Real Estate Concentration – Explained

Cite this article as:"Real Estate Concentration – Explained," in The Business Professor, updated December 6, 2019, last accessed July 14, 2020,


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Real Estate Concentration

Many business schools offer a specific concentration in commercial real estate. The concentration tends to be either finance or transaction-based. Students study local and national real estate (economic) trends and market forces. They learn the mechanics of real estate transactions and focus on modeling real estate cash flows and investment models. They also learn about derivatives or secured assets related to real estate.

Common Courses

  • Real Estate Principles – Principles course dealing with features of real estate, legal descriptions, brokerage industry and licensing, ownership interests, property tax, and closing transaction. Emphasis on applying finance principles to real estate with a focus on real estate financing and investing.
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate – The course examines the legal issues surrounding real estate ownership and transfer under state law, examining the range and scope of real property law’s influence on various aspects of the real estate industry.
  • Estate Finance – The course focuses on the set of concepts and techniques used to analyze and finance income-producing real property. It starts with the characteristics that make real property different, including cash flow uncertainties, debt sources and tax features. It then considers the available strategies and structures of real estate finance, including capital structure choices for construction and permanent financing. Extensive use is then made of cases to illustrate the range of choices and outcomes.
  • Real Estate Investing – This course provides theoretical and practical analyses of investments in real estate assets. Topics include: market and site analyses, financing alternatives and valuation techniques.
  • Real Estate Analysis – An understanding of commercial real estate markets and development dynamics will require an understanding of real estate assets; complex urban dynamics; pertinent laws and regulations; the use of public and private financing; and the marketing of space within an urban context. Students should also develop the skills necessary to determine the requirements for the successful financial analysis of commercial real estate development including the forecasts of future cash flows and application of appropriate financial analysis techniques.
  • Real Estate Valuation & Modeling – The fundamentals of understanding real estate involve a combination of market conditions and economics, legal and environmental due diligence, marketing, and finance. The course is on real estate financial modeling, but will review the accompanying components involving legal and environmental due diligence. This course mixes theory and practice. The financial analysis occurs while obtaining and tracking an actual property. That property is proposed to be an apartment building, since a residential investment is the most likely that small investors can acquire. The class continues to examine real estate financial modeling, but with the use of Argus. The remainder of the class is on financing and capital structure for the project. These include remaining material on depreciation, amortization and loan financing, mezzanine and cash flow waterfalls.
  • Real Estate Development – This course evaluates ground-up development on vacant sites as well as rehabilitation, redevelopment, and acquisition investments. The course examines raw and developed land and the similarities and differences of traditional real estate product types including office, R & D, retail, warehouses, single family and multi-family residential, mixed use, and land as well as specialty uses like golf courses, assisted living, and fractional share ownership. Emphasis is on concise analysis and decision making. The course discusses the development process with topics including market analysis, site acquisition, due diligence, zoning, entitlements, approvals, site planning, building design, construction, financing, leasing, and ongoing management and disposition.


  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) – This organization serves the global retail real estate industry. It has a network of more than 70,000+ member network in over 100 countries.
  • Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International – This organization is a primary source of information on office building development, leasing, building operating costs, sustainability, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics and technological developments.
  • CCIM Institute (CCIM) – This organization is a commercial real estate professional organization. CCIM Institute members are eligible to earn the CCIM designation, the industry’s most prestigious certification.
  • National Association of Relators, Commercial (NAR) – This is the largest trade association for commercial real estate in the US. It has 1.2 million members.
  • NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association – This is an organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed-use real estate.
  • Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) – This is a professional commercial and industrial real estate association. the SIOR designation designates the highest level of knowledge, production, and ethics in the real estate industry.
  • National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC) – This organization concerns the trillion-dollar apartment industry. It provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action that enables both members and the communities they help build to thrive.
  • US Green Building Council (USGBC) – They use direct advocacy, strategic partnerships, campaigns and engagement to drive development of standards, programs and regulations that enable a greener community standards
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI) – This organization provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. The members are generally professionals who plan, develop and redevelop neighborhoods, business districts and communities across the U.S. and around the world.
  • CREW Network (Commercial Real Estate Women) – This organization is dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate.
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM) – This is a national professional association for entities engaged in the provision of real estate investment services. Members include real estate advisors, financial institutions, REITs, opportunity funds and private investors.
  • CoreNet Global – This is a non-profit association for individuals managing real estate assets of large corporations. There are approximately 10,000 members.
  • American Seniors Housing Association – This association concerns companies involved in the finance, development and operation of real estate for seniors – including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care (or life plan) communities. It primarily focuses on legislative and regulatory advocacy, research, and educational opportunities and networking for senior living executives.
  • AFIRE Association for International Real Estate Investors – A forum for real estate investment thought leadership. It provides conversations, research, and analysis of real estate capital markets, cross-border issues, policy, economics, technology, and management. Membership is exclusive to principals and senior executives.
  • Appraisal Institute – The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers. There are approximately 18,000 professionals. It provides the MAI, SRPA, SRA, AI-GRS and AI-RRS designations.
  • CRE Finance Council (CREFC) – This is a trade association for the commercial real estate finance industry.
  • Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)This is an international community of real estate managers dedicated to ethical business practices, maximizing the value of investment real estate, and promoting superior management through education and information sharing.
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) – This is the worldwide representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate companies with an interest in U.S. real estate and capital markets.
  • National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) – This is a provider of investment performance indices and transparent data for US commercial properties and a non-partisan collector, validator, aggregator, converter and disseminator of commercial real estate performance and benchmarking information.
  • Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) – This is a non-profit trade association for the global institutional real estate investment industry.
  • Real Estate Roundtable – This is a community for leaders of the nation’s top publicly-held and privately-owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms. Leaders of major national real estate trade associations to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.


  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) – This designation is for those who specialize in representing sellers in the sale of property. The certification is through the Real Estate Business Institute (REBI). Members must complete the online or classroom-based SRS course and take one SRS elective course and act solely as a seller representative in three completed transactions, and complete the designation application.
  • Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) – This designation is for those who take part in targeting commercial real estate investments. It is offered through the CCIM Institute. Members must meet minimum sales volume requirements in commercial real estate and meet educational requirements, including a four-course curriculum, an online ethics course, negotiation training, and elective courses from the Ward Center for Real Estate Studies.
  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) – This designation is for those who represent homebuyers. It is available to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) members who take the ABR Designation Course, complete one of the ABR elective courses, and provide documentation of five completed transactions wherein they acted as the sole buyer representative.
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – This designation is for Residential Real Estate Council (RRC) members to demonstrate their expertise in residential property sales. This certification is available to members of the Residential Real Estate Council (RRC).
  • Certified Property Manager (CPM) – This designation is for those who work in property management operations. The Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation is available through the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).
  • Probate Mastery© Certification & Designation – This designation is for those who assist in the nuanced probate process. These certifications are available through All The Leads (ATL), an independent real estate certification company. Real estate professionals must complete three comprehensive sessions of coursework totaling seven to nine hours.
  • Military Relocation Professional (MRP) – This designation is for those who assist military families with the relocation process. NAR members must complete the one-day Certification Core Course online or in-person, and complete two one-hour webinars.
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) – This designation is for those who assist active adults or senior clients who are looking for a new home. NAR members must complete the SRES designation course.
  • Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) – This designation is for real estate agents who assist real estate investors with the purchase of raw or developable land. It is another designation reserved for NAR members. Applicants must hold a current real estate license and have a minimum of two years experience in land sales or brokerage and complete 104 course hours through the REALTORS Land Institute’s LAND University (LANDU) program.
  • Accredited Staging Partner (ASP) – This designation is for those who assist sellers and landlords stage properties for photos and showings. Agents and brokers can also become an Accredited Staging Professional by taking the Stage Training Course.

Common Careers

  • Appraiser (residential)
  • Appraiser (commercial)
  • Commercial leasing manager
  • Commercial real estate broker
  • Commercial real estate loan officer
  • Community development manager
  • Compliance specialist
  • Escrow officer
  • Foreclosure specialist
  • Land administration manager
  • Leasing consultant
  • Lease administrator
  • Lease administration manager
  • Mortgage collection manager
  • Mortgage credit analyst (Level I – newer employee)
  • Mortgage loan officer (Level I – starting level).
  • Mortgage loan processor (Level I).
  • Mortgage loan processing manager
  • Real estate attorney
  • Real estate consultant
  • Property manager
  • Residential property manager
  • Retail real estate manager
  • Real estate zoning manager
  • Real estate sales agent
  • Real estate and relocation director
  • Title examiner
  • Top mortgage loan servicing manager
  • Top commercial real estate executive
  • Top retail real estate executive

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