Real Estate Club Holds Final Meeting of Academic Year

The Real Estate Club consistently had 30-35 undergraduate students attending the meetings during the spring semester. At the final meeting of the academic year on April 23, the students heard from a panel of representatives speaking on becoming a “First Time Homebuyer”. The panel was organized by Dennis Paul, Vice President at Elevations Credit Union who also served as an outstanding moderator. Panelists included an appraiser, broker, mortgage loan officer, home inspector and representatives from a title company.

Additionally, the new Real Estate Club officers for the 2012-13 academic year were announced at the meeting. The officers include:

President: Shekinah Ward (senior)
Program Coordinators: Jack Krowl (junior) and Cooper Jacobs (junior)

The planning has begun for the next academic year and includes the second annual Habitat for Humanity Build Day on a Saturday in mid-September. Interested industry speakers for the Club meetings on Monday evenings should contact the Club advisor, Lisa Chambers 303-492-4194.

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Undergraduate Internships and Permanent Job Placements

Thirty real estate certificate students graduated on May 10, 2012 along with their approximately 550 classmates at the Leeds School of Business. Each of these students completed their real estate internship and as of this writing, around fifteen of the students have accepted permanent jobs in real estate. Another eleven seniors will graduate with their real estate certificate in December 2012.

One example of a successful industry partnership is with Evans Senior Investments: Leeds Schools of Business students and several Evans Scholars have taken part in a rigorous training program that teaches them how to interact with owners of Seniors Housing communities across the country while giving them a full understanding of the business. Each student receives individual and group training sessions to ensure they are competent and will enter the work place with the following competencies: business development, real estate finance, and business etiquette. “We are extremely excited to create this partnership between ESI and the University of Colorado. Lisa Chambers at the CU Real Estate Center has been a fantastic resource and critical part of this program ensuring that all of the interns earn college credit for this opportunity,” said Managing Partner Jeremy Stroiman. “Our hope is for these students to learn all aspects of the industry and find full-time positions within the industry upon graduation.”

Next fall the Real Estate Certificate program will have a record 95 juniors and seniors enrolled in the program. If you are interested in setting up a real estate internship for an undergraduate junior or senior, please contact Lisa Chambers at 303-492-4194.

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RMREC Champs!

For second year MBA students whose concentration is real estate, this title from an old Marx Brothers movie hits home, but truly understates the amount of time they spent focusing on this year’s MBAX Project Competition class project.

The 2012 Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge (RMREC), coordinated through NAIOP – the national association for commercial real estate development – celebrated its tenth year of university-level project competition on May 2nd at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel in downtown Denver.  NAIOP-Colorado, which oversees the designation of the yearly project, chose the currently vacant and abandoned former greyhound racetrack in Commerce City.  Once NAIOP identifies the sponsor and the site, it becomes the designated project for the MBAX Project Competition class at CU Leeds School of Business (as well as the designated project for a similar class at the Daniels School of Business at DU).  The students at CU and DU then spend the entire semester creating a business case and specific development plan for the site.  Students work in 4-6 person teams, each team coming up with their own unique plan for the project.  At the end of the semester, both CU and DU select the best plan from their respective school teams, and those two winning teams “face off” at the RMREC in front of 650 industry professionals from around the Front Range area.

Considering all this, do you still think you want to be in real estate?? If you ask any of this year’s (or past year’s) participants in the competition, the resounding answer would be “YES”!  It is seldom that a class can so readily immerse a student in to a relevant project, where issues are real, and for which they are expected to provide credible and defensible answers.  It is also a rare opportunity to work with professionals, face-to-face, and gain a sense of the complexities, intricacies and subtleties of such a high profile industry.  Without fail, the students in the competition class claim that it is one of the best, if not the best, class experience they have had during their academic careers.

For this year’s CU winning team – dubbed “Buff One Development”, consisting of Blake Ottersberg, Tyler Field, John Bauknight, Matt Ferguson and Craig Townsend – all the blood, sweat and tears culminated in a CU victory over DU at this year’s gala event.  The team proposed a phased, multi-faceted plan incorporating a mix of uses (residential, retail, educational and open space) that was both financially feasible and addressed all the key parameters set forth by the Commerce City URA in its formal RFP (Request For Proposal).

Coupled with a national win by classmates Chad Murphy and Alex Atherton at the prestigious ULI/Hines competition earlier in the semester, the 2012 CU Leeds MBA real estate graduates had a banner year.  We hope it foreshadows similar success for future classes, and know that it helps vault CU’s MBA program in to the ranks of the top business schools for real estate in the country.


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CU Real Estate Undergraduates in the news!

Erica Mark is featured on the front page of today’s Boulder Daily Camera as a graduating real estate senior. She is heading to Santa Barbara to work as a commercial broker there. Take a look at the article and graduation pictures!

lick here to read the article

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CU Wins Inaugural Rocky Mountain Real Estate Golf Challenge

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Golf Challenge, a Ryder Cup style golf match between CU Real Estate Center supporters and supporters of the DU real estate program, was won, by default, by CU, as nobody from DU showed up.  Obviously intimidated by the mighty Buffs, DU was unable to generate any interest in the Challenge.  Undaunted, 50 CU supporters came out on April 30th for a fun day of golf and networking at the Colorado National Golf Club.  It was a beautiful day and, despite the absence of DU, everyone had a great time.   The tournament, changed to a four-man best ball format, was won by the team from Western Development, shooting a stunning 24 under par (net) round, and winning by 9 strokes.  No wonder DU was intimidated.  Appropriately enough, Western Development was also the lead sponsor of the tournament.  Other sponsors included, Kutak Rock, Dividend Capital, K2 Ventures, Centennial Realty Advisors, David Chadwick, JE Dunn, Sherm Miller and Mary Sullivan, Brinkman Construction, City of Lakewood, CRL Associates, Richard Morgan, FastSigns and Flatirons Land Rover.   Thanks to our sponsors, all the golfers and our fantastic golf committee, led by Jeff Latier, with wonderful support from Laura Spitzmiller, Erin Marilley, Lisa Peck, Sarah Hoberg, Sherm Miller and Dan Minzer, this was the most successful golf tournament we have had in years.


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ARGUS University Challenge

Each year ARGUS Software sponsors a graduate student competition that requires teams to analyze a commercial property using ARGUS-DCF software.  The 2012 Real Estate MBA team consists of Craig Townsend, Blake Ottersberg, Jordan Swisher, Mitch Layden, and Tyler Field.  Teams from 29 universities competing in the 2012 competition are: Baruch, California State-East Bay, Chicago, Cornell, Clemson, CU-Boulder, Covenant University (Nigeria), Emory, Florida, Johns Hopkins, Laval, LSU, NYU, Penn State, UNC-Chapel Hill, St. Thomas, Technische University of Dortmund, Temple, Texas A&M, U. Alberta, UT-Austin, U. Baltimore, CU-Boulder, UPenn-Wharton, UT-Dallas, U San Diego, U Washington-Seattle, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin and York University.

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The 2012 ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Design Competition

For the past ten years, the Urban Land Institute has sponsored an urban design competition.  The urban design and development challenge is named in honor of Gerald D. Hines, a Houston developer. The competition was created to encourage teamwork among student planners, developers, architects and other professionals involved in the development process.  In 2012, about 700 students on 139 teams from 64 universities in the US and Canada submitted proposals to redevelop the 16.3 acre US Postal Service distribution facility in downtown Houston.  A team consisting of two Leeds School of Business MBA students (Alex Atherton and Chad Murphy) and three students from the Harvard School of Design (Michael Albert, Victor Perez Amado and Anna Cawrse) beat finalists from University of California-Berkeley, Michigan and Columbia to win the 10th Annual ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Design Competition.   The development team’s winning proposal created a pleasant live-work environment by attracting households with various socio-economic characteristics to locate in downtown Houston.


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Undergrad Team Competes in USC International Real Estate Case Competition

This spring, six Leeds seniors experienced what they describe as the pinnacle of their undergraduate careers when they competed toe-to-toe with some of the best real estate students and programs in the world at the USC Marshall School of Business International Real Estate Case Competition.  The team included Brett Erb, Colleen Gawey, Erica Mark, Matt Riach, Nick Schoon and Cody Swift.  They competed against teams from the University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, Villanova, University of San Diego, University of Auckland, New York University and USC, with Wisconsin winning this year’s competition.

The students must audition for the team and then work throughout the semester with faculty and industry professionals honing their analytical and presentations skills.  Each week the team is given a real estate case including financial, economic, market, legal and political assumptions.  The team, acting as advisors to a fictional real estate equity fund, fully analyzes the case and makes recommendations to the fund managers as though they were considering the project.  The complexity of the cases and sophistication of the analysis are remarkable for the undergraduate level and push the students to new heights, requiring them to draw on and integrate a great deal of what they’ve learned at Leeds.  The case competition experience represents the best of active, experiential learning at Leeds.

Participation in the competition has proven a tremendous benefit to the students as they’ve moved beyond Leeds.  With their training and experience in the competition giving them a considerable advantage in the job and graduate school markets, team members have moved quickly and successfully into analytical and other positions in the real estate industry or on to graduate school.  “This was the most challenging and most rewarding thing I did at CU” said one team member.  “And it was a lot of fun too!

For more information concerning the CU Real Estate Center’s involvement in the USC International Real Estate Case Competition, contact Curtis Sears ( or Lisa Chambers (



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CU Real Estate Undergraduates – Hard Hat Tour!

The Center organized a hard hat tour for the undergraduate real estate students on April 19th. Sam Hosfelt at Kiewit Construction toured the students through the Kittredge Commons demolition and rebuild. Some of the students lived at Kittredge as freshmen and were excited to hear about the plans for the entire Kittredge area and pond (which is being dredged and reformed).  It was a great experience and a huge thank you to Sam and Kiewit for letting the students look behind the scenes!

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ULI Gerald D. Hines Design Competition 2012 – CU Boulder Real Estate program WINS BIG!

A combined team of MBA students from CU-Boulder and Harvard took top honors at the ULI Gerald D. Hines Design Competition. Approximately 140 universities participated, and our team made it to the final round versus teams from the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and the University of California, Berkeley.  The students presented to the judges today and the announcement was made early this afternoon.

We are so proud of Alex Atherton and Chad Murphy!

Alex Atherton

Chad Murphy

The Winning Team, with Staff/Faculty


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