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Real Estate Finance MBA Case Competitions

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On November 21, a team of six graduate students from the McDonough Real Estate Finance Initiative (REFI) competed in the 2013 National Real Estate Challenge at the University of Texas in Austin. As the team continues to build toward the future, the students competed with a strong showing against some of the nation’s leading real estate programs from top-tier MBA schools for the $25,000 cash prize.

Each team provided a 20-minute case presentation to a panel of real estate professionals from nationally recognized companies. This year’s case was prepared by J.P. Morgan and was judged by professionals from sponsoring companies such as Invesco Real Estate, Blackstone, MetLife Real Estate Investors, Hines and Brookfield to name a few.

“The competition introduced a new level of appreciation for the effort and attention to detail required when evaluating real estate investment decisions and making recommendations,” said Robert Jenkins, MBA ’15. “The experience will undoubtedly help me in the future as a student and a professional."

Earlier in the month, the initiative hosted the inaugural McDonough Real Estate Case Competition, which was open only to Georgetown students. A total of six teams with 35 students participated in the event, which provided graduate and undergraduate students with an applied learning experience that focused on the real estate valuation process. Teams were given a case that represented a real estate investment scenario and asked to develop their own investment strategy. The teams had 15 minutes to present their plans to a mock investment committee comprised of alumni and local real estate professionals as judges. This event simulated the precise manner that national case competitions are run so that McDonough students were prepared for the competition environment.

Matthew Cypher, director of the Real Estate Finance Initiative, launched the McDonough Real Estate Case Competition (M-RECC) to provide an opportunity for passionate real estate students to gain real world experience from the industry. Working with judges from the private sector, Cypher solicited support from many of the most respected leaders in the Washington, D.C., and New York City real estate markets.

“What sets the McDonough Real Estate Finance Initiative above and beyond other programs are the applied learning opportunities with leaders from the private sector located in our nation’s capital and New York City,” said Cypher. “The M-RECC is just one of the many offerings the initiative brings to aspiring real estate professionals.”

From underwriting assumptions and investment strategy to creativity, judges evaluated teams based on a list of criteria and consideration towards specific issues. The following teams were awarded with the top three prizes:

  • Vandelay Industries - $2,000 
  • Bluth Development - $1,000
  • Hoya Analysis - $500 

The next M-RECC is scheduled to occur in fall 2014. 

About the Real Estate Finance Initiative
The Real Estate Finance Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business transforms students into industry leaders through a highly applied agenda of curricular and co-curricular experiences while maximizing Washington, D.C.’s position as a global real estate market. The Initiative capitalizes on global relationships in the private sector to engage students in practical experience and tailors coursework to teach the Four Quadrants of the real estate capital markets – public, private, debt and equity. Founded on a student-centric approach, this boutique program is customized to meet the needs and objectives of business students from around the world. For more information, email Matthew Cypher at or visit