Starboard Commercial Real Estate

Hans Hansson | September 11, 2018

In 1984 when I got into the commercial real estate business, San Francisco had a vibrant garment production business, commonly known as “sweatshops.” Long before the sewing business was sent overseas, most of today’s South of Market was dominated by sweatshops.  These industrial spaces were packed with rows and rows of sewing machines, with one person sitting at each.  These spaces had concrete floors, exposed ceilings with drop down lights, full kitchen and rest areas.  Employees at these offices spent long hours working at their stations, and company owners would offer everything to keep their workers onsite throughout the day. 


Today’s tech firms are really yesterday’s version of sweatshops.  They offer rows of long desks with computers, instead of sewing machines. Tech offices are typically in wide open industrially designed spaces with concrete floors and exposed ceilings. Offices offer full kitchens and common areas along with a concierge of services provided by the employer to keep their workers longer at the office and maximize productivity. 


The challenge that strikes as a result of this trend is that employees barely leave their office for lunch or breaks, and in turn hurt sales of surrounding restaurants and retail stores. 


Restaurants are already struggling with higher labor costs since minimum wages went up to $15.00 an hour just last month. Tech firm amenities, mandated city regulations, and high cost of build outs are leaving San Francisco restaurant owners no choice but to close.  


For example, Umbria is an Italian restaurant on the corner of 2nd and Howard. It was a very successful restaurant for over twenty years, until LinkedIn moved their headquarters into the new building across the street. The landlord of Umbria’s lease had expected Umbria’s sales to raise, so they raised their rent when the lease expired. Unfortunately for Umbria, instead of seeing an increase in business, they saw a decline by 1/3 when LinkedIn opened their doors.  LinkedIn, as most tech firms do, offered employees a full kitchen with catered lunch. Umbria simply could not make money and ultimately closed its doors.  


As a result, San Francisco City officials are reviewing office kitchens and concierge services. If passed, it would adjust zoning laws to ban new construction of on-site workplace cafeterias. 


During the sweatshops era, virtually no retailers existed around them since their workers were not allowed to leave the premises.  Today’s modern offices are essentially doing the same thing to retailers, except there’s no enforcement, with employers offering top notch food benefits and services that outside retailers cannot compete against. 

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Hans Hansson | September 11, 2018

There are very few salespeople that will tell you that they actually enjoy making cold calls and finding new client prospects. Most prefer to work on deals, because deals closed brings in income. Yet, without new business prospects, you will not have clients or customers and therefore no deals to close. 


Most salespeople have the winning mentality, and prospecting is about losing. You lose, and then maybe win, but often lose. It equates to having to climb a big hill to get home every day.  You look at the hill and you’d rather not climb it. As a result, deals take priority in most salespeople’s minds over prospecting. 


However, great salespeople view sales very differently. They understand that their business is about new business. Without new business, you won’t have business in the long run. As a commercial real estate broker, I’m unemployed after each transaction, whether I have done a good job or not. Constant unemployment means that I need to wake up everyday thinking where my next job is going to come from. 


When salespeople shift their mentality and priorities, putting new business activities in front of deal-making, then they’ll become an entirely different person over the long run of their career. 


To make new business development a priority, you will need to “schedule” more time in your calendar to developing relationships with new prospects. And just like deals, you will have to service and nurture your new business as if they are already clients. The biggest difference is when you switch your priorities– you become the client and begin to service yourself. If you fail, just like in working deals, you will not see the paydays you were hoping for. 


You will also be tracking different metrics to gauge results.  For example, instead of looking at how many deals you close, you will need to track how many new clients or opportunities you secure.  


Obviously, you still need to service your clients in order for deals to close, but if you prioritize new business as your most important task, then the pressure to close deals will also change. 


When you build a strong pipeline of new business, you will have more deals to keep you occupied than you have time for, and therefore will protect yourself on a downside if a deal does not. 


As salespeople, when asked what you do, your answer should be, “I secure new business.” Think about the next question that person will ask you. 

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Hans Hansson | August 15, 2018

Many years ago, I began purchasing single family homes for investment in Arizona.  I had found a terrific residential real estate agent whom I trusted and over the past ten years, we have bought a number of homes that he found. He helped me find the right people to remodel and maintain the homes, he managed the care and of all the leasing, and he continued to advise me on when to buy and sell. 


You could say my real estate agent and I had formed a partnership. On the finance side, I had my relationship manager from Bank of America. I could call Seta who was in San Francisco and she would arrange financing for me with just one phone call.  She knew all about my finances and knew how much I planned to put down– she would do the rest. 


Both of these partnerships have made me a lot of money. I curated my own team and was able to buy outside of California, without any issues.  If something went wrong, it was always taken care of. 


Today, what I had developed would be much harder to duplicate. There are excellent residential real estate brokers, but I’ve seen the personal relationships between brokers and clients diminish. One reason for this are mega franchise brands.  Firms like Compass, which is rapidly becoming the largest real estate brand in the U.S., is pushing technology tools as a way to better service its clients. 


On the financing, side the “Setas” of the world no longer exist.  Banks do not allow a single person to have that kind of authority anymore. And with government regulations today, they would not have the ability to find or buy a property on my behalf. 


Sadly, we’ve lost the personal touch. Technology takes information and tries to put it into the hands of the end user (the buyer)– without the need of a single person. The challenge is that the real estate agent and the lender knowledge cannot be replaced with data. Having more information by the end user does not mean that they are in a better position to close a deal. When they do not have that personal helper– who has the experience you lack to get the job done right?


Real estate and banking have traded in personal support and relationships for expansion and acquisition. Believing they could service more people, but in turn, lack quality of service. 


But, you have to start with me and those that do what I do. In the past, I could move much more quickly and buy homes with professionals supporting my effort throughout the process. I bought homes faster, which means that I began feeding the food chain faster. My buying a house, my money for my real estate agent, as well as my lender, but I also was able to employ contractors, permit expeditors, inspection personal title companies, insurance companies and eventually was able to provide improved housing to my renters.  In other words, I was able to spur the economy a lot faster with my efforts. 


This was more to create bureaucracy in real estate as banking stymied the growth of smaller investors.


The cost to get started is already high, but the challenges to get individuals in the industry to help you has been replaced by a mobile app and a chat room. 


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Hans Hansson | July 5, 2018

If President Trump follows through with his plan to institute tariffs in order to force more fair trade, then commercial real estate across the country will be affected in a very big way.  To understand how, we need to look at our history to see how trade imbalance came to be. 


At the end of World War I, Germany lost the war and was forced to pay serious reparations for all of the damage inflicted on the allies. Germany was forced into a major depression that eventually led to Adolf Hitler coming to power, thus causing World War II. 


In order to avoid the same mistakes after World War II, the United States incentivized the development of both Germany and Japan so that they could rebuild their countries faster and enjoy prosperity, instead of being relegated to a third world power.  The trade imbalance against the U.S. grew to a point in the 1980s when then President Reagan decided it was time to issue tariffs to put pressure on both countries to create fairer trade practices. 


Japan’s massive trade imbalance with the U.S. impacted industries from the domestic car market to the electronics market, including televisions, computers, cameras, and home goods. Germany’s trade imbalances included their luxury car market where BMW, Mercedes, and Audi leveled and initially destroyed our leadership in the luxury car market. 


President Reagan forced both countries to either create equality or build their products in the U.S by implementing tariffs or threatening to do so. This strategy led to the construction of major car manufacturing plants, building foreign brands here in the U.S. in areas that were once struggling in poverty, which created a building boom that turned southern states into new economic powerhouses for long-term growth. 


If President Trump follows through with a similar tariff, perhaps we can expect foreign countries to decide to build in the U.S., rather than lose market share altogether. Today, we already see tech giants like Apple and car brands like Volvo that are constructing new plants here in the U.S. 


We might see foreign countries build plants, too–– from steel to appliances and clothing.  This will lead to major growth in commercial real estate across industries.  


The challenge is–– what would it cost us?  We can certainly expect costs of goods to go higher, but we could also expect better quality goods to be built as well.  


I remember when the U.S. began looking to foreign countries to offer cheaper labor to manufacture our goods. At the time, I had asked an economist from Chase, “How will this strategy NOT create major job loss in the U.S. and NOT hurt our economy?”


His response was, “For every dollar lost in manufacturing jobs, we will gain back four times in buying power through the U.S. consumers’ ability to buy goods at lower costs.” However, when you look at the buying power of today’s consumer–– their incomes do not match inflation and we see that it hasn’t been in favor of the working U.S. citizen.  


Clearly, the erosion of our middle class is one of the reasons that President Trump got elected. They want real jobs back--and if they do come back, America will see one heck of a new boom in commercial real estate.

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Hans Hansson | July 5, 2018

If you are a golfer, you understand that golf is 90 percent mental and 10 percent skill.  My theory is that the power of your mind is what controls your ability to hit a good or bad shot. I’ve been playing golf for over 40 years now, yet at best, I am considered an “average” player. My goal when playing the game is to win, but I let my mind get bogged down by my low score rather than concentrating on making my next shot better.  


Recently, I tested out my theory by purposely thinking about negative thoughts before I took my shot. As I suspected, this led to a terrible hit. Following this embarrassing shot, I cleared my mind of everything and only concentrated on the ball, my swing, the weight of the club, and the direction I was going to hit. With a centered focused, I was able to produce an outstanding hit!  


I think about this analogy and how it can also be applied to sales.  We have the same issue– we constantly need to enforce positivity into each action– from the way we answer phone calls, to drafting emails, to showcasing a new space, etc. If we go negative, we get negative in return. 


I recently attended a real estate conference where the guest speaker introduced a new motivational sales training program called Ninja Selling. It was written by a residential real estate broker who entered the field with zero sales experience and a number of personal challenges that would not promote a long-term real estate career. 


With these setbacks, he was able to build a residential real estate company in Fort Collins, Colorado that currently has over 300 brokers and is now considered one of the most successful real estate companies in the U.S.(based on deals closed per agent).  On average, his agents close 27 deals each per year. The average deal closing across the country per agent is less than 4 per year. 


He has trained all of his managers and agents in the art of “Ninja Selling”– which is a lot like a religion. His program offers discipline, hope, and understanding of what a salesperson needs in order to be great. The program emphasizes commitment to serve your clients while also creating a reinforcement mechanism that keeps you focused on your business and personal successes. 


Every day, you are asked to start your day with a recommitment to the following: 


  1. Ask yourself, what are you grateful for today? Think about what makes you happy and appreciate that.
  2. Avoid negative thought and introduce some positive action to your day. For me, this was turning off the morning news and instead listening to a TED talk or reading an inspirational book on my way into work.
  3. Restate your business and the personal goals you’ve established for yourself. Rather than stating goals as if it’s a list of things you’d like to accomplish, you state your goals as if you have already accomplished them. For example, I say to myself “I weigh 175 pounds, I shot on average 85 in golf, I make 500k a year.” In order for these goals to actualize, you need to state them every day for 30 days straight. You cannot miss a day– period.
  4. Focus on helping two people in need each day.  It could be as simple of offering a positive thought to someone whose personal life is in turmoil that day. Or, it could be helping someone complete a project.  This recommitment focuses on giving back to others. 

The above will create a balanced approach to your sales career while also grounding you in life with an understanding that success comes with commitment, which also comes from serving others. The power of Ninja Selling can be found in all of us.


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Hans Hansson | June 13, 2018

Every new salesperson initially struggles to build their book of business. If they can create a solid base of clients, then they can begin to count on renewal business in addition to referrals.


I start off every year with approximately 40 percent of my business revenue coming from past business and/or referrals. I know that an additional 25 percent of my business will be lost for a variety of reasons– including companies get acquired, companies expand and now have national contracts with larger service providers, or companies are simply no longer in business. Ironically, 25 percent of all businesses that sign a lease for five years do not complete their lease term.


There’s still that 35 percent of my business lost in which I’m not sure what happened. Perhaps I have lost touch with these folks, or they chose to do business with someone else.  This is the 35 percent that I should be working on improving my ability to stay in touch with through better follow-up.


It’s a lot easier to secure past business then it is to start from scratch and secure new business with no prior connection.  Follow-up can be simple as long as you create a plan of action and stick to it. Here are some of some things to keep in mind for staying in touch with past happy clients:


Know and Be Known

In the earlier part of my career, it was common for the “decision maker” at a company to be there for the next transaction. Since the Dot.Com boom and bust of 2000, that’s changed. Today, the same decision maker I may work with at the beginning of a deal, 99 percent of the time, isn’t around at the conclusion of a typical five-year lease.


If you aren’t known because a firm changed management and the new hires have no clue who you are—that’s on you. You have failed to follow-up and monitor staff changes, which will hurt your chances of keeping them as a client.  You may have done a good job, but if you fail to be known by new folks or remembered by past employees, you miss out on future opportunities with repeat clients.


Add a Personal Touch

Upon the close of any deal, try to remember to send a thank you note and a small gift. That gift should be something can be branded back to you.  In addition, I’d also recommend setting up an automatic anniversary email. We do this at Starboard so that each of the agents get a notice to check in with past clients and make sure that everything is working out for them, and also to learn if there are any opportunities in the near future.  


No Time Like Face Time

It’s critical to pay past clients an in-person visit and see how things are going. But most importantly, keep your face in front of your past decision makers, as well as get in front of any new decision makers. I have learned the hard way that I could have worked miracles for a client, but if the decision maker has been replaced, a new decision maker won’t have a clue as to the great work done to secure their current office space.


Most real estate salespeople fail at follow-up for an understandable reason. They need to do deals today.  Once a residential agent sells a house to a family, there is no immediate future business with that family until they outgrow that house or have to relocate. In commercial, if you secure a lease, a binding lease locks that tenant into their obligation for an extended time. What we fail to realize is that changes are occurring much faster today than ever before.  Firms are reacting to changes in their business which requires immediate changes to their workplaces.


So, begin the process of improving your follow-up. Remember, it’s a lot easier to open the door to this kind of business then to open the door with a firm you do not know at all.

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Hans Hansson | June 8, 2018

When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September of last year, many here in San Francisco watched as the tragedy unfolded across newspapers and screens. One story from the disaster that stood out to me was about the cooks of Puerto Rico. When the hurricane first hit, agencies from the Red Cross to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, rushed to provide relief. The agencies developed a major, multi-layered plan to handle the logistics of helping Puerto Rico recover. The plan would take an army of services and personnel to implement.


Finally, one man, chef José Andrés, asked the question: “How are we going to feed the people today?”


José saw the importance of cutting through the red tape of the extensive, complex plans that had been proposed so that the people of Puerto Rico would have access to food when they needed it. He created his own, far simpler plan:  José contacted every restaurant one by one and told them to start cooking. Soon, the plan José set in motion was feeding thousands, then millions of Puerto Ricans within the first two weeks. This was all accomplished through a loosely connected network of people that delivered no major plans – they simply passed the word along and got it done.


Today, San Francisco, the most liberal city and one of the richest in America, is faced with one of the largest homeless crises in the country, and the city can’t solve the problem. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco spends $305 million on the homeless population, and yet homelessness is only getting worse. 



To address the problem, San Francisco has created layers of bureaucratic redundancy in services, leading to more red tape then actual solutions. People are dying in the streets in their own filth and we are completely bogged down in our own bureaucracy. The city has also turned homelessness into a job creator. Serving the city’s homeless residents now accounts for thousands of jobs, which has in turn created a conflict of interest when it comes to implementing a true vehicle to reduce this problem and save lives today.


The current mayoral candidates know how important resolving the homeless crisis is to San Franciscans and are all running on similar platforms aimed at solving this issue by throwing more money and funding at it. This will only create more jobs while people continue to struggle on the streets as we wait for some new, bold plan to take effect.


San Francisco can learn from chef José Andrés and decide that we need to help the homeless today - not tomorrow, or next week or next year. 


So how can we do that? San Francisco has the capacity to house a significant number of homeless residents in buildings that are currently vacant due to state requirements around seismic upgrades. These buildings include the Laguna Honda Hospital, parts of the San Francisco Juvenile Detention center, and the Women’s Cottages, which are all centrally located in one place. These facilities could easily be converted to emergency housing today, aside from the liability of seismic concerns.


This is where we need to ask ourselves a very simple question: do we want to save lives right now and use these facilities, or continue to put lives in danger on the streets for fear of a potential earthquake?


As a former hospital, Laguna Honda is built with everything we need to consolidate our services in one place and help people today. It has the ability to feed a mass amount of people with its large kitchens. It already has the structural layout to accommodate the needs of San Francisco’s homeless, yet our own red tape and current laws prevent us from taking advantage of it.


Current law says that we cannot hold anyone more than 72 hours unless a series of tests determine that a person cannot take care of themselves. At San Francisco General Hospital, the homeless are brought in and then sent right back out onto the streets because they don’t have enough beds and legally cannot hold them. California law also does not allow Laguna Honda and similar buildings to be reused because they no longer meet current seismic codes, so the city would likely be unwilling to take on the liability of re-opening them for homeless use.


Yet, look at José Andrés, the chef from Puerto Rico. He went around big, bureaucratic institutions that were set up to address major problems in a disaster and simply found a way to address the needs of the people immediately, not weeks or months later.


San Francisco needs to be bold. The city needs to announce a public emergency and open buildings like Laguna Honda today. If it means creating a sanctuary policy, similar to the one in place to protect illegal aliens, then we need to implement that policy for the San Francisco citizens that are helpless and dying in the streets.



I challenge Mayor Farrell, the members of the Board of Supervisors and the future Mayoral candidates to not hide behind more spending projects that will take years to implement with only a small chance of success. Instead, save lives today and open those buildings, consolidate our current service providers, and create your own policies that address and help solve this critical emergency today. 

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Hans Hansson | May 10, 2018

“Never Stop Investing in Yourself or Retirement” – Jill Furtado, Berkshire Hathaway


As salespeople, we can get busy very fast.  If our business is going well, we go with the flow and close as many deals as we can and as often as we can.  If business is not so good, great salespeople find new ways to make deals and get those deals done. Unfortunately, what most salespeople don’t understand is the need to stay on top your game at all times– which means you need to constantly educate yourself on the changing industry trends and latest tools and technology that can be used give you the competitive edge.  You also have to make sure you stay in tune with what is going on in the market you are selling in.   Your sales could be doing very well for a while, but when you don’t pay attention to changes in the market, your sudden dip in sales will dramatically affect your business. It’s important to stay “in the know” and to be proactive. 


1. Never Stop Learning.

Top salespeople attend motivational classes to improve their personal and organizational skills. They listen to podcasts and constantly read self-improvement books. If you don’t stay on top of your game, someone else will be there right behind you.  


2. Don’t live beyond your means. 

Next, great salespeople have to realize that there will be a time when their top production will begin to fall.  If they are living a lifestyle that requires their top production results and those results start declining, it’s easy for anyone to get into financial trouble quickly.  Great salespeople find other avenues of income so that if decline in their main sales production goes down, they have other sources to protect their needed base of income.  That could mean investing in real estate or another business, invest in stocks, etc.–but if you don’t prepare for the eventual downturn of your business, you could put yourself in a bad economic position with little ability of time as well as effort to “steer your ship”. 


3. Plan for retirement while you’re young. 

Young salespeople don’t think about retirement, for obvious reasons. It’s “too far down the road” to worry about now. Yet, the most successful salespeople start a strategy to invest right away.  For instance, a great real estate model is to find a way to buy one house every year for the ten years.  If you start at the age of 30, by the time you are 60 under a conventional 30-year mortgage, you will have your first house paid off completely by the office with one house paid off each year until you are 70. Then you will have ten houses owned free and clear and ten houses paying you rent.  


The beauty of this strategy is that you can buy a house anyway.  The houses don’t have to appreciate.  All they have to do is remain revenue neutral and you will create high net worth and long-term rental income. Most salespeople will ask how I can afford the down payment.  The first couple of houses will be tricky.  You will need help in terms of partners or you will need to borrow the down payment, but if you believe in the system you will find a way.  Educate yourself constantly. Invest constantly. And you will succeed constantly. 


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Hans Hansson | April 3, 2018

It used to be that most employees would simply punch a card when they got to work and punched a card when they left work.  There were set days off for vacation and sick leave–with a full work week representing 40 hours. As salespeople, if we were employees, we too worked 40 hours as independent contractors, but the good ones would work a lot longer.

In order for us to learn if we were productive, we would take what we expected to earn in income and divide that number by the number of hours we were working and estimate what we needed to earn in order to make that intended income. For example, if we wanted to make 200,000 average/annually, we’d have 52 weeks minus three weeks for vacation which means we need to do $4,000.00 per week or based on a 40-hour work week $102.00 an hour in net production.

This became the formula taught at most sales seminars to gauge production results.

Today, it’s very difficult to quantify one’s performance. Cell phones have now moved offices from stationary to mobile, extending work hours and extending periods that someone can also not be working. 

Social media and networking to secure new business has also changed the dynamics of qualifying one’s efforts.  Today, all salespeople need a way to create a 24/7 marketplace for themselves when business can be generated anytime, any day.

In real estate, sales is extremely important because there are no “hours of operation” for when people are looking for real estate. You could easily get a lead midday or at midnight.

The problem for an individual salesperson, particularly an independent contractor, is that you cannot simply divide your working hours by the amount you want to make to gauge results. You really need to spend more time monitoring your daily activities and gauge results per specific effort. 

This is why a business plan becomes such an effective tool.  If you break down your business plan to include set pillars (or tactics) in which you are going to create business, you can quantify how many calls, networking connections, or emails you need to make and then track for success in each area. For instance, if posting a Craigslist ad is part of your business plan, you can count how many calls and connections you make as a result of your postings. You can then figure out how many of these connections lead to a deal as a percentage of how many connections are made.  For instance, if you plan to post 10 Craigslist ads and you receive an average of 10 responses per week, which lead to one deal – then you can quantify a dollar amount against that deal.

You can apply this formula to cold calling, too. If you plan to make 100 calls in one week, you should expect two prospects to turn into one deal. You could quantify how much one deal would produce, and then measure that against your overall goal.

In the past, you would have a business plan tied to the number of hours you planned to work, but today, the business plan also stands on its own.  If you track your results by monitoring each pillar, you can translate that into deal flow, average deal income, and then yearly income.

Yes, it’s still important to monitor your true working hours, but it is no longer the standard you should use. Instead, focus on the pillars of your business that you need to monitor the most and measure whether you are successful in implementing your business plan.  If you are not, then you will need to change your plan to get your ultimate goal back on course. 


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Hans Hansson | March 27, 2018

Today, the costs to build any residential or commercial properties are through the roof.  When you set yourself a budget, my recommendation is to double it to ensure you protect yourself against the unknowns that will come up and “bite you”.


If you are going through this process for the first time, there are some key line items that almost everyone either misses or underestimates when it comes to total expenses.

  1. Expect (Major) Delays: Always just assume there will be delays in the building process. You can make an estimate for project completion, but I would double it to make sure you plan for more realistic timing and consider the overall carrying costs in terms of rent, financing, etc.

  2. Expect Change Orders: No matter how you are managing the project, if change orders don’t come about by changes in plans or ideas, it will come from the city when they begin inspecting the premises. Expect the city to give absolutely no leeway and ask that you maximize whatever the code would say.  For example, restaurants need to have grease traps installed. If you install the minimum standards required to pass, expect the city to push you to install the highest standards.  This change order could represent a cost difference of $6-$10,000 dollars by itself.

  3. Expect PG&E to Be Slow: Even basic installations could take four to six months or longer.  Once you file for an installation, you’re put onto a wait list that gives you no guarantee of PG&E following up with you to schedule the installation. 

  4. Sewer and water fees will cost you: From our own experience in building a bakery in Sonoma, California, we learned quickly about sewer and water fees. We had assumed that the sewer hookup fee would be between $5-$10,000, so we were completely shocked to receive a bill for $37,500 dollars. Starboard recently did a deal with a client that needs to install a new 4-inch waterline in order to improve their sprinkler system–our client was shocked to learn that the cost of the permit was $35,000.

  5. New Code Compliance Adds Zeros: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires you to provide parking for the disabled that includes the proper ramps, signage, lighting, etc. Your architect may have drawn plans to compliance, but expect the city to require changes that could involve serious costs to in order to be compliant.

  6. Final Permit Is Never Guaranteed: No matter how good your architects and contractors are, you can never guarantee that you will secure a final permit.  In another project we worked on–a simple $2,000/square ft. retail renovation– we had to schedule three separate times in order to secure approval of the building plans. Each time we completed the changes that the planner required, we had to go back for another approval. When they would review after the changes were made, they’d find something else we needed to include. This added time and costs that were not accounted for in our original budget.  


Although all of the items mentioned above are bound to happen during your project, there are a couple of things you can do to set more realistic expectations. I would recommend that you ask your contractor to share samples of previous jobs similar to yours and adjust your budget based on those change orders. I would also recommend connecting with anyone who recently went through a building process and learn from them what happened during their build, so you can try and avoid similar sticky situations.


Lastly, I’d recommend holding a pre-planning meeting with the city’s water department, health department, and PG&E. The more you learn in advance, the less surprises you will encounter. 


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