The presentation of your research can take on a variety of formats depending on the purpose, audience, means of delivery and desired outcome of the research. This section of the report will detail important considerations for a presentation of real estate research; whether that presentation be a written report reviewed internally, a feasibility report, an RFP response, an oral presentation or reporting to investors (amongst others).
The purpose of the research should remain at the forefront of a presentation. What is the problem or question that you are trying to solve for? This should be clearly stated at the beginning of a presentation (whether that be written or oral), and clearly answered by the end of the presentation. It could be as straight forward as what is the IRR of a project, or as nuanced as what are the potential risks of a development in an emerging market? This purpose will essentially drive the entire presentation and serve as a thesis for the project.
The target audience is often an overlooked consideration when preparing and executing a presentation. The messaging, terminology and means of delivery are all dependent on the audience. It’s important to ask the following questions about the contingency of people that will be reviewing the presentation:
1. What is their knowledge base of the subject matter?
2. What is their role in this project or subject?
3. What information matters most to them?
4. What are they looking to gain from the presentation?
5. What means of delivery will they be most receptive to?
Answering these questions before preparing a presentation will give the presenter clear vision and direction that will lead to a more successful product. Consider the clear distinction of presenting site/project research and a feasibility study for the renovation of an 80/20 building in Brooklyn to two very different audiences.
If the audience is an investor, then they will most likely be:
1. Very knowledgeable about the asset class, key assumptions and the financial analysis
2. They are a potential stakeholder in the project
3. They care about the project’s feasibility and return on their capital
4. They are trying to understand if this project is a desirable investment for them
5. They will want a full project summary with clear focus on the financials and risks of the project.
If the audience is the tenant association, then they will most likely be:
1. Knowledgeable about the building itself and their rental history at the site (not about financial assumptions for project feasibility)
2. They are the residents of the building and the income stream for ownership
3. They care about the physical condition and management of the building, and their ability to continue to live in their apartment post‐renovation
4. They are trying to understand what a renovation project means for their future at the building
5. They will want a presentation that addresses their concerns and questions about work being done on their units, how it will affect their day to day, and the status of their lease and rent post‐renovation.
Thinking critically about your audience will then organically lead you to consider the most effective means of delivery for your research. If the presentation is in written format (ie an internal report or RFP response), then the means of delivery is clear; you will be providing a written deliverable to your audience. Organization, structure and defining the purpose of the research are imperative to a creating this product. If you are answering an RFP or submitting an application, you will want to make sure that you have answered the original request fully and completely, and that you have followed the established format of the request with exhibits as necessary. Key assumptions and sources of information should be clearly summarized at the end of a written presentation.
If the presentation is oral, you will want to be strategic in how the power point (or other visual aid) is written and what information is included in writing versus information that is only communicated through speech. Visual aids should be simple, concise and minimalistic to accompany the spoken presentation. They should complement and support, not distract. Perhaps you will want to provide a written deliverable to accompany the oral presentation that summarizes key takeaways, action items and/or final conclusions. Be sure to allocate sufficient time to address any questions or facilitate discussion at the end of an oral presentation. Perhaps even consider preparing questions should the audience not have any to ensure that important and impactful details of the presentation are underscored again.
The final item to focus on during preparation and delivery of a presentation is the desired outcome of your research. The research you have completed concludes something: it could demonstrate a path forward to create a financially feasible project, an argument to rent versus acquire space, an application to solicit government support for a project, etc. The presentation should clearly lead the audience to agree with this desired outcome and final recommendation. It should be constructed honestly, but persuasively, with sufficient evidence and discussion of risks, sensitivities and alternatives. The goal is the inform and educate the audience, and to organically allow them to arrive at the same conclusion as you – the informed and diligent researcher.