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    What today’s shopping experience means for the business landscape
    • October 7, 2023

    Occasionally it’s good to empty your inbox of meandering messages. Today, I purge my consciousness of random thoughts that take up too much bandwidth.

    So, here it goes. As someone famous once opined, they’re just opinions but they’re all mine.

    Generational wealth

    Lately, I’ve encountered several instances of generational wealth created through commercial real estate ownership.

    A common thread runs throughout these families, and that is investment in commercial real estate decades ago when it was much cheaper than today.

    Generally, there was a workhorse such as a manufacturing company that created excess dollars that were poured into commercial real estate ownership. In some cases, this was raw land held for development in the future.

    It’s astounding how deep generational wealth runs.

    The start of school

    Every September, when the school buses crank up and young people leave for college, my thoughts drift toward the trades and how important they are to our economy. In my generation, we were taught a college education was the ticket.

    Nowadays, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and handymen start at much higher salary levels than those with college educations. Pair the two – college and a skill – and you’re golden!

    Additionally, these trades provide a platform for young folks to start their own businesses. Please understand I’m not dissuading anyone from getting a college education, I’m just of the mind that there are many other ways to make a great living in today’s economy.

    Today’s shopping experience

    Recently, I decided to replace my iPad. You see since the days of the pandemic lockdown my entire workload has been carried by two Apple devices — my iPad in my iPhone. That’s right! No PC in this man’s world.

    I recall the last time I bought an iPad. It was a bit painful, as passwords had to be recollected, data had to be transferred and inevitably it just didn’t work like the old machine.

    To combat this, I kept my old one around for a while. Now my work space looks a bit like a scene from “Wall-E,” where pieces of old devices are strewn about.

    However, this latest shopping experience was different. I simply placed my old iPad next to the new one, and voila, the data transferred. The new machine was operational and looked identical to the old one. What an incredible experience.

    On my way back to meet my wife, I visited Warby Parker. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Warby Parker is a bit like Chipotle, only for eyeglasses. You simply walk in with your prescription, check out the samples of your glasses, and they magically appear at your house six business days later.

    It’s difficult for me to imagine how old-line optometrists and computer stores will have a future.

    The details matter

    Recently, I negotiated a lease on behalf of our client. This is commonplace, however, this lease negotiation took on a whole life of its own.

    In addition to making sure the lease reflected the business points, we were asked to opine on certain areas of the lease and their impact on future events. As I reminded our client many times, we are not attorneys and do not dispense legal advice.

    But, our client felt comfortable with our laymen’s interpretation of certain clauses in the lease. In situations like this, I feel particularly valuable, but at the same time vulnerable. I can’t recall being so invested.

    The deal is now done and our client has a shiny new home. Best of luck!

    Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at [email protected] or 714.564.7104.

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    ​ Orange County Register