Realizing the value of research in real estate investment

Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

February 02, 2017

Amid the vast-changing landscape of the real estate industry, the tiniest movement can have a huge impact on developers, investors and buyers. When pricing changes, market movements and competitive checks are not observed or carried out, the results can be very detrimental.

Such is the value of research, a key service of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Philippines aimed at providing clients with the best information possible so they can work around gaining the highest value for owning, occupying or investing in real estate.

"In every marketing company, the entry point to start a discussion is how you know the industry. That is why research is at the front end of the deal", says Claro Cordero, Jr, Local Director and JLL's Head of Research, Consulting and Valuation.

Armed with a database culled from 20 years of experience, JLL starts off by identifying sample of developments to form a basket of properties that will be used to regularly monitor key property metrics (rental rates, capital values and occupancy rates), which are translated into relevant property sector indices. These samples are located in Makati and Bonifacio Global City owing to the mature nature of its markets.

JLL's research team personally and physically visits the developments in these areas and collates data which they analyze and process to ensure accuracy. As a business tool, JLL's research team keeps these data guarded and only supplies their brokers and agents with information after a thorough market analysis. This is to ensure that the research they have gathered maintains its independence and objectivity– uninfluenced by any transactional considerations.

 Composed of a seven-man team, JLL's research team has a core competency in economics, real estate, market analysis and forecasting, location analysis, highest and best use studies, development potential, financial analysis and modelling and investment strategy. Their primary roles are intricately divided into three: research, consultancy and valuation. Admittedly smaller than the teams of their competitors, Cordero stressed the advantage of a lean team. "Here, the mastery of key property metrics gathered in research can be seamlessly used when we conduct market studies and appraisals. We believe that it's an advantage that our researchers also have a good handle at property values in the market so they will know how to effectively translate information gathered from primary sources and make them more grounded in reality."

 Beyond merely collecting data, JLL's research team goes a step further by providing their clients with forward-thinking analysis based on a comprehensive analysis of the past, present and future real estate markets through commissioned market researches and valuation assignments.

 Cordero stressed that engaging a researcher with a wealth of expertise is necessary so that a property owner can be advised on how to position his development, when to develop, who to target as their market and how they can maximize their returns.

JLL's research prowess draws from its extensive knowledge of the real estate markets in Asia Pacific. It has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with over 30,000 employees operating in 80 offices in 16 countries across the region. It serves clients in 80 countries from 1,000 locations worldwide, including 230 corporate offices. As an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, JLL has a current portfolio of approximately 3.4 billion square feet worldwide. Their expertise has been recognized for the second consecutive year at the International Property Awards 2016 when they were declared the "World's Best" in the Property Consultancy category.

Cordero emphasized that for research and advisory work to serve clients well, it has to be objective, credible and strictly adheres to core ethical principles and professional standards. And with JLL, this is a promise they guarantee.

You may access the original article through this link: