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Case structure: Open land case

New answer on Jul 31, 2020
5 Answers
1.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 30, 2020

Hi guys,

I've been having trouble structuring a very open case and I was hoping to find some help here. How would you structure the following case?

Your friend has 10acres of land and wants you to make a recommendation on what he could/should do with it.

Thanks in advance!


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Best answer
replied on Jul 30, 2020
Expert Financial Services | ex-FinTech Unicorn Manager | 250+ real interviews | 14y+ int work exp | ESCP Business School

Hi A,

love this case ;-)

There is obviously no right and wrong to answer this case, but the interviewer wants to better understand how you tackle this question or better how you come to good answer.

For example...

If it should be a written answer (which I doubt), you could be creative be making different suggestions of how to use. So you're structure could be: I'll give you a long list and then let's further discuss a short list.

Or, a more likely situation, in a face to face interview, you simply ask the interviewer questions about his/her situation and preferences of how he or she could use the land in order to meet his/her goals.

Like mentioned: There is no right or wrong - you're now in the role of the consultant in order to give advice. Take a decision for a certain framework and then be creative!

Enjoy ;-) Jasper

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replied on Jul 30, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


A very clear approach would be:

Step 1: Verify the objective (e.g., generating money from the land)

Step 2: Identify High Level Options how the land can be used, e.g.,

  • Selling it
  • Renting it out
  • Putting it to productive use via, e.g.,
    • Building something on it which can then either be sold (e.g., a large house) or generate a stream of return (e.g., a leisure offering for specific groups)
    • Extracting value from it (e.g., agriculture, mining, oil & gas drilling, etc.)
    • ...
  • Leave it untouched (and, e.g., wait for an "organic" increase in value, or keep it in the back pocket as a collateral to finance large-scale business activities that you are planning)

Step 3: Quantify the (present) value of each option in terms of money

Step 4: Double check your capability to execute the preferred option and verify the potential risks that might come along with this option

I hope this helps!


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replied on Jul 30, 2020

Clarify the main goal(s) of the friend, e.g. receiving a high return on the land. Does he own it? Where is the land located? What kind of land is it, e.g. pasture, forrest, wasteland?

In general the options would be the following; then evaluate for each the ROI or NPV; check also some restrictions, risks, etc.

1. Do nothing

2. Lease it

3. Do something with the land, e.g. for agriculture or real estate

4. Sell it

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 31, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, you can find here some other useful examples:


Hope it helps,

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 30, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello there!

I think you missed the question :)



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Jasper gave the best answer


Expert Financial Services | ex-FinTech Unicorn Manager | 250+ real interviews | 14y+ int work exp | ESCP Business School
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