Autumn is definitely upon us, and, like many, I've been musing about what the "new school term" holds for real estate investors and developers.

For what it's worth, my thoughts are as follows:-

We live in dynamic times. Whilst yielding significant benefits, the global village phenomenon does increase investors' and developers' sensitivity to factors which previously might have seemed a little off radar.

In this context, it pays to be poised to take informed decisions.  It also pays to have reduced lead times, should you decide you need to take action.

Hence, I will be counselling clients that the prudent approach would be to invest time now in planning for the future and creating maximum "optionality".  

As we all know, with the increased complexity of transactions, "upfront" is where the real value is created, in the early planning stages.

"Managing by fact", means that we have to fully understand our present position, before taking action.

Hence, for a minimal outlay, why not commission now high level reviews of title, planning, construction, finance, environmental, employment and regulatory documentation to assess “fitness for purpose”, and identify gaps or issues requiring corrective action.

The next logical step would be to obtain pragmatic and cost effective advice on tackling issues which impact or might potentially impact on your key objectives.

Budget based options, threat and opportunity analysis, including advice on possible tax planning and structuring opportunities, would also be a wise move.

All of this ground work could be recycled into Reports or Property Summaries for use in later Marketing Materials or Information Memoranda.

Lastly, although not a sexy topic, robust data on demand, in real time, is what life is increasingly about.   Hence, we all need Document Management Systems which create a "single source of truth", so that we can, with speed, capture, analyse, store and disseminate data for a range of different purposes, in differing formats; all whilst complying with relevant corporate and regulatory requirements. Accordingly,  doing some "house keeping" on the creation and maintenance of Document Management Systems and the setting up of Data Rooms, if appropriate, would be no bad idea.