the World Green Building Council. While the market has only
recently become aware of LEED and other internationally recognized certifications, KazGBC has developed the local OMIR
The OMIR certification has taken the expertise of other
international certifications and simplified some requirements
while strengthening others. For example, LEED and BREEAM
require that construction materials and some of the equipment
be locally produced, but Kazakhstan unfortunately does not
have many local producers. So automatically, property managers would lose points.
Some specific regulations in the Local Country Regulations
on Constructions were difficult to adjust to international green
standards. An example here is local regulations that prevent the
use of rain water in the maintenance of buildings.
The good news is that compared to a few years ago, property managers are starting to recognize the value of energy
efficiency. Thirteen buildings have been registered to become
LEED certified since 2016, compared to only five in the four
years from 2012 to 2015. BREEAM-certified buildings are also
growing in number.
Professional exchange has also contributed to the industry in
Kazakhstan. It might sound strange to real estate managers in
developed nations, but the market in Kazakhstan never had any
mechanisms that enabled real estate companies, property managers and other players to interact in any way.
A new association called the Kazakhstan Networking Partners (KNP) has influenced the industry by increasing awareness
of the CPM designation and educational opportunities. KNP
is responsible for Commercial Real Estate Week (CREW), the
biggest real estate conference in the country, which draws international experts.
Property management companies actually know each other
now. Members have been able to exchange expertise and learn a
lot based on new case studies they encounter while networking.
Obviously, certifications and groups like these exist around the
world, but for Kazakhstan, everything’s new.
THE EFFECTS OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
The result of these market changes has been a greater awareness
of professional development. Five years ago, not many property
managers were aware of the CPM designation, and local educational organizations never offered any property management
courses. Now managers are seeking self-education and aiming
to get certified as CPMs. Among other examples, a real estate
management program was created at a university in Almaty in
2017 and launched this year.
The market has also shown great flexibility. Properties built
for one purpose have rapidly and suddenly shifted concepts as
required by changing demands.
As an example, a mall in Almaty was initially designed as a
small shopping center of 13,000 square meters (about 139,931
square feet) in gross leasable area within a larger complex that
included apartments and other commercial spaces. Construction
took longer than planned because of economic fluctuations, and
a few years after the project began, development managers deter-
mined that the area would not support sufficient profit as strictly
a shopping area. They took the risk of adjusting the property to
a huge co-working center, which had much higher demand.
Not all of these stories are positive. An owner of another