Excellence in Action

Real Estate Intelligence Unit (RIU), from Colombo, Sri Lanka

Providing market research, data collection, analysis, feasibility studies, and property hunting services to major clients from around the world

© 2016 Dav Idega / Jave Z.

Companies that make money through investing in real estate around the world, such as Kennedy Wilson or Madison International from the United States, are primarily in the business of forecasting the future. How much is this piece of property worth now? How much will it be worth in the future? How much value will developing the property add? What are the demographic trends in the country? Answering these and other questions requires information, research, and analysis, all keys to making smart investment decisions. This is why many of these global investment firms develop just a few, primary markets in which they direct the lion’s share of their capital. It takes not only large amounts of data and analysis to get an accurate picture of a particular real estate market, but also a profound level of closeness and immersion in that place to truly understand it inside and out.

Even with a focused portfolio, sometimes it takes a dedicated, professional research team to investigate and understand a real estate market thoroughly. That is why most real estate investors who operate on a global scale will work with an independent research and advisory agency, especially in the case where the best real estate opportunities exist in countries that the company is not intimately familiar with. In Sri Lanka, the island nation located just off the tip of southeastern India, the leading real estate research and investment consultancy is the Real Estate Intelligence Unit (RIU), based in Colombo.

With a population of over 20 million, Sri Lanka has been, more and more often, entering the global conversation as a hot real estate market. This is due to a number of factors. For one, the Sri Lankan economy has been roaring, one of the surest signals that a real estate market is about to explode. Second, the economy has been developing in ways that particular advantage the prospects for real estate. Per capita income has more than doubled since 2005, and economic development has been occurring in a diverse mix of sectors, with major upticks occurring in the services, industrial, agriculture, and tourism sectors. This means that new offices, retail spaces, warehouses, hotels, and residential properties are all in increasing demand. Particularly in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city and economic center, real estate is undergoing a rapid transition.

© 2016 Dav Idega / Jave Z.

The Real Estate Intelligence Unit (RIU) has proven that it is the leader at leveraging its understanding the complexities of this changing market to benefit clients, working with companies from around the world to execute investment and development projects in Sri Lanka with confidence. The company has existed in Colombo since 2003, when the Research Intelligence Unit, a company registered in the UK, set up an office there. Over its decades of experience in the market, RIU has built a highly trained, experienced, and creative team of professionals falling under two major divisions: Research and Advisory, and Property Management.

RIU’s services fall under the following categories: Advisory, which deals with the strategic planning stages, feasibility studies, the compliance and approval of plans by governmental bodies, and impact studies; Marketing and Sales, which assists developers in either filling out their new properties with tenants or selling units of a new condominium, for example, or selling a property outright; Investment Intermediation; which is the matching of investors with potential projects or matching investors with each other to partner on a bigger project; and Property Hunting, which deals primarily with the facilitation of the sale, lease, and rental of high-end properties to major clients both domestic and international. Recent international clients include KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deutsche Bank, Lavazza Coffee, the World Bank, Oxfam UK, UNICEF, the Asian Development Bank, Savills, and many, many others.

This year, Real Estate Intelligence Unit (RIU) has been selected to receive the BID International Quality Award, one of the highest global recognitions of organizational Quality. RIU was singled out for its excellent performance record, its leading position in the Sri Lankan market, its long list of satisfied clients, and its personnel development.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.