It doesn't settle my concerns, however. May I correct a couple of his assertions.
Firstly, Tim suggests I'm a real estate agent. I'm not. Developers and real estate agents actually are interdependent - they drink from the same cup.
Secondly, Tim accused me of being abusive towards developers; I checked my letter - there is no abuse in it. I'm not sure where I “lost the plot”.
I have to admit I've never heard of a “virtual developer”. I'm guessing that means that the landowners actually carry 100 per cent of the risk! That would be the loans and the losses as well as the profits, if any. Little comfort there.
Tim avoided commenting on my real concern which is how landowners get paid - land owners should take their money from the top number not the bottom line. Management fees will eat up the profits - they always do. And like all of these projects there will be enormous initial losses.
The landowners are entitled to a rent reflective of the true value of their lands. Expecting a landowner's return to be dependent on the success of a project is like expecting a shop owner only to get rent if the shopkeeper makes a profit - the profitability of any enterprise is not the owner's concern, because they can't control it.
My letter was addressed to the landowners - as are these comments; look hard at the deal - find out who the real developer is (not the "virtual" one); find out who the managers are; and find out who is providing the finance. Find out how they get paid. And find out who carries the can if it all goes belly up.
None of these should be you.