Management & Property Trading Unit
Valuation and Appraisal
Maintenance and Management
Property Intelligence & Investment Research Unit
Research Consultancy and Training
Development Advisory Services
SCOPE OF SERVICES
Property Appraisal, Management & Property Trading Unit
Valuation and Appraisal:
This is the traditional role that ‘property consultants’ have always
performed in Zambia. Narrowly, a valuer is a trained professional
who has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the factors that
create, maintain or diminish values of real estate. The South
African Institute of Valuers defines a valuer as ...
...A professional who has been educated and trained to determine the
value of fixed property, execute feasibility studies and provide
expert advice on property related matters. An independent valuer can
provide impartial and motivated reports on the value of real or
limited rights in land...’
In Zambia, in order to function as a valuer you need to be
registered with the Valuation Surveyors’ Registration Board. The
Lead Partners are registered valuation surveyors.
With the constant presence of inflation and fluctuating economic
conditions and the need for innovative corporate strategies,
valuations are required at least once every year on each real estate
asset. The various purposes for which valuations are required
include accounting, insurance, sale, purchase, rent, funding,
property tax, mortgage, appropriation (compensation upon compulsory
purchase), probate, liquidation or receivership, mergers or
take-overs, arbitration, bankruptcy, rating and expert witness
valuations, commercialisation, privatisation, stock exchange, etc.
We are general practitioners and are involved in all these areas.
The general high volume of funds involved in real estate production
makes it essential that the real estate unit is adequately insured.
This is imperative in order to avert possible total loss of the
colossal money sums constituted in the property should some
unforeseen calamity befall the subject property.
In this respect, we advise on the insurance value or adequacy of
cover and suggest ways of averting risky incidences.
Purchase or Sale Valuations
We give advice of property values for possible sale or purchase
within prevailing or likely market conditions, and advise on the
most appropriate mode of disposal or acquisition.
Rental Valuations, Rent Review and Rental Negotiations
We advise on the rents appropriate to properties in question, rents
to be fixed upon review of tenancy and negotiate appropriateness of
rents fixed in new or renewed tenancies or tenancies about to be
Company Asset Valuations for Balance Sheet, Privatisation, Taxation,
Liquidation, Receivership, Mergers, Take-over or Bankruptcy
Valuations of real estate may be required for a variety of
accounting reasons. We, thus, provide relevant values as required by
a client in the respective functions above.
Lending institutions normally want to know the nature of the
proposed security, its basic character and location, its apparent
condition, its value; whether this value will be maintained and
whether there are any factors which might significantly affect its
value over a given period of time.
Our role in these circumstances is to consider all relevant market
factors peculiar to the proposed real estate security and advise our
client on the appropriate market value of the property. In a related
role, we advise on market values appropriate to forced sale
circumstances, which may not allow adequate time to market a given
Rates represent an important source of local government revenue and
potentially the most buoyant means of funding local authority
services. Valuation Rolls form the basis on which rates are levied.
We at BITRUST can prepare Valuation Rolls in line with the Rating
Act No. 12 of 1997 as our staff have been extensively involved in
the preparation of the valuation rolls in the past and the Principal
Consultant has lectured at University on the subject.
Where the valuation roll exhibits any anomalies in the entries,
BITRUST can object on behalf of its client to have an erroneous
entry corrected in line with the Rating Act before or at the Rating
Valuation Tribunal thus saving the clients valuable time and
financial resources. The Rating Act Section 23 offers those seeking
remission of the whole or part of the rate payable to do so to the
rating authority stating reasons why remission is sought.
BITRUST offers would-be remission seekers an opportunity to have
this done for them being well conversant with the procedures and
operations of the local government machinery.
Valuations for Expropriation
Compulsory acquisition and compensation valuations are undertaken
where a public authority for general public use acquires private
property and the value has to be ascertained for adequate
compensation. BITRUST offers such valuations for affected clients
and also appears as expert witnesses in instances where the
compensation amount can not be agreed with the acquiring authority.
These are carried out after the death of the property owner where
change of ownership and sharing of the assets is required. We
provide such valuations and also offer any other related advises.
Statutory and Tax Valuations
Statutory Valuations or Valuations for taxation purposes is a
service offered mainly to quasi-government agencies like the Zambia
Revenue Authority (ZRA) in line with the Property Transfer Tax and
Income Tax (Withholding Tax). This service can also be extended to
individuals and corporate bodies alike. Other services offered
include general advice on taxation of property and VAT regarding
commercial and industrial properties.
Agricultural and Rural Valuations
The increasing complexity and sophistication of today’s accounting,
tax, insurance and corporate asset management roles, make it
necessary to have effective and efficient advice on values of rural
property. Valuations of farmlands, woodlands, rural buildings,
implements, pastoral lands, ranches, processing plants, plantations
tourists resorts and growing crops are carried out by our firm.
Plant and Machinery Valuations and Asset Condition Verifications
This is a specialised type of valuation, which is carried out with
appropriate consulting engineers or scientists. The concentration is
on installation costs, depreciation charges, exchange rate
incidence, insurance liabilities, duty and/or import costs, and
other considerations appropriate to the purpose of valuation.
Particularly, we pay great deal of attention and work to detail in
analysing the mechanical aspects of machinery as they relate to the
purpose of the plant. A condition survey is a detailed study of the
engineering processes in a processing plant or factory. In executing
this function, we test the functional integrity of the machinery at
each stage in the process flow. A lot of background research is
needed with appropriate engineers who are retained on an association
basis with BITRUST real estate consult. In the end we certify the
working condition of the machinery and how long it can sustain full
throttle operations. A normal condition survey would also serve as
an asset register taking stock of all paraphernalia that go with the
plant and machinery. We have done a lot of work in this direction.
Chattels: We also value furniture, equipment and motor vehicles for
various purposes. In a related role we carry out asset verification
Dispute Settlement: Arbitration and Expert Witness Roles
We at BITRUST act as arbiters and expert witnesses in any land
dispute provided such a service is confirmed with us in writing as
stipulated in our conditions of engagement.
Cognisant of the investment needs of clients in the competitive
investment markets and economies of the new millennium, BITRUST has
set high standards on techniques used in the assessment of values
and prices of real estate. In executing property appraisals, we,
based on discounted cash flow concepts, advise our clients on values
of real estate in comparison with values obtaining on other
investment options whilst taking into account the purpose of
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b. Asset Verifications
Many companies have approached us for preparation of Asset
Registers. In that process, we have to ascertain what assets are
there and state in what condition they are. We would then assign
values as reasonably assessed.
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c. Estate Agency
In tandem with modern real estate and general investment analysis
services, we also advise on modes of real estate disposals (sales),
acquisitions (purchases), lettings, raising of mortgages, raising
finance for property development or purchase at appropriate rates of
interest, and relevant financial packages appropriate to particular
Generally, we offer advice on timing of sales, lettings or
purchases, the most probable selling and letting values and
negotiate relevant aspects on behalf of our clients. We also advise
on the mode of sale, letting or purchase, property marketing methods
and on factors that enhance the value of any property to improve its
performance in the property market.
Our agency work covers all types of real estate and agency fees are
within the range 7.5 to 10% of the realised value for
sales/purchases and one month of the annual rent in the event of
We also complement lawyers in conveyancing thus ensuring the
completion of transactions within the shortest possible time.
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Maintenance and Management
In order to enhance the value of real estate, it is essential that
professional consultants in property management manage the
individual property and/or portfolio as a whole. Our functions in
this role include:
(a) rental valuations and rent fixing
(b) rent negotiations
(c) rent reviews
(d) selection of suitable tenants
(e) enforcement of lease covenants
(f) preparation of schedules of dilapidations or defects
(g) supervision and management of repair works and maintenance
(h) service charge analysis
(i) collation of relevant property, landlord and tenant details
(j) rent collection
(k) arrangement of security, cleaning and upkeep to improve the
(l) arranging for insurance of property
(m) preparation of maintenance programmes, i.e. response and
(n) Preparation of coding systems.
(o) Space planning and analysis
(p) Preparation of maintenance policies.
(q) Space planning and analysis
(r) Computerisation of management functions, and
(s) Provision of computer-aided facilities management (CAFM)
The property management functions can be done for two types of
a) Owner-Occupiers; and
b) Investors whose main motivation is rental income.
Where we are engaged to carry out a rent collection task only our
charges are based on the higher end of the scale, i.e. 15% of the
rent collected in a given month. However, fees become progressively
cheaper with bigger amounts of rental collections as then our costs
of managing the collections become lower.
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Property Intelligence & Investment Research Unit
a. Property Research Consultancy and Training/
Analysis and Research
These services are typically for institutional investors but
individuals are not excluded. Corporate bodies targeted include
Pension funds, Insurance companies, Privatisation organs, Private
and Quasi-government companies, Government agencies and Financial
institutions. In order to achieve improved speed and accuracy in
appraisals, valuations and investment analysis in general, our
practice uses HCM Valuation Models developed by Holland C Mulenga.
These models were originally developed in Microsoft Excel ’97 but
have been adapted to latest versions of Excel.
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b. Investment Advisory
Investment Portfolio Consultancy
As investment surveyors, our research wing keeps a current database
on performance of various investment options. Accordingly, we are
able to undertake assignments on behalf of clients to advise them on
the best investment option groups or entities that will provide them
with the maximum value for money given their investment criteria,
risk/return positions and capital dispositions.
We carry out “market surveys” and indicate projections of possible
returns and the pay back period for the capital outlay incurred in
the creation of the subject investment. Available investment options
would include treasury bills and other government securities, real
estate, and stocks and shares on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE).
Depending on client’s needs, we may extend our investment research
to other investment options and stock markets outside Zambia.
Under this service, we also advise on investment portfolio strategy
design and management. In that regard, we carry out investment
analyses from a multi-asset investment portfolio perspective with
the aim of maximising portfolio returns and minimising risks. We
also advise on the decision to buy, sell or hold within an
Property Investment Advice for Stock Exchange Purposes
It is vital for new companies listing or launching on the stock
exchange to know the exact worth of both their fixed (i.e. property,
plant and machinery) and moveable assets. In this regard, we shall
advise both property companies and any other companies on values of
their chattels, real estate, and plant and machinery. This advice
could occur prior to listing, during and afterwards.
Investment advice under this head will take an analytical account of
inherent risks in real estate and comparative investment options in
the wider market. We shall also assist Unit Trusts and individual
investors on implementation of intentions or decisions to invest in
unitised real estate assets when unitisation comes to LuSE.
Prior to unitisation coming onto LuSE, we are in a position to
undertake market research studies on feasibility of proposed real
estate investment vehicles, property company formation or the
introduction of any other innovative property investment schemes on
behalf of the instructing clients.
Investment Property Performance Appraisal
Any rational investor must constantly review the performance of his
investment portfolio. It may be that certain sectors; locations or
individual assets have deteriorated and led to increased management
cost thereby occasioning reduced income. It is our role as
investment advisors, to perform portfolio appraisals in order to
evaluate performance and indicate appropriate directions in
investment volumes. The decisions could be to sell, hold, or buy
certain sections of the property portfolio.
For this exercise to be effective, the co-operation of our client’s
accountant is desirable and an entire portfolio without exception
must be availed to us for inspection. We feel many institutions need
to have this service carried out immediately.
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c. Property Research
Our research department, which is chaired by the Principal
Consultant, carries out regular studies on a general level in
connection with the various investment options on the market. This
department will be publishing the BITRUST PROPERTY INDICES and the
BITRUST REALTY REPORT soon on a quarterly basis. However, where a
client wants specific type of research to be carried out in relation
to any individual type or group of investment options, we shall
carry out such research at a fee.
Client-Tailored Property Courses
Management frequently underplays the role of real estate as a factor
in the product development or service delivery process. Yet it is
just as important as any other factor of production alongside
finance and human resources.
The reason is usually because the corporate strategy does not
adequately consider the value and contribution of property to main
line business. To that extent, property is given to untrained
personnel or relegated to a very low level within the management
BITRUST offers its expertise in this area to train personnel on
management of owner-occupied or leased property on a proactive
basis. In November 1998,we successfully conducted the inauguration
workshop on the theme “Property Value Enhancement Through Proactive
Management” at Hotel Intercontinental in Lusaka, Zambia. The course
attracted all the major property investing institutions in the
Many other courses have since followed and remain valuable reference
material for both practitioners and students to this day.
Some selected workshops are:
Common Leasehold Schemes: Strategy for Releasing Full Potential of
the Real Estate Industry, 1999
b. Collective Investment Schemes – The Feasibility of Unit Trusts in
Land Policy Research
On a consultative basis we can carry out research for government,
university or a local authority in order to determine the
appropriate land policy in a given environment.
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d, Roles in Property
Our roles in this field are varied and run from site acquisition
through co-ordination of relevant professionals to completion of the
proposed development. We therefore facilitate procurement of land
for development. Accordingly, we provide relevant data for rational
decisions regarding investment in real estate. Involvement is
through inception of the development idea, feasibility study, design
and implementation, and the management of the project up to
Feasibility Studies and Development Appraisals
In order to execute certain development projects, it is essential
that property development experts test the feasibility of a given
proposal. We offer consultancy services in this area in order to
improve chances of success in the proposed venture once developed.
The Project management role involves the co-ordination, monitoring
and supervision of the development from inception to completion. The
project manager will ensure that an appropriate project brief is
developed and that development budgetary requirements are met within
the allocated time frames. We also prepare planning applications and
negotiate financial packages relevant to the needs and abilities of
Prior to or upon completion, we also market the development scheme
as may be required whether for sale or letting.
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