Oxford Properties Group Real Estate Research Prize

We are pleased to announce a three year commitment from Oxford Properties Group to run a Real Estate Research competition in line with the MSc Real Estate sustainability module at the University of Reading starting in October 2012.

Each year, MSc Real Estate students will be required to conduct a small group presentation and produce a research paper reviewing sustainability practices used by real estate companies, as assigned in the current course curriculum. The presentations and research papers will be judged by a panel of professionals from Oxford Properties and a representative from the School of Real Estate & Planning before awarding teams a first prize of £2,000, second prize of £1,000 and four runner up prizes of £500 each.

Initiatives, like this, are welcome and exciting additions to the existing programmes at Reading enabling students to not only showcase their talents but also to benefit from the contact with different global firms.

Real Estate & Planning to supervise pioneering PhD research

The Lord Samuel of Wych Cross Memorial Trust Award, together with industry contributions from RealService Ltd and the RealService Best Practice Group (RSBPG) will fund a PhD student to carry out pioneering research to help the property industry better understand the link between customer service and property performance.

The Trust was set up in 1989 to remember Lord Samuel of Wych Cross, founder of Land Securities and Chairman from 1944 to 1987 and provides real estate students with funding for industry-related study.

Danielle Sanderson is the successful candidate appointed to The Lord Samuel Memorial Trust and RealService Doctorate and will take up the post in October. She will be undertaking research on 'The Pricing of Customer Service in Rents and Capital Values'.

The idea of establishing a PhD was the brainchild of Howard Morgan, Founder and Managing Director of RealService Ltd (BSc Estate Management, 1979) and Roger Gibbard, former Head of School Real Estate & Planning.

Howard Morgan comments: "The last 10 years has witnessed a mini revolution in the world of property with the emergence of a group of 'pioneers' and 'early-adopters' - including the likes of Land Securities - who have fully embraced the notion that treating tenants as valued customers makes good business sense in terms of faster leasing, stronger retention and industry recognition.

"However, at present there is no easy way for City analysts to measure the impact of customer service investment on financial performance. We hope the project will provide hard objective and quantitative evidence and a clear business case for investing in customer service."

Further sponsorship comes from the RealService Best Practice Group (RSBPG), a not for profit organisation made up of some of the UK's largest and most influential property owners, managers and investors and supported by the BPF.

Roger Gibbard, former Head of the School Real Estate & Planning, says: "We are delighted to be partnering Lord Samuel of Wych Cross Memorial Trust Award, RealService Ltd and the RealService Best Practice Group (RSBPG) in this initiative. This doctoral study into the importance of customer service demonstrates Reading's position at the cutting-edge of influential research for the property industry, and we look forward to sharing the outcomes in due course."

Further information

If you are interested in hearing more about how you can become involved with Real Estate & Planning at the University of Reading, or you would like to discuss a possible funding proposal please contact Nicole Gillham, Executive Director RREF, +44 (0) 118 378 4193 or n.gillham@rref.reading.ac.uk


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