With My Own Two Eyes. The Things I See And Think When I Look At A Building That You Don’t.

With My Own Two Eyes.The Things I See And Think When I Look At A Building That You Don’t.

So here I am standing freezing my ass off in front of a nice sized building that is owned by a friend of mine and the commercial real estate thoughts start flooding my brain. I’m sure the same thing happens to you often also.

Now let me state that this is not a rant and may be a little boring for the shoe leather bust ass everyday brokers but maybe this will give a little insight to people who don’t see what we see or think like we think. Of course I will have to throw in some up my “observations.”

Some Basic. Some Interesting. Some Useful. Random Thoughts.

Landscaping. You get what you pay for and two bushes and ground cover does not say lease me.

Entrance door. Creaky old thing falling off the hinge or swoooooshy thing like Star Trek. You pick. (Shit. I just wrote Start Trek in a post. It’s all over now!)

Ins and outs. How wide by code? Line of sight from road to enter and to exit.

Parking. Of course the “owners”/c-suite peeps have their spots up front with their names on them. They are writing the checks for the lease right. I have of course seen some very inventive messages attached to the signs throughout the years 🙂

Why do I have such an aversion to stucco fake blond wood doors and teal carpet?

Widths of ins and outs. The state makes them a mandatory size the county says “OK” and the city council member with a degree in my dad was a council member can’t add and or read anything resembling a site plan so it get’s tabled until Mr.I have no fuc*ing clue has someone tell him it’s already a state mandated done deal. (mini rant)

I can and am very proud of the fact that I can be doing the speed limit 🙂 down the expressway and perfectly guess the dock door heights and widths of any building no matter how many there are. (Skilz)

I can walk and pace off a turning radius for a car and a truck.Yes, sometimes I cheat and use my little red measuring wheel thingy.

Obliviously someone from The South designed a flowing sweeping hilly wide sidewalk entrance to a building in The North. They should make the idiot run up and down it in February and see how long it takes him to sue himself.

HVAC. 100% guarantee that if just one hvac tech show up and look at it. The “replacements” and work to get it “coded” will cost you out the ass.

All warehouses have 220 dropped. Yes they are Yes the are Yes they are. Shit…not this one.

Warehouses all have the exact same kilowatts and Btu use averages. Really. Ask five guys and get ten different answers.

Parking size per car or “allowable ” parking per code. It is exactly the same for everyone. Yes It Is. wait…no it’s not. Which makes it completely fair for everyone.

Parking lots that require a real professionally engaged 4×4  all wheel drive system just to park. Oh I forgot it adds how many spots per code again?

Walking thru the warehouse/office/flex building nose running feet and hands numb in the dark looking for the electric box. Yes ,I do look on the outside first for the feed or outside box. That does not mean that is where it will be in the building as a matter of fact that guarantees that is not where it will be. Ah the glamour.

Yes, I carry bolt cutters in my car. Come on people back me up on this one.

I had a deal fall thru because the wife of a client did not like of the color of the grout on the outside brick. (You can’t make this shit up.)

Standing with an owner in a tech related start upish space. He commented how the cables and the simple communal tables make the place look too open messy and dirty. My comment. “Cash their checks and go have a drink.”

Logos engraved in the walls. Branding or egos of the c-suite?

Foreclosed office building had a massive empty fish tank inside the entrance that use to have a human dive in and clean it. ( I did see this live myself) Company gone diver gone fish gone and the egomaniac that put it there bankrupt. I wonder how the fish are doing?

Signs or signage. Who at the car dealerships job is it to pay off someone to get the goalposts sized flashing diamond vision sign to pass through the planning committee? Kudos to you my friend. Now on the other hand if you are say Wal-Mart you have absolutely no chance in hell of ever getting anything near Vegas style diamond vision nirvana. If you look real hard you can find the little red white and blue postage stamp on a pole somewhere. Just for fun stand in the entrance door of your local Wal-Mart this Saturday and count the times you literally get ran over by another human being. In contrast drive buy that now vacant car dealership with the diamond vision sign quite dark and blank.

Many More….

Of course there are but my nose is running my hands are freezing and my car heater has still not kicked in.

Do most people also have these unique observations or is it just the commercial real estate people out in the street?

I would love to here a few more from anybody and everybody.

With my naked eyes I saw……..

Comment opinions and points of view are always appreciated.

Duke Long


  • Of course the warehouse columns are on perfect 50′ x 50′ centers. None of them will ever be off by a few inches. No way will this screw up your racking plan.

    No chance that perfect parking lot floods and holds water after a minor rainstorm!

    What, they forgot to put in convenience electrical outlets where they need to plug in the vacuum?

    Cable trays are really useful for helping run that wiring….oh, you just want to run it willy nilly above the joists?

    There’s plenty of natural light! Look at all those windows. Don’t mind that building being constructed next door.

    Parking deck traffic jams? Surely that’s not a real thing.

  • Sure you can have in suite restrooms/shower, just that they ran the plumbing in the suite across the hall instead of the hallway so we will have to rip up in their suite as well. Parking Lamps burned out. Let’s replace the bulbs..no wait they don’t make that fixture anymore nor the bulbs so we will replace all the high sodium lighting ….all 50 of them on and on.

  • I worked for an emergency home repair nonprofit a few years back and (at that time) I was able to determine the pitch of a roof at a glance by driving by… your statement on dock door measurements reminded me of that. I don’t know if I could do that anymore, though….

  • I was acting as a Buyer’s agent for a resi broker when I was 18 and had Buyer’s Wife not like the brick-a-brack the Seller’s wife kept in her curio cabinets. The house hit every metric possible. The husband was not too pleased but even less pleased when I reamed them both in the driveway and drove off. They never managed to close their first home for there 2 small children they wanted to send to school 9 houses down the street. Apparently no one would deal with them after a few weeks of trying. I got yelled at by the Broker for not being professional to the shit-for-brains Buyer. I decided that day I had to switch to commercial to stop dealing with emotional BS. Only to find I still deal with it. Just not quit as bad as this situation. And with any luck logic & excel win out in this business. But some times…

  • Ok you sparked my Pen again, I need to tell some of my famous war stories in NYC Real Estate. Give me a few days and we can talk the shit! I have to say, your writting style is exactly what I enjoy, I try to subdue myself but certainly, you allow me to say whats on my mind. Jack