CREW's Second Quarter Lunch and Learn - A Success!

Portland CREW offers a members-only quarterly Lunch and Learn series that allows members to showcase their expertise and bring the latest trends in real estate to other members.  This quarter's presentation, Getting Your Property Ready for Sale or Refinance, brought together a stellar panel including Lisa A. LaManna, owner of a brokerage firm, Pate LaManna Commercial, Jackie A. Safko, assistant Vice President at Albina Community Bank, and Katrina Hammel, Senior Property Manager of Unico Properties, LLC.  Paul Watts, CEO/founder of Graffiti Removal Services moderated.

Lisa explained the current market trends in commercial real estate from a broker's point of view.  She also provided practical tips in making sure sellers are ready to sell their property.  Among other suggestions, she recommended making sure the seller hired a company to prepare a property condition report that is seller-oriented instead of buyer-oriented.  This is an area that can save the seller thousands of dollars in negotiating the price based on the condition of the property in the report.  In addition, she recommended having comps and other data available to help prove the value of the property to appraisers.  She relayed a story where she anticipated issues that came up with the appraisal, and her data was convinced the appraiser and the lender the value of the property.

Jackie provided great insight for investors preparing to borrow from an institutional lender.  She mentioned that new borrowers are often surprised at the amount of paperwork they have to provide lenders when applying for loans.  Because lenders focus on cash flow from a business that will support loan payments, she recommended that borrowers clean up any accounts receivable issues and be able to show a strong cash flow position with their financials.  Borrowers should also be organized and have all of their business records in one easily accessible place to provide to the lender.  Last, borrowers should expect to be forthright with the lender and not withhold any information requested because that will indicate the relationship with the borrower during the life of the loan.

Katrina, as a property manager, discussed being prepared for document disclosure and records as well.  She mentioned that buyers and lenders will request a lot of due diligence data including, for example, all current leases, maintenance records, accounting records, and estoppel certificates.  She emphasized being prepared to give tours and to make sure tenants are not surprised or disturbed.  She said it was important to stay current on any AR issues and document appropriately right as they come up. She also said it was important to know how to provide contact information for each tenant so that prospective purchasers and lenders could speak to the right people.  Sometimes, they want to talk to the facilities manager, other times, they want to talk to store managers, and sometimes the executives.  Last, she said that knowing and having building problems under control was important.

Many other attendees provided additional insight in their different real estate roles, contributing to the discussion, including a in-depth discussion regarding Phase I's and property condition reports.

CREW National Leadership Conference Recap

A Brief Impression of the CREW National Leadership Conference
Written by Elissa Looney

I recently attended the national Winter Leadership Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah with Commercial Real Estate for Women (CREW) as one of two delegates for the local Portland chapter. As I am new to the position, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.


CREW is an organization that I joined for networking purposes to grow business for my company. But CREW has turned into much more than that. I was new to my career when I joined, and through some committees, I’ve become a fairly active participant, have met many people, and been educated about all kinds of things related to my industry. This past Fall I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors as the liaison (delegate) to the national CREW network. It requires me to stay up to date with the movements of the national group, as well as attend three events over the course of the year. The first was this one in Utah. Later I’ll go to Cincinnati, and in the fall, to Miami.


What I didn’t know? I didn’t really know what kind of leadership skills I was going to learn. I spent two days networking and learning from highly successful businesswomen from all over the country and Canada. I spent most of one full day listening to Christine Spray, President of Strategic Catalyst, a company she founded which helps businesses and organizations leverage business opportunities. Her presentation detailed recommendations on 20 specific areas we could focus on to improve our networking results. Most of them were tips that even the least business-development oriented people could implement to improve their networking skills and grow their business.  


I didn’t know what being a delegate meant before the winter conference. I didn’t know how important the position could be. I didn’t know how much I could learn. I didn’t know how empowered I would feel to make what is already a great group of people become an even greater force for networking and business development than it already is. I came away feeling thankful that I had been chosen for this opportunity, and knowing that CREW offers a whole lot more than informational lunches each month. This group offers high caliber opportunities for educational seminars, connections to business people nationally, and the ability to grow your confidence in networking, business development, public speaking and professional growth.


These conventions and summits are excellent opportunities to improve your personal skills, network with other highly successful CREW members throughout the country & Canada, and they are available for all CREW members to attend. Now that I’ve been to one I would highly encourage all CREW members that have not already attended one of these events to attend the next summit on June 12-13 in Cincinnati, Ohio or the annual convention September 30th – October 3rd in Miami, Florida.   You can find out more about these events by visiting the CREW Network website at