Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Agricultural Hot Potato

This news item won't likey impact prices for agricultural land, but the story is resonating from Coast to Coast as farmers wrestle with a proposed Department of Labor rule:

Child labor laws will be applied to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families' land. Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work "in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials." Prohibited places of employment, according to a Department of Labor news release, "would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions."

The new regs were first proposed last August by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Interesting. I spent many a summer working at my dad's stockyards. I can't even begin to imagine what this will do to 4-H and Future Farmer of America projects.

Oh wait! Here it is! The rule would also revoke the U.S. government's previous approval of safety training and certification taught by 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.


Some urbanite/suburbanite dreamed this one up! Hoping that cooler -- aka "thinking" -- heads prevail on this one.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Heard About Onshoring? If You Haven't, You Will

There's a new buzzword in commercial real estate circles and it has the industrial segment of our business all atwitter. Its called "Onshoring."

Here's the headline: Corporations are with increasing frequency re-opening factories they previously closed. Further, companies taking a hard look at their options for growth are choosing to open plants in a number of U.S. states, in particular those locales with the lowest labor costs and unionization rates.

National Real Estate Investor Online reported recently that when it comes to deciding where to build factories, corporations weigh several factors -- total costs including supply chain efficiency and infrastructure, quality, price and availability of labor, proximity to customers and suppliers, taxes and incentives, external risks and shipping, and real estate.

This "Onshoring" phenomenon that finds companies previously producing products off-shore announcing plans to invest millions of dollars on new plants. The net effect? The return  of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. Thus far, companies that have announced such plans include Honda (which is a major automobile manufacturer here in Ohio), General Electric, Whirlpool, Otis Elevator, Master Lock, and others.

According to NREI Online, there has been a steady increase in manufacturing jobs since 2010 in the U.S., and this sector -- much to the delight of my commercial real estate colleagues focused on industrial and manufacturing properties -- is expanding at an annual pace of roughly 2 percent. 

All this is happening without federal government incentives. It is all based on the factors above, but mostly, again most heavily influenced on locales with low labor costs and low union membership.

Should be interesting to watch this trend in the next 36 months to see how it changes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Real CRE Agents DO Eat Yogurt!

'Nuff said.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 Blue Rock Midwest Network Meeting

All PCRE Ohio hands were in the Dayton area today for our annual Blue Rock Midwest commercial real estate agent network meeting. Many familiar faces, and a number of new ones were on hand at Beavercreek offices of our sister residential company, Prudential One REALTORS.
Some great best practices discussions, peeks at some new technology and a reminder to not forget the basics of shoe leather and phone calls, combined with a renewed call to exploit bleeding edge technology.
In a crazy commercial market, we owe ourselves and our clients strategic approaches that make sense. A great time today, team. Back in the office now. Back to work...