ZMA - A Real Estate Developers A to Z - Bruce FogelsonDevelopers in the real estate market have to know about a great number of subjects.

This is not an exaggerated statement.

What began as a quick list of one hundred things that I know any real estate developers should know. It’s grown to a list of two hundred and ten items and counting.  I believe real estate developers need to know everything from risk tolerance to relationships, from creativity to accounting, from appliances to closing costs, all are essential points of knowledge for those who have a vested interest in the multifaceted business. Developers are individuals and companies who coordinate all these activities, permitting the conversion of ideas, raw land, developed land, and existing building into real property.

This is the first of a series of blog posts that will identify things real estate developers should know, as well as their definitions.

  1. Accounting: The action or process of keeping financial accounts.
  2. ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A law that makes it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability in housing, public accommodations, transportation, employment, government services and telecommunications.
  3. Advertising: An audio or visual form of marketing communication, also known as advertising, employs an openly sponsored, non personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.
  4. AIA: American Institute of Architects (AIA): A professional society of architects founded in 1857 a located in Washington, D.C. with 301 local groups in all 50 states and over 54,000 members, it promotes excellence and professionalism in the field.
  5. Air-flow: In engineering, the airflow or air flow is a measurement of the amount of air per unit of time that flows through a particular device.
  6. ALTA: American Land Title Association (ALTA): Organization located in Washington, D.C. with over 2,400 members in 40 states was founded in 1906 and fosters uniformity and quality in title abstract ad insurance policies. Its publications are the monthly Capital Comment, the bi-monthly Title News, and the annual Directory of Members.
  7. Amenities: Desirable items offered by builders as enticements to potential purchasers.
  8. Analysis: Examination of parts to investigate the nature of something.
  9. Apartment(s): Unit of one or more rooms within a multifamily complex of similar units.
  10. Appliances: Device or machine for performing a particular task, such as a mechanical or electromechanical device used for heating, cooking, cleaning or cooling.
  11. Arbitration: Dispute resolving method involving a third party decision.
  12. Architectural Plans: The design and planning of a building, including architectural drawings, calculations, specifications of the design, time planning of the construction process, and other documentation.
  13. Architecture: Resolving issues of land use and design for the highest and best use.
  14. Assignment Of Rents: Loan agreement under which (in case of default) the rents and other income from the mortgaged property is received directly by the lender.
  15. Attorneys: Individual who has been admitted to the bar and allowed to practice law in his/her state and may perform all the services necessary to represent clients.
  16. Banks: Financial institution servicing savings and checking accounts, placing loans and dealing with negotiable instruments. Three major types of banks are commercial, savings and savings and loan associations. All are subject to federal and local regulations.
  17. Banker: an officer or owner of a bank or group of banks.
  18. Bid: Stated price given to perform a job.
  19. Broom-Swept Condition: The condition in which real property is typically delivered under the negotiated terms of either a purchase agreement or lease agreement. The real property is broom swept clean with all the furniture removed. In a purchase agreement, the seller delivers the real property to the purchaser in a broom clean condition on the date when the title passes to the buyer. In a lease agreement, the leased premises are delivered in a broom clean condition by the: Landlord to the tenant on the commencement date. Tenant to the landlord on the expiration date.
  20. Built-up area (BUA) is a term used primarily in urban planning, real estate development, building design and the construction industry. It encompasses a developed area, i.e. any land on which buildings and nonbuilding structures are present, normally as part of a larger developed environment such as: developed land lot, rural area, urban area, suburban area, urban agglomeration, and conurbation.
  21. Ceiling Height: Distance from the floor to the inside overhead upper surface of the room. This measure will be higher than any hanging objects, beams, joists or trusses unless there is a suspended ceiling.
  22. Ceilings: The inside part or covering of a room. Alternately, an upper limit set on anything.
  23. Change Order: Any modification of a construction contract, which is signed by the owner, the architect and the contractor. This would authorize a change in work, the amount of the contract or a change in the contract time.
  24. Closets: Small room or cupboard used as storage for clothing, household supplies, linens, etc.
  25. Closing Costs: Expenses incidental to the closing of title, which are in addition to the price of the property. These items include loan, title and appraisal fees.


Definitions were published on the websites of Fitzhugh-Wilson Real Estate and Jackie Ellis Dunbar. Also, Wikipedia and Business Magazines are resources to when developing this blog post.