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    School of Development

School of Development


UDI's "School of Development" is a highly regarded series of courses that explains the business of real estate development from the industry's perspective. If you are determined to have a career in this industry, the School is a must!

Conceived in 2002 and jointly developed by UDI and Michael von Hausen of MVH Urban Planning and Design, Michael continues to be involved and facilitates the School of Development in Vancouver and Victoria.

Each School is an intense two-day course that features dynamic industry veterans sharing their expertise through interactive classroom exercises based on real modern-day case studies. Each class is strictly limited to only 48 students to ensure a quality learning experience.

Held twice year -- once in the autumn, and again in the spring -- each School occurs on a Friday and a Saturday in order to minimize an attendee’s time away from the office.

UDI’s popular School of Development consists of three different modules that can be taken in any order:



Learn about the five key components of development:

1)         Land acquisition – the acquisitions process, sourcing and assembling sites, deal structure, approach and negotiations

2)         Approvals – the basic approvals process (civic process and council process), due diligence checklist, new engagement tools

3)         Financing – types of available financing, basic underwriting (risk and reward), conditions precedent

4)         Sales & marketing – how to build a marketing strategy, identifying target markets, maximizing your sales team’s effectiveness

5)         Construction – budgets, detailed estimates, cost control, quality control



Learn about development proformas from different perspectives:

1)         Appraiser – basic ‘back-of-a-napkin’ proforma, sensitivity analysis, residual land value

2)         Banker – the five C’s of credit, common loan types and loan structures, other lender considerations

3)         Developer – case study of a multi-family wood frame project and proforma analysis

4)         Developer – case study of a concrete high rise/mixed use project and proforma analysis



Learn how to guide your projects through the approvals process from different perspectives:

1)         Municipal planner – the municipal context, development tools, questions a municipality asks itself, questions a developer should ask

2)         Consultant - the approvals process, project checklist, new era of engagement and social mobilization

3)         Communications specialist – how to identify your story, communication strategy and tools, media do’s and don’ts

4)         Developer – challenges and lessons learned from a current case study


Registration: UDI Members are notified via e-mail when registration opens for School of Development courses. Online registration appears in the events section of the UDI website when registration is active. UDI Members receive priority registration; any remaining spots will be open to Non-Members.

The course is primarily aimed at people who are new to the industry (usually less than 5 years’ experience), although many senior executives attend to brush up on an area outside their expertise (for example, many lawyers have taken ‘The Art of Approvals’ so they can better understand the process and assist their developer clients).

Cost: The fee for each two-day course is approximately $750 + GST for Members and includes all course materials and all meals.