Greater Bay Area Market Snapshot: Deal volume ended the year with its fifth highest amount on record – the market closed 2013 with more than $15.4 billion in total trades. Office product, particularly in Silicon Valley, dominated trading activity in 2013 accounting for nearly $7.9 billion in total volume. Investors continue to chase trophy assets but fewer availabilities has impacted deal activity. Over the course of 2013m we saw private entities being the most active in purchasing properties in the Bay Area accounting for 43% of total investment dollar volume.
Bloomberg.com reports: Fueled by the recent boom in the tech sector, San Jose has become one of the most expensive places in the country for wannabe home buyers. Homeowners here paid an average 35.6 percent of monthly income to cover the mortgage between 1985 and 1999; they're now paying 38.9 percent.
- Download the full report (PDF)
It’s important to know the desired outcome before entering into a marketing program, says Ryan Barringer, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy at Bridge Bank.
“Too often a manager invests in a campaign without having first identified the appropriate criteria to evaluate its performance. The output might be obvious — a TV spot, a sponsorship, or a viral video aimed at delivering impressions. The question then becomes, ‘What is the outcome of those impressions and how will they affect revenue, if at all?’” Barringer says.
DQNews.com reports that Bay Area home sales dipped again in November, constrained by supply and market uncertainty amid mixed economic news. Prices continued their year-and-a-half-long upward march. Purchase and mortgage patterns are moving slowly but steadily toward long-term norms. While much of the median's ups and downs can be attributed to shifts in the types of homes sold, it appears that most of the current year-over-year increase in the median reflects an actual rise in home values.
After a couple of years sitting stagnant at 3.25 percent, the prime interest rate is expected to go up in 2014, making this a good time to secure a business loan.
“There’s not a lot of inflationary pressure yet. The Federal Reserve has been signaling a desire to come off of quantitative easing, and they’ve been trying to set the market up for rate increases. But every time it’s mentioned, the stock market drops 100 points,” says Michael Hengl, senior vice president and group manager of Corporate Banking at Bridge Bank.
The Check 21 Act, passed in 2003, had a dramatic impact on businesses’ cash flow by allowing banks to send digital versions of checks — eliminating the need for physical copies. Similarly, important developments are on the horizon to further enhance payment capabilities, says Tom Hoffman, senior vice president and manager of the Treasury Management Services Division at Bridge Bank.
“We’re seeing a lot of start-up technology companies focused on creating better ways to process payments, and adapters to allow accounting systems to interact with bank services,” Hoffman says.
All banks will tell prospective clients they can serve every need. But proper preparation and key questions will reveal whether a bank is the right one for your business.
“Banks say they do everything, but you have to find the institution that shares your priorities, and focuses resources in areas important to you,” says Matt Christensen, senior vice president and regional manager at Bridge Bank.
Smart Business spoke with Christensen about the process of choosing a bank.
Business banks can provide more to their clients than financial products. With all of their connections, bankers can steer businesses toward resources such as government entities and industry organizations that can help them grow and thrive.
“Their bankers should be introducing them to the people and organizations that know their industry like the back of their hand, and can offer assistance in everything from tax benefits to manufacturing locally,” says Gloria Ferguson, senior vice president and market manager of the Corporate Banking Division at Bridge Bank.
The recession no longer seems to be affecting the technology market, as growth opportunities abound for tech companies.
“We’re seeing a very healthy environment for technology,” says Dick Sweeney, senior vice president and manager of the Northeast Market Technology Banking Division at Bridge Bank. “Within our portfolio of clients, we’ve had a number that in the past six to 12 months were acquired or are in the process of getting letters of intent, with transactions being done at pretty healthy multiples of income.”
“Relationship” might be the most overused word in banking these days, but it sums up the difference between providing a commodity and truly serving a customer’s needs.
“It really is about having a relationship with someone who comes to know and trust you,” says Jeffrey M. Whalen, senior vice president in the Specialty Markets division at Bridge Bank. “What we do in this industry is serve the needs of clients.”
Smart Business spoke with Whalen about how banks stay involved with clients and build mutually beneficial relationships.