During the 2012 International Real Estate Workshop in New York City we, the REM students, were given a unique opportunity to experience the entire life cycle of real estate complemented by a case study in real estate finance. Doing the workshop in
New York was of great value because of the knowledge that was delivered by experienced real estate professionals who lectured, but also because of the location as “the center” of the real estate world.
What was the purpose of the trip?
To provide deeper insight into real estate finance related topics in one of the most vibrant real markets through lectures on relevant topics such as real estate finance, corporate real estate, asset management, development and market research and analysis.
Was the theoretical part somehow complemented by any practical input?
Indeed! The agenda was full of activities. We had the opportunity to visit a wide range of companies in the real estate industry. During a visit at the headquarters of Cushman & Wakefield we got a great deal of insight into the data used for extensive market research and analysis. The interdisciplinary approach of analyzing economic and socio-demographic as well as soft indicators and being able to make predictions for the future performance of New York’s real estate market was highly stimulating and very impressive.
Interesting, what else did you experience?
Well, another great experience was a workshop at Taconic Investment Partners, a major developer and asset management firm with clients such as Google. Peter Febo, senior vice president at Taconic gave a very informative introduction on their business operations such as project development, project management, asset management, as well as the overall business structure of the company. A visit at Silverstein Properties rounded up the understanding on the field of project development by giving us an exclusive tour of the marketing center of the new World Trade Center developments. Seeing the models of the design competitions and the on-site offices where world renowned architects design and document the process of the new World Trade Center site was not only an educational, but also a touristic highlight since we got to see ground zero up close.
An excursion to the meat packing district and the Standard Hotel gave another perspective on New York real estate. Lauren Danziger from the Meat Packing Improvement Association introduced her organization’s model to connect businesses and the neighborhood in order to achieve sustainable development.
Was there any further real estate related approach?
At Ralph Lauren we had a chance to learn about the criteria companies base their decisions on. Market research and analysis are the basis for any of the company’s real estate acquisitions. Being a major fashion house, not only location but also the delivery of life style is key to the branding and development of all the stores. This is an innovative and fascinating approach to integrate corporate identity into corporate real estate.
Sounds like you had a lot of input! Did you see or do anything else apart from the workshop?
The day didn’t end after lectures and excursions. On our first day we were assigned a case study in which we were divided into different groups, assuming the roles of buyers, sellers and financiers. Each group was given instructions and expectations they had to meet. After negotiating all week the groups had to make agreements and make deals.
How about enjoying the trip outside of the real estate box?
Sightseeing, food, drinks, neighborhoods, socializing with the other students, shopping, night life ... Great but as always it could have been longer.