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A Differentiation of Triple Net Leases and Gross Leases

By Ida Fineberg, Broker & Co-Owner of Steve Fineberg & Associates

The Commercial Lease – it conjures images of clauses, conditions, timelines and COSTS. The stipulations and conditions that ultimately become part of a lease are as varied and numerous as there are active leases. One of the most important parts of a lease is costs/fees and who pays what – the lessor/owner or the lessee/tenant – either way this part of the lease is one that deserves a look. Let’s look at the Tripe Net Lease.

All property owners have, for the most part, three costs which are part of owning property. These costs are taxes (the government will always take its “fair share”), insurance (what? - you want to own without protection?), and Common Area Maintenance (known as CAM and just think lobbies, elevators, landscape, maybe restrooms used by all tenants, etc.) .

Gross Lease: On the other side of this lease coin is the gross lease wherein the owner/lessor receives a bigger check from the lessee/tenant that includes costs of taxes, insurance and CAM. In the real world a majority of tenants prefer the Gross Lease rather than a Triple Net Lease because for them just writing one check takes care of the whole business rather than writing various checks for the cost of taxes, insurance, and CAM. In other words, someone else takes care of the details.

Triple Net Lease: In a Triple Net Lease the owner receives a rent check that does NOT include the cost of taxes, insurance, and CAM. In this scenario it is the tenant who would be responsible for the payment of these costs. When an investor is looking to purchase income producing property, a preference is given to a building with triple net leases because the investor can more easily determine what the net income is in relation to the purchase price.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the structure of the lease. Monetarily it is the same outcome for the owner/lessor. The bottom line is that the owner wants to cover the costs of these fees. Not too difficult – it's just common sense and good planning by all the parties.


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Corporate Responsibility: Fighting Hunger in Northwest Arkansas

This past year we took some time to reflect and prioritize some issues that we felt were at the heart-strings of our organization.  Each day we have an opportunity to work alongside businesses and individuals who help make our community a better place - a place that continues to grow and flourish.  It is easy sometimes to forget that there are still many people in our community who really struggle, and although the agents and staff here at Steve Fineberg & Associates all contribute so much of their time and resources privately for various causes in our community, we realized we needed to do better organizationally.

As part of our committment to raising awareness and resources for the disadvantaged in our community, we have created a "Corporate Responsibility Mission Statement":

It is the mission of the agents and staff at Steve Fineberg & Associates Real Estate to participate in efforts to  become a  part of the energy  that  makes the communities  of Northwest Arkansas great places in which to live and prosper.  Steve Fineberg & Associates is committed to giving time and effort  through  involvement in various civic and charitable organizations in order to further contribute to making  Northwest Arkansas an exceptional area in which to live and work..

This year we have chose as an organization to give back to that we feel has a strong reputation in the community as a safe place where people can be loved and supported through fundamental resources that we all need that fights hunger and offers sustainable care - Samaritan Community Center.
For the month of October, our staff is committed to helping raise support through a "Food Drive to Benefit Samaritan Community Center".  We hope that by serving as a drop-site in Bentonville that we can increase awareness for their cause, and also help provide the physical resources of food through collecting at our office.
We plan to engage our neighbors and clients in helping support this great cause, but we need your help also.  Please help us stock the shelves by providing canned foods.  We will accept donations through the month of October - Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm.  Our office is located at 1400 S.E. Walton Blvd. in Bentonville (behind Krispy Kreme).

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Every dog has its' day: Multi-family tips and trends in today's market

The multi-family market seems to be a hot topic in commercial real estate these days. Why do you think this is?

Because of the difficulty associated with the purchase of single family homes, many cannot buy, and this creates opportunity for multi-family investors, and those generally interested in acquiring income producing real-estate..


Tell us about your experience in the multi-family market.

Many years ago, in another lifetime, I was in the business of syndicating limited partnerships where we acquired t apartment buildings. At that time I had a property management company that physically managed the apartments, and I in the capacity of the general partner fiscally managed the properties’ finances. I did this for ten years.


What would you say is the greatest opportunity for current multi-family managers or owners in today’s market?

For those who own multi-family properties, opportunity exist because of the single family housing market decline. It is an opportunity in two different ways:

1) It is an opportunity to raise the level of rents which will allow for improved maintenance, better curb appeal, therefore creating a higher value for the asset

2) It is an opportunity to sell. The proceeds resulting from the sale can be used as leverage to purchase real estate in maybe a different, sector or to purchase multi-family real estate from owners who are still experiencing a high level of stress.


What would you say to those looking to invest or purchase in the multi-family sector?

If you want to acquire , ,because of the single family housing market situation, it is a good time. With low interest rates, where they are today, and with prices being depressed, it is the first time in a long time that this sector has the potential to be a very lucrative opportunity.

Conversely and on the other hand if you are a seller, it can be a very good time to sell because a legitimate case can be made to a new purchaser that lease rates and occupancy will in all probability rise. The sale proceeds can create a new purchasing opportunity.


What trends are you seeing in multi-family housing?

Rents are starting to rise. Multi-family is the only sector overall, across the board in commercial real estate with very few exceptions, that seems to be experiencing higher occupancy and higher rents, and that is probably going to be the case for an extended period of time. You can predict that there probably are not going to be many new properties on the market - who can get financing? Even if they wanted to, how will people build them? With a static supply and an increased demand that is an opportunity for those investors who are targeted at looking at this sector.

Every dog has its’ day, and this day may be coming for the multi-family market. It has been in the doldrums for a long long time.


What is the best advice you could give to someone who owns multi-family properties? Keep or sell?

That is a difficult question, because that decision should not be made solely on what they hold and what they don’t hold. It should be made on their bigger picture: What other opportunities are out there for them? What is there financial situation? What is there age? What’s their health like? What is their life like? All those things have a bearing on what and where you purchase and where and what you sell.

I did talk to an apartment owner recently about his multi-family portfolio. I presented the case to him in regard to selling, and what opportunities that might bring, and he said “you made a great case, but I am ready to retire and my building is almost paid off. I don’t want to sell because I just want to collect the rents and live.”

So, he put that in context of his life, and I understand that. That is exactly what I would do. It is the same with any purchase or sell you make with real estate. When you buy house, you don’t just buy it because you love the house. You have to take all of these things into consideration: How your job outlook is? How your relationship status is? How your financial status is? The list goes on, but it is always part of a much bigger picture.


Suggestions or Take-Aways

I would say to maximize your value, and this is so fundamental, but it is amazing how it’s difficult to do for those owners who do not have professional management companies, but if you want to sell or just maximize your value:

- keep good records of your tenants, of when their lease is up, when it starts, what they are paying per foot, watching your leases when they expire

- keep up with your buildings – keep them clean, keep the parking lots clean, pay for landscaping, keep the curb appeal

- Respond to your tenants when they have problems – and if someone has an air conditioner go out – fix it! Otherwise, you are going to have a tenant move out, and then you are going to have to pay to clean it, paint it, carpet it, advertise it, and pay a commission.

These little nuts and bolts seem so silly, but they are what make ALL the difference when you are creating added value.



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ALPFA - Northwest Arkansas Non-profit Makes Waves

By Ida Fineberg, Principal Broker

Northwest Arkansas can now add another trophy to its case as it was recently announced that the Sam Walton School of Business will be the home of the ALPFA Institute. Why is this important? And wait – what is ALPFA, anyways? Why is it important? Well, anything having to do with the School of Business brings bigger and better educational opportunities to the area by developing a better educated and more capable workforce. Local companies know that they have the people that they need here in order to grow and prosper and that, my friends, means that real estate can grow and prosper. Now read on about ALPFA and organization that we, at Steve Fineberg & Associates are proud to call ourselves a member.

The value of any area can be measured in many ways – business opportunities and growth, educational institutions, industries, natural resources, real estate, entertainment and sports – are among some that can be factored into the equation. One of the most important components adding to the value of any area is its people and their investments of their time and effort to have a better community.

Evidence of this in the Bentonville/Rogers area is the Northwest Arkansas ALPFA Chapter. For those not familiar with ALPFA – Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, is a professional organization established in 1972 and currently boasts a membership of about 15,000 nationwide. The Northwest Arkansas ALPFA chapter was established a mere three years ago and like its counterparts throughout the nation its mission is to provide access to its members via educational opportunities and relationships with mentors who can impact their careers. The Northwest Arkansas ALPFA group is one hot ticket and has taken off like wildfire. This group has been so active, so involved and so committed to its membership and the ALPFA goals that at the last national ALPFA convention in Anaheim, California in August of 2011, they were named the top chapter IN THE NATION!! Quite the honor considering they are only getting started. It is a testament to the quality of the people here who are part of this group.

This local ALPFA group seems to be in constant motion working closely with the many professional and educational resources found in the Northwest Arkansas area such as Walmart, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Trucking, Northwest Arkansas Community College, and the University of Arkansas and its renown Sam Walton School of Business where the just named ALPFA Institute will be housed just to name a few. By the way, this new ALPFA Institute will be teaching leadership to candidates from the high school level to the CEO level. Additionally these meetings avail themselves of the resources provided by the numerous people, from many other companies and varied professions, and self made entrepreneurs, who come to the meetings to learn and/or offer their expertise to the many students just starting their careers or seeking networking opportunities and business advice. Attending and ALPFA meeting is a nonstop event, with opportunity to network, socialize, meet a new mentor or two, or become a mentor, hear a tremendous speaker with pertinent information, and, above all, learn something new. Whether a seasoned professional or a student just starting out on a new career path, it may be worth a moment or two to check out ALPFA, because something will be gained from the experience, meet terrific people, learn something new and probably offer some knowledge to others – ultimately it’s all good.



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September 13th - Bond Election

As an office, Steve Fineberg & Associates, refrains from taking any sort of political stance in elections. However, on September 13th the City of Rogers is planning a bond election that will directly impact economic development in our area. We felt that this was a good opportunity to highlight what the bond is, and what it could mean for our region in way of growth and opportunity.

The Rogers/Lowell Chamber of Commerce has provided this information to further answer questions:

When is the election?
Election Day is Tuesday, September 13. Early Voting will begin Tuesday, September 6.

Who can vote in the election?
Anyone registered to vote inside the City of Rogers.

What is the election for?
This election will provide funding so that we can continue making investments in major quality of life, public safety, and infrastructure improvements for Rogers. The city may only use this money to focus on four specific areas:

  • roads, sidewalks, drainage and other similar infrastructure;
  • public parks, recreational facilities, ball fields, and a water park;
  • fire department vehicles and apparatus; and
  • police department vehicles and other equipment.

Why was this election called?
The citizens of Rogers have, for decades now, made investments in public priorities that have made Rogers the incredible city that it is today. Rogers was recently named one of the 10 best small cities to live in by CNN.
Building on the momentum and expanding on the accomplishments that we have made as a city is important, and voting FOR these bond projects will allow us to do just that.

Our police and fire facilities, new land and improvements for our city parks, and much of our street, sidewalk and drainage infrastructure were made possible by investments that were made starting 20 years ago.

The vision of our leaders and the ability to create the needed infrastructure has helped to produce more than $1 billion of capital investment in and around the Promenade, bringing hundreds of jobs and attracting families to our city.

What is included in the election for infrastructure?
Due to tremendous growth that Rogers has seen in recent years, our city streets, sidewalks drainage and other infrastructure are in need of improvements to handle that growth and to prepare for our future.

To attract new jobs and private investment in Rogers we must ensure that our infrastructure is “ready for business.”

These improvements will allow for better access to our neighborhoods and sidewalks for our kids to play on.

Some examples of specific infrastructure projects for improvement include:
· 1st Street – widening, adding a turn lane and adding sidewalks
· 21st Street – adding drainage, curbs, and sidewalks
· Bellview Road South – improving turn lanes, intersections and adding sidewalks
· Bellview Road North – adding turn lanes and adding sidewalks
· Monte NE & 1st Street – connecting both streets to ensure better access
· Perry Road – widening to four lanes
· Pleasant Grove Road - widen

What is included in the election for parks and recreation?
Parks have been an area of investment from the bond election almost 10 years ago. Providing ample green space, ball fields, playgrounds, the Senior Center, and other recreational areas have played a large part in our city’s growth.

Some specific examples of park construction and improvement include:
· Veterans Park – constructing a moving tribute to our local heroes who have served in the military
· Lake Atalanta – modernize and improve the safety of the facilities to return the Lake to a gathering place for Rogers’ families.
· Rogers Sports Park – fulfilling the vision of previous investments, the park will include Championship soccer/football fields, Championship softball/baseball fields, playgrounds and fishing ponds. The park will connect in with Rogers city trail system.
· Rogers Aquatics Park – building an exciting water park for kids and families to use with water slides, a lazy river, toddler play area, and a 25 meter swimming pool, with room for expansion and growth of the park in the future. The park will connect in with Rogers city trail system.

What is included in the election for our Fire Department?
This election will expand on the investments that we have made in public safety, providing funding for Fire Department vehicles and apparatus. This will ensure that our Fire Department is able to protect all of our neighborhoods as our community continues to expand.
These improvements give us the best possible opportunity to protect or even lower our ISO rating to keep homeowners insurance rates from going higher.

What is included in the election for our Police Department?
This election will expand on the investments that we have made in public safety, providing funding for Police Department facility upgrades, equipment, and other needs. Our city continues to grow as more people come to realize what we already know, Rogers is a great place to live and raise a family. We must ensure our police department has the resources, facilities and equipment to keep our city safe and protect all of our neighborhoods as our community continues to expand.
Will this raise our taxes?
No. The city’s tax rate will not go up at all. This only continues the investment that our community has made over the past 20 years.
What all is on the ballot?
There will be five separate votes on the ballot. All five of these votes work together to keep Rogers moving forward:
· The first vote is a housekeeping vote to pay off the small remainder of previous bond funding that provided for numerous projects in the city.
· Street Improvement bonds will provide $102 Million for street, sidewalks, drainage and other infrastructure needs in the city.
· Park and Recreational Improvement bonds will provide $26.8 Million for park improvements as well as new ball field and water park construction.
· Fire Department Facilities bonds will provide $4.6 Million for vehicle replacement and other upgrades for our firefighters.
· Police Department Facilities bonds will provide $2 Million for police facilities, equipment and other public safety needs.

What accountability measures are included in this election?
The Rogers City Council and Mayor Hines have made it a point to include Rogers’ citizens in the planning and use of this revenue to improve the quality of life and public safety of our city.
Any revenue collected may only be used for repayment of the bonds.

If the bond issue passes, it will be a component in getting new businesses to come to this area because of the roads, the parks, the infrastructure, and the added amenities when the economy turns around.

The end game is to get more businesses to come to Northwest Arkansas, and the pitch is “look at our schools, look at our roads, and look at the economy that you can move into."

The most important thing is to vote. In local government every vote counts, and can make a difference to our community,” Steve Fineberg.


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Then & Now... A snapshot look at the growth of Northwest Arkansas

If you are familiar with Northwest Arkansas at all, you have probably heard it said that this area has grown... a LOT.  But you may not know why or how exactly.  Our team decided to take a deeper look at this growth over the past two decades, and wanted to share a few of our findings.  It's easy to see that this little corner of the state has really bloomed into a national hub for economic growth and development.
Ethnic Trends from 1990-2010:

2010 Census
African American
Bella Vista
2000 Census
African American
Bella Vista
1990 Census
African American
Bella Vista

One of the most important trends that we see with ethnic growth is the increase of the Latino population over the past twenty years, growing from just 460 in Rogers in 1990 to over 17,000 in Rogers today.  35.3% of all Latino residents in Arkansas live in Benton or Washington County. 
This growth is remarkable, and has opened up our area to become a diverse marketplace in both small and large scale businesses for minority business leaders.  It has also allowed the rest of the growth to become international hub as we continue to grow our diverse population.
Household & Gender Trends from 1990-2010: 

2010 Census
Bella Vista
2000 Census
Bella Vista
1990 Census
Bella Vista

From 2000-2010, the U.S. census shows that we had rapid growth in the amount of individuals and families moving to Northwest Arkansas averaging 944 new residents per month transplanting here to live.  Benton County alone grew 44.3% with an increase of 67,933 people since 2000.
The population for Benton and Washington Counties has more than doubled since 1990.  The growth rate for the two county area was 101.2% for a total population growth of 213,496 since 1990.  Northwest Arkansas has four of the top ten largest cities in Arkansas. 
Nearly half of the entire growth of the state of Arkansas since 2000 has occurred in Benton and Washington County.
There is no question that corporations such as Walmart, Tyson, and JB Hunt that are headquartered in Northwest Arkansas have had a major impact. 
People from all over the United States and worldwide are moving to Northwest Arkansas to engage in business which is fostering a creative and economic movement that has propelled the Northwest Arkansas region to be one of the nation's best.
The quality of life found in Northwest Arkansas is what one expects from a major metropolis, to have things like world-class health care, fine dining, boutique shops, sports complexes, parks and trails, and the upcoming Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  Not only do new residents find this to be a capitol for business, but there are several things to do for leisure as well.
I-540 & Pleasant Grove Road in 1990
I-540 & Pleasant Grove in 2010
The Nation Has Noticed:
Northwest Arkansas and its cities have recently been recognized by national organizations:
- In 2010 & 2011 CNN-MONEY ranked Rogers 10th on its "Best Places to Live" for Small Cities
- In 2011, Forbes ranked Northwest Arkansas 5th in the Nation for Mid-Sized Cities for Job-Growth
- The Milken Institute ranked Northwest Arkansas 43rd on its "Best Performing Cities" List for Large-Metros
- U.S. News and World Report ranked the Sam M. Walton College of Business 25th among public institutions on its annual "America's Best Graduate Schools List."  The part-time program was ranked 29th in the nation, and the UA Law School was listed in the Top 50.
- 2010 CNN-MONEY listed the top 25 counties in the United States that have experienced the most job growth since 2000.  Benton County ranked 15th, and Washington County came in at 22nd.
- ranked Northwest Arkansas #2 for its list "Best Place in the United States for Recession Recovery"
What Next: 
This is a vibrant economic area that is still growing.  Improvements such as the near opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the recent expansion of XNA Airport, the groundwork beginning for the Bella Vista Bypass, the announcement of Cabela's, and the continuing expansion of St. Mary's/Mercy Hospital show that we're not done.
This area will continue to be a driving force for the nation and great things will continue to come to Northwest Arkansas in the next few years and beyond.

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Take a moment to get to know our team...

Take a moment to get to know our team:

Steve Fineberg - President, Principal Broker

Steve is from Fort Smith, Arkansas and is a graduate from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Marketing and Managing. Steve has been in the real estate business for thirty years, been a licensed broker for twenty, and a member of CCIM for eight. Steve works in the commercial real estate market servicing the greater Northwest Arkansas area.
Steve brings a keen, analytical eye to all sales, determining needs and providing solutions to benefit both sides. Steve’s energetic and analytical approach to business is greatly reflected in the Steve Fineberg and Associates office, an environment he proudly sees as a unique agency in how it’s players handle business, and cherish and nurture client relationships. Steve lives in Rogers with his wife, co-owner, and broker, Ida Fineberg.
Contact Steve: (479)  409-4756

Amy Mills – Vice President, Executive Broker

Amy is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and is a graduate of John Brown University with a degree in Organizational Management. She has been in the real estate industry for six years, and focuses exclusively with commercial property, specifically office and retail. Amy is a Certified Commercial Investment Member, CCIM.
Amy believes in building strong relationships with her clients, and never accepts what others see as a dead end. She finds working at Steve Fineberg and Associates as challenging as it is rewarding. Amy lives in Bentonville with her husband and child.

Contact Amy: (479) 685-8875


Ron Palmer – Sales Associate

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Ron graduated from Southern Illinois University with a PHD in Psychology. Ron worked as a university professor for the next fifteen years before making the jump to private business in the early 1980s. Ron owned The AQ Chicken Houses, Arkansas restaurants that were first established in 1947. Ron brings a customer and detail oriented style of business to the table. He finds working at Steve Fineberg and Associates a creative experience and brings his academic and analytic background to the commercial real estate market. Ron lives in Rogers with his wife.
Contact Ron: (479) 271-4161
Kris Munson – Office Manager
Kris is originally from Dodge City, Kansas. She has been an office manager in the real estate industry for seven years. As Office Manager for Steve Fineberg and Associates, Kris maintains and manages all files. She creates all property presentations, as well as maintains public relations with clients and the community. Kris brings professionalism along with her organizational skills and her creative thinking. She is an asset to our company. She enjoys the steady pace of commercial real estate, and the dedication of the Steve Fineberg and Associates family. Kris lives in Bentonville with her son, Bo Weber.

Contact  Kris: (479) 271-4161

Ida Fineberg-Vice President, Executive Broker

Ida, vice president and broker and co-owner is originally from Havana, Cuba having immigrated to the United States with her family in the 1960s. Ida is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a degree in English and Spanish. Ida worked as a teacher for over twenty years before entering the world of real estate in 1998. Ida primarily works with residential property in the Northwest Arkansas area. She holds the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation.

Ida brings extensive market knowledge and experience to the business side of real estate. On a personal level, Ida strives to get to know her clients beyond their business, working towards learning their lifestyles and finding a home that best suits their families and dreams. Ida is bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. She lives in Rogers with her husband, Steve Fineberg.

Contact Ida: (479) 409-3658


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Five Critical Points To Consider When Selecting Your Commercial Real Estate Agency & Broker

When selecting a commercial agency and broker you will want to review several points that can have direct influence on the outcome of your sales or leasing effort.

From their personal knowledge and experiences our team of commercial experts have compiled this list of tips that all buyers and sellers, tenants and landlords should consider when choosing the perfect commercial agency
and broker to represent the client's interest.

1.   Does the broker have contacts within the real estate sector in which their client's property is located?  Is that agency familiar with the marketing of properties such as office, retail, commercial lots, warehouses, etc.?

2.  Can the broker and agency demonstrate the ability to push thelisting into the market profile of those parties who might have and interest in such a property?

3.  Do the broker and agency have a strong name recognition in the market so that he or she will have a high probability of getting inquiries regarding the property?

4.  Do the broker and agency have the ability to discuss the highest and best use of the real estate in which the client is attempting to market,and then equate that to a potential income stream for the purchaser?

5.  Is the particular broker a good listener, and does he/she have the negotiating skills needed to guide the various parties through the transactions?  Furthermore, does the particular broker understand that
the choice of words used during presentations and negotiations can influence the outcome of a deal?

As a buyer or seller, tenant or landlord, maximize your position by asking the hard questions of your real estate representative.  This relationship can mean the difference between failure or success.


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An Early Christmas Gift For Northwest Arkansas - 21C Hotel Coming Soon

By  Ida Fineberg - Vice President, Executive Broker

November 11th, 2011 Christmas will come early to Bentonville, Arkansas as this town will unwrap what is set to be, in the world of art and culture, a wonderful gift, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Nestled among beautiful water features, trails, and framed by the natural beauty that is found in Northwest Arkansas, The Crystal Bridges Museum will shine the cultural spotlight on Bentonville and its surrounding areas as never before (well, culturally speaking, this is the home of Walmart after all).   However, with the arrival of the Crystal Bridges will come many more “gifts” to Bentonville.

Among the perks from having the Crystal Bridges grace the Northwest Arkansas area will be the new the 21C Museum Hotel to be built on the Bentonville Square and within walking distance from the museum.

Another hotel is being built, so what?

Well, not so what, because the Bentonville 21c Museum Hotel will be built by the same folks who took some abandoned tobacco and bourbon warehouses in Kentucky and turned them into the 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.  The Louisville 21c Museum Hotel was recently selected the Gold List Number 1 hotel in America by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine.  By the way, it has won that prestigious position TWO years in a row.  Conde Nast Traveler, a publication dedicated to inform on the best in worldwide travel, gathers comments from its readers that detail the character of a hotel regarding rooms, services, food, location and design.  Based on these evaluations, the hotels are scored, the highest score being 100.  The Louisville 21c Museum Hotel received a score of 97.7 putting it at the top of the list of U.S. hotels.

Actually this is not a bad place to be considering the competition among hotels in the U.S.  As if that isn’t enough for one hotel, the Louisville 21c Museum Hotel was rated the number six hotel in the world.  These 21c Museum Hotel people must know a thing or two about doing things quite well as we will soon experience in Northwest Arkansas.

Let’s get back to Bentonville.   Come the last quarter of 2012 and Christmas will come early AGAIN for this area as Bentonville will have the wonderful opportunity to unwrap its very own 21c Museum Hotel, this time built from the ground up, just a stone’s throw from the truly magnificent Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.   And who would have thought all of this in Bentonville, Arkansas?  You bet all of this is happening in Bentonville, Arkansas.

By the way, the Bentonville 21c Hotel Museum will probably get a 99 rating from Conde Nast, but then again, nothing’s perfect.  Enjoy your early Christmas gifts, Northwest Arkansas.


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The learning curve...

The learning curve
Marketing in today's workplace looks a lot different than it did just a few years ago.
For years, Steve Fineberg, President of Steve Fineberg & Associates has been on the cutting edge of real estate marketing through his multi-faceted print, radio, signage, and expo platforms.  However, just a year ago Steve realized that there was a new technology platform that was sweeping the nation - social media.
I had an opportunity to visit with Steve this week and have him share his insights on how the digital shift in today's marketing has effected his plans to reach the public.
"I kept reading and seeing information on the different social media outlets:  Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Linked-In, but I didn't know if the reach of those programs in an industry like real estate would really make a difference.  In fact, social media in itself was completely foreign to me," Steve Fineberg.
How did you decide that social media was worth investing in?
"I read enough and listened enough to realize that social media is where the eyes and ears are of this upcoming generation of buyers and sellers, much more than ever before.  In the past it was newspapers, print media in general, and signage.  Now, to a very large degree the best reach is weighted toward the Internet.
I began observing both regionally and nationally the shift of marketing dollars to websites.
What has been the largest challenge in making the switch to an Internet-based marketing strategy?
"Understanding and learning the differentiation between each social media outlet - realizing that one specific social media program isn't for everyone.   I am still learning. Not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter or has interest in reading blogs.  Determining what the best use of time and money  for each one of those sectors is, and having a consistent outpour of information in each area allows us to capture a specific demographic for the different types of real estate that we market."
What advice would you give to other companies who are considering switching to a web-based marketing strategy?
"The path I have taken, and it has served me fairly well, is speaking with a lot of people involved in web strategy:  people who sell various aspects of it, who research it, who service different components of it.  Then, from of all my discussions and questions, I have attempted to work with those people in the key areas that offer the highest returns and pairing those areas with people who offer the most expertise in a given field."
What has been the most surprising thing you have learned through this process?
"Internet based strategy is really like a big salad bowl - you have all these different components that make up the overall strategy between the website, discussion boards, social media programs, search engines, blogs, etc.  They are all linked to this one strategy and we have to pick out the best ingredients to meet our specific needs.
I am excited to see the results in six months to a year from now, and some of that result will not be from what we do, but from what the market nationally, regionally, and locally does.   However, I think our efforts will result in a greater amount of activity, than would have been the case had we not taken up this new challenge. I am so excited."
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