Real Estate - Methodology
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Real Estate - Methodology

This survey provides a qualitative and quantitative review of the best services in real estate, organized by geography and areas of service. It is an objective guide to the various players in real estate worldwide.

In order to make fair comparisons we have set definitions of each category by function. So in each category, irrespective of a firm's self-definition, we should be addressing the same functional purpose. A number of companies are active across the functional categories. The six categories we have rated are as follows:

Investment managers: companies that make direct or indirect and public or private investments in real estate on behalf of others. There is a difference between the various forms of investing, but the functional aspect of their business is to invest in real estate on behalf of others. This group was rated by investors, investment banks, and real estate advisers. This group rated investment banks and real estate advisers.

Investment banks: these companies provide a variety of financial services to the real estate industry, from securitizing a mortgage portfolio to financing a real estate transaction or pioneering a derivative market these banks are innovating in the real estate market and providing service to every sector. Investment banks in real estate often conduct much of the same tasks as the real estate advisers, from brokerage to research and valuation and there is a niche group of specialist real estate investment banks. This group rated their peers, the investment managers, and the developers. They were rated by the developers and investment managers.

Real estate advisory firms: these firms carry out valuation, brokerage, agency/letting, and research services as well as conducting real estate services for corporations and giving legal and tax advice. They have for the most part stayed away from financial transactions. Although the services carried out by this group can often be done at a very small niche level, there are a number of global players and some local country players providing many of these services. This group rated their peers, investment managers and developers as well as property managers. They were rated by developers, peers, and investment managers.

Commercial bankers: these banks are, for the most part, dedicated to the financing of real estate developments through the loan book although other forms of financing can also be arranged. This group rated their peers, developers and property managers.

Developers: these companies create and renovate property product. They are the creative dynamic for real estate investment opportunities. A number of developers have construction and financing arms but we looked at them purely for their ability to create product for investment. The developers rated commercial banks, investment banks, and real estate advisers and were rated in turn by all three.

Property managers: these companies maximize the return to investors from real estate property by managing the day-to-day operations and so play an important role in the market. They were rated by commercial banks, investment banks, real estate advisers and investment managers.

The qualitative aspect of the survey was produced by the 1,499 nominations we collected from across the different surveyed groups. All nominations are kept confidential.

The quantitative aspect of the survey relied first and foremost on the supplied survey responses. These surveys measured corporate figures such as net income and turnover both across the group and for real estate specifically. It also captured distinct sets of data such as the breakdown of a commercial banks real estate portfolio by development type, measured investment manager fund performances, and looked at the top transactions of the investment banks and real estate advisers. These sets of data were assigned weightings to produce an overall score for each survey respondent. Where the data was not provided directly, our research team collected annual reports (where applicable), to help fill out the full body of information. All results are kept confidential.

The country and regional awards are based on scores formed from a combination of survey responses (30%) and peer nominations (70%). The rankings for the best globally and all sub-categories are based on scores from nominations only.

This is our first year producing a survey of this kind. We believe that we have produced a fair and informative methodology that can only become more accurate as the industry participates in greater numbers in the years to come. We also expect to amass greater depth of information in each country in future years.

A special thanks must go out to our team of researchers: Anna Baranova, Da Ly Nguyen, Leonore Aldag, Subhadra Evans and, in particular, Kalin Trifonov. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Kapila Monet at or +44 207 779 8593.

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