Residential Real Estate Benchmarking Exercise
InfoPro conducted a study for a large regional holding group with specialties in retail, leisure, and real estate. The study aimed at understanding the current market situation with regards to residential real estate and specifically to benchmark the service charges and services of existing master community projects in Lebanon in comparison to a project that they are constructing. InfoPro extracted from its own Real Estate Databases, real estate projects that are similar to the project under study. InfoPro then conducted in-depth interviews with the developers and facility community managers of these projects. The interviews provided information pertaining to the level of service delivered in the selected projects, service charge budgets, measures undertaken that can affect reduce the costs, and the unique selling points of the developments.
Assessment of Retail Real Estate Study
A large real estate company was interested in assessing leasing pricing strategy for Saifi Village, Beirut Souks, and the Foch / Allenby area. The project entailed that InfoPro 1) Provide an overview of malls which The company considers to be competition including retail mix, units sizes, foot fall among other pertinent issues 2) Identify the rental rates for retail real estate in competitive malls 3) Identify the rental rates of street front outlets located in Foch/Allenby, Park Avenue, and Saifi neighborhood. To gather and validate relevant data, InfoPro relied on three sources of information 1) Desk research 2) Mapping outlets at competitive malls 3) In-depth Interviews with mall developers and 4) In-depth Interviews with retailers. The desk research provided an overview of the existing shopping malls and specifically their gross leasable area, number of outlets, retail mix etc. While the mapping exercise helped InfoPro identify the retail mix of competing malls. InfoPro supplemented the desk research and the mapping exercise with interviews with the mall developers to gather information on the sales rate, vacancy vs. occupancy rates, and yearly footfall at each of the existing malls. InfoPro also carried-out interviews with retailers available in shopping malls and main retail areas. The aim of the interviews will was two-fold: 1) to confirm the information provided by the mall developers (for those located in malls) and 2) to provide information on the rent / charges that they are paying, size of their outlets, types of contracts that they have among other details which the mall developers might not divulge. The above allowed the company to plan its leasing strategy for Beirut Souks and for its outlets in the Foch/Allenby, Park Avenue, and Saifi neighborhood.
Retail, Hospitality, Office, and Real Estate Assessment
An international commercial developer was involved in a joint venture to develop a mixed-use project in a suburb of Beirut. The client in developing the proposed site wanted to assess the feasibility of the project and the various real estate segments under consideration: office, residential, leisure, hospitality, and retail. In order to assess the optimal mix for the location, InfoPro carried-out a supply and demand analysis. The aim of analysis was to provide an economic overview of Lebanon and the Greater Beirut area, the competition level across the various segments under study, the success / failings of the competition, demand drivers and generators, preferred features and facilities, in addition to new and potential development projects currently under construction. For the office segment, InfoPro interviewed real estate developers, brokers, and experts. The interviews provided information on current and future trends, competitiveness, and demand. InfoPro covered well-known commercial/office hubs in the Greater Beirut area. These included Beirut Central District, Hamra, Verdun, Dbayeh highway, Ashrafieh, and Kaslik. For the residential real estate segment, InfoPro relied on its real estate databases and in-depth interviews with developers. InfoPro provided a general overview of the supply and demand in Greater Beirut specifically for high-end projects. The mapping of high-end projects enabled the client to gather information on the financing provided by developers, profile of target market (locals, expatriates, tourists), occupancy rates, services and facilities most in demand, in addition to unit sizes and divisions. For the retail real estate segment, InfoPro assessed street front shopping hubs and malls. InfoPro gathered feedback from retailers and retail real estate brokers on the trends in demand in the catchment area and their views on future trends. InfoPro also assessed the hospitality market and specifically hotels in order to provide the client with an overview of the various hotel categories available in Greater Beirut area. The assessment included performance data by category, tourist data gathered through desk research and interviews with tour operators in order to evaluate demand across various hotel categories. InfoPro also assessed their perception of impact of future supply on ARR, RevPAR, and occupancy. The market assessment of the segments under study allowed the client to assess the most optimal mix to be included in location.
Retail Real Estate Market Study
An international client was planning to develop a large mall in a suburb of Beirut. The client wished to gain in-depth information on the market supply and demand of retail real estate in Administrative Beirut and Mount Lebanon. In order to reach the client’s objectives, InfoPro utilized a multi-faceted methodology which included reviewing all available credible sources through desk research, conducting face-to-face interviews with consumers residing in the catchment area under study, and conducting in-depth interviews with retailers, retail real estate developers, and real estate brokers. The desk research helped InfoPro identify the population distribution and growth in the catchment area under study. The face-to-face interviews helped identify the shopping patterns of consumers and also their retail expenditure which in combination with the desk research allowed InfoPro to forecast the retail expenditure of the entire catchment area. The in-depth interviews with retailers, revealed insights such as their preferences with regards to the amenities / services to be provided by malls, the optimal outlet size for their retail category, preferred neighbouring outlets among other issues which allowed the client to decide on the optimal retail mix. InfoPro was also able to identify the price they paid per square meter whether in a mall or in a street front outlet which would eventually allow the client to allocate their price strategy. The credibility of the information provided was verified by also conducting interviews with retail real estate developers and real estate brokers.
Price Assessment of Retail Real Estate
A mall operator was interested in assessing the supply and demand for retail real estate across the main shopping malls and shopping souks in Lebanon. On the supply front, the client wanted to investigate the rental rates charged, rent evolution for the past five years, the facilities / services provided, footfall, and the leasing terms. On the demand front, they want to assess the preferences of retailers with regards to the retail mix, outlet sizes, facilities / services provided, and any issues which they considered problematic at their current location. InfoPro to meet the objectives of the study conducted in-depth interviews with 58 retailers that were present in Le Mall (Sin El Fil), City Mall, Beirut Souks, Beirut Mall, Verdun 732, and Verdun 730, in addition to retailers located in prominent shopping souks such as Downtown, Verdun, Hamra and Kaslik. The study covered outlets across a variety of categories such as clothes, shoes, accessories, entertainment, gadgets, electronics, restaurants and cafés, make‐up and body care products. The information was categorized according to the location of the outlets in shopping malls and main retail areas in order to capture price variations. InfoPro selected outlets that were located on different floor levels, in proximity to anchor stores, near the entrance, near the food court etc. InfoPro also conducted interviews with retail real estate experts who were able to provide a general overview of the retail real estate scene. The findings helped management re-assess their leasing strategy and retail mix.
Market Assessment of Student Housing in Administrative Beirut
The client was interested in developing a student housing project in the Administrative Beirut area and wanted to assess supply and demand of student housing across both university dormitories and furnished apartments. To achieve the objectives of the study, InfoPro recommended a multi-faceted methodology which includes desk research, in-depth interviews with the owners of furnished apartments, and in-depth interviews with university officials responsible for dormitories in the Administrative Beirut area. Through desk research, InfoPro was able to review all secondary sources available on student housing. These included data available through the Ministry of Tourism and Syndicate of Engineers and which helped in identifying current and upcoming supply. InfoPro conducted in-depth interviews with university officials and the owners of furnished apartments in the area under study. The interviews helped identify the specifications of available supply, rental rates, marketing efforts undertaken, occupancy rates, supply and demand trends in the market, in addition to other pertinent information. This enabled the client to reach clear cut conclusions as to the feasibility of the project and the specifications of the furnished apartments most in demand.