Burt M. Polson - Commercial Real Estate Broker

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Filtering by Tag: real estate

Real estate disrupters then and now

The year was 1992, the world-wide-web is one year old, Windows 3.1 is introduced, and the first text message is sent on a mobile phone. AOL is the way many accessed and used the Internet.

I started my real estate career at an office in Napa where we had one desktop computer for 12 agents. The computer was mostly used to access the new MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to search properties. Only a few of us used the MLS as most agents still used listing books that came out every month.

I was on the computer not only using the MLS but also researching information on any website I could find and using desktop publishing for creating marketing material to print. I was always the first agent to adopt technology. My first email address was cyberagent@compuserve.com, and my first website had a similar address. My first mobile phone was the Motorola “brick” phone with phone calls costing ninety cents per minute.

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25 years ago...

I am excited about this week as it marks my 25th anniversary in real estate. December 1992 seems like a lifetime ago, which in many ways rings true when you look at the growth one experiences in themselves and the world around them.

There have been many positive occurrences in my career and business as well as a few learning experiences.

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Top tech predictions in real estate - part 1

We will experience more technological changes in the next two years than we have in the last thirty.

I love technology and find it not only enriches my life but also simplifies it. For example, the information we have available on the Internet expands our knowledge, having our entire digital life in our pocket provides convenience and the safety measures in our vehicles give us peace-of-mind.

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Tomāto or Tomăto - Real Estate Documents Simplified

There is a lot of paperwork in a real estate transaction. As a real estate broker, I have access to over 250 forms in the CAR library and close to another 90 in the AIR commercial library. These are most of the forms we need for a transaction, but we have a few more we use on a daily basis.

It is not always clear what the document contains based on the name when we receive it from other brokers. We like nomenclature, acronyms and giving documents obscure names as well as borrowing names of documents from other industries.

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8 Commercial Trends of Commercial Real Estate

Gone are the four basic sectors of commercial real estate: retail, office, industrial and multi-family. They are still very much a part of many portfolios, but the investor and broker will need to consider several new categories.


Real estate investors and brokers alike must consistently remain nimble for the ever-changing demographics, laws, and business needs to remain relevant.

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It's Not Your Grandfather's Real Estate

Selling and buying real estate has changed more in the last five years than in the last 25. Long gone is the one-page carbon purchase agreement my grandfather used or the MLS listing book brokers kept close in hand.

The way real estate is marketed, bought and sold has changed significantly. The availability of information on the Internet has brought about the informed client, which is great, but it seems real estate has always been the last to adopt new technology.

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How The New Laws Will Affect You

According to Business Insider there are some ridiculous laws on the books in states across the US. Here are just a few:


  • It's a misdemeanor to try to pass off margarine as real butter in Iowa.

  • In Minnesota, any game in which participants attempt to capture a greased or oiled pig is illegal.

  • As of 1973, it's illegal to carry away or collect seaweed at night in New Hampshire.

  • In Florida, there's no dwarf-tossing allowed.

  • If a frog dies during a frog-jumping contest in California, it can't be eaten.

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Not Sell (Your Commercial Investment)

It can be tempting to sell especially when we are told it is a seller’s market. We may feel an urgency to place our property on the market--reaching for the best possible price.

Just as there are really good reasons to sell when the market is hot there are also reasons not to sell.

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Bond...James Bond - Secret Agent vs. Fiduciary Agent

Being a secret agent works well for James Bond: infiltrating the enemy, securing the microchip and getting the woman are all part of the mystique.

The structure of the agent-client relationship or broker-agent relationship should not be a secret. The California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) is always looking out for the consumer, protecting their interests by upholding and creating laws, searching-out the unethical broker and reprimanding appropriately.

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Real Estate, Opinions and the President

“My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.” Rodney Dangerfield isn’t exactly a philosopher I commonly quote, but this quote rings true when you look at the number of opinions circulating online.


Now that we know who will be in the big chair for the next four years I asked myself in what ways may this help my client or hurt. Scanning the many media channels for answers is not only mind-numbing, but full of conflicting information and a plethora of opinions.

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12 Step Annual Check-Up for Commercial Property Owners - Part 3

Protecting your real estate investment takes time, effort and a plan. With my 12 step annual check-up you will have all you need to annually review your property. Now is an opportune time to implement these steps to insure your investment will continue to grow and pay you dividends.

In parts one and two we discussed leases, visiting your property, maintenance, bidding, planning, reviewing energy savings and refinancing. In this final part we will review meeting with the professionals on your team:

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12 Step Annual Check-Up for Commercial Property Owners - Part 2

You may be fortunate enough to have a commercial property investment that does not take much of your time to manage. In fact, some investments are just a matter of making sure the rent was deposited in your bank account that month.

Then there are properties that are much more hands-on. In either case it can be easy to overlook steps to take that could save you money or possibly cause issues that become a bigger headache later on.


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12 Step Annual Check-Up for Commercial Property Owners - Part 1

It can be easy for commercial property owners to become complacent. The nature of some types of commercial properties can develop a sense in their owners that all is good when they should be proactively performing an annual check-up.

The terms in a lease could require the tenant to take care of the maintenance causing the owner to take on the attitude that all is good as long as the rent is being paid.

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I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now

I am sure you know the song Ooh La La; it’s a catchy melody about a conversation between a grandson and a granddad about life that has been remade by many artists. The nugget of truth the granddad offers in the end to the grandson is that he will just have to learn the hard way like he did.

I’ve heard the song several times, but most recently was taken back almost 24 years ago to reminisce on my career path transitioning from a promising career as an engineer in the tech field in Silicon Valley to real estate.

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You Can Tell a lot by the Title - Part 2

Like the title to a good book, the method the owners hold title to real property can tell you a lot about the purpose of the property. Depending on how an owner intends to utilize the property could dictate how title should be held.

Additionally, what the owners would want to accomplish when title is conveyed through a sale, probate or some other means should be considered when the property is acquired.

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