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What is an MBA in Real EstateWhat is an MBA in Real Estate

The MBA in Real Estate is a specialized concentration that builds upon an MBA program’s business fundamental courses. Students interested in a real estate career learn about brokerage management, real estate investing, development, commercial real estate, and entrepreneurship. While the required courses focus on real estate development, the electives allow students to explore a variety of issues related to real estate finance, management, and policy. These include real estate economics, urban fiscal policy, real estate law, primary and secondary housing markets, real estate investment trusts (REITs), HUD, and the relationship between government policy, private development and international real estate markets.

The real estate industry is an exciting field with plenty of career paths. To keep students informed of current trends in Real Estate, an MBA program provides a concentrated study on residential, commercial, and secondary real estate markets. Whether you want to enter the field of commercial real estate appraisals or specialize in real estate finance, an MBA in Real Estate will be a highly respected credential in the industry.

An MBA in Real Estate gives students an opportunity to expand their entrepreneurial skills while focusing on real estate finance and investment management. Since real estate is both a physical and a financial product, transactions take place in local space as well as global asset markets. The traditional MBA in Real Estate program strikes the perfect balance between quantitative analysis and the qualitative case study method of instruction. From managing a real estate brokerage firm to understanding the secondary mortgage marketplace, an MBA in Real Estate graduate will be well-versed in all facets of the industry.

What is the Career Outlook for an MBA in Real EstateWhat is the Career Outlook for an MBA in Real Estate

Employment of real estate brokers and sales agents is projected to grow 6% through 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Even though the digital marketplace has empowered buyers and sellers with a wealth of property information, there is still a need to hire a marketplace expert to broker the home buying and selling process.

There will be a continued demand for real estate brokers and sales agents, since people rely on industry professionals to help them locate, negotiate, and close property transactions. Employment is directly related to the strength of the real estate market. It’s a relatively easy occupation to enter, but there’s a significant ramp-up time prior to securing the first commission check. Most real estate agents work as independent contractors and hang their real estate license with a supervising broker. As the housing marketing bounces back from its recent crash, there will be ample opportunities for brokers who are specialized as either an Accredited Buyer Representative or Accredited Seller Representative.

Employment of construction managers is projected to grow 11% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Construction Managers can hold a variety of positions including General Contractor, Cost Estimator, Builder, Real Estate Developer, and/or Project Manager. They are responsible for writing proposals, conducting feasibility studies, organizing subcontractors, and supervising the day-to-day operations of a construction project.

How Much Do Real Estate MBAs EarnHow Much Do Real Estate MBAs Earn

The median annual wage for construction managers is $89,300. The lowest 10% earned less than $53,740 and the highest 10% earned more than $158,330.

The median annual wage for real estate brokers is $56,790. One must take into consideration that most real estate brokers work part-time so the numbers could be a bit misleading. The lowest 10% earned less than $24,370, and the highest 10% earned more than $162,260. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for generating the majority of your business leads. After paying MLS dues and marketing expenses, your earnings are based on the number of closed real estate transactions.

What Can I Do With an MBA in Real EstateWhat Can I Do With an MBA in Real Estate

An MBA in Real Estate Program prepares students for a broad range of career paths with such firms as:

  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Real estate operating companies
  • Developers
  • Financial institutions
  • Investment banks
  • Consulting companies

 

The range of career opportunities in real estate ranges from the sale and development of residential, commercial and industrial properties to management and investment of large-scale portfolios. Whether your specialty is property management, residential and commercial real estate sales, appraisals, or home inspections, there are plenty of career paths to choose from with an MBA in Real Estate. Some of the more corporate real estate roles include:

  • Underwriting, Finance management, Real estate development, Banking – real estate division
  • Investment banking, Market analysis, Real estate brokerage, Property management
  • Government regulations management

 

  • Appraisers and assessors of real estate provide a value estimate on land and buildings usually before they are sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed.
  • Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.
  • Property, real estate, and community association managers take care of the many aspects of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. They make sure the property is well maintained, has a nice appearance, preserving its resale or leasing value.
  • Real estate brokers help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. Although brokers and agents do similar work, brokers are licensed to manage their own real estate businesses. Sales agents must work with a real estate broker.
  • Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.
  • Construction Managers plan, coordinate, budget, and supervise construction projects from start to finish.

What Skills Do I Need to be Successful In Real Estate ManagementWhat Skills Do I Need to be Successful In Real Estate Management

Sector Description
Business skills Because most brokers are self-employed, they must manage every aspect of their business. This task includes reaching out to prospective clients, handling their finances, and advertising their services.
Interpersonal skills Strong interpersonal skills are essential for real estate brokers and sales agents because they spend much of their time interacting with clients and customers. To attract and keep clients, they must be pleasant, enthusiastic, and trustworthy.
Organizational skills Real estate brokers and sales agents must be able to work independently, managing their own time and organizing, planning, and prioritizing their work.
Problem-solving skills Real estate brokers and sales agents need to be able to quickly (sometimes immediately) address concerns clients or potential customers may have a property. They also mediate negotiations between seller and buyer.
Analytical skills Construction managers plan project strategies, handle unexpected issues and delays and solve problems that arise over the course of the project. In addition, many managers use cost-estimating and planning software to determine costs and the materials and time required to complete projects.
Business skills Construction managers address budget matters and coordinate and supervise workers. Choosing competent staff and establishing good working relationships with them is critical.
Customer-service skills Construction managers are in constant contact with owners, inspectors, and the public. They must form good working relationships with these people and ensure their needs are met.
Decision making skills Construction managers choose personnel and subcontractors for specific tasks and jobs. Often, these choices must be made quickly to meet deadlines and budgets.
Initiative Self-employed construction managers generate their own business opportunities and must be proactive in finding new clients. They often market their services and bid on jobs, and they must also learn to perform special home improvement projects, such as installing mosaic glass tiles, sanding wood floors, and insulating homes.
Leadership skills Construction managers must effectively delegate tasks to construction workers, subcontractors, and other lower level managers.
Speaking skills Construction managers must give clear orders, explain complex information to construction workers and clients, and discuss technical details with other building specialists, such as architects. Self-employed construction managers must get their own projects, so the need to sell their services to potential clients is critical.
Technical skills Construction managers must know construction methods and technologies and must be able to interpret contracts and technical drawings.
Time-management skills Construction managers must meet deadlines. They ensure that construction phases are completed on time so that the next phase can begin as scheduled. For instance, a building’s foundation cannot be constructed until the land is completely excavated.
Writing skills Construction managers must write proposals, plans, and budgets, as well as document the progress of the work for clients and others involved in the building process.

Real Estate Licensing InformationReal Estate Licensing Information

All real estate brokers and sales agents must be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most have similar basic requirements:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Complete a number of real estate courses
  • Pass a Foundation of Real Estate and State exam(s)

 

Some states have additional requirements, such as passing a criminal background check and 90 hours of real estate educational coursework. Licenses typically are not transferable among states. However, some states have reciprocity agreements in that they will accept some requirements used to get a license in another state.

To obtain a broker’s license, individuals generally need up to 3 years of experience as a licensed sales agent under the supervision of a managing broker. They also must take additional real estate educational courses. In some states, a bachelor’s degree may be substituted in place of some experience or training requirements. Those with a law degree are exempt from taking the educational coursework required to sit for the licensed real estate exam.

State licenses typically must be renewed every 2 to 4 years. In most states, brokers and agents must complete continuing education courses to renew their license. To verify exact licensing requirements, prospective brokers and agents should contact the real estate licensing commission of the state in which they wish to work.

What are the Typical Classes for an MBA in Real EstateWhat are the Typical Classes for an MBA in Real Estate

  • Real Estate Entrepreneur. MBA students are introduced to the broad entrepreneurial aspects of creating and executing real estate investments. The course consists of lectures by the professor, case discussions and guest lectures by leading entrepreneurs. The course emphasizes real estate entrepreneurship, leadership and challenges often encountered in creating successful real estate investments rather than development processes.
  • Real Estate Investments. This course provides an introduction to real estate with a focus on investment and financing issues. Project evaluation, financing strategies, investment decision making and capital markets are covered. No prior knowledge of the industry is required, but students are expected to rapidly acquire a working knowledge of real estate markets. The course contains cases that help students evaluate the impact of more complex financing and capital markets tools used in real estate.
  • Real Estate Law. This course examines the fundamentals of real estate finance and development from a legal perspective. The course serves as a foundation course for real estate majors and provides an introduction to real estate for other students. It attempts to develop skills in using legal concepts in a real estate transactional setting. The course will be of interest to students contemplating careers in accounting, real estate development, real estate finance, city planning, or banking.
  • Urban Real Estate Economics. Urban Real Estate Economics uses economic concepts to analyze real estate markets, values, and trends. The course focuses on market dynamics in the U.S. and internationally, with an emphasis on how urban growth and local and federal government policies impact urban development and real estate pricing.
  • Advanced Financial Management. Examines the problems faced by the corporate financial manager on the theoretical, analytical, and applied levels. The impact of the financing decision upon the value of the firm is analyzed. Theoretical and analytical aspects of the capital budgeting decision are examined in detail with emphasis on methods of incorporating risk into the capital budgeting decision. An analytical framework is presented to evaluate leasing, bond refunding, and mergers and acquisitions. Theories of corporate governance are discussed.
  • Real Estate Development. This course provides an introduction and overview of real estate development of urban places, including the many challenges of the development process such as analyzing market sectors and development opportunities, comprehending the development context of regulation, public policy and politics, raising investment capital, assembling land, program formulation, building types, construction management, marketing, and sales. Examples of development projects will be presented, each focusing on particular aspects of the overall process.
  • Real Estate Appraisal. This course surveys the principles and tools of appraising various types of real estate, as well as an analysis of value, price, property, and legal rights. Topics include principles of valuation; the real estate market; the relationship between real estate values and economic, social, and government trends; economics of urbanization, including location, value, and highest and best use; neighborhood analysis and approaches to cost, market data, and income valuation.

Campus vs. Online MBA in Real Estate ProgramsCampus vs. Online MBA in Real Estate Programs

Innovative Blackboard courses and cutting-edge eLearning platforms have transformed the online experience. The combination of a global economy and the non-traditional student has demanded more flexible opportunities to attend classes. From part-time Executive MBA programs to hybrid full-time MBA programs, there are plenty of scheduling options for those who want to pursue an MBA. Higher educational institutions have realized, in order to be competitive in the marketplace, they must offer a wide range of online courses in addition to their on-campus courses. The traditional on-campus MBA is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, B-Schools are offering their students the option to register for online courses alongside on-campus courses.

It’s really a matter of preference and individual learning style. The online learning environment has improved over the past decade – making it easy to collaborate with professors and fellow business students. Video lectures, Blackboard assignments, and interactive discussion boards have replaced lecture halls, group work, and handing in assignments. There are nearly 3 million full-time students currently enrolled in online degree programs compared to approximately 6 million online students taking at least one course as part of their MBA program.

  • The pros of online learning reduced costs of education via digital textbooks, zero dormitory expenses, and little to no commuting costs. The convenience and flexibility of choosing your own times for learning, and the comfort of learning in your own home. The expenses add up if you attend a traditional on-campus MBA program.
  • The cons of online learning include limited social interaction, computer and software issues as well as cost of high-speed Internet, often requires the student be self-motivated and disciplined progress through the program.
  • The pros of campus-based learning include face-to-face and in-person interaction with instructors and fellow students, regularly scheduled class hours, use of the school’s library, athletic facilities, and laboratories.
  • The cons of campus-based learning include the requirement to travel to classes, lack of time flexibility, and housing costs.
  • One of the benefits of online learning as it relates to tuition cost is that a number of schools offer free textbooks online and include these texts in the price of tuition.

How Much is Tuition for MBA Real Estate ProgramsHow Much is Tuition for MBA Real Estate Programs

The MBA in Real Estate has an in-state tuition range from $17,743.00 to $119,064.00 for traditional on-campus programs. The lowest in-state online tuition is $20,196.00 compared to the highest in-state online MBA tuition of $116,229.00. If you have the opportunity to attend an elite B-School while taking advantage of in-state tuition rates, take advantage of the savings while maximizing job opportunities in your area. When considering online MBA programs, most of the time your tuition covers any textbooks and class material fees. You also get break with living and commuting expenses while attending class online. The out-of-state tuition for both online and traditional MBA programs is about the same (averaging $70,640.83 for on-campus out-of-state and $70,411.14 for online out-of-state programs).

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA Real Estate ProgramsGMAT Scores for MBA Real Estate Programs

It’s important to note that not all MBA in Real Estate programs require a GMAT score in order to gain admissions. But most competitive programs do. The GMAT is only one admissions factor. B-Schools consider undergraduate GPA, professional experience, CV, references, and extracurricular activities when determining the strength of an MBA applicant. Scoring high on the GMAT will certainly open the doors to many reputable MBA programs throughout the U.S. With the average GMAT score for both traditional and online real estate programs at 597, it is suggested that aspiring B-Students enroll in a GMAT prep course to maximize their chances of acceptance at elite MBA programs.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Real Estate ProgramsStudent / Faculty Ratio for MBA Real Estate Programs

The quality of an MBA in Real Estate program can be linked to the professional and academic credentials of its professors. Students who wish to learn from industry experts, tenured real estate professors, and published authors in the field of real estate may want to explore the credentials of the program’s instructors. A smaller Student/Faculty ratio means that the B-School is dedicated to keeping class sizes down to reasonable enrollment numbers – nurturing a more supporting learning environment. The more intimate a classroom setting, the better the learning environment. For some students, it’s a matter of preference and the larger lecture hall style classroom encourages independent study. The best Student/Faculty ratio for on-campus MBA programs is 0.08 compared to the worst Student/Faculty on-campus ratio of 13.98. The best Student/Faculty ratio for online MBA programs is 0.08 compared to the worst Student/Faculty online ratio of 8.35.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA Real Estate ProgramsStudent Population for MBA Real Estate Programs

If networking is a big part of your plan of attack while attending B-School, you may want to consider a larger MBA program. A more robust MBA program provides students with internship opportunties, access to on-campus job fairs, and allow for greater networking opportunities with industry professionals. The average enrollment for full-time on-campus progams is 536 students compared to a part-time student enrollment of 469 students. With only 7 available online MBA programs in Real Estate, student enrollment averages 446 for full-time and 750 for part-time programs. Once again, this is really a matter of preference. Some students prefer a smaller, more intimate classroom experience whereas others don’t mind learning in big lecture hall environments.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Student Population from the United StatesStudent Population from the United States

One of the best ways to become a well-rounded real estate professional is to gain exposure to different cultures. Understanding the global economy will be critical to your success whether you’re interested in a career in real estate development, finance, commercial sales, or property management. Future clients will come from all over the world and it’s important to have a pulse on the global real estate market. There’s no better time to start learning about the global real estate market than attending an MBA program. Collaboration with international students will only grow your proficiency as a business person. The average percentage of students from the U.S. is 82.83% for on-campus programs compared to 87.19% for online MBA programs. Prospective B-Students can choose from MBA programs that have a student population range from 63.30% to 100.00%.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA Real Estate ProgramsFaculty Information for MBA Real Estate Programs

The average number of full-time faculty for on-campus MBA in Real Estate programs is 100 compared to an average of 121 faculty members for part-time programs. The average number of faculty members holding doctorate degrees is 85 for traditional MBA programs. When looking for a quality MBA program, it’s important to research the crentials of your future professors. If an MBA in Real Estate program relies heavily on industry influencers as their instructors, you may see more MBAs teaching lower level courses instead of professors with doctorates. The average number of full-time faculty in an online MBA in Real Estate program is 113 compared to the average online part-time faculty of 134 professors.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA Real Estate ProgramsList of Campus and Online MBA Real Estate Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA Real Estate concentrations offered: 24
  • The number of online MBA Real Estate concentrations offered: 7

With only a limited selection of online MBA in Real Estate programs (7) compared to the number of traditional programs in Real Estate (24), aspiring students should do their research before selecting their B-School. Whether it’s the number of faculty members with doctorates, GMAT scores, or average tuition rates, deciding on the ideal MBA program comes down to a number of factors. It’s best to do your due diligence before making a decision.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.