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Program         :  Investment Strategies in Real Estate Program by Harvard GSD Executive Education
Dates               :  April 15 - 16, 2019
Program fee  :  AED12,800  (Please note that all our course fees are subject to a 5% VAT and AED 20 fee for knowledge & innovation)
Duration         :  16 hours
Trainer            :   Mr. Fernando Levy Hara

Program Description:
Globalization has made our world smaller and the real estate development practice highly competitive. Every day more and more real estate developers, architects, designers and urban planners choose to broaden their business by adding international scope. To be successful, we need to build solid international business and design strategies based on different factors, which are distinct for each new location.

Without a clear strategy the risk to fail is too big, because there are too many factors at stake at the same time. As developers, we are the “director of the orchestra”, in charge to develop an “action map” that will show the road through a strategic plan which will help us to lead the project from start to finish.

This program will analyze the real estate development process from the point of view of different project stakeholders: the developer, the equity investors, the lender, etc.

You will go over every phase of the project using the “Eight Phases Model”. From the inception of the idea, we will go to the financial feasibility analysis, the creation of the most efficient legal structure, the determination of the optimal capital structure, up to the end of the construction phase, the project management and commercialization.

You will learn how to identify and evaluate the most critical information and assess all the risks and rewards.

In order to evaluate the full potential of a project we will need to learn how to identify externalities, research in which part of the economic cycle that specific market is, and how to address all these ingredients from a risk and opportunity point of view. You will explore how to take advantage of both expansions and recessions, how to prepare our projects for the next cycle, and how to anticipate and outmaneuver competitors.

In these two days, you will study different business cases about international projects all over the world. By looking at international examples and current best practices, we will learn how to assess, measure, and mitigate the risks we would face in particular countries and markets. Lastly, we will learn how to adapt the design of our projects to different cultural environments, as well as how to “export” good design practices from one side of the world to the other.

As real estate developers, architects, designers, and urban planners we need to understand all these “ingredients” in order to design and implement the best investment strategy for a particular market. However, there are not successful projects if the developer does not possess adequate negotiation skills.

In the second part of the program, we will address best practices for negotiating international details, including different negotiation tactics and strategies, common mistakes, understanding your counterparty’s position and BATNA, and the unique challenges that cross-border negotiations pose. The participants will engage in several negotiation exercises where they will be able to practice new tools. 

The Harvard certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of the program.

Learning Objectives
  • Develop guiding principles for the development of real estate strategies.
  • Understand how to create and contribute to a successful real estate investment strategic plan in international markets.
  • Final Outcome: Preliminary guiding principles and method to develop a flexible "action-map”. Identify priority areas for further investigation. Deep-dives into such areas will be addressed in future, more specific programs.
  • Nine sessions with both theory and practical portions; the two-day workshop is highly interactive and active participation of all attendees is required.
  • The structure of the two days will include the study of several business cases, a look at international examples and current best practices, identification of stakeholders, and analyses of new paradigms.
  • Final session will provide a re-usable “action-map” and highlights the need for a broader approach of strategic investments.
  • Participants will learn how to protect investments – theirs and their clients - from risks while discussing: currency hedging; leverage, cross border portfolio, and the most efficient investment structures.
  • Learn the theory behind the real estate cycle in order to anticipate its behavior and make rational investment and design decisions;
  • Understand the different external factors that can affect real estate investments around the world;
  • Understand negotiation dynamics to prepare yourself – on behalf of your organization, or on behalf of your client – to understand parties’ respective interests, claim and create value, and resolve differences to close a deal; and,
  • Learn how different cultural environments can shape the design of our projects.
  • The Eight Stages of the Real Estate Development Process:
    • The Inception and Refinement of the Idea,
    • The Feasibility Study,
    • Contract Negotiation,
    • Legal Structure,
    • The Search of the Optimal Capital Structure,
    • Construction Phase,
    • Marketing,
    • Property Management.

About the Instructor:
FERNANDO LEVY HARA is an instructor at Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education and principal principal and co-founder of Aventura, Florida-based McKafka Development Group. He serves as a Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, as well as the Broker and Founder of McKafka Realty, LLC, one of three separate divisions under the company umbrella. Mr. Levy Hara also operates G&D Developers, a development company founded in 1985. G&D Developers currently has offices in Argentina, Uruguay, and the U.S. With this company he has planned, designed and developed more than 1 million square feet of commercial and residential projects in South and Central Florida, including Bayview Lofts and Regatta, both in Miami Beach, Florida, and One Aventura Executive Center in Aventura, Florida. Prior to this, he worked as a designer and developer in Buenos Aires from 1988 to 2001 completing more than 1.3 million square feet of residential and commercial development. Mr. Levy Hara is a contributor and guest columnist for several real estate publications and is often called upon for authoritative commentary on real estate panels and at seminars. He wrote in 2010 as a co-author the book "El arte de Financiar Proyectos lnmobiliarios" ("The Art of Financing Real Estate Projects"), published in Argentina by Bienes Raices Ediciones. He is Professor of Real Estate Development in the Master in Urban Economy at Universidad Di Tella in Buenos Aires, and he is a LEED-AP certified by the US Green Building Council. He is Vice Chairman of the Aventura Marketing Council, Trustee Member of the  Argentina-Florida Chamber of Commerce, and a Member of the Business Tax Equity Advisory Board of the City of Aventura, Florida. Mr. Levy Hara was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received his Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of Buenos Aires in 1989, as well as his Masters in Urban Economy degree from the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in 1999, where he has been a frequent guest lecturer and a professor of Real Estate Development since 2005. In 2010, Mr. Levy Hara graduated from the Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate (AMDP) at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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