Future Value:  Real estate product development and implementation

Q&A with Joe McClure, McClure Consulting LLC

Q. What exactly is the service delivered under this concept?

A. In brief, designing and managing a process by which property values are maximized. While each process will differ, common components include: 

  • Defining strategic direction for the property at all phases:  analytical, design, construction, marketing, etc.
  • Using a series of “requirement scans,” each at a greater level of detail, to funnel down to defining the essentials of what the property needs with minimum cost and results that transfer through the project phases.
  • Coordinating the selection, timing & phasing, work scopes and budgets, etc. of specific professionals, and the cross-communication among them and the owner.
  • Maintaining an accounting of the relationship of costs to potential returns, in a format that starts at a basic level of detail and scales up with each phase of the project, and making recommendations accordingly.

We are in essence information managers and strategists, for any property owner seeking to maximize value with minimal investment and for property developers committed to major investments in either raw land development or redevelopment.

Q. Isn’t this the job of the owner or developer?

A. In some cases, the owner/developer will have full capability to manage a project and use our services as a “second opinion” both for their own purposes and to provide additional assurances to partners, including public-agency partners. In other cases we will augment the owner/developer’s management team to add additional perspective and also just dedicate the time that the owner/developer and their people do not have.

Q. What qualifies your firm to do this work?

A. We have a multi-disciplinary team that allows us to have a “survey level” knowledge and understanding of the essential phases of property assessment and development. As the firm’s principal my 40-plus-year background alone includes real estate market and financial analysis, project economic/fiscal impact analysis, regional economic analysis, real estate land sales, architecture, and urban planning. We also have additional urban planning, sustainability, and design programming/analysis expertise in the firm. Our network of trusted experts in related fields can always be tapped to supplement expertise very efficiently. Property owners/developers retain us to supplement, not replace, their development-business expertise.

Q. Why wouldn’t an owner/developer just work with a large multi-disciplinary firm, with engineering, planning, architecture, etc. in-house, to provide these services, or a design-build firm.

A. Our role is to extract maximum value from service-providers, in the context of strategic, analytically derived objectives, while minimizing our own project footprint. The types of firms you describe are highly suited to some types of projects, in which case the product development process is simply different – there is still a need to ensure that efforts are strategically coordinated and cost/risk-minimized.

Q. How much control should a firm like yours, under this service concept, have on a property enhancement/development project?

A. Every owner/developer is positioned differently in this respect, and our level of influence is dependent on the client’s management style, experience with engineering/design/construction professionals and specific firms, time and other resources available, etc.