From Pro Forma to Proformance


As the foundational document for analyzing a real estate development project, the pro forma has long been the decision driver behind new projects. While the essential elements — assumptions, cash flow and returns — still shape development, our clients are reassessing their assumptions in the face of a competitive market. 

Real estate is the original risky business and PDR is now at the development decision table far earlier in the process to help developers better understand and evaluate critical information — not just efficiencies and costs — in the context of decisions to be made. Decisions that will help improve the prospect for a better return on the investment in both the short and long term.

At PDR we now find our team at the decision table far earlier in the process, at the master planning stage. We are not there to advise the client on column spacing, floor plate sizes or materials, although we can and often do. Real estate is risky business and we are there to help developers better understand and evaluate critical information in the context of the tenant market and investors.

Our InsideOut approach, with its deep dive programming, brings a fresh perspective to the initial phase of the development process. We are prepared to ask challenging questions to source important data and create an intelligent framework for decision-making. No matter what the budget is for the project, dollars are limited. Where should you put your money for the best return? Development, marketing and construction all bring different perspectives to the decision. However, the real question points to what matters to today’s tenants and tomorrow’s investors.

Here we help the developer go wide as well as deep, bringing our knowledge of the workplace and the changing needs of corporations to the process. The very definition of what constitutes a Class A office building is evolving. New factors are in play. Beyond location, layout and quality, tenants and potential investors have questions about sustainability and resiliency. We know from our practice, as corporations put greater emphasis on worker productivity and satisfaction, the workplace is increasingly valuable not just as real estate but as a platform for performance. The new workplace doesn’t begin and end at the office door. Now the places where we work might include the building lobby or the landscape just outside. 


This expanded view of the workplace offers new opportunities for developers as they compete for the best tenants. Seeing the entire development from the tenants’ point of view allows the development to create additional value at multiple levels from building systems to amenities. And it improves the prospects for a better return on the investment in both the short and long term.