- June 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 6

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Pulling together: The right local partner is crucial for both foreign and domestic investors

by Sheila Hopkins

The World Is Flat is no longer simply a best-selling book by Thomas Friedman — it is now a universally understood business-speak phrase that connotes the globalization and interconnectivity of trade and economies. And real estate is a big part of that interconnectivity. Capital flows in and out of regions; countries and continents are growing at an ever-increasing pace. According to JLL, cross-border investment jumped to its highest level on record in the final quarter of 2014, with half of all deals done involving nondomestic parties.

While some foreign investors prefer to acquire assets outright and avoid the potentially complex process of acquiring a property in parallel with structuring a joint-venture agreement, most seem to prefer the security of working with someone who knows the local market. Foreign investors use domestic joint-venture partners as a way to bridge the cultural gap between them and a domestic seller, and as a strategic means of creating a gl

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