Property Managers and Residential Housing Owners Need Protection

Umbrella and house symbolby  –

With a title like this you may think I’m about to encourage you get a bodyguard or a permit-to-carry.

While neither of those ideas are bad ones, I’m talking about reviewing your personal and business insurance. I’m also encouraging you to know your legal liabilities and your rights.

Concerning insurance, this is a good time of year to make sure of your limits of coverage, what your deductibles are, and how your insurance carrier ranks concerning claims and customer satisfaction.

It’s also a good idea to have your insurance agent do an annual review; both from the business side of your life and your personal coverage like your home, auto and umbrella policies.

Do you need disability insurance and how about life insurance? Every year you wait the higher the premiums will be for the same amounts of protection.

You’re in for some big surprises. How do I know? Because the insurance laws in each state have changed in the past year in numerous ways, you’re about to update your own level of awareness.

There are some forms of insurance protection that you don’t have or if you do they most likely need to be fine-tuned. Again this is because many new laws have been approved to either strengthen or weaken rental property owner’s rights.

In California alone there were at least 70 legislative bills introduced in 2012 alone that directly impacted rental housing. And some significantly limited the activities and prerogatives of landlords.

Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse

It is often erroneously believed that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. The opposite is true, and there are legions of lawyers, legislators and law enforcement personnel to make sure you find out firsthand.

The courts are jammed with thousands of cases in each state of property owners and managers who filed Unlawful Detainer cases seeking to terminate rental agreements.

The process of evicting residents isn’t getting less complicated. Yet this is a legal topic that is easily overlooked in our fast-paced property management responsibilities.

Again laws are morphing and renters-rights lobbies are forming. Recent reforms can and often do delay evictions and can even make them more expensive.

That’s why you need to know your rights and the rights of your clients. Be an advocate for justice and protection for your owners and your residents.

It builds trust and strengthens the integrity of your reputation.

Fines, penalties and other punitive actions can be avoided through a careful annual update of the latest rules and regulations. Check with and join your local apartment owners association and the Better Business Bureau. They often provide e-newsletter and updates on relevant issues.

The times we live in make it imperative that we consider our legal risks, the financial implications and if we know enough about the insurance we need.

Property insurance as well as the new rent default insurance called Aon Rent Protect should be considered. Offered by Aon (, the insurance offers landlords coverage in the event of a rent default.

The insurance also covers up to $1,000 for certain legal expenses in the event you or your clients must file for an eviction.

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) has backed the Aon Rent Protect product. “Aon Rent Protect is a cash flow safety net for residential landlords…” said Robert Baily, Chairman of Real Estate Business Services, a subsidiary of the C.A.R.

Considering the increased possibility of eviction proceedings going to trial, funds for legal proceedings help landlords maintain a level of preparedness.

Knowing that you’re protected gives you and your clients the peace of mind that makes doing business that much more pleasant.

The Case for Separate Beds

I love my husband, but I want my own bed.

Two twin beds side by side.
Sweet dreams are made of this.

Denise Foley Design Inc. Photo by Kent Wilson Photography via

The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids. We have a comfortable, firm king-size bed in our master bedroom, but my husband was sick and gross, so rather than hop in the sack with him, I decided to quietly slip down the hallway and sleep alone.

It was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years.

For once, I was able to sleep in my preferred position—on my stomach in a big X, socked foot hanging off the bed to the right, sockless foot hanging off the bed to the left. There was no tug of war over the covers, no pokes in the back to alert me to my snoring, no waking up to a wiggly kid (or two) in bed with us. In fact, no waking up at all. It was, pardon the pun, a dream.

Having slept so great solo made me wonder, why don’t we all sleep alone?

I tossed this question to the hive mind at Slate and was surprised that many had similar feelings.

“Yes! I think about this all the time.”

“Bring back separate beds!”

“I recall liking [sharing a bed] at one point … but now … after like 9 years all I think is, ‘Stop breathing on me!’”

Humans are surprisingly hot. Sharing a bed with a person is like sleeping with a radiator. When I have a girlfriend, there’s a ‘cuddling time’ after which we move as far away from each other as possible to actually sleep. But I’m romantic that way.”

Exactly. Sharing a bed is good for sleeping together, but not actually sleeping together. We all know the importance of sleep, so why then do we still choose to share our beds with the kickers, the snorers, and the human furnaces that we love?

“Man since time immemorial has made preparation for sleep, either laying an animal pelt on the ground or using plant matter as some sort of mattress,” according to sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley. “Originally we all slept together on the ground, mainly because we had nowhere else, but also for warmth and security.”

Warmth and security? We have flannel pajamas and deadbolts now.

There have been times throughout the history of slumber that couples did not share a bed. Ancient Romans retreated to their separate quarters in the evening. On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Laura and Rob Petrie turned in to their separate beds, and I bet they slept great.


CBS Photo Archive

The only thing I’d change about this setup would be to shove the beds closer together and have two nightstands on either end. Having your own bed is a luxury. Having your own bed and nightstand? Yes, please.

Our first married bed was a queen. It sagged terribly in the middle and made us roll together. We’d wake up spooning—forced that way by the bed—and sweaty. Our second bed, also a queen, developed a rather large hump in the middle from all the edge hugging we did during the night. Ten years into our marriage, we finally have a king. There is more than enough room for our whole family to sleep comfortably, yet that twin the other night—it was amazing.

So what’s holding me back from selling our king mattress and ordering two twins? Society! Mention separate beds today and most people assume marital troubles.

“In our culture, sharing a bed is a sign of intimacy, and it could also be a barometer of the health of the relationship,” sleep expert Dr. Anne D. Bartolucci told me when I called her for backup. “Falling asleep in the company of another person puts you in a very vulnerable position, and it shows a certain amount of trust. There’s a reason that ‘sleeping with’ someone is one of our expressions for sex. Also, it’s a bonding experience, and it’s been shown that couples who share a bed communicate better and experience other benefits like increased levels of oxytocin, which can reduce inflammation.”

I don’t suffer from inflammation. I do suffer from bad sleep. And chronic bad sleep, according to Bartolucci, has been shown to increase the likelihood of stroke and heart attacks. It makes people more susceptible to developing not only health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure but also conditions like obesity that increase the risk of major health issues. It also contributes to or exacerbates psychiatric problems like anxiety, depression, and attention deficient hyperactivity disorder. Why must we risk these things just to prove to ourselves that we are happy couples? Separate beds means better sleep, which in turn can produce healthier spouses and a happier marriage. I rest my case.

Though when I gingerly mentioned this theory to my husband and he agreed with me, I did feel a tiny bit hurt.

Silicon Valley apartment rents keep surging despite more supply

for rent sign housing

After showing some signs of sluggishness in the fourth quarter, Silicon Valley apartment rents resumed their upward trajectory in the first three months of the year, according to the latest figured released today from RealFacts.

The closely watched report from the Marin County-based apartment tracker shows Santa Clara County rents increased $44 from Q4 2013 to Q1, to $2,197 a month. Apartments in Q1 were up 10.2 percent year over year.

Today’s report is significant because there was some question among apartment industry observers whether rents would continue to flatline. In Q4, rents barely budged. And some experts wondered whether the unprecedented apartment construction, which is adding thousands of units up and down the Valley, was beginning to affect prices.

“The surprise is it’s still continuing to go up,” RealFacts’ Nick Grotjahn told me this afternoon. “You would think that it would start to flatline. A lot of units came online last quarter, and more in first quarter of this year. I thought maybe operators would begin to pull back, but it doesn’t appear to have happened.”

In the city of San Jose, the average price of an apartment (for all unit types) was $2,066 in Q1. That is up from $2,022 in Q4 and up 10.3 percent year over year.

A studio apartment in San Jose is now $1,503, the first time the no-bedroom unit type has crossed the $1,500-a-month threshold.

In Palo Alto, average rents for all apartment types were $3,035, up 15.1 percent from a year ago. A studio will set you back $1,905, up 12.3 percent YoY, and the first time the price point has crossed $1,900 a month.

Mountain View saw average rents at $2,412 a month, up 12.4 percent YoY. A studio there? $1,693. Sunnyvale average rents were $2,170, up 10.1 percent. There, a studio takes $1,522 out of your monthly budget.

RealFacts surveys apartment communities of at least 50 units, so your mileage may vary when it comes to comparing these numbers with your own.

Despite the strong rent numbers in Q1, occupancy did decline a bit in San Jose and the county. That could be a sign that rents will moderate.

In San Jose, occupancy was 92.2 percent in Q1, down from 93.1 percent in Q4.

“That’s because of all the new stuff coming online,” Grotjahn said. “If you take out projects in lease-up mode, you might not see that big of a decline.”

How Obama’s Justice Department Selectively Blocks Mergers By Republican CEOs

By Kerri Toloczko

Like all mergers, the proposed $45.2 billion Comcast CMCSA -0.99% merger withTime Warner Cable TWC -0.51%—the largest and second largest cable providers in the nation—has its advocates and critics.  There are certainly important questions about what impact the merger would have on consumers—but there are equally significant issues associated with the highly politicized approval process.


The Obama Department of Justice, led by Eric Holder, must review the merger and decide whether to approve or block it.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and Justice Department have a long track record of pushing the rule of law aside and making decisions based on politics.   Will the proposed Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable receive the scrutiny it deserves, or simply be fast-tracked for approval based on politics?

Let’s look at some history—which is detailed in a new Frontiers of Freedom report.  In 2009, the Obama Administration gave Solyndra, a failing California solar panel firm, a $536 million “loan.”  Shortly thereafter, Solyndra was fully bankrupt.  Prior to the loan, Solyndra executives and board members gave generously to Barack Obama, including Tulsa oil billionaire and Obama bundler George Kaiser, one of Solyndra’s main investors.

UnitedHealth Group is expecting higher earnings thanks to ObamaCare.  After United supported passing the plan, one of its subsidiaries, Quality Software Services, Inc. won a contract of $90 million for the rollout of  UnitedHealth’s Executive Vice President Anthony Welters and his wife are significant Obama donors and bundlers.  The Administration did not perceive any conflict of interest in providing the nation’s largest health insurer with the keys to

If money buys favors from the Obama Administration, a lack of it produces the opposite.

In 2011, AT&T T +0.14% announced it would seek permission from the government for a $39 billion merger with T-Mobile.  Processing the application was expected to take at least twelve months.  But within five months, the Department of Justice announced it had filed a lawsuit blocking the friendly merger.

Enter AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson, well known to be a free market Republican favoring  pro-growth tax reform and opposing Obama-style redistributing income from the working class.  Mr. Stephenson has a long history of Republican giving, and averaging the three election cycles between 2006–2010, AT&T employees supported Republican candidates by 60%.

Key government players during merger talks were Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Renata Hesse, now Deputy Attorney General for Anti Trust at DOJ, and of course, Attorney General Eric Holder, who runs the most blatantly politicized DOJ in history.

FCC Chairman Genachowski is a longtime technology advisor for Barack Obama, serving on his transition team.  Obama appointed him FCC Chairman in 2009.  He and his wife, another Obama appointee, are long time Obama donors.  Ms. Hesse, then in charge of the AT&T merger at FCC, has donated more than $6K to Obama for America.  In a policy forum last year, Ms. Hesse stated the Obama Administration’s approach to antitrust was “vigorous enforcement.”  But does that apply evenly across all merger applications?

On February 14, 2014, Comcast announced intent to acquire Time Warner Cable in a deal worth $45.2 billion—$6 billion more than the AT&T/T-Mobile deal.  This merger would also result in an approximate 40% market share.  Overseeing this application at DOJ will be vigorous enforcer Deputy AG Hesse.  As with AT&T, will the FCC and Department of Justice deny the Comcast merger, and in record time?

If AT&T is “red,” Comcast and Time Warner Cable are deep “blue.”  In 2012, Comcast employees donated $465K to the Democrat National Committee vs. $114K to the Republican National Committee and supported Obama over Republican Mitt Romney by nearly four to one.  Time Warner donations were $442K Obama and $28K Romney.

Comcast also has two Obama cronies working the merger.  CEO Brian Robertsis an Obama golfing buddy whose political giving is 90% Democratic.  Overseeing the merger is Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen.

Cohen and his wife have given upwards of $500K to Obama while raising another $2.2 million.  During a Democrat fundraiser at Cohen’s hou se, President Obama quipped, “I have been here so much the only thing I haven’t done in this house is have Seder.”

Obama once publicly stated, “we’re gonna punish our enemies and … reward our friends.”  Executive Branch action on the Comcast/Time Warner deal will demonstrate if this caveat applies to merger policy.  A number of Congressional Committees will review the merger, including a Senate Judiciary hearing on April 9.

In addition to analyzing financial details of this merger, Administration history of crony capitalism screams for Congressional inquiry to determine if the Executive gives preferential treatment to corporations with friendly donors.   Merger approval or denial should be based on objective analysis, not which political party enjoyed the loudest clink in its campaign jar.

If that’s the case, no matter what merger wins, consumers will always lose.

Kerri Toloczko is a senior fellow at Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy institute based in Fairfax, Virginia.

2 Deduction Options When You Work From Home


If you work from home, even on a part-time basis, you can probably save some dough come tax time by deducting your home office costs.

The challenge has always been the 43-line, MENSA-like IRS form home office workers had to complete, which may have kept some from even taking advantage of this home tax benefit.

Now, there’s an optional, simplified home office deduction: Take $5/sq. ft. up to 300 feet or $1,500 and, boom, you’re done.

What’s the catch? Trade-off is a better word: You may not be able to deduct as much compared with the regular method. The IRS says the average home office deduction has been around $3,000. So consider the value of your time against potential tax savings if you believe you’re eligible for more than the $1,500 cap.

Before you start spending your refund, however, there are a few rules you need to heed.

What Counts as a Home Office?

A room or defined area of your home that you use exclusively and on a regular basis for business and that meets either of these uses:

  • It’s your principal place of business, or
  • You see clients, customers, or patients there.

Exception to the “exclusive” rule: If you use your home as the sole location of your business and store products there, the room or area where you store products can be used for other things. Say you use a room in your basement to make and store jewelry that’s also a TV room. If it’s the only fixed location of your business, you can use it to also watch TV.

What If You’re on the Road a Lot?

You don’t have to do all your work from home to take the home office deduction. If you’re an outside salesperson, you probably spend most of your work time elsewhere. But the home office has to be essential to your business, and you must spend substantial time there.  If you do your billing and other office work from your home office, and there’s no other location available to perform these functions, your home office should qualify for the deduction.

You can also qualify for the deduction if your employer requires you to work from home, as long as you don’t charge your employer rent.

A big catch: You must maintain the at-home office for your employer’s convenience, not your own. If you use your home office to finish reports at night or on weekends because you don’t want to work at your desk in your office downtown, you can’t claim the home office deduction.

But if your employer doesn’t have a headquarters and everyone works remotely, you’re good to go.

Also Covered Under the Tax Break

Separate structures on your property, like a detached garage you’ve converted to an office or studio.

Unlike an office inside your home, a separate structure doesn’t have to be your main place of business to qualify for a deduction. That’s because the IRS believes your family is less likely to use a separate structure as a part-time play area or den, says Mark Luscombe, principal analyst for tax and consulting at CCH.

Related: Check Zoning Laws Before Adding a Detached Workshop or Studio

Two Ways to Deduct Home Office Expenses

1. Simplified home office deduction. We talked about this one above, but there are a few other particulars to note:

  • You can’t depreciate your home office, and your deduction is limited to your gross business income less business expenses.
  • If you use this deduction, you can still claim the deductions every homeowner gets, like mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and casualty losses. Put those on Schedule A.
  • Using the standard home office deduction won’t stop you from taking the deductions for other business expenses unrelated to your home, such as advertising, supplies, and employee wages.
  • You don’t need to keep track of individual expenses with this option. You do with the actual cost method.

2. Actual costs, which you list on Form 8829. To use this method, you figure the proportion of your home’s overall space devoted to your office and use that to calculate how much of your overall home expenses went toward your home office.

Example: If your office is 300 sq. ft. and your home is 3,000 sq. ft., your office takes up 10% of your home. So you can deduct 10% of your utility, mortgage interest, property taxes, and other home expenses. However, certain expenses that aren’t related directly to the home office, such as lawn care, aren’t included in the calculation.

Not sure how big your house is? Check the documents you received when you bought your home — there’s probably a detailed rendering — or measure the outside of your home and multiply length times width.

Do You Have to Stick with the Same Deduction Method Each Year?

Nope. Each year, you get to decide whether to use the standard or the actual-expense deduction.

What Can You Deduct When You Use the Long Form?

If you’re using Form 8829 to report your actual expenses and you’ve figured out what percentage of your home you use for business, you can apply that percentage to different home expenses. These include:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Real estate taxes
  • Utilities (heating, cooling, lights)
  • Home repairs and maintenance (so long as they benefit both the business and personal parts of the home)
  • Homeowners insurance premiums

Just take each expense and multiply it by your home office percentage to get the amount you can deduct as a business expense. So if you spend $150 a month on electricity, and your home office takes up 10% of your home, you can deduct $15 a month as a home office expense. That adds up to a $180 deduction per tax year.

Important limitation: Your home office deduction can’t exceed the amount of income you generate from the home office. So if you spend some of your work time on-site with a client and earn $1,500 there, you can’t claim more than $1,500 because it exceeds what you made at home.

Save bills or cancelled checks to prove what you spent in case of an IRS audit. Also, only repairs, like to the furnace, can be expensed; improvements must be depreciated.

Don’t Forget Depreciation

Depreciation is based on the idea that everything — even something like a home — wears out eventually. If you’re using the long form, figure home office depreciation by calculating the tax basis of your home:

1.  Add the purchase price to the cost of improvements.

2.  Subtract the value of the land it sits on.

3.  Multiply that cost basis by the percentage of your home used for work. This gives you the tax basis for your home office.

4.  Divide by 39 years.

For example:

  • Purchase price: $100,000
  • Value of land: $25,000
  • Cost basis: $75,000, plus cost of improvements you’ve made
  • Tax basis: $75,000 x 10% = $7,500
  • Depreciation deduction: $7,500/39 years*

*Usually, depreciation deductions for a home office are figured over a 39-year period. There are caveats. For instance, if your business opened after Jan. 1 in its first year, you need to calculate a factor of 39. For a crash course, read IRS Publication 946 or talk to a tax pro.

Keep in mind that depreciation deductions on your home office may increase the amount of profit on a home sale that’s subject to taxes. Most taxpayers don’t owe income tax on up to $250,000 of profit if you’re a single filer, $500,000 for joint filers. Consult with a qualified tax professional on how depreciation deductions affect your tax liability when you sell.

Related: More on How Improvements Can Lower Your Cost Basis

Special Rules for In-Home Care Providers

If you provide in-home daycare services for children, the elderly, or disabled persons as a licensed or authorized business, you don’t have to use the home work space exclusively to take the home office deduction.

You calculate your deduction by dividing the number of hours you used your home workspace to provide daycare services during the year by the total number of hours during the year.

For example, if you do daycare 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year, that’s 2,000 hours a year, divided by the 8,760 hours in a regular year equals 22.8%. So you could take 22.8% of the $5 per sq. ft. simplified deduction for your daycare workspace.

Related: What You Should Know About Your Home and 2013 Taxes

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice.

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Go Green… Or Else

The problem with U.S.’s light bulb mandateby Arrol Gellner, Inman News

On Sept. 1 of this year, the European Union began banning the sale of incandescent light bulbs — another well-meaning but heavy-handed effort on the part of bureaucrats to go green.

This is the same government, you may recall, that blundered into requiring that 5.75 percent of its fuel Light bulb2come from biofuel sources by 2010 — a mandate as ill-considered as it was premature.
Anyone who feels like tut-tutting the European nanny state, though, should know that, here in the good old free-market U.S., our own government is planning to phase out incandescent bulbs beginning in 2012.
Rather than letting the obvious economies of more efficient lighting speak for themselves, Congress feels obliged to fine-tune America’s buying habits with a sledgehammer.Such meddling bylegislative fiat is precisely the wrong way to coax people toward more environmentally responsible choices. As a recent editorial in London’s Telegraph said of the EU’s ban:”(It is)an attempt toforward a policy goal — combating global warming — by statutory means. Such legislation imposessubstantial costs on both consumers and the economy, but hides them so that legislators avoid blame.”Although this kind of criticism is widespread, most Europeans seem to be taking the new edict with docile resignation. This is hardly an endorsement, however, and Congress would be ill-advised to follow in the footsteps of the EU’s ban, with its implicit endorsement of a competing technology (compact fluorescent lamps, which carry their own environmental risks) and the unavoidable appearance of government pandering to narrow corporate interests.

Rather than handing down arbitrary decrees on what sort of hardware people can and cannot install in their own homes, Americans would be better served by the creation of a rational, performance-based energy conservation policy — one that would mandate energy budgets and declare, in essence:

“Americans, we must become more responsible consumers of energy. Therefore we are mandating energy consumption limits that are reasonable and fair. There are many ways to comply with these limits, some easy, some not, but how you choose to comply is entirely up to you.”

If such a policy sounds impossible to enforce, note that the mechanism has already long existed, and that it runs quite smoothly, thank you. California’s Title 24 energy code, for instance, has mandated minimum levels of energy efficiency in building construction since 1978, yet it still manages to provide a great deal of latitude in how the standards are met. Most states today have similar legislation.

Few would dispute that the incandescent lamp, which has seen little fundamental change since Thomas Edison perfected it 130 years ago, is a product whose time has passed for all but a few special purposes. Yet given the many less draconian means available to discourage its use, it’s neither advisable nor necessary for Congress to insert itself into the issue.

Incandescent lamps are, after all, just one minor facet of America’s profligate energy use. What’s needed is not a scattering of arbitrary edicts, but rather one intelligent plan.

Next time: A closer look at the incandescent lamp’s heir apparent, the compact fluorescent lamp.

Silicon Valley office market not exactly on fire in Q1

for rent sign housing

Silicon Valley’s office vacancy rate mostly treaded water in the first three months of the year, as companies occupied previously leased space and new supply came on the market.

Numbers fresh off the presses from real estate services firm JLL show that tenants occupied 885,000 square feet more than they gave up in the first quarter. That’s up dramatically from Q1 in 2013, when so-called net absorption was just 67,000 square feet, according to JLL.

But because additional new office projects and rehabs came onto the market in Q1, the vacancy rate remained flat. JLL pegs the Valley’s total office vacancy at 16 percent, down a hair from 16.1 percent a year ago. (The figure is up a bit from 15.4 percent in the previous quarter.)

“The addition of new space was the main reason why vacancy was flat,” said Amber Schiada, vice president and director of research out of JLL’s Palo Alto office.

Still, there are some signs that the region’s office market is taking a pause. Exhibit A: There were few big office deals more than 50,000 square feet of existing space in the first quarter in Silicon Valley, though San Francisco’s market was on a tear, with six leases signed north of 100,000 square feet in the city. (That disparity is sure to add fuel to the SF-vs.-Silicon Valley narrative that has been much discussed in commercial real estate circles of late.)

Schiada, however, expressed optimism for an uptick in leasing in the coming quarters: The IPO pipeline is strong and aggregate space requirements are high.

JLL is tracking about 8.3 million square feet of active office requirements in the Valley and mid-Peninsula, including renewals. That’s about in line with the past year’s trend lines.

Also, Silicon Valley is home to 13 startups with at least billion-dollar valuations, and whose collective space requirement is between 420,000 and 770,000 square feet.

Landlords are certainly feeling bullish. Rents rose 30 percent year over year in Mountain View; 28 percent in Santa Clara; and 15 percent in North San Jose.

While the current leasing environment for existing space isn’t exactly on fire, the build-to-suit pipeline retained strength. As we’ve previously reported. Citrix Systems in Santa Clara andLam Research in Fremont are set to occupy sizable build-to-suit space. HGST, a Western Digital company, is moving to add two large new buildings to its existing campus in San Jose. So is Intuitive Surgical and St. Jude Medical Inc. in Sunnyvale.

Other brokerages will be releasing Q1 numbers in the weeks ahead, so we’ll be sure to take a close look at those to assess the general consensus.

Join the Silicon Valley Business Journal  and Association of Silicon Valley Brokers as we discuss the latest trends and developments in commercial real estate on April 11.