RE-TOOLING COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CURRICULA

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

Hear that huge shattering sound of multiple stories of glass crashing down to the ground? That is the shattering of decades’ worth of commercial real estate concepts that don’t work anymore.
The sad part is that many in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) market need to tune into this deafening thunder. The status quo has been shattered and shattered again. As I said in an earlier article: (http://onpurposemagazine.com/2013/02/20/defining-21st-century-real-estate-2/ )

Selling products and services into this 21st century integrated real estate environment requires an expertise in understanding multi-disciplinary skills and next-generation solutions. It is a multi-level sell when trying to promote new intelligent amenities for next-generation buildings, multi-venue entertainment centers, and intelligent business campuses.

New real estate concepts are not that new, they just have not been adopted as quickly as they should be by CRE professionals. Want to sell high-tech real estate into today’s sophisticated market? These are the people you need to sell to:

  • The Building Owner (Property Owner)
  •  The Developer
  • The Financier
  • The Property Manager
  • The Leasing Agent
  • The Tenant(s)
  • The Media (Yes, the media because they can help sell the whole package or they can kill it by not presenting its unique qualities because they don’t understand it.)

Look at the graduate school curriculum at most major universities in the United States. Real estate curricula are at best, based in the 1950s and at worst, in the 1850s. Is that an exaggeration? They don’t even have one course on Intelligent Buildings and Intelligent Buildings have been around for 30 years.

VW_DRESDENExcept for some universities in Asia, the University of Reading in Great Britain and one in Dubai, most schools teaching real estate have not added degree programs or even single courses that should be out there to train today’s graduates on tomorrow’s building amenities.

Sometimes Intelligent Building strategies are mutually exclusive. Before real estate companies can set any strategy, everyone has to agree on what the organization’s direction is.

How can you set a direction, if you really don’t know the advanced concepts, let alone the fundamental principles of intelligent real estate? How can you develop the right mix of buildings and amenities for a target market? How can you sell prospective corporate tenants?

Some schools might argue that they have a “Special Topics” course that include “emerging trends” but Intelligent Buildings should have had their own course by now, if not a whole section of courses dedicated to these new concepts.

WHAT SHOULD BE IN A CURRICULUM?

There already should be courses on:

  • Intelligent Building Concepts (A general overview to get familiar with terminology as well as basic applied principles),
  • Intelligent Infrastructure (the Platform for Commerce which focuses on supporting regional economic development), and
  • Courses on next-generation Real Estate:
    • Intelligent Business Campuses (IBCs) (the next-generation business campus, industrial park or technical campus. IIP is the acronym used in Asia for an IBC.)
    • Intelligent Infrastructure (II) (supportive infrastructure like power grids and broadband connectivity)
    • Intelligent Retail/ Entertainment/ Convention Center complexes (IRECs) (Study of multi-venue campuses of retail stores, entertainment/restaurant centers and convention and/or sports arena built to provide new Smartphone applications that cross-market the products and services of those businesses within the “umbrella” of the DAS (Distributed Antennae System) wireless network.)

The problem is that different spheres of disciplines are starting to intersect and overlap with each other. The dynamics of most schools is to teach a single discipline and a single focus.

Today, four diverse spheres are intersecting at critical junctures, curricula need courses that discuss the combined concepts of these new converged principles and how they impact the market.

The more graduates who have a grasp of the new multi-disciplinary focus, the more effective their ongoing leadership and team management will become as the real estate industry evolves.

CARLINI-ISM: There are no experts in this emerging industry. The best you can be is a good student – always learning.
Copyright 2013 – James Carlini

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