rejoining the community. Veterans who have spouses and dependent children are also eligible to participate.

For veterans to participate in HUD-VASH, they must be homeless, eligible for VA medical care and have an identified clinical need for case management in order to obtain and sustain independent community housing.

Since 2008, the program has secured housing for over 40,000 veterans nationwide. Based on geographic need and housing authority administrative performance, BCHA was first selected in 2009 to receive VASH vouchers. The 100 additional vouchers will be available as eligible veterans are identified and referred by the VA.

The Ins & Outs of Multifamily Eviction

Co-authored by Donald King and Kenneth Kurel of Trott & Trott, P.C. –

Evicting tenants from multifamily properties can be complicated, and, if it isn’t handled properly, it can cause headaches for property owners and managers. When a tenant has breached the terms of their lease, a proper eviction must be conducted through the judicial system when seeking to recover possession of the premises in order to avoid delays, costly penalties and potential liability. Landlords should never try to recover possession on their own and should rely on the court that has jurisdiction over such matters in their state. There are numerous events that might constitute a breach of a lease, but the most common one leading to eviction actions is for non-payment of rent. The court’s function in these matters is to protect tenants’ rights, ensuring that they receive proper notice and an opportunity to defend themselves, while providing the landlord a legal forum for pursing the relief they are seeking.

Laying out the options

For illustrative purposes, here are some possible options in Michigan. Once it is determined that an eviction action may be necessary, property managers have two options. The first option involves giving the tenant an opportunity to cure the breach. In this instance, the tenant must be served with a notice stating the nature of the breach, what is required to cure it and the timeframe the tenant has to do so, which is most commonly seven days. If the tenant cures the breach, the matter is concluded and no further action is required. This option is also the least costly. If the tenant breaches the terms of the lease again, the same procedure can be followed. If the tenant does not cure the breach, then an eviction complaint in the appropriate district court where the property is located will be required.

The second option is termination. This process is appropriate in situations where the retention of the tenant is not the landlord’s objective, and, once again, proper notice is required. The time period applied for termination by Notice to Quit must be at least that of the rental payment frequency. Most rental payments are due monthly, which is why it is commonly referred to as a 30-Day Notice to Quit. However, if a rental agreement calls for the payment of rent on a different schedule—every 60 days, for example—then the notice must provide at least that much time for the tenant to voluntarily vacate the premises.

Notices to tenants must contain the following information: the identity of the parties, the property address, the cause for eviction and the timeframe provided to take remedial actions. It must be dated and signed by the landlord or the landlord’s attorney.

If a tenant fails to vacate the premises, the landlord would then file a complaint with the court seeking possession of the premises. A party authorized by the court must serve the complaint on the defendants.  It is served along with the summons, which gives notice to the defendant of the lawsuit, as well as the date and time to appear for a hearing. The landlord may also decide to request the court to grant a money judgment in the amount of overdue rent, or to cover other damages (after deducting those amounts from any security deposit), along with an order granting possession. It is important to note that personal service on the tenant is required in order to obtain a money judgment. However, service of process is also acceptable by securely attaching the summons and complaint to the main entrance of the premises after diligent attempts at personal service have failed under the Michigan Court Rules, if the landlord is only seeking possession. An Order of Eviction (Writ of Restitution) may issue 10 days following the entry of the judgment should the tenants fail to vacate the property or if any personal property is left behind.

Possible outcomes from the hearing

There are four possible outcomes of a landlord-tenant hearing. The first outcome occurs when the plaintiff is granted a judgment for possession by default because the tenant did not appear. If there was personal service of the summons and complaint, the court will enter a money judgment at that time as well. The second outcome occurs when the plaintiff negotiates a consent judgment for possession with the defendant for a vacate date that is amenable to both parties. The third outcome occurs when the parties cannot reach an agreement. In this instance, the court, after hearing arguments, will enter a ruling. The plaintiff should be prepared to address any defenses that the tenant may allege. More specifically, the attorney should be prepared to show the court that habitability assertions have been addressed and have a current payment history, as these issues are commonly asserted as defenses. The last potential outcome is an adjournment. This may occur if the tenant raises arguments that cannot be adequately addressed at the initial hearing.

After a Judgment of Possession has been entered, the landlord may take possession of the property if the tenant has vacated and removed all personal property. If the tenant has not fully vacated, the landlord is required to file a request for the issuance of an Order of Eviction and execution of the writ. This action is still under the control of the court and it will issue an order that directs the court officer to evict the tenant and any remaining personal property and return possession of the premises to the landlord. This process provides a defense for the landlord should the tenant bring a wrongful lock out claim or action against the landlord. Failure to follow the statutes regarding the eviction process may result in substantial damages being awarded to the tenant.

The DO’s and DON’Ts

DO have a written lease for any tenancy clearly defining the duties and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant. If a term of a lease is not written, it does not exist.

DON’T make undocumented collateral agreements, which are modifications to the original written agreement. Subsequent changes to any terms of a lease agreement should be memorialized in writing.

DO hire an attorney to represent the landlord or the complex because most multi-unit complexes have some form of corporate ownership or control. In some states, corporations and LLCs are legal entities that must be represented by counsel in court.

DON’T send the complex manager alone to court, as that individual cannot represent the complex in court in any capacity other than as a witness.

DO promptly address and maintain a record of tenant complaints regarding habitability of the rental unit, making sure to document when the complaint was made and how it was resolved.

DO maintain accurate accounting and bookkeeping records. These records provide the court with guidance when deciding on the amount of a money judgment.

DON’T estimate past due rent amounts or costs. There is a risk that the court will not allow any rents or costs that are not supported by documentation.

DO possess a current Certificate of Registration for rental properties in communities that require the landlord to register rental units with the municipality. Make sure the property manager knows and is in compliance with any local ordinances.

DON’T forget to renew any required Certificates of Registration required by the municipality. Failure to register the property or to renew a certificate may result in fines and delay the issuance of a judgment for possession, denial or abatement of a money judgment, or dismissal of an eviction complaint.

While eviction is certainly not the first option property managers and owners turn to, it is frequently the only viable option for the good of the property and the other residents. The rules and timelines vary state by state and can often be confusing. It is advisable to seek an experienced attorney who can navigate the process to a successful conclusion.

Achieving Your Dreams

By: Jim Rohn

While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily working at building and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. And here sits the much larger group, wondering how life can be so unfair, so complicated and unjust. What’s the major difference between the little group with so much and the larger group with so little?

Despite all of the factors that affect our lives—like the kind of parents we have, the schools we attended, the part of the country we grew up in—none has as much potential power for affecting our futures as our ability to dream.

Dreams are a projection of the kind of life you want to lead. Dreams can drive you. Dreams can make you skip over obstacles. When you allow your dreams to pull you, they unleash a creative force that can overpower any obstacle in your path. To unleash this power, though, your dreams must be well defined. A fuzzy future has little pulling power. Well-defined dreams are not fuzzy. Wishes are fuzzy. To really achieve your dreams, to really have your future plans pull you forward, your dreams must be vivid.

If you’ve ever hiked a 14,000-foot peak in the Rocky Mountains, one thought has surely come to mind: “How did the settlers of this country do it?” How did they get from the East Coast to the West Coast? Carrying one day’s supply of food and water is hard enough. Can you imagine hauling all of your worldly goods with you… mile after mile, day after day, month after month? These people had big dreams. They had ambition. They didn’t focus on the hardship of getting up the mountain.

In their minds, they were already on the other side—their bodies just hadn’t gotten them there yet! Despite all of their pains and struggles, all of the births and deaths along the way, those who made it to the other side had a single vision: to reach the land of continuous sunshine and extraordinary wealth. To start over where anything and everything was possible. Their dreams were stronger than the obstacles in their way.

You’ve got to be a dreamer. You’ve got to envision the future. You’ve got to see California while you’re climbing 14,000-foot peaks. You’ve got to see the finish line while you’re running the race. You’ve got to hear the cheers when you’re in the middle of a monster project. And you’ve got to be willing to put yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. Because that’s how you realize your dreams.

Pending Home Sales Rise; Income, Savings Edge Up; Initial Claims Back Down

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor –

The National Association of Realtor’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on residential contract signings, but not closings, increased 6.7 percent to 112.3 in May from 105.2 in April, NAR reported on Thursday. That’s a 12.1 percent above May 2012, when the index was 100.2, and in fact the highest level since December 2006, just before the U.S. housing market did a number on the rest of the economy.

The organization is now predicting that existing-home sales will increase 8.5 to 9 percent this year compared with last, reaching about 5.07 million units in 2013. That would be the highest annual number of units moved in seven years, and slightly above the 5.03 million recorded in 2007.

“Even with limited choices, it appears some of the rise in contract signings could be from buyers wanting to take advantage of current affordability conditions before mortgage interest rates move higher,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “This implies a continuation of double-digit price increases from a year earlier, with a strong push from pent-up demand.”

Income, Savings Edge Up in May 

Personal income increased $69.4 billion, or 0.5 percent, and disposable personal income—always the best kind—increased $57 billion, or 0.5 percent, in May compared with April, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday. May was a good month in that regard, since the month-over-month increase in April compared with March was only 0.1 percent for both personal income and disposable personal income.

People out spending some of that income—which the government refers to as “personal consumption expenditures”—was also up in May, increasing $29 billion, or 0.3 percent, compared with April. In April, personal consumption expenditures dropped 0.3 percent compared with the previous month.

Personal savings—which is disposable personal income minus personal outlays—was $387.6 billion in May, compared with $359.2 billion in April, the BEA said. The personal savings rate—personal savings as a percentage of disposable personal income, that is—was 3.2 percent in May, compared with 3 percent in April.

Initial Claims Back Down

Initial unemployment claims yo-yoed back down again last week, the BEA also reported on Thursday. For the week ending June 22, initial claims were 346,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week. The less moody four-week moving average came in at 345,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week.

Wall Street continued in its positive mood—the Ben Bernanke/QE3 scare might just be a memory now—with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 114.35 points, or 0.77 percent. The S&P 500 was up 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.76 percent.