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Lucinda's Blogs

Interesting and timely articles that affect our Western Slope area in Colorado including Delta County, Montrose County and Grand Junction.
Jennifer Sanders - Bio
Born and raised in Hotchkiss, Jennifer is a graduate from Hotchkiss High School, while her Mom was a Medical Lab Tech at DCMH and her Dad was a horticulturist for an apple orchard on Rogers Mesa.
After graduation, Jennifer started working at Paper Works Ink, a stationer supply on Main St. in Delta for 4 years. She then decided to take the Business Administration course at the technical college and shortly after completing the program she got a job at the Delta Housing Authority as the Section 8 Coordinator which is where she found her love of property management and worked there for 2 ½ years before resigning to be a mom. After thirteen years of enjoying motherhood, she still had property management on her mind so she checked into getting a real estate license. Passing the Realtors exam on March 17, 2017, she started working with Lucinda Stanley at Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate on April 17th, 2017. It’s been a challenge to transition from full time mom mode but she states she has enjoyed every moment of the many learning curves the job entails. With a great mentor whose has demonstrated patience and a love to teach, she looks forward to many more years at Grand Mesa Commercial. The variety and complexity of the job will utilize her many strengths she possesses such as attention to detail, compassion for others, and loyalty to the clients. Jennifer Sanders

Jennifer lives in Delta with her husband of almost 20 years, Jesse Sanders, who is employed at West Elk Coal Mine. Their home consists of a daughter, Riley, who will be a freshman at Delta High this fall along with two dogs, and a Guinea Pig. In her spare time, she likes to get out and enjoy beautiful Colorado, hiking, biking, camping, 4-wheeling, water activities, rafting, snowshoeing and gardening.

Jennifer Sanders
Marketing and Property Management Specialist
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate
970-512-3000
Jennifer@GrandMesaCRE.com

July 10, 2017- Western Colorado’s Economic Condition

After attending the not well announced Western Colorado Economic Summit in Grand Junction on June 6th, it was obvious it was more of a Grand “Valley” Junction summit based on the attendees. Nevertheless, their choice of topics was for the most part very informative and timely. 

Kathy Mussio, Managing Partner of Atlas Insight, a Site Selection consultant group, was probably the most informative as my goal for a take away from this summit was how to attract more companies to Delta County. Not what I was hoping to hear but what I kind of expected. Here are some highlights from her presentation: 

• Typical Site Selection Criteria for a company looking at any area include:  Labor costs; sales and property taxes; utility costs; disaster risk; quality of life (we have those 2 nailed!); business environment; universities in area; transportation; demographics; incentives; political/economic environment.  Then there’s the local responsiveness and cooperation of the local entities in being creative in attracting that particular industry to our area, overcoming any obstacles that might otherwise deter that industry away from our area.

Legos


Labor is the number one criterion:  Data Centers require lower employment levels and have a high need of water, electric and internet.  IT offices require well educated millennials.  Call Centers employ second wage earners so minimum wage laws are high on their criteria list.  Kathy was asked about our beautiful state of Colorado and if it fit the criteria but she said the newly passed minimum wage law has knocked our state off the desired relocation list based on the above industries’ criteria.  Same applies with manufacturing companies.  They want certainty in costs; strong pro-business government with low regulations plus incentives. 

Why Incentives, she was asked?  Incentives cannot make a bad deal good, but a good deal better!  Making the long list is half the battle for a City/State.  It helps keep things competitive and helps land a project/industry to an area.  For large scale projects, incentives are essential.  Best incentives:  Upfront use of incentives and incentives that add to their bottom line.  Colorado ranked HIGH on costs for payroll and graded LOW on incentives with the grades ranging between a C- and a D.  Ouch, I never liked seeing that on my report card!

Other speakers included a “bike czar”, Ken Gart on industry, innovation and the great outdoors; Dr. Arlen Meyers on moving sick care to healthcare and how to overcome them and the Keynote speaker, Ben Collins of FOX News which were all interesting but again, my attendance, donation and time committed for this event was for any new idea on what I could do to attract buyers, tenants, developers to my small world in Delta County.   Then they did breakout sessions with four topics to choose from.  Being a commercial broker for over 30 years, naturally I went into the “Developing Real Estate for the Next Gen Consumer” panel lead by the summit’s lead sponsor, Coldwell Banker Commercial.   My take away from this session which I felt was too short and could have gone on for twice the amount of allotted time was:

• Decreasing/shrinking office and retail space users.  On-line purchasing (Amazon) has changed the need to house everything in retail spaces and office users are more mobile with better internet services

• Co-working spaces more appealing with amenities such as home within a home

• Office rates averaging $10.46 per sq.ft.; CAP rates averaging 8.22% for office investments; residential median sales prices now at $215,000

• Active Adult Homes/Communities is the up and coming thing for the aging baby boomers

• For every 100 new single family homes it generates 396 new jobs! 

Overall, it was a great summit, great venue, excellent food and informative topics. Maybe next year our local officials will send more representatives to represent our area.

Blog written by:
Lucinda Stanley, CCIM / Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate
www:GrandMesaCommercial.com
970-512-3000

January 2017 - 2016 SURFACE CREEK RESIDENTIAL SALES - Exceed Previous Year by Over 22%

Surface Creek along with the other surrounding communities experienced a tremendous growth in residential sales in 2016.  Overall, Delta County ended up 11.7% in more sales; an increase of 9.2% in the median sales price and a decrease in the inventory leaving only a 5.5 month supply.

Available rentals have also taken a huge dip in inventory and although it’s not formally tracked, my research has shown a tremendous need for residential rentals, be it affordable housing; over 55+ age development; single level attached multi-family apartments and even senior housing living facilities.  Looking at the current availability which consists a lot of mobile homes, single family homes, subsidized facilities for agricultural workers and section 8 housing, there’s very little to choose from with a reasonable rental rate, convenient location or available amenities. 

Now, in the metropolitan areas I’ve previously worked, if the numbers were even double the current inventory, the developers would be jumping all over the place to build.  Why not in Delta County or even in Montrose County whom our neighbor is experiencing the same? After spending the past two years looking for that developer and general contractor to notice us, the same answer keeps surfacing: “the developers and G.C.s got burnt with the 2008 after math and the lenders won’t finance the project for spec housing. Folks, that’s old and tired news. It’s time for Delta County to stand up and get noticed.
 

Lucinda Stanley, CCIM

Retailers, shop owners, restaurants, service companies all are saying bring us more people that will buy our goods, wears and services.  But, I ask you, how is that possible when there’s little to no decent place for them to live?  Some of the county leaders have been heard of saying we don’t want to be just a bedroom community, we want jobs, well paying jobs…. Let’s put that horse in front of the cart and attract those who want what we have now, those wonderful retirees with disposable income. They come, they demand more services, they create more jobs at all levels, the (now called) Rocky Mountain Technical College offers classes for those jobs, employers come now that the work force is being bred in our County.  Now, I’m sure many will say that’s too simplistic, Lucinda, you don’t understand economics. Well, that may be true that I’ve never taken an economic class, but I do understand supply and demand and what we have is a lack of supply and a huge demand. 

You may be thinking this sounds good, but what can you and others do?  Promote Delta County, allow us to be discovered. Share the portal website that I help create: www.WesternColoradoLiving.com. Like us on Facebook and share.  Easy, anyone can do it in a matter of seconds. If not for you, help out your friend, neighbor or family member that could benefit from those few minutes you invest in promoting this incredible county. It feels good when you help someone and your community. Really good.

Written by:
Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate

HELLO, 2017!

Always during the first few days of a fresh year, reviewing the previous year’s events can be both sweet and a bit painful if declared goals were not met. 2016 was no exception for me as it was chock full of challenges, heartache, small victories, lost friends, new friends (furry and otherwise), unique listings, multiple vacations and family visits. Skimming over written blogs, one that I wrote in May last year had such great advice for small business owners that I felt compelled to share again. It was on a topic that Debbie Blanchard from D’Medici Footwear gave at the Delta Chamber’s Business Conference held last April 14th. Debbie’s straight forward, no holding back speech was spot on. Highlights of her speech:

MARKETING - is not just putting an ad in a newspaper; it’s also about:
• Location-location is everything…visibility - signage
• Image-a) Store Hours – Need to be Consistent; b) Appearance –Both Store and Employees very important; c) Window Displays –clean and change them out regularly; d) Location itself—cleanliness, light bulbs, maintenance, etc.; e) Solid customer service – SMILE, treat them as you want to be treated.

YOU (the owner):
• Are you dedicated and not just willing to put minimal hours into your business?
• In a small community- you are your best advertiser. ARE YOU OUT THERE?
• Are you active in the community - Join groups such as Altrusa, Local Chambers, Rotary, Kiwanis etc. Yes, there are membership fees but this marketing works for you IF you go to the meetings and network.

INTERNET
• Website and Facebook …not everyone is savvy at this...but it is a necessary tool in today’s world. You don’t need to spend hours on it. Hire a website designer and do a basic page. Don’t need anything fancy. A web designer can help you with your Facebook too. Facebook helps get messages out to customers who like what you are doing.

CHANGE IS GOOD!
• Don’t let your business get stagnant! Listen to your customers. Sometimes you have to change and adapt to make it work. Change encourages your customers to come in again and again.
• Old inventory is not making you money. Get rid of it before it is a relic….even at or below cost.

WORDS OF ADVICE:
• Remember if you are not enjoying yourself, people can see it.
• If you find you’re not having fun. GET OUT!
• If you are not making money. GET OUT!
• If you are unwilling to change to make it work. GET OUT!
• Having your own business may look romantic, IT IS NOT! It is hard work.
• But if you enjoy it, it is worth it!

My 2017 Resolution is to Market wisely, utilizing Debbie’s suggestions and enjoying the process!  May your 2017 be as rewarding as you wish it to be!

Written by:
Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate

May 2016 - Changing and Adapting to Your Market

Was the speaker’s topic for the Delta Chamber’s Business Conference held April 14th. The Speaker, Debbie Blanchard, has an Honors Bachelor Degree in Economics from York University in Toronto Canada. She has 35 plus years in retail with the last 4 in Montrose, Colorado owning D”Medici Footwear, Hypoxia and Warehouse Clearance Stores . Needless to say there is a huge difference between Toronto & Montrose, but the marketing principals are the same no matter the size of the market.

Debbie’s straight forward, no holding back speech was spot on. This has been a topic I, myself, have advocated to many business owners, yet find so many of them reluctant to engage, implement or orchestrate. Here are her bullet point suggestions:

MARKETING - is not just putting an ad in a newspaper:
• Location-location is everything…visibility - signage
• Branding-logo (top of mind awareness) ex. Symbols like Coke, Pepsi, Apple
• Image-a) Store Hours – Need to be Consistent
b) Appearance –Both Store and Employees very important
c) Window Displays –clean and change them out regularly
d) Location itself—cleanliness, light bulbs, maintenance, etc.
e) Solid customer service – SMILE, treat them like you want to be treated

YOU (the owner):
• Are you dedicated and not just willing to put minimal hours into your business?
• In a small community- you are your best advertiser. ARE YOU OUT THERE?
• Not just saying ME, ME, ME, ME but WE as a group
• Are you active in the community - YOU SHOULD BE!! Joins groups such as Altrusa, Local Chamber, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc. Yes, there are membership fees but this marketing works for you IF you go to the meetings and network - TALK, TALK, TALK, the more you talk the better to get your message out there. This creates word of mouth and referrals.
• Hold a business after hours- make an event by using the Chamber or other member lists.

ADVERTISING:
• Households are bombarded with 1000-3000 ads a day. Which do you remember? Let look at the recent Super Bowl. I don’t remember the companies just the theme of ads…Constipation, diarrhea and toilet paper. Very memorable!

INTERNET
:• Website and Facebook …not everyone is savvy at this...but it is a necessary tool in today’s world. You don’t need to spend hours on it. Hire a website designer and do a basic page…let people know who and what you are and where you can be found. Don’t need anything fancy. A web designer can help you with your Facebook too. Facebook helps get messages out to customers who like what you are doing.

CHANGE IS GOOD!
• Don’t let your business get stagnant! Listen to your customers. They pay your bills! Sometimes you have to change and adapt to make it work. Change encourages your customers to come in again and again
• Old inventory is not making you money. Get rid of it before it is a relic….even at or below cost…get fresh product that sells.

WORDS OF ADVICE:
• Remember if you are not enjoying yourself, people can see it.
• Most small businesses last less than 5 years due to burn out or bankruptcy.
• If you find you are not having fun. GET OUT!
• If you are not making money. GET OUT!
• If you are unwilling to change to make it work. GET OUT!
• Having your own business may look romantic, IT IS NOT! It is hard work.
• But if you enjoy it, it is worth it!

Make marketing your business a top priority when you are doing your budgets and enjoy the many rewards and successes that come from it.

Written by:
Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate

April 2016 Blog Announcing the New Delta County Portal Website
At the March annual awards ceremony for the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce I was truly honored and shocked to have been presented the Business of the Year Award. There were many other incredible companies in our local area that were nominated and well deserving of this award. It was rewarding to know people were noticing the efforts I’ve been contributing to marketing this incredible area. The most notable effort was with the launch of a new portal website for Delta County linking all 6 communities, their governments, chambers, different lifestyles, amenities, activities, recreation in addition to links about the local business climate, statistics, weather and more. More than a hundred times have I heard that Delta County is the best kept secret. Well, for the local population who wanted to sell either their residence or business being the best kept secret was not a good thing. With so many layoffs in the coal industry the need to replace those jobs has been a priority for our local government. Yet, when one does not know this community exists, we will continue being a secret. This website is very interactive, and has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. Now this site did not come together without a great team effort. Christy Eller designed and maintains the site. Robbie LaValley our County Administrator along with Trish Thibodo, the Executive Director of the Delta County Economic Development contributed to the launching of this website. What I’ve learned even with my own website is unless there’s constant movement with the site, it will only be an expensive glorified business card. So, liking and sharing on Facebook, going to the website and browsing, linking the website to your site, sharing the website – all of that drives the site up the search engines for better exposure. Check it out, like it, share it and help Delta County be discovered!

Go to: www.WesternColoradoLiving.com
Let me know what you think!

Lastly, thank you Delta County for the recognition. I promise there’s a lot more to come!

The Delta Area Chamber of Commerce Awards
March 2016 Blog Hot Topic: DMEA Moves Forward with Broadband (Is that Good for Me?)

Confession time, I am proficient on my computer, pride myself knowing that I am very fast in productivity up and until my computer decides to slow down. For reasons beyond my understanding of this high tech world we’ve become, I’ve jumped on the band wagon to support broadband even though I know little about what broadband is. (This statement may be giving out my age!)

DMEA (Delta Montrose Electric Association) is, in short, our electric company in Delta and Montrose Counties. They are upgrading their systems and running fiber optic throughout the counties. After much petitioning, pleading and begging from their customers, they agreed to build its own consumer broadband Internet service provider (ISP) network and business plan. They are one of two major players looking at doing this for our community (go to the Delta County Independent March 2, 2016 weekly newspaper for complete article). This is exciting news for many of us. For a long time, community leaders have been saying that other industries and businesses would not be attracted to our area because of our poor Internet service capacity. Well folks, with this great news, then that must mean new businesses are headed our way! Of course, we’ll have to wait for the City of Delta to decide which direction they’re going to take and the EPA decide how long it’ll take them to deal with the hook-less cactus in Cedaredge and of course, DMEA obtaining enough consumer commitments to start the process in those particular areas.

I’m optimistic about this as forward movement is better than just sitting on our hands (lest we raise them in support of any forward thinking or movement) and letting the rest of the world grow, prosper and advance with high tech services. Thus, why I thought this topic would make a good blog post. Then I questioned myself on what I really knew about broadband and how was I remotely qualified to write on such a technical subject? Don’t you just love Google? So I asked him and here is an excerpt of easy to understand definitions of the various types of Internet services. For the long version article, go to:

http://whatismyipaddress.com/broadband

Broadband Internet service truly is the most used form of Internet access because of its high access speeds; it is offered in four different forms, DSL (or Digital Subscriber Line), also fiber-optic, cable, and satellite. The old dial-up connection is the only non-broadband Internet service available, and even though it is cheaper, most Internet users are moving towards the faster broadband Internet connection.

DSL
The DSL (or Digital Subscriber Line) Internet service makes its connection by utilizing unused telephone wires that cause no interruption to your telephone service. The speed you experience with a DSL connection varies with your distance from the switching station. Your speed will be slower the further away you are and faster the closer you are to the switching station and this may be a deciding factor when you attempt to select between a DSL line and a cable connection.

Cable
The broadband cable connection is provided by the local cable TV provider. Here the cable Internet connection speed varies with the number of users on the service at a specific point in time. Given a specific geographical area, users of the broadband cable service share the connection bandwidth which slows the speed the more users are on the system. This will occur at the peak times for example late in the evenings after the work day is over when many people will be accessing the Internet. Somewhat misleadingly, often the cable company would estimate connection speeds that are based on the thinking that you are using the service. But that is clearly not the case.

Fiber-Optic
The newest broadband service is fiber-optic, which is the fastest Internet connection thus far. However, this type of Internet service is still in its infancy as its service areas are quite limited and because the laying down of the fiber-optic cable takes a while to complete. Wherever it is available, the cost not only competes with that of DSL and cable, but it provides a much faster connection than both of those services.

Satellite
The last and slowest broadband service is provided by satellite. Although this is a good replacement for dial-up for those people living in remote rural areas, the installation costs are quite high, but the ongoing monthly charges are competitive to both cable and DSL.

For me, this helped get a clearer picture – Fiber Optic is the way to go and I will be the first in line to sign up for this for both my office and my home. The more consumers who sign up the sooner we’ll all be on the band wagon enjoying high speed internet. Your kids will LOVE you! They’ll be able to stream videos and games like crazy! For me, it’ll help attract new businesses to our area, creating more high paying jobs which will bring in new consumers needing our products and services. Yes, this is a great thing for our area and I encourage everyone to jump on now to get the momentum moving warp speed!

Written by:
Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate

 FEBRUARY 2016 - DELTA COUNTY - Becoming an Entrepreneur

“You don’t know what you don’t know until you know.”  Sometimes, it’s too late and at a cost.  Darren Hardy, Publisher and Editor of Success Magazine recently stated in his Entrepreneur Roller Coaster book that in the next few years, 10 Million new businesses will be started by Entrepreneurs.  This age is shifting from big corporate America employment to being your own boss, living and breathing by your own terms.  He also stated that it now costs a fraction of what a start-up cost for a new company was a decade ago.  So what are you waiting for?  But wait, before you jump on that roller coaster and throw caution to the wind while screaming excitedly down the long, windy, twisty rails – get prepared.  Plan, review, execute and pray.  Plan how you see your new business blossoming and growing.  Who will be by your side making your dreams come true?  How long do you plan on riding this roller coaster business and finally, what is your escape plan?  Praying is optional but believing in yourself and your plan is not.

Too many times business owners with great skills, ideas and/or energy start a business and come out battered, worn down and frustrated.  Why is that if owning a business is truly an American Dream?  Did they really mean “Nightmare” instead?  On average, five percent have that figured out and do live the dream and pass on that dream to others fortunate to be around them.   My take on this is simple:  Study, read, mentor, love numbers, love people and know that the sucky part of owning a business outweighs the fun part BUT the fun, exciting part is so worth it.  So, before you consummate a marriage (business), do your due diligence during the courtship and plan for a future divorce (exit strategy) and join the fivers living the dream.

Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate
Delta, Colorado

NOVEMBER, 2015 - DELTA COUNTY - Colorado's Best Kept Secret

When I first visited Delta County I was immediately struck by the quaintness of the towns incorporated in this piece of heaven surrounded by breathtaking beauty. Looking for a change from the desert heat of Las Vegas, this area on the Western Slope intrigued me and my husband. Never before experiencing Colorado other than a couple of ski trips, I was captured by its four seasons, the charm of the stores and the friendliness of those I encountered during my visit. It spoke to me like no other place and I truly felt at home which is what I call it today.

Fast forward 10 years, with my past 28 plus years of being a commercial real estate broker, I naturally gravitated towards that endeavor in Delta County after word got out that there was a person who did commercial real estate and lived in the County. Unlike the various metro cities I worked in, Delta was struggling after the 2008 bust followed by the closure of the surrounding mines. Business owners were stretched and stressed to the max ready to throw in the towel but unwilling to walk away from all that they had fought so hard to keep alive. Will Delta County end up as a ghost town or perhaps a low income agricultural community? The community leaders had and have their battles to fight to keep Delta County on the map while protecting what local folks are so proud of yet gently pushing the ever demanding changes desperately needed.

It’s a matter of time before the dramatic growth of the Front Range climbs over the Divide and discovers the best kept secret. Delta County as of August 2015 experienced almost a 25% increase in residential home sales over the previous year and various businesses, especially restaurant businesses have been enjoying the increase in their sales with some claiming at 15% to 20% improvement in YTD sales over 2014 sales. This is viewed as a great indication of what is yet to come to Delta County – their mini boom. The prediction of this writer is 2015 will finish off strong followed by the best year in a decade for most industries. Real Estate values will continue to increase as vacancies decline demanding more multi-family and commercial development to be filled by needed employees and demanded service providers. My advice to the business owners is to stay strong and keep the faith and to future business owners discovering the best kept secret – the word is out and the time is now.

Lucinda Stanley, CCIM
Broker/Owner
Grand Mesa Commercial Real Estate
Delta, Colorado

Contact Lucinda in Delta, Colorado for additional information pertaining to her blogs.