How to Build a Philanthropic Company Culture

Are you passionate about philanthropy as a business owner? Many people want to be able to give back to the community in meaningful ways, but they struggle to figure out how to make philanthropy a part of their companies. Keep reading to learn how you can build a philanthropic company culture. This should allow you to use your platform to make a difference in people’s lives. 

Partner up with Charities

Partnering up with charities to hold charity drives should be a good place to start. Companies often partner with specific charities to hold events that are beneficial for important causes. For example, you might hold an event to raise awareness about breast cancer while taking donations for charities that focus on finding a cure. Events like this help to develop the philanthropic spirit of your company. 

Give People Time Off to Volunteer

Giving people time off when they want to volunteer for good causes will also help. If you have employees who want to be able to volunteer their time, then you should make it easier for them to do so. It shows that such pursuits are valuable to the company and it allows more people to volunteer when they feel compelled to do so. You could even actively encourage your employees to volunteer some of their time for charitable causes each year. 

Match Employee Charitable Donations

Many companies like to try to match employee charitable donations up to a certain amount. For example, you might want to match the first $1,000 that your employees donate to specific charities each calendar year. This gives employees more of a reason to consider donating to charity since their donations can make a bigger impact than usual. It shows that you’re committed to helping good causes as a company. 

Promote Community Donation Drives

Promoting community donation drives will also be an effective way to build a philanthropic company culture. You should try to regularly hold events where you encourage people to donate food, clothing items, electronics, and other items to those who are in need. Events like these can help people in need to get necessary items and it shows that your company cares. This is also simply a fantastic way to give back to the community. 

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

How To Tell If Entrepreneurship Is Right For You

If you are tired of working for someone else and you want to start your own business, it is important to consider whether entrepreneurship is right for you. Take a look at what you need to do to be a successful entrepreneur and decide if this is right for you.

Research Your Idea and Move Slowly

You need to start by taking your idea and researching it. Look at what other people are doing and determine how you will do it better. You should decide on your purpose and what will make your brand unique. If you are going to open a coffee shop, why will people choose it over what is already out there? Move slowly, take the time to research it, and move slowly forward.

Shadow Another Entrepreneur

You should also find an entrepreneur to shadow for a period of time so that you can get a deeper understanding of what it entails. This will help you gain perspective on the types of issues that come up each day and how your time will be used. It is a great way to get a taste of your journey before you embark on it.

Run the Numbers

Before you get started, you need to create a business plan. Part of this plan will be your financial projections. You should consider all of your costs, and estimate your expenses and your revenues. You need to research this information, and you can use it to determine how much money you can make and how hard you will need to work to make it.

Secure Your Advisors

You need advisors to run your own business, including accountants, attorneys, tech experts, sales and marketing, and more. Make sure that you determine who these people will be before you get started. You should put together a team of the advisors you will use and have it in place.

Stay Flexible

When you are an entrepreneur, things don’t always go as planned. You need to be flexible to deal with a number of situations from the Internet going down to employees not showing up to a customer being dissatisfied. You have to stay flexible and be prepared to handle any and all of these obstacles, which can be stressful. This is a critical aspect of becoming an entrepreneur.

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

Fostering Team Connection Remotely

Around the world, working remotely has become the new normal for many companies and their employees. While remote work certainly has a host of benefits and advantages, there are also a number of challenges as well. One of those challenges is fostering remote connections among members of the team. Indeed, working from home has drastically reduced the frequency of social interactions that co-workers usually have, and which binds them together. On that premise, the following presents simple and effective ways to foster team connections remotely.

Video conferences

Although video conferences may seem unnatural and awkward in the beginning, they are certainly imperative for allowing team members to interact with one another. The truth of the matter is that video calls put a face to the voice that is on the other end and make the connection more humanized. In order to avoid employees experiencing feelings of isolation, it’s a great idea to schedule weekly virtual meetings.

Regular communication

Regular communications allow team members to stay connected to one another. That said, depending on the nature of the job, managers and team members should meet often to get updates on each other’s work. This not only gives them the chance to collaborate and support one another if need be but also builds a positive work culture.

Schedule virtual happy hours

Team members should schedule virtual happy hours after work. Virtual happy hours are a great idea for team members to connect with one another in a more intimate way outside of work. Of course, it shouldn’t be mandatory. Simply encourage employees to build relationships with one another. 

Team building activities

Team building activities are a great way to break the ice and allow team members to bond with one another. These activities include Trivia, Netflix party, team fitness challenge, and virtual book club, just to mention a few. These activities will not only increase the team members’ engagement but also allow them to have genuine and meaningful connections with one another. Also, by choosing the right activities that resonate with the members of the team, they will feel happier and more willing to engage and socialize.

Share calendars

Another way to create organic social interactions is through sharing calendars. The latter allows team members to know the availability of one another, which gives them the chance of checking in at spontaneous, yet convenient, times.

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

Emerging Technology in Real Estate

If you read any of the top-flight publications that covers business, such as Bloomberg, Forbes or The Economist, then you cannot help but see numerous articles about emerging technologies, such as AI (artificial intelligence), big data, blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things).

What do all of these new technologies have in common? Simply put, they are transforming the way that business and business processes are being completed. The real estate sector is no exception. At first glance, it may be difficult to understand how something like AI or blockchain could influence the traditional business of buying and selling property assets — however, it’s happening right now.

For example, consider big data. Big data is defined as the availability of larger and more variegated data sets, especially those which are generated by novel sources. How does access to a huge amount of data and new kinds of data help the real estate professional do his or her job better?

Big data is a way to reduce financial risks. It can be used to analyze an owner’s property information, the condition of the asset, renovations and prior condition of the property. The agent then uses this data to get an estimation of the property in a highly precise way. The agent can then give customers a much clearer picture of what they are considering. The agent also gains a superior ability to suggest a suitable home or apartment based on the unique needs and position of the client.

That’s just one instance of how big data can help in real estate. Let’s move on to another emerging technology — AI for real estate application.

AI helps computers and other “machines” perform complicated and sophisticated tasks, such as data evaluation and problem-solving. AI, and its subprocess of machine learning, leverage a superior ability to recognize patterns and glean insights from big data. AI can also automate repetitive tasks that once burned up the time of busy real estate professionals.

AI can significantly improve the business performance of a real estate firm. For example, it can streamline data management for real estate purposes. AI uses algorithms to make recommendations after identifying critical points of customer preferences. AI can even help with real estate advertising by scanning big data and ferreting out the most popular types of real estate or specific real estate assets.

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

Effectively Leading a Company Remotely

Businesses in every industry are shifting to remote work environments to cut down on costs, attract talent over large geographic areas, and provide employees with more flexibility. Although there are many benefits to remote work, it can pose challenges for managers. As the pandemic continues it can be difficult to lead a team at a distance. However, there are steps that managers can take to control potential problems and effectively lead a company remotely.

REGULAR CONTACT

Managers should make regular contact a priority to effectively lead a company remotely. Communication is a challenge for remote teams. It is easy for team members to feel disconnected and for messages to get lost. Daily contact with each team member can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and feels connected to the company. Personal contact can include a short virtual meeting, or companies can rely on messaging software to talk to the team each day. As long as every employee receives personal interaction, it can help manage communication issues. There are a number of online tools available to make checking in easy. Check out platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Slack.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES

A part of what makes remote work so appealing to many is the ability for employees to balance their family and personal commitments with work commitments. As employees often have home distractions, it is best to focus on goals rather than work during specific hours. Leaders should set goals and deadlines for employees to meet. Managers need to relay the reasons for the targets and check-in on employee progress. The emphasis on goal-setting over work hours gives employees more freedom to decide how much time they need to commit to individual projects. It also provides managers a basis to hold employees accountable for their work without being overbearing.

TOOLS AND SOFTWARE

A leader can only be successful with managing a remote team when employees have adequate tools to do the job. Managers who want to be effective should be willing to invest to make sure that employees have what they need. Team members working remotely need a strong internet connection and appropriate hardware, such as a computer, to work in a virtual environment. Managers also need to decide the types of software that will help team members succeed virtually as well. Video conferencing software, messaging services, and any software they made need to access company databases are essential for remote work.

A remote work environment does present challenges to managers. It takes a dedicated leader to make sure that a team maintains productivity in a virtual working environment. These tips can help any manager lead a company remotely.

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

Promoting Wellness for Remote Employees

Last year companies went remote in staggering numbers.. Due to the pandemic, most businesses were forced to adapt quickly to working from home. This meant that not only did leaders have to ensure that their employees were able to handle the shift and remain engaged, but that the company also had to incorporate team building and wellness programs in a totally new way.

Of course, many organizations already had existing wellness programs, however, a large number of these programs were simply not created to serve the workforce remotely. The events of the past year have heightened the stress of most people so it is imperative that those in leadership positions are fostering the wellness of their employees.

Here are a few wellness program ideas to help remote employees.

Provide Effective Stress-Relief Techniques

It is more important than ever for companies to promote health and wellness, not just physically but mentally. As everyone navigates the uncertainty of this day and age things such as yoga, mediations, and breathing techniques can help people to relieve stress and avoid burnout. Consider creating a resource where employees can find different ways to handle stress. Apps such as Headspace are wonderful for meditations and Happier is a great app for people looking for help sleeping or gaining important insight.

Share the resource with the entire team and make sure to include links to the websites. Furthermore, make sure that all employees know where to find the employee assistance programs. Things such as mental health support, benefits information, and coverage details should be easy for people to find and navigate.

Mix Up Meetings with Fun Games and Conversations

Meetings aren’t usually the highlight of anyone’s day, however, meetings on Zoom or Skype can be particularly daunting. Try keeping your team engaged and motivated by having an open conversation before starting each meeting. A lot of people are feeling isolated so allowing people to talk to each other, whether about their days or how they’re feeling can be a huge mood boost before a meeting.

Another great idea is to find a fun game online to play together as a team. There are a plethora of websites that offer free games, whether it’s hangman or Pictionary. Hosting a game during meetings is not only a great way to relieve stress, but it is also a wonderful way to promote collaboration.

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

2021 Commercial Real Estate Trends

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every industry, including commercial real estate. However, while many of the current trends in the industry are due to last year’s global events, there were a number of real estate trends that were well underway before the pandemic.

Here are a few of the biggest 2021 commercial real estate trends.

Increased Production and Manufacturing

Throughout the year 2020, the United States saw a major increase in interest for domestically made goods, particularly products pertaining to COVID-19. We often heard concerns from leaders about the speed and the accessibility of bringing products to the market so it should come as no surprise that the need for manufacturing and production space will continue to grow.

Furthermore, due to the major surge in e-commerce purchasing, things like groceries and home goods online became increasingly popular. The extra demand calls for more industrial space such as distribution centers and warehouses.

Direct Government Support

Many state’s budgets have a deficit for one of two reasons. First, the typical tax revenue is not flowing due to the large number of individuals who are unemployed because most unemployed people do not have money to spend. Secondly, the state budgets with a deficit may be the result of commercial real estate owners who have been unable to collect from tenants who were hit hard during the pandemic. With requests such as rent concessions or forbearance agreements many buildings that are made up of tenants, (such as office buildings, malls, and shopping centers) have not been operating anywhere near full capacity.

Due to the cycle of consumers not spending locally, the commercial real estate owner not receiving full rent, and then the CRE owners asking lenders for concessions or forbearance, the state cannot collect tax revenue.

The new presidential administration may begin providing increased stimulus to not only individuals but to states which require immediate assistance. With the government’s new infusion of support, the burden that has been weighing on commercial real estate owners may be eased. Collections would allow commercial landlords to pay their creditors, particularly, municipal, state, and federal governments the taxes that are owed.

If there is in fact a federal bailout for states and their deficits then the result could be that states stop leaning on commercial real estate wonders to help fill the gap, allowing the CRE owners to become a bit more flexible with their tenants.

Originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

Commercial Real Estate Trends of 2020 Part 1

Commercial real estate is often shifted or reshaped by things such as globalization, workforce trends, technology, and the retail industry. In 2020 it appears that most commercial real estate professionals are optimistic. 

Here are a few of the biggest commercial real estate trends of 2020.

Experiencing Retail

People want to be engaged when they spend money. In recent months the American Dream mall at the Meadowlands in New Jersey opened. This mall is a gleaming example of the rise of experiential retail. In fact, only 45 percent of the mall is actually retail space. The majority of the space is entertainment, restaurants, and other related uses. People can go indoor skydiving and then grab a bite to eat on their way to the movies. This trend is already popular across the country as old shopping centers become mixed-use spaces where people can live, work, and play. It seems that places such as the American Dream mall are more than a trend and that experiential retail is here to stay. This provides commercial real estate developers and investors with a ton of opportunity to convert old retail spaces into places that will thrive again.

Demand for Industrial Space

Industrial properties were highly sought after by investors last year and that is a trend that will continue through 2020. Consumers demand the same or next day delivery which is a huge factor in the surge of distribution and warehouse facilities being developed. As more and more people are completing their shopping online there is a need for more warehouse space and old malls make the perfect conversion projects. The trend of malls becoming distribution centers will continue to grow as retailers continue to compete with e-commerce organizations such as Walmart and Amazon. To match the demand spec building is increasing, however, the spec spaces are being leased quickly, often before the building is even completed.

Election Year Creates Inaction

It is very common for business owners to slow their decision making duing election years. Small to mid-sized building and business owners often wait to see who will be in the White House which creates a possibility for greater opportunities.  Since a portion of the competition is sitting out of transactions and waiting to see what happens there could be interesting chances for those that don’t.

This blog was originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

Conversion Opportunities in Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate has seen a trend of retail to warehouse conversions emerging in the past few years. Due to the dramatic shift in the retail industry, these conversion projects are becoming increasingly popular all over the country. As the shopping habits of consumers in the United States as changed malls have been closing. It’s estimated that within the next ten years thousands of malls will shut down. Commercial real estate professionals have been adjusting and there is a major spike in the development of warehouses and mixed-use spaces in the place of shopping centers such as malls.

The huge number of store closures has caused many investors to reconsider making investments in retail altogether. This is especially true of investors who are interested in commercial real estate properties. However, both the retail and commercial real estate industries are now being presented with unique opportunities. Old shopping malls containing large amounts of square footage are becoming available to those who want to take advantage of the major shift in consumer behavior.

It makes perfect sense that warehouses and distribution centers could be structured from existing old properties such as malls. Consumers are buying things online and there is a major need for more facilities to handle the number of daily delivery orders. The only significant downside to this conversion venture is that retail properties often are required to be rezoned into industrial listings. Industrustral spaces do not often generate as much in income, sales, or property taxes which can cause surrounding communities to push back.

However, another alternative for these old shopping centers and malls is to convert them into mixed-use spaces. Mixed spaces are becoming popular, not only with commercial real estate companies but also with the communities that they serve. People want to be engaged when they spend money which makes mixed-use space in indoor-outdoor areas incredibly popular. These spaces form a “live, work, play” combination with accessibility and the feeling of community.

In commercial real estate, these mixed-use or lifestyle centers include things such as restaurants, office spaces, retail stores, and condos. Everything is within walking distance from each other and consumers can enjoy walking within a close range of their home while going to a doctor’s appointment or shopping. More people are moving into the suburbs, yet with the feeling of community being created by these mixed-use centers, they can enjoy the closeness to everything that they enjoyed in the city.

There will be things such as lease restrictions and shared workspace details for investors to work out, however, commercial real estate developers will continue to take advantage of the new and interesting opportunities that the retail industry is creating.

This blog was originally published on Jack Nourafshan’s website.

How To Implement Corporate Philanthropy

As a real estate development professional and president of Reliable Properties in Los Angeles, California, Jack Nourafshan has gained a strong understanding of business practices over the years. One of the business practices that he has seen growth in recent years is corporate philanthropy. Not only is it important to learn more about what corporate philanthropy is, but it is also important to understand how to implement it as a business owner. 

What Is Corporate Philanthropy?
Corporate philanthropy refers to a company that actively supports and benefits the great community or a charitable cause of the company’s choice. Corporate philanthropy is an important part of today’s charity, as it provides money and support at a greater scale. Corporate philanthropy can be implemented in numerous ways, from volunteer opportunities to holding food drives, companies can be creative with their philanthropy. More companies are seeing an increasing demand from potential employees for corporate philanthropy, making it important to follow the helpful tips below. 

Establish A Cause
After deciding to implement corporate philanthropy, companies should request feedback from their employees and customers on causes and organizations are important to them. In doing so, you can encourage participation while supporting something that is meaningful to as many employees as possible. Causes that are important to more employees can lead to both increased support and better company culture. 

Partner With An Organization
After determining the cause, find an organization that supports the cause that your company can work together with. Organizations have begun creating different levels of partnerships that companies can choose from for their corporate philanthropy. Many organizations offer sponsorships during their annual events that include promotional incentives for companies that are easy to implement. 

For example, golf tournaments have begun offering marketing space in the golf booklets that are provided to the golfers, as well as signs on the different holes. This can increase the community’s awareness of both your company and your company’s philanthropy. While it is only one example of the options of corporate philanthropy, it can be a great option that is easy to implement.

About The Author
Jack Nourafshan is a real estate development professional, entrepreneur, and businessman in Los Angeles, California. Jack has acquired an impressive background in real estate development through working as the president of his company, Reliable Properties. Today, he continues his work with Reliable Properties and maintains monthly blogs on real estate development and entrepreneurship. 

Visit Jack Nourafshan’s professional website to learn more.