[LIVE] Deal Sourcing and Preliminary Evaluation: A Primer

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Online: Live Course

Deal Sourcing and Preliminary Evaluation: A Primer

As a real estate developer, you may sift through hundreds of potential deals before finding one that makes sense to even begin to pursue. A key skill that all successful developers share is the ability to efficiently and objectively find and evaluate potential projects. 

This course introduces you to basic notions of where real estate deals can be found. In addition, you will learn proven methods to evaluate the terms of a deal to decide whether the deal is worth further research.


Using sample deal terms and property characteristics drawn from real listings, this course will teach you the methods to accurately determine the potential feasibility of a deal. It will also offer you practical insights into important aspects of deal prospecting, such as valuing the land for a project, making an offer to gain control of the site, and when to perform further due diligence. 

This unique program allows you to benefit from the insights and techniques of experienced developers to identify potential future development projects in one’s own development practice.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Identify common sources and methods for finding projects, including what to look for in listings.
  • Understand how to determine property value using residual land value (RLV).
  • Understand the role of zoning and entitlements in feasibility.
  • Know when to make an offer to gain site control.
  • Think creatively about deal structure to increase project feasibility.

ULI Learning is provided by the Urban Land Institute.


  • Deals
  • Development

Experience Level

  • Foundational

This course is designed for beginning-level participants looking for foundational information and insights.

Career Stage

  • Beginning Real Estate Professionals
  • Mid-Career Real Estate Professionals

This course is designed for those considering a career in real estate, new to real estate, or changing from one industry area to another. 

Course Format

This course includes four hours of content. It is available live online. The course includes digital materials.

Course dates: July 21 and 23

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 pm EDT

David Farmer. PE, AICP

Principal, Keystone Development Advisors

David H. Farmer is the Principal of Keystone Development Advisors, LLC (KDA) a real estate development firm. KDA is an advisor to lenders and investors in Florida. David has more than 30 years of experience in real estate development and entitlement negotiation. He joined ULI as a Full Member in 2002 and served as an officer and Executive Committee member to the ULI Southwest Florida District Council. In 2010 he was named District Council Chair and completed his term in 2013. David is a passionate ULI member and promotes their mission wherever he has an audience.  His background in civil engineering and planning provide a unique perspective to deal sourcing, analysis and execution. In 2015 David formed Metro Forecasting Models, LLC (MFM) a company which provides development forecasting for housing, commercial uses, industrial uses and public schools for governments to assist with their planning endeavors.

David began his career in the development industry in 1989 with an engineering firm designing commercial and residential projects for private clients. A professional engineer, he left the engineering field in 2000 to work full time for Keystone Communities overseeing the entitlement, design and construction of residential communities, resort facilities, and commercial projects. In 2002, after earning his Certified General Contractors license, he also became responsible for the permitting and construction of their projects.

Following a large sale of entitled and developed residential lots in 2003, the company’s focus shifted from development to entitlement and infrastructure development. At that time, David took on the additional responsibility of site selection and acquisition for the company. In 2005, he was made a principal of the company and participated in both the rewards and costs of acquisition, entitlement, and development.

David’s development experience includes both very successful projects and those with limited success. In the tradition of ULI, he feels it is important to focus heavily on mistakes made and lessons learned when teaching the real estate development process. One learns quickly what not to do when you are spending your own money on development projects.

David has brokered more than $70 million in real estate transactions and entitled thousands of homes and millions of square feet of commercial property. His favorite quote is “Begin with the end in mind.”


  • ULI Members: $145.00
  • Non-Members: $195.00
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