j0438951.jpgBy Miguel Hernández, Director of the Advanced Programme in Real Estate Business Management at IE Business School. Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

At times of uncertainty, such as the present, it is of fundamental importance to consider the basic principles and concepts on which real estate is based. We have had such frenetic years that daily routine has taken away our mid-term vision and perspective. I also remember where we have come from. Accordingly, I consider five questions and offer one thought on the current situation.

What is understood by the â??real estate sectorâ??
In recent years, the sector has become so sophisticated that the activity related to real estate has very different focuses when seen from the viewpoints of product, location, operators, capitals and demand.

What may be a crisis for developers is an opportunity for demand and, what is seen as the contraction of finance opens up the door to higher profitability for own resources. There are areas in the world where cycles come to an end and there are others where they begin. There are product segments that run out and others that offer better investment possibilities.

In short, we can speak of a residential crisis in Spain for developers and banks, but there are also high levels of profitability to be gained from investments in Russia or Turkey in the development of low-geared shopping centres.

Can we speak of only one â??real estate sectorâ??
Does an apartment developer, a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) trader or a listed company analyst speak about real estate? Of course they do, but the part of the sector in which each one is interested is completely different. Everything is related, but there is a â??level of technologyâ? that is so specific for all the operators in the sector that it is almost impossible for the information on each area to be consistent. Indeed, work is carried out independently.

This graph shows investment outlooks by asset type and reveals the numerous alternatives by product, geographical location and investment format.

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Students must think out of the box: IE Dean Iniguez

Interior of IE Business School facilities in MadridThis article was written by May George and published at South China Morning Post on August 16.

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees exist in abundance worldwide. They are there to help business executives and entrepreneurs learn the rudiments of finance, accounting and management. But the dean of the IE Business School in Madrid, Santiago Iniguez de Ozono, feels that business schools, while teaching management skills, are neglecting to teach their students creativity.

One distinctive feature of our MBA programme is entrepreneurship,” said Professor Iniguez. “It is not just us who talks about this but also recruiters and students, who talk about this entrepreneurial verve in our graduates, regardless whether they work for a large corporation, a family business or create their own company. This is something very distinctive. We ask core participants to create their own businesses. We also have a venture lab. We also tell them about the many opportunities on the web and what opportunities the new technological environment will bring them.”
Professor Iniguez feels that business schools should take more responsibility in ensuring their students learn more creativity in their studies; out-of-the-box thinking that adds value to the set subjects that every other business school teaches.

In Hong Kong, Kevin Au Yuk-fai, associate professor at the Department of Management and associate director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Chinese University, agrees. He said that one of the distinctive features of the Faculty of Business Administration’s MBA course was entrepreneurship, allowing students to think for themselves and create business scenarios while sometimes working in a multidisciplinary team.

“I tend to agree with [Mr Iniguez]…

It’s quite difficult for a lot of the business students to be creative. Thereâ??s been a long debate in business schools on whether business schools should be professional schools or a research school. In recent years, it looks like the research school side has been dominant. To a certain extent the schools are looking for ranking and research is something that the ranking system will look into.”

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