2 min read November 2022 — In an interview with Invest:, Dan Waldman, president of Waldman & Associates, talked about which areas in the real estate market are seeing the most demand in Greater Boston, what differentiates his company from others in the region, how affordable housing is being addressed and his outlook for the region.
What’s been keeping you busy?
Waldman & Associates is on a hot streak. We’ve been selling a lot of properties since Memorial Day. We recently sold a $10.5 million property in Bourne, a $13.3 million property in Dedham, a $10 million dollar property in Providence and a $3 million in Canton. The market is good but we’ll see what happens with the interest rates going up. I’m not a specialist — I’m more of a generalist. Every year I sell a variety of different properties. This year is no exception from selling industrial properties on the Cape to selling retail properties in Massachusetts.
Where are you seeing the most demand for services?
A couple of years ago, a lot of self-storage was being sold. I sold 10 or 11 self-storage facilities in one year. That market is still hot but there’s been a lot of consolidation. Right now, as we go into 2023, industrial is hot. Some people thought retail would die, but it’s still hanging in there and it’s a good category. But without a doubt, the best category is multifamily. It’s very strong in Boston. People were saying that retail would die but it’s not dying, it’s doing very well. If you have a strong plaza, especially with a grocery store, it will sell with a good cap rate.
What have been some of the challenges with first-time homebuyers?
I think it’s more of a banking issue as the banks are more conservative. The younger buyers can’t come up with the deposit that they need so they have to rent. I think it’s a question about how the banks are looking at the younger generation — individuals between 25 and 40 years old. We recently had a spike in interest rates and that is hurting anyone that wants to buy. Since the 25-40 year olds are finding it a challenge to buy this is helping the multi-family owner increase his rents which drives valuation.
What are your clients doing to face workforce issues and other disfavorable market conditions?
My clients across the board are having trouble recruiting quality people. I am a solo entrepreneur so I do not have these issues. Some businesses have reduced their hours. It’s hard to get good staff — this is happening all over the country. Another issue many of my clients are facing is supply side delays. An example of this is it is taking four to six months just to get a HVAC unit. The economy of Boston is very strong but recruiting quality employees in Boston and throughout the U.S is a challenge.
What differentiates Waldman & Associates from competitors in the region?
I start from the beginning, and I stay until the end. Here is an example, let’s say you’re an older gentleman and you own a multifamily that is worth $30-40 million, and you want to sell it. A lot of brokers will do a good job and sell it. The difference is I make sure the property shows well before the sale and I stay in and work with the accountants and lawyers after the sale. In many cases an owner will decide for tax reasons to invest in a 1031 property. This takes a lot of work to find the right property that helps your client. Usually, the 1031 properties require no landlord responsibilities. What makes me unique is that I get very close to my clients and I work to increase the value of his property before the sale. I always believe in a win-win for my client and the buyer. When my client sells, I don’t walk away but continue to work with their lawyers and their accountants to find the perfect 1031 property. When I am selling a retail plaza it is not unusual for me to handle the leasing to find additional tenants and increase the value. I also get to know the client and understand where they want to be, what their needs are, and I stay in the deal until the end. Many of my clients are older and I take the responsibility of selling their assets and finding them a great 1031 property with no landlord responsibilities very seriously.
What are your concerns regarding the tax environment?
For many years, Massachusetts was called “Taxachusetts” and it took a long time to get rid of that. You see what is happening in California and New York — all of the wealthy people are moving to Arizona and Florida. Boston is such a great place to live, and I’d hate to see people who can buy and sell real estate take their business to Florida. The state is doing very well and there is a surplus budget. I don’t think they need to hurt a very important part of the real estate market by raising taxes.
How have you seen affordable housing addressed in the region?
What is good are the 40Bs, which are state regulated. This allows developers to build a high end apartment building and set aside a certain percentage for people who don’t make the average income of that community to live in that community and for their kids to go to a better school system.
What is the near-term outlook for Waldman and Associates and Boston ?
I couldn’t be busier — I have so many projects. I’m nonstop from about 5.30am in the morning until 7pm to 8pm at night. I have many properties to sell and to market. In Boston, I think we have such a strong economy. We have a great education hub — all the universities produce these entrepreneurs, especially Harvard and MIT with their funding opportunities. Also, the biopharmaceutical market is another reason that Boston has a great future and our tourist industry and convention business is strong. Lastly, it does not hurt that Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts which creates a lot of jobs.
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