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Where you get your information is very important. To Real Estate Developers this can include a wide variety of sources. These sources may include professional organizations, trade journals, blogs or newspapers. In order to gather information about where members in the real estate development discourse gather information I reached out to a local firm in Madison. Alexander Company is a Madison business that specializes in urban development and revitalization. Both urban development and revitalization are about bringing new life to old neighborhoods. At Alexander Company, I got in touch with Chris Day. Day is an Assistant Development Project Manager. This means he plays a large role in developing projects throughout the Midwest. With projects in many states, Day has many connections and knows how to efficiently communicate and access important information within the discourse community.
I asked Day whether he participated in any professional organizations for Real Estate Development. To which he replied yes, and said he was active in both the Alumni Association for Real Estate at Wisconsin and the Urban Land Institute.
Urban Land Magazine
Urban Land magazine is published by the Urban Land Institute four times a year with a circulation of just over twenty-four thousand. Those who read the magazine are primarily professionals in the real estate development and land use industry. The articles written mainly focus on the world of development by the authors at Urban Land. Though some opinion articles are published in each edition, which give readers a variety of viewpoints on current issues and new developments. There is also an online version of the magazine that is updated daily. This is quite impressive for a trade journal. This makes information easily accessible and easily sharable, increasing the amount and rate of knowledge transfer. The Urban Land magazine is a must read for developers to stay up to date within the discourse community.
Real Estate Forum
The Real Estate Forum (REF) is a national magazine that is meant to serve real estate professionals. It is the nations most respected real estate industry magazine. REF looks at the US real estate market and determines how it is doing. Publications talk about what seems to be working throughout the country and what to expect in the coming months. Common themes are the increasing costs of real estate in the last few years, how many places are growing as well as how the construction market is expected to slow down. This publication is important to members of the discourse community because REF explains the complex markets that are reshaping the industry as well as local trends.
Day said his favorite blog is called Skyscraper City. He explained that Skyscraper City was a quality blog because the user can narrow in on a specific region, for him the Midwest, which mostly shows post dealing with Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis. Helpful for him since these cities are where he does most of his work. The blog consists of hundreds of pages of information and discussions about Madison area developments. There are links to official proposals of new projects as well as others nearing completion. The blog allows all users to post their information and opinions to the feed, maximizing the amount of networking, though information may not always be the most accurate. Looking at the Madison page of the blog one can see how it would be very useful to local developers, the page would be a main news source for anyone in the discourse community.
Popular newspapers can also help those in the discourse community stay up to date. Often times these newspapers will give information about the nation or the region they distribute too. They are also one of the easiest forms of communication to access and very trustworthy.
Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is a U.S. business-focused, daily newspaper based in New York City. The WSJ is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ features a Real Estate section to their online publications. Here readers can choose to look at stories focusing on commercial or residential news. The stories focus on trends in the markets as well as how policy is affecting the markets. This publication can be valuable to the discourse community as a highly professional and reputable source.
New York Times
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City that is distributed worldwide and reports from all regions of the world. Since this newspaper is published daily, this means that readers are always getting current information about the world. Additionally, the New York Times will write about worldwide markets and notable developments. We see examples of this in previous sections of this document.
Since Real Estate Development is largely a relationship between client and professional, it is critical to have great communication between both. Without strong communication projects can run astray or overbudget. Additionally, those who specialize in development would be members of the real estate development discourse community. The real estate development discourse community is a large society made up of many small firms. Staying in touch with other developers keeps one up to date and can be extremely valuable. Thus, communication between developers is critical.
Communication Between Developers
I asked Day how he communicates with other developers in and outside of his company. He explained to me that in the Madison area specifically there are not many development firms, so after a couple years you begin to know everyone. Although he said when he was first entering the discourse community that there were many avenues he took when it came to communication. He said often times he would attend industry events in the Madison-Milwaukee area. At these industry events developers would discuss problems the field may be facing or how to progress in their field. Similarly, he would meet others at city zoning meetings. Day also said that many of the development firms in the area would have social events, mainly happy hours where professionals get the opportunity to meet each other without the suits and ties. Since developers often band together to build new facilities for sports teams and large corporations, he would meet the other developers at opening ceremonies or the opening of sporting events. Similarly, if other developers were holding open houses on new properties, Day and his colleagues would stop by to meet them.