Profitability in Development with Marlon Bray of Altus Group


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Marlon Bray, Senior Director of Cost Consulting at Altus Group, is our guest in this episode. This role has Marlon as a jack-of-all-trades throughout the development life cycle, and he says he’s all about adding value and reducing risk.

There has been a huge increase in hard costs as we’ve progressed through 2021, so Marlon explains why this has happened and where we can expect prices to go from here. He also touches upon affordable housing in Canada and why he thinks revenues will continue to rise.

Topics covered include:

  • Best practices for profitability.
  • Projects becoming non-viable due to the recent increase in hard costs.
  • The outlook on lumber prices in the next 12-18 months.
  • Why it’s more difficult to build extremely profitable assets these days.
  • Increased costs of other building materials.
  • Challenges with building tech because development is so risky.
  • Only using technology if it presents a clear benefit.
  • Why modular housing is similar to manufacturing.
  • Solving the problem of upcoming retirements on the labour side.
  • Efforts by the Ontario government to recruit more tradespeople.
  • How much time Marlon spends on deals that never come to fruition.
  • The continuous rise in rent and why Marlon believes it will continue.
  • Difficulties with land prices, such as sellers asking for their future value today.
  • The lack of supply in Canada which is made more difficult by different levels of government.

More about our guest:

Marlon is the head of Altus Group’s Ontario pre-construction and contract administration services as part of the Cost and Project Management team.

With over 25 years of experience, specializing in budgeting, value optimization, and providing visibility on risk through the entire lifecycle from early due diligence through to completion. Marlon oversees a team that leads the way with cutting-edge estimating technology and data analytics, bringing a greater level of transparency, and added value to all projects he is involved with.

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