November 18: Students offering Real Estate Investment Advice in New York
A team representing the University of Guelph just returned from New York City where they competed in the Cornell Real Estate Case Competition. A couple of days earlier, seven teams had been asked by "KSKW Asset Management" for advice on restructuring what used to be a $50 Million portfolio, with a focus on four properties. Though the team representing "Capital Prospects" (Justin Brokop, George Foty, Brett Llewellyn-Thomas and Sam Nitsopoulos) did not walk away with the top prize, the only Canadian team in the Competition made a very good impression on many levels.
This competition marked the first time that B.Comm. students from the Real Estate and Housing major had been invited to participate in such a case competition. Handicapped by this lack of experience, limited time before the Competition to prepare and too little sleep, the team presented their ideas to to a "boardroom" consisting of five judges selected from the top tier of New York’s real estate industry. After their presentation, one of the judges noted that the team from the University of Guelph had “nailed it” for the financial analysis of the first property and offered advice on how to do better next time. And these judges were tough: after they had announced the overall winner, they continued to note flaws in the winner’s presentation.
More important than the possibility of winning was the opportunity to meet with the judges one-on-one and to meet top students from six other top real estate programs in the United States. Members of the team noted that this was "one of the most fun university experiences" and offered "experience and insight that would normally take years to achieve". With continued support from The Co-operators Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship and with the experience gained this year, another Real Estate and Housing team plans to return to New York next year to offer more Canadian insights on the American real estate market.