Consulting: from quantity to quality





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08.12.2009 14:57
Since late last year in connection with the global financial crisis the real estate market in Ukraine is going through a protracted recession. In this difficult situation, many companies can not independently make responsible decisions, and forced to turn to professionals - consulting firms. How do they work today, have changed if they offer packages and service charges?

Because of the economic crisis, which, unfortunately, quite seriously hurt, and the real estate market, the demand for services of consulting firms in the domestic real estate market declined significantly. Decline in demand is directly linked with the difficulties faced by developers in the absence of funding and the availability of a high debt load. Lost interest and the services of consultants not associated with development activities. But in the late summer situation began to stabilize, many companies have new clients and customers.
It should be noted that earlier consulting market participants noted that in the first months of crisis, demand for consulting services has grown dramatically. Many developers need to change the parameters of the objects or the calculation of profitability of the project in a crisis. But in the end, most developers have decided to simply freeze the project until better times. At the same time, the consulting market in real estate developed its own anti-crisis proposals. Along with open dumping advisers have begun offering new services: a snapshot of the project, evaluation, refinancing, reconception areas, etc.

Seven times measure

Consulting on real estate market has always existed. Mutates it, depending on economic conditions in the country, competition and other professional and well-rounded performance in Western companies, and an intuitive, empirical, often emotional in the performance of domestic companies. Over time, it is understood that not all Western techniques are equally effective working with us. On the other hand, the most successful domestic operators have to learn from foreign expertise. If at the beginning of its activities, many consulting companies have worked, for example, only in commercial real estate, then after a short time they began to provide services in other sectors.
In the last year before the crisis, many investors, developers and realtors in one voice declared that the property market came "in a civilized stage of development, consumers have become more discriminating, and therefore not every project is successful. Before you invest, you need seven times to measure, calculate and analyze - only in this case, you can count on the success of any project.
Currently, according to experts, the main purpose of consulting services is to increase the efficiency of real estate transactions in the current market conditions and taking into account the perspectives of its development. That is important to create a product that correspond to consumer preferences and potential investors. This will enable investors to realize a project with maximum benefit and optimal timing.
From what steps is the same advice? The first phase - selection and evaluation of the site, the second - development of the format of the future facility and a feasibility study and, finally, the third stage - consulting in the implementation phase of the project. Next, it all depends on the customer's wishes. For example, today is the management service most in demand.

New - well forgotten old?

Head rental company "Ukrainian Trade Guild" ("UTG") Eugene Loktionova says: "In 2009, the most common of our service management has become - like maintenance and management of complex objects. This year, our company has been run by three OBI hypermarket and two major shopping centers in the regions - the SEC "Kiev" in Poltava and the SEC, Global UA »in the Zhytomyr. In addition, in the near future "under the gun" start working on the maintenance with another large chain of hypermarkets, which has more than 20 objects. Others consulting services such as research, concept development, analysis of investment attractiveness of the plots and renting commercial and office space and others, are not new to our company, we provide such services have long been. "
"New services of our company is mainly touched on the retail property market. In circumstances where market operators are increasingly dependent on consumer spending of the population (which is still very unstable), shopping malls drew more attention to attracting visitors to your facility. Marketing of shopping centers and associated services to the process have become our new line of work ", - said Maria Mironkin, director of strategic consulting company NAI Pickard. Here the important and hitherto remained dormant methodology for assessing the effectiveness of promotional activities. After all, as they say, "I know exactly what I spent half the funds for advertising thrown to the wind, but do not know what it is." "Here, we provide our clients with the opportunity not only to attract people to the mall, but do it with the economic cost" - emphasizes Ms. Mironkin.
Services to attract visitors to shopping centers and new in its pricing: fees may apply to have the results of operations. In other words, it is a percentage of the amount of additional money received from the trade center attract additional visitors.
Among the most relevant services provided by consulting companies and experts are currently isolated due diligence of the project needed when buying a business or project. This examination consists of analysis of legal documentation, marketing characteristics, economic indicators, etc. The estimation of the viability of the existing marketing and architectural concepts, the technical expertise of project documentation, or building, assessment of risks in obtaining permits.
It is important that each of the works in this comprehensive examination of specialized professionals are involved. Conclusion is not based on expert assessments of averages, and is considered the very essence of the issue in terms of real capacity to implement the project or the operation of the facility and that future expected profits.

Day tomorrow

For the year, passed with the crisis, largely changed the essence of the work and approaches that are in demand at present. "If earlier we were told" we have very little time and a lot of money - hurry up ", then today we hear" we have enough time but little money - not in a hurry. " Many consulting companies previously were actually factories for the production of concepts for real estate. The focus in these situations puts in, but not the quality that the original wrong. Although pipelined approach is then dictated the market "- said Maria Mironkin.
Today, customers become more demanding, experts say, because the cost of failure is far much higher than previously. Wasted $ 50-60 thousand faded against the background of millions that swirled in real estate before the crisis. Currently, the amount on the order below is sufficient argument to "squeeze" the maximum at the stage of consulting. "Under pressure from increased demands increasing the quality of services in the market average. Random companies operating in this market, ceased to exist, or concentrated his remaining forces on the agency services ", - experts say the company NAI Pickard.
According to experts, "Ukrainian Trade Guild, the relevance of consulting services has not declined but instead increased. For objective reasons, only narrowed the circle of companies that such services are needed. We also can not say that much has changed types of services that are bought most often: is still in demand are the development of concepts / reconception real estate, recruitment of tenants for retail space. You can only talk about increased interest in the audit of projects and existing properties.
Specialists in one voice say that the demand for consulting services will occur in the future. However, many say that will change the quality of this demand. "For example, before the crisis, the customer belonged to the concept as a beautiful decoration of its object. In response, some consultants that way and doing their job "- said Maria Mironkin.
Today, the demand weighted authoritative position, taking into account multiple scenarios, focusing on possible threats and risks, informed recommendations to start work, or rejection of an international experience.
"In all likelihood, the market structure will not change significantly. The most difficult times have passed and we see that the composition of the major players has not changed. The market has left only one company. Others have adapted to the new conditions, have focused on certain areas or new services. Probably worth talking about qualitative changes in the market - the work of consulting companies to become more qualitative, approach to clients - more than the individual "- sums up Eugene Loktionova.

Despite everything, we can say with certainty that the demand for consulting services will grow. Possible risks and minimize budgets and increased competition will require managers to a more professional approach, the decisions of organizational and personnel problems. It is the consultants will tell managers about the correct methods of evaluation of new management technologies, will help to evaluate all of the strengths and weaknesses of the company and the project and develop the most effective control strategy.

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