MPRE Master of Planning with Real Estate

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Strategic Asset Management

Unit code PLAN41051
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Environment, Education and Development
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This unit will introduce students to the role of the asset manager, primarily from the perspective of commercial property investment.  It will cover both the strategic aims and the tactical approaches that are used in the pro-active asset management of a real estate portfolio. 

An important part of this course unit is the use of a ‘virtual portfolio’ comprising a variety of properties, with individual risk profiles, for which management information, typical of that found in UK practice, will be provided.  Principles and techniques of asset management are considered in the lectures and then discussed in the context of these buildings. The workshops comprise a series of structured problem-scenarios, which you will work together in groups to resolve.  The final workshop will involve valuing the portfolio to quantify the success of your asset management decisions.  Part of your assessment comprises an individual critical reflection on the learning outcomes from this series of workshops.

Topics to be covered include:  adding value – is this enough?; performance metrics and risk management; sustainability and responsible property investment; tenant-mix, place-making and the ‘experience’ economy; financial and lease management including the use of ‘green leases’; the user perspective – the landlord and tenant relationship; workplace design for flexibility, well-being and performance.

Aims

  • to introduce the principles of strategic asset management and encourage informed debate over different strategies and styles of management
  • to explore the tactics used to pro-actively manage real estate assets
  • to encourage an inquisitive, critical and forward-looking approach to problem-solving and develop students’ ability to anticipate consequential effects of their decisions in asset management
     

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course unit, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the role of the real estate asset manager and alternative management strategies
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge of issues that “add value” to a property held for real estate investment purposes such as lease terms and covenant strength
  • Demonstrate understanding of the implications of asset management decisions on real estate asset value

Syllabus

Week 1- Strategic principles of investment property asset management

Week 2 - Information and financial management Heads of terms for letting

Week 3 - Obsolescence and strategic building management Service charge management

Week 4 - Individual tenant management. Managing the ‘customer’ relationship

Week 5 - The ethical dimension of asset management

Week 6 - Creating an ‘experience’  Shopping centre management

Week 7 - Placemaking

Week 8 - The changing nature of the workplace: design, performance and well-being

Week 9 - Performance measurement Valuing the portfolio

Week 10- Responsible property investment and management Sustainable buildings

Week 11 - Review: is ‘adding value’ to a property portfolio enough?

 

Teaching and learning methods

A series of eleven online lectures & complementary activities are used to introduce topics in a structured manner supplemented by workshops, discussion groups and assignment clinics. How will this work?

  • The lecture content will be made available online for you to listen to and work through at your own pace.  This will be released on a weekly basis and then remain available for the remainder of the course unit. 
  • There are weekly discussion groups, using the online discussion board, which you can contribute to at any time during the timetabled week AND the following week. 
  • Each week, during the timetabled sessions, there will be an opportunity for a ‘live’ online seminar or discussion with the course tutor, using Blackboard Collaborate. 
  • There will also be opportunities to meet the course tutor on campus for face-to-face seminars, as an alternative to the online ’live’ session.  These may be duplicated over two consecutive weeks, depending on numbers.  These will be subject to the current advice on Covid-19. 

The workshops are a key element of this unit and allow you to work through a problem in your groups with guidance available from the tutor.  Each week, a problem will be set which relates to the theme and it will normally be discussed in the timetabled workshop in the following week. The problems relate to a range of typical issues in practice and are designed so that, each week, the group makes a decision which will feed into the starting point for the following week.  By the end of the course, each group will probably have made a different combination of decisions: this means that the asset value will be different.  Which group will prove to be the most successful asset manager?

 

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the role of the real estate asset manager and alternative management strategies.
Demonstrate sound understanding of the implications of asset management decisions on real estate asset value

Intellectual skills

Critically evaluate information, make considered judgements and produce innovative and credible solutions to a problem
Demonstrate a reflective approach to problem-solving.

Practical skills

Demonstrate numeracy skills through appreciation of issues around selection, accuracy, uncertainty and approximation with numbers

Transferable skills and personal qualities

This course unit will enable to you:

  • Critically evaluate information, make considered judgements and produce innovative and credible solutions to a problem
  • Demonstrate a reflective approach to problem-solving.
  • Demonstrate numeracy skills through appreciation of issues around selection, accuracy, uncertainty and approximation with numbers
  • Recognise the importance of attention to detail
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate ideas and arguments concisely, using appropriate language for the target audience
  • Demonstrate commercial awareness through consideration of a broad range of issues and the implications on value.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

There are two pieces of individual assessment for this course unit:

500 word briefing note                    15%                       TBC

3,000 word critical reflection         85%                       TBC

These are to be submitted through Turnitin on Blackboard by the above deadlines. 

Feedback methods

As you progress through the course unit, formative feedback will be given through Q&A live discussion, discussion boards and interactive activities within online lectures, workshops and seminarsVerbal feedback is available on coursework discussed during online drop-in sessions. Substantive written feedback on your assignments will be provided through Blackboard

We will be running drop-in consultations in support of all assignments, as shown in the timetable above.  Tutors are also available to discuss specific issues in relation to the course at the weekly ‘live’ sessions or by e-mail appointment.

Online study support

My Learning Essentials provides an excellent range of online resources for your learning and assignments and includes advice on avoiding plagiarism.  Do use:

http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/get-started/mle/

A detailed guide to Harvard referencing is available at:

http://subjects.library.manchester.ac.uk/referencing/referencing-harvard

Recommended reading

There is no textbook which matches the course content but these two give a good overview of the issues involved with the practical aspects of managing real estate assets in the UK:

Banfield, A. (2005) Stapleton’s real estate management practice 4th edn. London: EG Books

Scarrett, D. and Wilcox, J. (2018) Property Asset Management 4th edn. Abingdon: Routledge

Note that the 3rd edition of Scarrett (2011) is available as an e-book through UoM library.

Scarrett, D (2011) Property asset management  3rd edn. Abingdon: Routledge

Specific readings or other material that will support you on this course will be provided at relevant times. The books below indicate further reading on specific topics that are relevant to the course:

Baum (2015) Real Estate Investment: a strategic approach 3rd edn. London: Routledge

Dent, P., Patrick, M. and Xu, Y. (2012) Property Markets and Sustainable Behaviour . Abingdon: Routledge

Edington, G. (1997) Property management: a customer focused approach.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 14
Work based learning 40
Independent study hours
Independent study 74

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Selma Carson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

A key part of study at postgraduate level is the continued development of individual learning skills.  Whilst the lectures contain a significant formal teaching component and will introduce core topics, a strong emphasis is placed on self-directed learning.  Wider reading around these areas is essential in helping you understand the topics, in preparation for seminars and workshops and in drafting coursework.  Details of student learning hours are:

Lectures & online activities                                           22

Workshops/ Seminars                                                    14

Directed Reading/online exercises                            40

Private Study                                                                     70

Assignment clinics                                                             4

Return to course details