Overview The major assignment will consist of a research-based report-writing task. The rationale for this type of assessment task is to permit a deeper level of investigation, discovery, and self-learning by students, beyond replicating the study book or weekly power point topic format of the unit. The required volume of work and length of the completed assignment submission ranges is 2,500 of ‘net’ ‘core’ content, based on an individually-attempted assignment report. Students will have a choice of either two (2) nominated topics for the study, research and reporting functions of the assignment. In order for students to be eligible for a distinction or high distinction grade it will be necessary to include at least two (2) field based (preferably face to face but one may be either phone or e-mail) interviews with senior industry practising commercial property or asset managers or other similar kindred property professionals. Inclusion of acknowledgements, business cards is mandatory. All file communications, assignment field notes, calculations and workings must be included in submissions. Assistance provided by all persons must be acknowledged (capacities, designations, organisations, phone contact numbers). Further, the explicit existence and extent of (if so applicable) any report (research/investment/valuation, industry-fee paying or otherwise) must be clearly identified when relied upon in reaching and considering final conclusions. It is insufficient to settle for mere reporting of the data you collect. Additionally and continuously you will analyse, interpret and evaluate the data you report upon whilst progressing the narrative. This means inserting your own personal comments, insights and evaluations at periodic junctures within your text. The unit coordinator desires to hear ‘your voice’. Technically-correct in-text Harvard referencing is a mandatory requirement in this research-based assignment report. High quality marks as per marking criteria usually exhibit pictures, colour graphics, multiple, extensive and diverse source referencing and a solid coherent conclusion. The prime perspective and overarching expectation is that students give due weight emphasis and sufficient discussion of the implications resulting from research that directly impact upon commercial property management practice. Details You are to choose one (1) of the following two (2) topics outlined below: Topic 1 Current and future implications for commercial property managers due to structural change in the Australian economy. The global financial crisis has origins which can be well-identified. However, the severity of the crisis was not at all well-forecast despite complex assumptions underpinning econometric modelling. There have been leading and lagged effects impacting on Australian equity, investment and property market sectors with some celebrated companies and developments succumbing. Your sub-tasks in the main body of the assignment report for this topic are as follows: Analyse and evaluate the ramifications of the post GFC climate in present day terms. Demonstrate this by choosing a representative commercial sub-market class (i.e. commercial-office-buildings, retail or industrial) as a mini case study. This sector must be situated in a well-defined regional or sub regional location. Describe and comment on both the positive and detrimental impacts exerted upon the financial performance of your chosen mini-case-study sub-market sector and the manner in which the movement in property financial and investment metrics (i.e. rents, vacancy rates, outgoings levels, the financial health of commercial tenants, yields, and reported capital values) is both exhibited and evidenced. Utilise market reports, industry journal-articles, media and direct industry field-interviews as research sources). Provide a future forecast as to where you think the economy and the relative vibrancy of your selected commercial property market sector in broad terms, and its placement at the end of 2017 with reference to both economic and property market cycles. What are the key conditions enabling improvement and/or decline within commercial property management sector of the industry? Extensive interviews with transcripts annexed tend to be the hallmark of securing a successful grade in this regard. This section is paramount in securing in excess of 50 per cent of the allocated marks accorded in the marking criteria matrix delineated circa page 7 following. What strategies, initiatives or programs were undertaken and importantly what obstacles were overcome or solved by managers? CPMs manage vacancies, rental arrears, lease negotiations, reviews, property inspections, coordinate repairs & maintenance and liaise with statutory bodies It is imperative and expected that detailed, analysed case study dollar ($) amount costings/benefits are canvassed. h Hint: Your 200600 Week 10 study book will be of substantial initial assistance in approaching this topic; but students are required to conduct direct industry interviews inviting and testing expert and topical opinions in respect to all the aforementioned sub tasks. Immediately following is a brief recent example illustrating both the benefits of harnessing interviews and the continuing ramifications of a post GFC investment environment. http://blog.corelogic.com.au/2016/02/commercial-market-update-norwest-cityscope-4/ ‘What do you think are among the biggest challenges facing your industry? From an asset management perspective: Tighter debt markets following the GFC, leading to many financiers looking to de-risk by lending with shorter durations and more restrictive covenants and being more selective about the assets to lend against. The recent financial planning reforms have required many fund management firms to reassess their equity distribution channels. Disclosure requirements continue to increase in terms of volume and type of information, as well as the frequency of reporting both in terms of financial metrics and non-financial information extending now to areas such as sustainability and environment reporting. With continuing weak and uncertain global economic conditions, many investors will continue the ‘flight to quality’. http://news.api.org.au/article/458608/driving_ambitions/ Topic 2 The principles and practice of ecological sustainability, and their present and future implications for Australian commercial property management practice. The concept of sustainability, and principles associated with the concept of green buildings are factors of great concern and importance to the Australian commercial property sector. Many well-established principles under the generic term Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) have been embraced in Australian Federal and State Government Legislation. Local Government have followed suit with new ESD related responsibilities and statutory obligations compliance regimes placed upon it. Yet the question remains as to what extent, and how effectively have these principles and green thinking in a sustainability context been embraced by the Australian commercial property sector? Your sub-tasks in the main body of the assignment report for this topic are as follows: Succinctly describe how and when the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) came into being, and the various Green Building Rating Tools created. https://www.gbca.org.au/green-star/green-star-design-as-built/ . Similarly, but briefly yet adequately explain the rationale` of the former Australian Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme (ABGR), and the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). http://www.nabers.com.au/page.aspx?cid=533 andsite=2 The federal government’s 2010 Mandatory Disclosure of Commercial Building Energy Efficiency legislation only applies to buildings or tenancies over 2,000 sq. m upon lease or sale. This is a fast moving area with many overlapping codes. Please note the insertion of Reading 12.2 in the BoR and vUWS posting. It is produced by an independent property consultancy providing a good succinct but reasonably comprehensive overview of the recent Act’s implications and ramifications for CPMs. Analyse and provide evaluative report commentary on the prevailing sentiment, and the levels of commitment shown by the commercial property investment sector in Australia, in a generalised sense - in respect to all concepts and principles including the advent of green buildings. What implications do green buildings have for the operational functions and responsibilities of commercial property managers in Australia – both now and in the future? This key section should comprise the bulk of analysis and discussion of practitioner issues and accordingly will account for in excess of 50 per cent of marks for the main report body contents allocation. Capex, payback periods and impacts on financial budgets should be canvassed.Note the reference to rooftop gardens & NBN rollout. Consider green lease issues: http://www.dexus.com/articles/research/2016/october/australian-real-estate-quarterly-review-q4-2016 i Note: You may use a single commercial-investment property (preferably a multiple-occupancy building, and of meaningful and significant-enough size e.g. a medium or high-rise office building would be a great example) as a mini case study to demonstrate the various issues and points you cover in your generalised treatment of this topic. h Hint: The monthly journal of the Property Council of Australia, entitled Property Australia, has contained excellent treatment and coverage of the ESD topic in recent years – including case studies. i Note: Your Week 12 200600 study book, BoR and vUWS posted power points may be of some initial assistance.