If Design is the antidote that counteracts problems in architecture, then Real Estate is the value that is created through Design. With one-quarter of the earth bearing a population of 7.6 billion, the land is indeed an invaluable asset!

People usually associate real estate with brokerage and selling properties. But Real estate goes far beyond this profession. The word ‘Real’ is derived from Latin that means existing, actual, or genuine, and the word ‘Estate’ comes from an old French word ‘Estat’ meaning status. Land with its existing resources includes natural (water body, valley, boulders, etc.) or man-made (housing establishments, commercial complexes, etc.). Any property that has permanent and fixed components accounts for real property. Personal and portable elements do not account for it.

©paulrommer / Fotolia-International real estate

Real estate development encompasses re-leasing, renovation of land to raw purchasing of land, and sale of developed land. The basic role of real estate developers is orchestrating all these processes—working in collaboration with architects, city planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, contractors, lawyers, leasing agents, etc. Architecture is a component of the entire development process of developing land, apart from creating a feasible business model catering to a pool of clientele who are potential investors who would help build value. With urbanisation going through its troughs and crests, the purpose of land, its utility and its transformation become key drivers in development and make real estate investing a sound, long-term investment..

All You need to know about the Real Estate Industry from an architect’s perspective - Sheet4
©anyaberkut Getty images- Real value in real estate

Here are a few international and national real estate development firms that manage different portfolios:

Brookfield Asset Management | Real Estate Industry

Brookfield Asset Management has a global portfolio that includes office, retail, multifamily, logistics, hospitality triple net lease, manufactured housing, and student housing assets. Brookfield properties develop and operate real estate investments that aim to bring high quality and sustainable living within the community by providing leasing, financing, development, design, construction, property, and facilities management. Their famous portfolios include One Liberty Plaza, 245 Park Avenue, Manhattan West, and so on. Their annual net revenue until 2020 stands at US$344 billion (2020).

All You need to know about the Real Estate Industry from an architect’s perspective - Sheet6
©-Kate Wichlinski One Liberty Plaza- Brookfield Properties
All You need to know about the Real Estate Industry from an architect’s perspective - Sheet8
©Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat-245 Park Avenue- Brookfield Properties
All You need to know about the Real Estate Industry from an architect’s perspective - Sheet10
©SOM Manhattan West Development Brookfield Properties

American Tower Corporation

With its headquarters in Boston, they own and develop wireless communications and broadcast towers in the United States. It owns about 25,000 towers in the US, 75,000 in India, and nearly 60,000 throughout the world. Apart from tower-related services, they also provide services such as site acquisition, structural analysis, zoning, and permitting management services. Their net worth is $33.010 billion (2018).

©MICHAEL PRINCE American Tower: Wireless Infrastructure Solution Leader

L&T Realty 

Highlighting its presence across Western, Southern India, and Chandigarh, its portfolio comprises many residential, commercial, and retail projects. They have built business parks, Transit-Oriented Development like Navi Mumbai- Seawoods Grand Central. Their net worth is US$43 billion (2020).

All You need to know about the Real Estate Industry from an architect’s perspective - Sheet3
©L&T Seawoods Grand Central  Navi Mumbai

Prestige Group | Real Estate Industry

What started as a retail business has expanded into residential, commercial, and hospitality sectors. Their presence is dominant in Southern India, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mysore, Mangalore, and Goa being the prime location of the properties. They have also expanded into townships, tech parks, hotels, luxury villas, and SEZs. Their net worth is US$1.2 billion (2020).

All You need to know about the Real Estate Industry from an architect’s perspective - Sheet1
©Prestige Group- Prestige Hermitage in Ulsoor, Bangalore

The annual turnover in these companies runs in billions, which not only raises their property value but adds on intangible factors such as quality of space, sustainability, and human experience. Imagine the world we would be creating if these values were given weightage and more thought? 

Now, how does one move from architecture to the real estate industry?

In essence, architecture is not a separate entity rather a collaborative limb of the real estate industry. In the past, many architects have shifted to the real estate industry after some experience in their practising fields. In simple terms,

Courses available in Real Estate 

architecture + business + finance = real estate

Many universities recently have started exclusive masters programs such as Masters in Real Estate Development (MRED) and an MBA in Real Estate. Here is a list of few popular universities offering this program:

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. University of California Berkeley
  3. University of Southern California
  4. New York University
  5. Cornell University
  6. University of York, Schulich School of Business
  7. Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  8. The Royal Institute of Technology

University of Technology Sydney | Real Estate Industry

  1. Heriot-Watt University Dubai
  2. The University of Auckland
  3. National University of Singapore
  4. St. Petersburg University
©Free Study- Studying Real Estate

These universities have interesting collaborative courses in the field of business and the built environment. They cover subjects from Real Estate Finance and Investment, Real Estate Economics, Real Estate Development Building Systems, Real Estate Development Studio: Complex Urban Projects, Mixed-Income Housing Development, Innovative Project Delivery in the Public & Private Sectors. With exposure to the industry within the course, a thorough understanding of the subject and its practicality is explored.

Job titles that befit real estate developers include Real estate investor, Broker, Commercial appraiser, Property manager, Feasibility analyst, Leasing consultant, Foreclosure specialist, Real estate attorney, Corporate real estate manager and so on.

Scope of Real Estate in the future

©JLL, Global Real Estate Perspective, February 2021.

Food, clothing and shelter have and will always be a necessity to human civilization. According to the World Economic Forum, a framework for the future of Real Estate has been framed. The Covid-19 pandemic has allowed the industry to be better equipped with unforeseen, sudden changes in the built environment. With that, the CEOs have formulated four key pillars: Livability, Sustainability, Resilience and Affordability.

©BCG, Based on discussions with World Economic Forum Partners

Livability equates to quality of life, well-developed communities, inclusive human-centric designs that increase interactions within these spaces. A study by the World Economic Forum concluded that humans spend 90% of their time indoors. The built environment and human productivity are directly correlated. Cutting down energy consumption in a building, retrofitting them, meeting net-zero carbon goals would have to be accelerated. Reaching optimum sustainability goals. According to,

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) “35% of the life cycle carbon from a typical office building is emitted before the building is even opened”; that number for a residential building is 51%.

©Free Study- Studying Real Estate

Future-proofing buildings against natural calamities, man-made events, financial or health crises must be catered to. These assets need to withstand and adapt to these changes. Affordable access to space commercial or residential needs to be adopted, without compromising on the location, living costs, employment and human rights.

These pillars can be implemented through digitalization and innovation, Regulatory framework, bringing in talented individuals, value proofing and stakeholder engagement. The real estate sector accounts for 10% of global GDP. On the upside, this means more job opportunities, real-time collaboration with possible investors and increased interaction with the public domain and government to develop properties. 

The future is what we make of it. The real value is in Real Estate, not just monetarily but as a social responsibility that accounts for humanity’s need to provide a safe, comfortable dwelling.

©EverydayAmazing via Twenty20


1.FastExpert. (2021). What is Real Estate? [Meaning, Etymology, and Definition]. [online] Available at: https://www.fastexpert.com/blog/why-real-estate-called-real-estate/.

2.Wikipedia Contributors (2019). Real estate development. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate_development.

3.Sharf, S. (n.d.). The World’s Largest Public Real Estate Companies 2020. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2020/05/13/the-worlds-largest-public-real-estate-companies-2020/?sh=704bd64b62f4

4.Investopedia. (2019). The Great Recession’s Impact on the Housing Market. [online] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/investing/great-recessions-impact-housing-market/.

5.All Business Schools. (n.d.). Learn How to Become a Real Estate Developer. [online] Available at: https://www.allbusinessschools.com/real-estate/real-estate-development-professional/ 

6.Brookfield. (n.d.). A new city rises at Manhattan West. [online] Available at: https://www.brookfield.com/our-businesses/new-city-rises-manhattan-west

7.Bloomberg.com. (2019). Bloomberg – Are you a robot? [online] Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com.

8.L&T Realty. (n.d.). About L&T Realty | Real Estate Developers | Larsen & Toubro Group. [online] Available at: https://www.lntrealty.com/about-us/#

9.https://www.prestigeconstructions.com. (n.d.). Residential, Commercial, Retail, Hospitality Property Developers – Prestige Group. [online] Available at: https://www.prestigeconstructions.com/about-us-overview/ 

10.www.best-masters.com. (n.d.). BEST MASTERS & MBAs RANKING Worldwide 2021. [online] Available at: https://www.best-masters.com/ranking-master-real-estate-management-construction/msc-in-management-of-real-estate-and-hospitality-assets-the-chinese-university-of-hong-kong.html 

11.Center for Real Estate. (n.d.). Curriculum for the Master of Science in Real Estate Development – MIT Center for Real Estate. [online] Available at: https://mitcre.mit.edu/masters-program/about-the-program/curriculum 

12.A Framework for the Future of Real Estate A P R I L 2 0 2 1. (n.d.). [online] . Available at: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_A_Framework_for_the_Future_of_Real_Estate_2021.pdf.

13.Real Estate Express. (n.d.). Real Estate License School Online, Courses, Classes. [online] Available at: https://www.realestateexpress.com.


An architect and innovator, Tanisha sees Architecture not as a single entity, rather as a confluence of people, in their time and its lasting imprint left for future explorers to further delve into. In her words, 'Expression is an act of acceptance, either to thyself or the world.