This country's population has been steadily growing since the 1950s, recently by as much as two to three million people per year. It is expected to maintain its growth for at least the next three decades, and by 2050, its population will be twice what it was in 1970. It may surprise you to know that this country is not an emerging market.
It is the United States.
More people naturally means a greater demand for real estate. In the late 1990s, MC subsidiary Diamond Realty Investments (DRI) set up offices in Los Angeles and Dallas and began developing three kinds of local real estate, multifamily, student housing, and industrial. DRI's end-to-end operations cover site selection, building construction, and tenant recruitment. The company generates income from its properties and sells them off to institutional investors*.
To fulfill its goal of not only building properties, but also providing investors with value-generating assets, DRI only employs professionals with expertise in both finance and real estate. Reconcentrations of people in urban centers and declining owner-occupied housing rates are constantly changing the demand for homes in the US, and developers are scrambling to build warehouses, distribution centers, and other logistics facilities in order to keep up with the growing e-commerce sector. The MC Group is actively relocating its professionals from one industry and country to another in order to develop a workforce that is highly in tune with both America's unique real estate market and investor objectives.
*Life insurance companies, pension funds, investment and trust management companies and other incorporated organizations that invest and manage funds on behalf of their customers.
Investing in real estate is more common in the US than it is in Japan, and it is a constant challenge for DRI to identify and evaluate prime investment opportunities. The company has its own rules that are even stricter than those used by investors to evaluate sites, set rental fees, and determine building specifications, and it ensures those rules are also adhered to by its business partners (namely the local developers). Should any building plans or construction work fail to measure up to DRI's standards, the company will not hesitate to demand improvements and refuses to make compromises on its standards during negotiations. That it can afford to take such a stern approach is a testament to its long and proud track record in the US, as well as the respect and trust it has earned from its partners.
"We'll never be successful in the US if we fail to leverage the expertise of our American workforce and localize our operations," says Team Leader of MC's North America Real Estate Dept, Katsuhisa Sakai, who lends his support to DRI from MC headquarters in Tokyo. "It's definitely a challenging market, but it's also a fascinating one."
This is a business that will provide American society with more prime infrastructure and value-generating investment assets, and its rewards may be as vast as the country itself.
This article appeared in Asahi Shimbun's "GLOBE" feature of September 4, 2016.