The real estate developer myth

Growing up, I assumed all real estate developers started out as wealthy insiders.  Greedy aristocrats who inherited land and had impeccable family connections to advance their development interests.  That may be the truth in some cases, but the majority of real life developers I have met over my career do not fit that mythological mold.

One of the first real estate developers I met, immigrated from Sri Lanka to Welland, Ontario.  I cannot imagine ...

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Andrew Garrett
Three surprising reasons you are not getting ahead at work

There was a smart guy I met through a professional real estate association.  Let’s call him Dan.  Dan is a very likeable young professional who travels, teaches, and is a real estate tax expert.  He has such a strong grasp of the municipal tax code that he helps his employer deal with complicated tax issues for large real estate assets.  He asked me one day for advice on figuring out why he was not getting ahead in his career.  There are a number factors to consider, but I told him ..

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Andrew Garrett
How do you find real estate developers who are hiring?

He’s professional and prepared.  Sitting with his leatherbound notebook and sharp suit, he tells me he has researched on-line and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), all the major real estate developers in Canada to find out who was hiring.  I knew right away, he had only seen the tip of the iceberg of opportunities.  Unfortunately, he like many other young professionals have missed over 90% of the real estate employers in just the Toronto development community.  I knew this because ...

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Andrew Garrett
Think Twice Before Becoming a Developer

Many people dream of revitalizing a community with a new state of the art real estate development. They picture themselves building the perfect solution to the Cities' problems. Creating the right balance of design, quality, and utility. The hard truth is most of us just are not ready to lead a real estate development ... yet.

I recently attended a master class in film-making ..

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Andrew Garrett
B-Certified: A Better Way to do Real Estate

A select number of North American developers are forging a new path, where people, planet, and profit have equal standing on the balance sheet

Every corporation wants to convince you of their inherent goodness. And their PR people know all the right buttons to push: “dedicated to the community”; “a greener way of life”; “leaving the world a better place.” Images of healthy ecosystems and happy people are abundant in advertising for a reason. But the extent to which these marketing clichés reflect actual practices that benefit society at large, not just the corporation, is impossible to discern without some form of third-party verification.

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Andrew Garrett
Numbers Do Not Speak For Themselves
"I just looked at your spreadsheet. We are going to approve your development!!"

(quote said by nobody ever) 

I have spent most of my career building and evaluating spreadsheet financial models (proformas) for dozens of developers, lenders, and institutions.  I have worked on financial models from sophisticated to 'shoe box' simple.  It is tempting ...

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Andrew Garrett