‘Tis the season of graduations, moving to new stages in life and graduation speeches. A recent article in the Globe and Mail got me thinking: What is wisdom? and Can it be taught? Continue reading
In mid-November, a team of six undergraduate students from the University of Guelph went to New York City and won second place in the 9th Annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition. The team consisted of Lauren Chan, Hillary Hetherington, Sam Ives, Stefanie Kaminski, Krishna Movva and Sasha Somjen.
This competition included a record number of universities, from eight countries and four continents. Several of the teams had to win regional contests to be invited to compete in New York City. All of the finalists were “heavy hitters”. Continue reading
Spring is nearly here. Students are finishing their exams and heading to summer jobs or co-op jobs. Some are graduating into the Real World. And high school students are about to choose where they will spend their next four or five years. It is a time of change, excitement and a bit of fear.
Many people have trouble dealing with change because, in my opinion, they misunderstand it. Change is common; disruption is annoying. So, learn to accept change by preparing to be the disruptor instead of the disruptee.
At the recent Toronto Real Estate Forum, Frank McKenna noted that Airbnb is now the world’s biggest hotel company and Uber is now the world’s biggest car company. People are worried about the decline of the once-dominant manufacturing sector because the number of employees down, but output is up. As he concluded: the Stone Age did not end to end because of a lack of stones. It ended because there was a better alternative. Continue reading
Real estate projects are big, complicated and involve many actors. Therefore, success often depends on a legally binding contract to ensure that things get done with as few disputes as possible.
The first barrier to finding an answer is to describe the situation accurately: e.g.
- What is the source of uncertainty? If there is none then it is too easy to detect misbehaviour.
- are there only two outcomes (“success” and “failure”) or a continuum between really good to really bad?
A clear theory helps immensely.
The second puzzle is that changing the incentive changes the anticipated behaviour, which changes the outcome and the degree of risk. Think how the behaviour of a real estate agent might change if Continue reading
I just returned from a week in the U.K. and was reading The Mail. It had an 8 page (tabloid size) pull out section with various “tight” puzzles like crosswords and Sudoku. It also offered a surprising variety of puzzles for people who think that ordinary crosswords and Sudoku are too easy. Continue reading
The previous post noted that a puzzle given to some Singapore high school students about Cheryl’s birthday has been bothering people around the world. The puzzle was a classroom exercise and I noted what the bother revealed about the different types of puzzles. This posting focuses on what the public discussion about solutions reveals.
First, the answer to the puzzle is: July 16. People may not understand why but the correct answer is not in dispute.
Second, I remember solving similar kinds of problems in high school. It is a tight logic puzzle in the sense that the problem gives enough information to solve it, but just enough. Continue reading
It is that time of year when professors read final exams to decide if the students learned anything during the past term. Conveniently, this time coincides with a media report on problems in the Russian real estate market and another media report on problems at a mall in Paris. So, regardless of whether you are a student or have 30 years of experience, the general lesson is that you should always be a little bit skeptical when analysing a market. Continue reading
Zoning by-laws have existed for decades and, when somebody wants to make a change, people complain loudly. They seem like a good idea, since nobody wants a smelly, polluting factory to relocate next to a school just because the factory can buy the space for a low price. But, even good ideas can be manipulated.
So, is there a better alternative? Continue reading