Our Value PropositionWe deliver multiple services seamlessly and create value through process excellence. GRS Group’s Global Services Connection is about aligning our organizations to achieve success.
The acquisition and finance of commercial real estate are often riddled with complex issues. Before closing, both lender and buyer need to be thorough in their due diligence. It is imperative that stakeholders learn as much as possible about the property, existing conditions and restrictions, title issues, zoning ordinances, tenants, leases and environmental hazards.
Expand the service option below to learn more about each of the transaction services provided by GRS Group.
Environmental Site Assessment
Under federal and state laws, the owners of real estate can be liable for cleanup of hazardous substances and petroleum products released on their property. This is true even if the release occurred before the owner became involved in the property or has no other direct responsibility for the release. As a result, related cleanup costs have a material, and sometimes catastrophic, impact on the value of real estate. Related impacts on cash flow, leasing, resale and the ability to obtain financing can all be contributors to a diminution in value.
Understanding of the environmental risks associated with a property can help property owners, buyers, lenders, and investors to protect hard-earned assets. GRS Group provides the following services to help clients identify environmental risks that can significantly impact their financial future:
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
- Review & Update of Existing Reports
- Risk Assessment per SBA Criteria
- Transaction Screen Assessment
- Lead Paint, MMP and Asbestos O&M
- Phase II Limited Site Characterization
- Remediation Project Management
Environmental assessments for property transfers focus on assessing the potential for environmental liability and impact to value. Because significant business and risk management decisions are based on the data generated, they require extreme care and diligence in their execution. It is GRS Group practice to staff these projects with the most qualified professionals and to ensure that the work associated with the project undergoes a thorough technical review.
GRS Group staff has extensive experience in developing and implementing client-specific scopes of work and reporting formats. Whether a client has developed their own proprietary scope of work or must meet the requirements of a capital partner or the secondary market, GRS Group is flexible and well- versed in the wide variety of scope variations that exist in the marketplace today.
Facilities Assessment Services
Unexpected costs resulting from physical deficiencies, deferred maintenance and replacement or repair of key building systems can significantly impact operating costs and cash flow, disrupt building operations and erode the value of otherwise profitable investments. By evaluating the condition of improvements and expected capital expenditures, investors and lenders can avoid costly surprises. GRS Group offers the following facility assessment services to provide clients with the information they need to manage uncertainties to preserve the value of their investments:
- Property Condition Assessment (PCA)
- Seismic Risk Assessment (SRA)
- Property Acquisition Assessment
- Green Building (Energy) Assessment
Understanding the condition of a structure as well as the major building systems and components can be critical to the evaluation of the economic viability of a transaction. Recommended replacement expenditures and deferred maintenance schedules become critical data not only during the due diligence phase of a transaction, but also during the management phase of a property. Reviewing construction cost estimates and construction progress monitoring provides an impartial third party review during the preparation of construction budgets and confirms that the project is on schedule and materials are on-site prior to payment of invoices for goods and materials. GRS Group’s professional staff of licensed engineers, registered architects, construction experts and cost analysts are experienced in responding quickly and effectively to the detailed requirements and fast turnaround times demanded by our clients.
GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprise) Lender Services
GRS Group is one of the leading providers of assessment services to Fannie Mae DUS Lenders and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers. We have completed thousands of assessments on multifamily, student housing, seniors housing and manufactured home community properties across the US. We fully understand the technical requirements of these agency programs, and we have teams dedicated to keeping abreast of ongoing changes in those agencies’ service requirements. Our clients look to GRS Group to help them navigate the nuances of these evolving guidelines, and several underwriting teams have had GRS Group provide training. We have provided assessments for both agencies’ small balance loan programs since their inceptions and have evaluated thousands of properties for those programs.
GRS Group is among the select consultants pre-approved for both Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Green rewards programs. Our working knowledge of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guides enables us to provide reports that move quickly through the review process at the Seller/ Servicer and DUS lender levels, as well as with regional agency staff reviews.
Our services include the following:
• Phase I ESA
• Property Condition Assessments
• Assessments for supplemental mortgages and assumptions
• Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae-specific Forms
• Small Balance Loan Assessments
• Radon testing: Short term and long term follow up
• O&Ms (Lead paint, Asbestos, UST, Transformer, Moisture Management)
• Peer reviews
• Fannie Mae High-Performance Building Reports
• Freddie Mac Green Up® and Green Up Plus® Assessments
• Seismic Risk Assessments
• Freddie Mac FRED program assessment
• For Forward Commitments and Moderate Rehabilitation Mortgages:
– Pre-construction analysis reports
– Construction monitoring
– Post Construction Analysis reports
GRS Group Energy Services division assists real estate lenders and investors in the evaluation, measurement, and ultimate reduction of utility costs. GRS Group provides full-service Energy and Sustainability consulting and reporting on both the supply and demand side of the meter. Our Energy engineering team members have experience providing services on all asset types and classes.
GRS Group will review and evaluate various energy conservation and generation strategies to efficiently and intelligently support our customers capital improvement spending.
Energy Assessment Services:
• ASHRAE Level I and II energy audits
• Energy audits associated with Freddie Mac Green Up program
• Energy audits associated with Fannie Mae Green Rewards programs
• Baselining, Benchmarking and general review of historical energy usage
A Standard Energy Audit Contains the Following Tasks:
• Collection and review of current energy & water usage to develop baseline usage
• On-site inspection including direct field measurement of pertinent variables for energy calculations
• Identify and calculate energy/water savings for potential projects
• Develop budgetary costs and simple payback for potential projects
• Produce report and complete forms as required (Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae programs)
Of note, review of current usage and understanding the baseline usage can also be performed as a standalone
GRS Group Professional staff hold the following certifications: Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified multifamily Analyst, LEED AP BD+C, Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Professional Engineers (PE), Commission Process Management Professional Certification (CPMP)
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Construction Advisory Services
Our Construction Services team has experts around the globe experienced in the management of construction lending risks including pre-construction project reviews, ongoing monitoring, and construction closeout services.
Our unique insight and processes allow us to head off problems before they start. GRS Group brings together a considerable wealth of knowledge and expertise, providing national lenders and equity investors with the level of project management and accountability necessary to ensure the timely completion of complex development projects. Our senior management team has an average of 20 years of construction management experience.
GRS Group prides itself on delivering quality, professional services to every client. We have completed Construction Cost Analysis, Construction Progress Monitoring, and Construction Completion Assessments on all types of projects, including commercial/retail, residential tract development, assisted living, hospitality, and industrial developments. Our success and repeat business serve as a testimonial to our competence in the administration and management of projects nationwide through the implementation of a systematic approach to all aspects of project management from initial concept to successful completion and payoff.
Pre-Construction Plan and Cost Analysis
GRS Group has a team of engineers and architects who are highly trained and experienced in conducting pre-construction due diligence to support and facilitate our clients with, cost analysis, and schedule viability of the proposed projects. The review and analysis process is designed to provide GRS Group’s clients with the information needed to evaluate proposed construction projects and related budgets.
GRS Group’s Construction Cost Analysis process includes the following tasks:
• Perform an independent cost estimate of the proposed development; review the feasibility of the scope of work, construction schedules, and proposed improvements.
• Review the adequacy of the proposed development budget, schedule of values, and progress schedules.
• Assess the status of construction documents; i.e., architectural and site development plans, design specifications and contract documentation.
• Evaluate the representations made in the soils and environmental reports to determine their impact on the proposed development and construction costs.
• Verify that building department plan checking has been completed and all required permits have been secured to allow the commencement of construction, as well as the granting of ongoing periodic approvals.
Construction Progress Monitoring
GRS Group’s organization is ideally suited to provide Construction Progress Monitoring on a nationwide basis. Our field representatives perform site surveys on a predetermined schedule to ensure that the project is proceeding according to schedule, in compliance with plans and specifications, and that disbursement requests are within budget and assigned to the appropriate line items. Subsequent to the site visit, GRS Group prepares a written report compiling the results of the site survey, in correlation to the disbursement request.
While performing the site survey, GRS Group conducts the following reviews:
• Verify the percentage of work completed in relation to current payment application and progress schedule
• Confirm inventory of stored materials either on or off-site
• Evaluate the sufficiency of funds for the project completion
• Forecast potential problems related to the quality and/or workmanship and project management
• Review and evaluate change orders to determine any impact on the project budget, schedule, and compliance with the originally proposed development
• Examine quality control measures and compliance with regulatory agency and building codes, as well as the recommendations and specifications included in the original construction loan analysis
• Provide recommendations as required
Construction Completion Assessment
GRS Group provides the expertise required to evaluate the progress to date and assess the remaining costs to complete the construction as specified. This is particularly useful to clients who need to re-evaluate construction projects which may have gotten off-track. The project information is evaluated along with a visual assessment of the construction project. The assessment includes a review of the construction contract with an analysis of the adequacy of the remaining undisbursed construction budget and contingency funds to complete the project as well as a review of contractors’ lien waivers and inventory of purchased materials stored on or off-site. Lenders and note purchasers can then assess the costs and risks of completing construction.
ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys
GRS Group specializes in Land Title Surveys for multi-site, multi-state commercial real estate transactions. Our typical client groups include Owners, Title Companies, Law Firms, Corporations, REITs, and Lenders. GRS Group is a proud member of the American Land Title Association, the national trade association for the title industry.
All survey reports are written to the ALTA/NSPS standard. ALTA (the American Land Title Association) was founded in 1907 and represents 2,000 abstracters, title insurance agents, and underwriting companies. ALTA and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) represent the title insurance industry and the land surveying industry respectively
In a commercial real estate transaction, all parties are seeking relevant and accurate information about the property. The survey is a big part of that. The information provided by an ALTA/NSPS survey provides critical information about the property boundaries, any evidence of easements (in addition to easements and exceptions cited in the title commitment) the improvements, utilities, public access, and other observations such as encroachments.
Both lenders and buyers are concerned with the accuracy and details of the survey, as the present and future use of the land–and any restrictions and encumbrances–will greatly affect its value. ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys help buyers evaluate any potential risk of owning or mortgaging commercial real estate.
Commercial Zoning Reports
A Commercial Zoning Report provides a brief but comprehensive analysis detailing a subject property’s respective jurisdiction, zoning designation, zoning ordinance, lot area, permitted uses, lot line setback, density and associated and applicable parking regulations. Lenders often require these informative assessments.
GRS Standard Zoning Report Contains the Following:
- Zoning verification or zoning compliance letter
- Notice of outstanding code violations of record (zoning, building or fire)
- Copy of certificate(s) of occupancy
- Copy of available site plans
- Copy of zoning map or applicable map portion
- Adjacent property zoning designations
- Notice of applicable variances/special permits/exceptions/conditions
- Conforming status as provided by a municipality
- Table of current zoning district requirements
- Municipal zoning code sections for permitted uses, height, setback, lot area, minimum parking and right to rebuild in the event of a casualty, and definitions
- Comparison of current zoning code requirements to as-built survey conditions and notice of any nonconforming characteristics observed
GRS Group Zoning Reports are written to conform to industry standards in a clear and reliable format. This information is critically important to a property owner or a potential buyer and a zoning report will provide the most up-to-date information available with regard to the subject property.
GRS Group professionals provide commercial zoning reports on all property types and in all states.