Letter from the Executive Director
Mark Riedy, PhD
I plan to highlight four strategic priorities of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate in future editions of The Pipeline. Throughout the 20 year history of USD’s real estate program we have been blessed with great industry support, both inside and outside the classroom. We rely heavily upon our four Policy Advisory Board committees, including about 110 dedicated industry executives, along with our growing population of active alumni, to achieve our goals. During 2014, we plan to leverage the expertise of committee members and alumni to approach strategic priorities in a more structured way than ever before with the intent of making even greater advances toward their achievement.
We anticipate noticeable and measurable progress in these four strategic areas:
- Increased class enrollments across the board
- Added value to the residential real estate industry
- Increased sustainable sources of net revenue
- A seamless transition in the executive leadership position of the Center
In this edition of The Pipeline, I want to address graduate (MSRE) and undergraduate enrollment initiatives. At the graduate level, we actively recruit students in competition with the best real estate programs in America, virtually all of them at much larger and generally public universities. We maintain high admission standards and raise different components of those standards when appropriate. Competing at the highest levels and with demanding admissions standards means that scholarships for recruiting MSRE students have become our top strategic priority and primary fund-raising objective. Our goal is to boost MSRE enrollments by three to five students over the next two years because classroom and human resource constraints create a practical limit of 30 MSRE students. We are approaching this capacity limit at a deliberately cautious pace in order to sustain the quality of the student experience. USD’s $42,000 tuition (separate from books and the opportunity costs of time invested in studies versus current employment), along with high admissions standards, add a “stretch” element to this goal. Fortunately, the quality of incoming and existing students is such that each year’s class contributes to enhancing the value of USD’s MSRE degree. Alumni constantly tell us how much they appreciate the increasing value of their earned degrees. Prospective MSRE students frequently cite alumni satisfaction and the rising value of the degree as important reasons for their application. Graduate level scholarships are critically important assets for recruiting highly qualified candidates for the MSRE program.
At the undergraduate level, scholarships traditionally have been used to recognize, reward and reinforce the accomplishments of USD’s existing real estate students. Part of our strategic goals is to target more scholarship dollars to “recruit” undergraduate students and encourage them to select real estate as a major or a minor within their bachelor of business administration degree. Other majors, such as finance, economics and marketing enjoy larger enrollments partly because one or more of their courses are required of all business school students, so students have a running start toward majors in those fields. In contrast, all real estate courses are electives, which means each real estate course must be taken over and above all of the required courses. To overcome that hurdle, we hope to generate more scholarship resources employ them strategically, and continue to provide outstanding, personalized service to students.
We are hopeful that over time, scholarships will help us penetrate the barriers to entry for real estate majors and minors, will lead to higher enrollments in real estate courses and will enhance our prospects for expanding the undergraduate real estate curriculum. Likewise, Mandelin Meehling, the Center’s new manager of student and alumni services, will also reinforce those scholarship benefits by bringing renewed energy to the Real Estate Society, a student-run program designed to promote industry/student interaction. Business school faculty evaluate proposals to approve new real estate courses based upon a variety of factors, but especially enrollments, major/minor numbers and the availability of qualified faculty. Therefore, industry-generated scholarships and value-add services provided by the Center truly make a difference in our ability to sustain the undergraduate real estate program. Collectively, our ultimate goal is a steady stream of well-balanced and well-educated USD alumni filling your needs for high potential new employees.
At the graduate level, greater scholarship resources will be reinforced by our increasing emphasis on international exposure and studies, attracting industry leaders as mentors, creating internship opportunities, and offering invaluable hands-on experience. MSRE students learn fast when analyzing “live” real estate projects and when they employ their training at the international ARGUS University Software Challenge defending previous Burnham-Moores Center teams’ successful performances. Delivering an educational experience to graduate students who shell out $42,000 of their own after-tax dollars for tuition demands an equally great performance by the team of the Center’s faculty and staff. We promise a full-service menu served with a caring attitude for all of our students. We reinforce these services with second-to-none opportunities to interact with industry professionals and devote excellent resources to helping prepare graduating students for outstanding careers in real estate. We welcome your suggestions for additional ways to enhance the value of an MSRE degree or undergraduate major or minor in real estate.
From a life cycle perspective USD’s real estate program has successfully maneuvered through its teen years and is emerging into young adulthood. The program was launched as an entirely self-supporting entity within USD’s School of Business Administration more than 20 years ago. Funding from industry leaders provide our lifeblood. We began with miniscule registration revenues from a teleconference on fair lending in 1993, took advantage of angel financing in the early years and were nurtured with venture capital in our years of rapid growth. In 2014, the USD real estate program has total endowments in excess of $11 million, including a $5 million endowment gift naming it the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.
We are consolidating gains and working more intimately than ever before with the Center’s committee members to add value to our relationships with stakeholders and to put bedrock support under the long-term financial sustainability of the Center. For as far back as I can remember, I have had a personal commitment to building the Center’s permanent endowments to $20 million, including at least $5 million in endowed scholarships and additional endowment gifts of $4 million to $5 million to support operating needs and ease our still-strong reliance on annual gifts, pledges and program revenues. We continue to look to you for the guidance, suggestions and connections that are so crucial in reaching our goals, fund-raising and otherwise.
For some of us, we make a difference one student at a time. For others, the opportunities exist within our program for one individual to make a transformational gift that makes a difference in the lives of future generations of students, many at a time, not just one at a time. Somewhere among our readers and stakeholders is an individual ― perhaps you or someone you know ― with the wherewithal and the heart to make a $5 million endowment gift for scholarships for real estate students at the University of San Diego. It will help us check off priority number one, maybe help move us more quickly through priorities two and three and get me to priority four no later than next January. In the interim, I will address priorities two and three in future additions and you will learn more about our fourth priority as time goes on.
Mark J. Riedy, PhD
|(Left to right) Senior Joshua Macias meets with Mike Gallegos of Prosser Stevens Real Estate Investments at the 12th Annual Real Estate Career Expo on Feb. 27.
On Feb. 27, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate hosted its 12th Annual Real Estate Career Expo on campus. Participants included 42 company representatives from the real estate industry and 45 graduate and undergraduate students. The event was conducted speed-networking style, which enabled students to participate in 11 rounds of six minute informational interviews. After the last round, students had the opportunity to network with companies they did not have the chance to meet or to spend additional time with companies they were interested in. Company representatives were given a résumé book of student participants who attended the Expo.
View photos from the Career Expo.
|(Left to right) Sean Murphy, Lori Malins, Johannah Cantwell of MIPIM, Professor Norm Miller, Lauren Burns and Bernado Simões at the MIPIM 2014 Conference in Cannes.
For the second year in a row, Burnham-Moores Center’s Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and a team of four Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) students attended the MIPIM 2014 Conference in Cannes, France from March 10-14. The MIPIM conference is a leading international real estate organization and its conference is attended by nearly 20,000 commercial real estate professionals, including investors and developers from across the globe looking to make deals and learn about the latest industry trends.
|Norm Miller, PhD moderates a panel at the conference
The student team included Lauren Burns, Lori Malins, Sean Murphy and Bernado Simões. The students curated content over several months leading up to the conference as part of a collaboration with MIPIM. Professor Miller moderated a panel discussion at the conference which included multiple speakers from Schneider Electric, a professor from Vienna and an architect, titled “Turning Your Building into a Performance Asset.”
The USD team and a team from ESSEC Business School in Paris were selected to attend various conference sessions and were responsible for summarizing the major points of each session with MIPIM’s global audience via social media platforms, including Scoop.it, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Students from New York University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Paris-Sorbonne University also attended, but were assigned to other roles at the conference.
“Our role as official bloggers for the conference provided unique opportunities to attend numerous panels on sustainability and investment trends in various international real estate markets,” said MSRE student Lori Malins. “It also provided us with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with leading real estate experts gaining in depth knowledge about their fields. It was exciting to be a participant in such a large and world-renowned conference.”
USD MSRE student Lauren Burns was equally impressed with the trip. “The conference was an incredible experience that will forever stand apart from my graduate studies in the classroom at USD. For a week straight, we were immersed in all things global real estate and were given the chance to see what’s on the minds of high-level decision makers in the industry. Real estate is always said to be very local, but there are benefits of opportunity and innovation to being connected globally. Being graduate student journalists for the conference gave us legitimacy and an easy reason to make conversation with anyone attending.”
The students also caught a glimpse of new scalable sustainable office towers created by world class architects; vendors that provide 3D building interior tours and allow design tweaking or real time navigation; the latest in building management systems; electric motor scooters and more. Outside of the conference, students had time to enjoy sightseeing in Cannes.
The articles written by the MSRE students and Professor Miller at the MIPIM conference can be found on MIPIM’s website and are also linked to each student’s name above. View additional photos from the conference.
Due to industry demand, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate will offer two ARGUS Software trainings for the general public in May.
The Center will hold another of its two-day ARGUS Valuation-DCF (Version 15) training for industry professionals May 3-4, which will meet from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Last fall, ARGUS Software launched ARGUS Valuation-DCF (Version 16). However, since the majority of industry users are still using Version 15, this workshop will continue to use focus on the older version. The Center plans to offer a Version 16 training later this year. The May 3-4 workshop, which is limited to 20 attendees, will cost $600 per person and will be held on the University of San Diego campus. A 10 percent discount is available for USD alumni and staff and for multiple registrations. Professor Charles Tu, PhD, will teach the ARGUS Valuation-DCF workshop. Tu has served as faculty adviser for the winning “ARGUS Software University Challenge” Master of Science in Real Estate teams each year the competition has been held. The Center began offering the ARGUS Valuation-DCF workshop in 2012, and it continues to fill up quickly, so be sure to register online soon.
The Center will offer a one-day ARGUS Developer Training May 17 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Olin Hall room 229 on campus, which will cover the key features of the software. This is the first time this training has been offered to the public in San Diego. ARGUS Developer is the leading software for real estate development projects, and is used by commercial developers, home builders, land developers and financial institutions to analyze a project’s financial feasibility and conduct sensitivity analysis. The training will cost $350 for industry professionals, and a 10 percent discount is available for USD alumni and staff and for multiple registrations. The registration fee includes a 15-day temporary license of the software program. You may now register online for the ARGUS Developer Training.
For registration questions for either workshop, contact Diane Ice. For questions about course content, contact Charles Tu, PhD.
|Kelly Souza ’03 (BBA), senior vice president, Wells Fargo Real Estate Group-San Diego, meets her mentee, junior Craig Henderlite, at the March 5 mentor kick-off breakfast.
The Real Estate Alumni Association (REAA) hosted an undergraduate mentorship program kick-off breakfast on campus March 4, where 17 students and their mentors met for the first time. The mentorship program pairs real estate industry executives with undergraduate real estate students based on their shared areas of interest. Each pair is encouraged to meet three times throughout the semester to discuss the student's career goals, while simultaneously exposing students to everyday management, financial and political challenges and rewards. Many mentoring relationships continue long after students have graduated and entered the industry.
At the end of the semester, students have the option to submit a one page summary of their mentorship experience for “passport credit.” The School of Business Administration’s (SBA) passport program is a graduation requirement for all declared undergraduate business majors. It consists of three mandatory requirements — meeting with SBA’s Career Services, attending a networking event and completing an online USD Senior Exit Survey — and nine flexible passport points including attendance at specific events, completing a not-for-credit internship, community service project participation or attending an approved off-campus seminar or conference.
If you are interested in mentoring an undergraduate or graduate student in the fall 2014 semester, please contact Mandelin Meehling, student and alumni services manager.
|Norm Miller, PhD
Norm Miller, PhD, is a professor of real estate through USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and the USD School of Business Administration. Miller, who has three degrees from The Ohio State University, is a globally respected expert in the real estate business, particularly sustainable real estate. His co-authored book, “Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investment” is a leading graduate level textbook on the subject. In September, Miller will be one of just five USD scholars to receive a University Professorship, the top honor available to USD faculty members. Inside USD asked Miller about current market trends, how he got started and advice for students considering a real estate career.
Real estate is one way to measure the economy (local, state, national). Assess the current market and do you have thoughts on possible real estate trends for 2014?
We think of the real estate market in segments. There is the single family housing market, multifamily market and office, industrial, retail, hotels and other specialized types. They are not all in sync but housing will continue to rebound at a slower pace, rents will be increasing in most other segments and values will increase so long as interest rates don’t increase too much.
Where did your interest in real estate develop?
I wanted to become an architectural engineer, but I started taking some business courses. My adviser pointed out that I had taken every possible real estate and urban course (economics, sociology, planning, public finance) and I might as well be a real estate major. I met mentors after I became the President of the real estate society. One of my mentors helped me buy my first investment with several of my buddies, since none of us had any money. We even needed to borrow the equity. I put that first deal together and a few more for myself, and later I was able to pay off all my college loans and buy a house and car. Real estate accelerated everything.
You’re an expert in sustainable real estate and you’ve connected with USD faculty and staff colleagues who also have sustainability expertise. How have these interdisciplinary resources added to your knowledge?
Real estate is an integrative subject since you need to know about so many different topics. Sustainable real estate takes it one step further. It forces you to examine not only energy generation and conservation, but also generating less waste and pollution and providing more productive environments in which to live and work. Design, financing, operations, management and regulation or incentives all matter as well as keeping up on the latest technology. To do this, I stay in touch with colleagues from all over the world as well as locally. We all feed each other with new ideas and knowledge.
What kind of sustainable practices do you maintain at home and in your everyday life?
Nothing special, except perhaps that I was one of the first to own a TESLA S which I charge up off-peak. I drive quietly and without emitting any greenhouse gases as I fly by the noisy gas guzzlers. We try to do less harm in how we live, recycle and grow some of our own food and not eat red meat or processed foods, but we are not extreme.
What advice do you give USD real estate students about a career in the real estate business or a specific niche?
First, be sure you learn how the market works, not just descriptions and rules. Second, get a mentor. Be a good financial analysis and become an expert in something. Stay engaged in what is going on so you are conversant with professionals. Consider using media like Scoopit.com so you can follow stories on state-of-the-art trends. Lastly, buy and keep a copy of my commercial real estate book (shameless plug)!
As a new University Professorship recipient, what research are you doing now or preparing to do?
I’ve been working on workplace trends and the implications for the office market, sustainable real estate trends and watching the latest technologies evolve like batteries. Batteries, if improved, will transform society, how we live and work. I plan to write a book on sustainable real estate, do some speaking, and continue to improve our journal as a resource for others, see www.josre.org.
Given your workload and need to stay current, how do you spend your time away from academics?
I enjoy sailing when I get the chance. My wife and I take at least one major trip each year where I am not speaking. For example, in June we will go to Kyoto, Japan, visit Buddhist temples, and learn about Japanese culture and sustainability practices. In San Diego, we have several magnets deserving of attention; a dog, a granddaughter nearby plus one on the way, and lots of yard and house chores. We also love walking on the beach, doing photography and supporting the local arts.
|Ron May ’07 (MSRE)
|Skye Morland ’13 (MSRE)
Ron (Beau) May ’07 (MSRE) recently joined MetroNational as retail leasing manager. MetroNational is a privately held real estate investment, development and management company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1959, the company owns and manages more than 8.5 million square feet of commercial real estate property located primarily in the greater Houston area. Memorial City is MetroNational’s largest development. In this position, May is responsible for the leasing of Memorial City Mall, The Gateway Project and future development projects. Since graduating from USD’s MSRE program in 2007, he has held positions as acquisition analyst with Terramar Retail Centers, project and development manager with the Bergman Companies, and most recently was the assistant and interim general manager of Westfield Shopping Centers.
Skye Morland ’13 (MSRE) recently joined Avison Young San Diego as operations manager. Avison Young is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. In the past four years, Avison Young has grown from 400 to 1,500 real estate professionals. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. The company is comprised of 54 offices, providing client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties. Morland’s main responsibility is to develop and promote the Avison Young brand to help grow the Avison Young’s San Diego office.
If you are a USD alum working in the real estate industry, we would like to hear from you. Please e-mail Diane Ice with recent and significant career-related achievements and initiatives. All submissions will be considered for publication.
|Alan Gin, PhD
Alan Gin, PhD, associate professor of economics at USD, has compiled the “USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County” for the Burnham-Moores Center since January 2002. The Index is a highly regarded monthly report which offers an outlook of the local economy. Gin is a popular resource for information and analyses and has given over 1,000 interviews to local and national media sources since 2002.
Gin’s most recent Index report appears monthly in The Pipeline.
To schedule a media interview with Gin, please contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.