2018 could be a record year for store closings, according to a study released by the CoStar group and cited by CNBC. The report, which was released in April 2018, found that at least 94 million square feet of retail space will be closed this year. That’s competing with the disheartening news from 2017, which saw a record 105 million square feet close. The recent liquidation of Toys “R” Us and the Bon Ton Stores led the way, with other stores set to close soon. Another high-profile closing store is …

Bankruptcy filings fell 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2018,  according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The June 2018 annual bankruptcy filings totaled 775,578 compared with 796,037 cases in the year ending June 2017. That’s good news, even though the stats often go up and down. Whatever the current bankruptcy filings happen to be, you’ll most likely be working with a percentage of clients who are emerging from bankruptcy. Remember that clients who claimed bankruptcy does not mean that they can’t …

The trend of coworking in office spaces began as a high concept in 2005, and since then has spread like wildfire. The Millennial generation workforce has adopted it as an accepted way of life — and corporate America is responding in a big way in a rush to recruit young talent. It seems the days of the corporate center, cubicle and corner office are vanishing forever. The coworking concept consists of membership-driven office services, consisting of independent workers (often entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers) and businesses. All of these members pay …

Losing sensitive client data — or worse, having it hacked — could be the beginning of a horrifying rabbit hole tumble that could take your business and career down with it. Just about anyone is vulnerable to a hack attack or a security breach, but there are ways to reduce the risk. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your clients’ data and to keep it secure and private: Use protection Build firewalls and purchase antivirus software. The more protection you add to your business servers, the …

Strengthened by new home construction and storm-related damage repairs, U.S. roofing contractors are now in their fourth consecutive year of improved profitability and double-digit increases in sales, according to data from Sageworks, a financial information company. It’s no surprise that professional roofers are in demand. Roofs are often overlooked (excuse the pun) when it comes to showing a house. In many cases, preventative maintenance and regular inspection doesn’t even occur to the owner until there is something wrong. However, roofs are designed to age over time and must be replaced …

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must be reauthorized by November 30, 2018. Periodically, Congress must renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. The President signed legislation on July 31, 2018 to extend the program’s authorization to November 30, 2018. Usually, Congress has always honored the NFIP, particularly the contracts that are already in place with NFIP policyholders. What if the reauthorization fails or lapses? FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) would still have the authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would have …

In July 2018, the second-most-photographed house in America (after The White House) went on the market — for the first time in 45 years. The famous Brady Bunch house was filmed only for the exterior shots; as a result, it became one of the most recognized houses in the world. The sitcom ran on ABC from 1969-1974, and forever in reruns and reincarnations. The facade, located in Studio City, California, had become iconic and beloved over the course of decades, and is a major tourist attraction (at least from the …

There is a growing interest in — of all things — million-dollar ghost towns, according to The Real Deal. “Ghost town” is the nickname given to settlements whose population has since moved on, usually due to economic change. Many of these towns are located alongside abandoned mines or farmland. Usually, all that is left behind are the properties — homes, commercial buildings — now old and decaying. Interested buyers: mostly churches and corporations, who often buy properties as a marketing strategy, to preserve history or to launch a new project. …

As you probably know all too well, you normally make estimated tax payments four times a year. The remaining dates that apply for this year are September 15, 2018 (for the months of July, August and September 2018) and January 15, 2019 (for October, November and December 2018). The IRS requires you to make quarterly estimated tax payments for 2018 if you owe at least $1,000 in federal tax (after subtracting federal tax withholding and refundable credits). You also owe if you expect federal withholding and refundable credits to be …

Due to the recent economy and simply the demands of life in general, almost nobody has a perfect credit score. A poor score can stand in the way of your client securing financing for a property, or affect the amount they would have to pay. A credit score is simply an overview of a client’s financial history and current debt. A number (score) is assigned as a result of a variety of factors: payment history, amount of credit owed, types of credit established (loans, credit cards), the utilization of credit …