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    REES 493 Commercial Real Estate Syllabus

    Spring 2009


    Dr. Sofia V. Dermisi

    Associate Professor of Real Estate

    Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration

    Roosevelt University

    Phone: 312-281-3355

    Fax: 312-281-3290

    E-mail: :

    Office: 18 S. Michigan, Room 405-F, Chicago

    Class Meetings, Office Hours, Attendance Requirements and Communication

    The class meets every Monday 6 - 8.30pm and office hours are scheduled before class every Monday 4-5.30 pm or by appointment. The course has an attendance requirement on the following

    occasions: guest speaker presentations, report to the BOMA/CHICAGO committees, attendance of BOMA/CHICAGO members during regular class time, day of the midterm, assignment submission dates and designated presentation dates.

    Beyond the classroom, students can schedule meetings with the instructor or ask questions mainly through email. The instructor will communicate changes to the syllabus or any other urgent messages to students by posting an announcement on blackboard and emailing everyone only at their

    Roosevelt University email. Students are requested to check at both sites before each class.

Who should register for the course?

    Real Estate experience is not a must but, in addition to regular readings, students are required to allocate time to analyze and solve three case studies during the first portion of the class. In the second portion of the class students will work on BOMA/Chicago generated assignments under the supervision of the instructor and a BOMA/Chicago committee. All students should carefully review the course expectations and be aware that missed assignments (or BOMA/Chicago assignments) beyond the specified deadlines will not be accepted for grading. Even if a student travels for business purposes the deadlines will be kept and he/she will be required to submit the assignment electronically to the instructor as outlined in the course schedule.



    This is a rigorous class requiring student’s dedication personally and as part of a team. The

    first few weeks focus on a general overview of commercial real estate issues through a mixture of

    1lectures and case studies. The second portion of the class focuses on Service-Learning, which

    engages all students in target research for BOMA/Chicago committees. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their projects, develop relationships through two service experiences and evaluate the reciprocity between themselves and the community served (BOMA/Chicago). The main goals of the course are three folded:

    ; Understand basic concepts of the commercial real estate industry/market

    ; Provide students access to very influential representatives of the Chicago office market, and ; Enable students to work with committee members by conducting targeted research which will aid

    the committees in their decision making process and consequently directly impact the downtown

    office market.

    All lecture materials are posted on the course blackboard website

    ( at least three days in advance of each lecture. The blackboard course site also includes up-to-date news on Chicago’s real estate markets, updated almost on a daily basis from various sources by the instructor. All communications from the instructor to the students will be conducted ONLY through their Roosevelt Email.

Expectations & Grading

    The course final grades are curved based on the performance of all students in the class. The final grade is determined by: three case studies (two Harvard Business School case studies and one other case study), one midterm and one research assignment per track (Education or Emerging Leaders) under the direction of specified BOMA/Chicago committees/staff (Table 1). Students are highly encouraged to collaborate in their assignments (case studies) but teams cannot include more than 2 individuals. In contrast, teams can include up to 3 students for the two collaboration projects with BOMA/Chicago. Students are required to select which of the two BOMA/Chicago tracks

    th(Education or Emerging Leaders) they are interested in by week 3 (February 9) and inform the

    instructor. All deadlines are to be kept as specified in Table 1 or otherwise the student will receive zero points for the specific case or task. Students will be responsible for the workload within their

     1 Service Learning: facilitates the creation of a knowledge-based reciprocal relationship between the university and the community. It is

    not volunteerism, and it is not a universal panacea for educational program deficiencies. Rather, it is a multidimensional, cooperative, and learner-centered community-based form of experiential education. As such, SL helps students prepared to become contributing members not only of the business world, but of society as well (Lester, Scott W.; Tomkovick, Chuck; Wells, Theresa; Flunker, Lanette; Kickul, Jill (2005). Does service learning add value? Examining the perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Academy of Management Learning and Education, Vol. 4, No. 3, 278-294).


    team and all team members will receive the same grade. Students should come prepared to discuss/present the case studies and BOMA/Chicago tasks at the specified date. Students will have the opportunity to present a proposal to BOMA/CHICAGO representatives from the two tracks and receive approval to proceed to the next steps outlined in detail below. A final report is also required for the event and research project conducted on behalf of BOMA/Chicago.

    Students are not allowed to submit anything to their designated committees/staff member directly without the instructor’s approval.

    Table 1. Percentage determinants of final course grade

    Week Week

     Assigned Report is Due Points

    Assignment 1- Anderson Street 2 3 5%

    Assignment 2 - Angus Cartwright 3 5 20%

    Assignment 3 - Shady Hallow Apartments 11 12 5%

    Midterm 7 40%

    BOMA/CHICAGO: a) Progress reports 8 (tasks 1-4), 9(task 5),

     10 (task 6), 11-12 (task 7)

     b) Final report Exam week 30%

    Total points 100%

Who does BOMA/Chicago represent?

    The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) is the voice of the office building industry in Chicago, representing 270 buildings--housing private, institutional and government/public uses in the City of Chicago--and 150 companies that provide services to commercial office buildings. BOMA/Chicago's mission is to promote the welfare and advance the interests of the office building industry through leadership, advocacy, education, research, information and professional development. BOMA/Chicago is one of 100 North American and nine overseas affiliates of BOMA International. Now in its 105th year and the oldest BOMA Association in the world, BOMA/Chicago represents the interests of the people and companies that own, operate, manage and service Chicago’s commercial buildings. BOMA/Chicago members make up 81 percent of downtown’s total rentable building area and nearly 90 percent of rentable space in Class A buildings downtown. BOMA/Chicago is a major contributor to the economic livelihood of the City and the region, accounting for more than 250,000 jobs and nearly 8,000 companies including 5,731 local businesses, 1,414 national companies and 662 international corporations. By advocating the interests of the owners of these valuable assets, BOMA/Chicago also supports the businesses that are housed in them.


Collaboration areas with BOMA/Chicago

    Students will work with BOMA/Chicago in two areas, although this might change based on course enrollment and BOMA/Chicago committee availability. Below is a preliminary outline of the areas we agreed to place the students at this point and an initial write-up of the students’ preparation

    and requirements while working with BOMA/Chicago.

    *Track1: Education brown bag lecture initiative (free event) (Education Committee First Monday

    of every Month): The goal is the development of a successful and well attended brown bag


    - Student tasks for BOMA/CHICAGO: 1) research on past brown bag/breakfast/lunch events by

    BOMA/CHICAGO, ULI, CREW, USGBC, CREA and COLBA. Current hot commercial

    real estate topics should be identified for downtown Chicago

    2) design and develop the format of one brown bag event (e.g. seminar or lecture, speaker

    or panel, questions - answers etc.) for an audience of about 50 people

    3) identify guest speaker (options) and their availability for a Tuesday May 5th event

    4) identify a location to host the event (check conflict with other events)

    BOMA/CHICAGO and the instructor will aid with the event location

    5) develop a one page promotion piece for the event (web and non-web based) samples

    will be provided

    6) submit a proposal for approval to BOMA/CHICAGO’s Education Committee in a pre-

    determined submission format

    7) event registration will be done through BOMA/CHICAGO but students should require

    weekly updates and develop strategies if registrations are low

    8) develop a final report on the event performance

    * Track 2: Emerging leaders’ initiative (Membership committee) (formed for professionals with 5 or

    less years of experience). The goal is the investigation of successful emerging leaders

    events and the possible partnering of BOMA/CHICAGO with other real estate


    - Student tasks for BOMA/CHICAGO: 1) identify the goals of emerging leaders/ young professionals


    (COLBA) and CORNET

    2) research past emerging leaders events by BOMA/CHICAGO, ULI, CREW, USGBC,



    3) develop a grid with events hosted by emerging/young leaders groups of other real estate

    organizations including: a) the number of programs, b) focus (educational, networking

    etc.), c) cost, d) type of venue (breakfast, brown bag, lunch, dinner), e) frequency of

    events, f) topics covered etc.

    4) develop a performance survey with quantitative & qualitative questions (e.g. number of

    people attending events, multiple organization partnering for an event, etc.)

    5) develop a strategy to maximize the information gathering from organizations with

    emerging leaders groups

    6) submission of all the information gathered in excel format to the Emerging Leaders

    group for approval

    7) interview representatives of emerging leaders groups of the above organizations

    8) develop a final report integrating on the information gathered

    Students code of conduct with BOMA/Chicago while enrolled in the course

    Students are NOT allowed to ask BOMA/Chicago committee members for jobs or take the initiative to submit their resumes if not asked directly by a committee member. Students should only focus in accomplishing the tasks outlined by the committee-staff member in the specified time frame. If a student discusses job opportunities and/or submits a resume to a committee member they will be removed from the project and will no longer be allowed to interact with them.

Texts & Equipment:

    - Required Textbook:

    - Geltner D., N. Miller, J., Clayton, P., Eichholtz, (2007), “Commercial Real Estate – Analysis &

    ndInvestments”, 2 edition, Thomson South-Western.

    - Optional texts used throughout the course:

    - Barret V. and J. Blair, (1982), How to Conduct and Analyze Real Estate Market and Feasibility

    Studies, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company

    - Clapp J., and S. Messner, (1988), Real Estate Market Analysis, Praeger

    - Collier N., C. Collier C. and D. Halperin, (2002), Construction Funding - the Process of Real

    rdEstate Development, Appraisal, and Finance, 3 edition, John Wiley & Sons.

    - Corgel J., D. Ling and H. Smith, (2001), Real Estate Perspectives An introduction to Real

    Estate, McGraw-Hill

    - Epley D., J. Rabianski and R. Haney, (2002), Real Estate Decisions, South-western - Thompson

    nd- Peiser R., A. Frej, (2003), Professional Real Estate Development, 2 edition, ULI

    th- Shilling J., (2002), Real Estate, 13 edition, South-western - Thompson Learning


- Sudman S. and N. Bradburn, (1982), “Asking questions – A practical guide to questionnaire

    design”, Jossey Bass

    - Weisberg H., J. Krosnick and B. Bowen, (1996), “An Introduction to survey research, polling

    and data analysis”, Sage Publications

    - Nicholas J., (2001), “Project Management for Business and Technology – Principles and

    ndpractice”, 2 edition, Prentice Hall

Participation, student writing support and plagiarism

    Questions and discussion is encouraged during the class lectures. Students who have not written a short paper before or in a while can request additional guidance from the instructor and/or the following sources: - Roosevelt University Writing Center:

    - Indiana University:

    - University of Wisconsin Madison:

    Academic dishonesty (plagiarism or cheating) will be dealt with in accordance with the university policy. Discussion and collaboration during the midterm exam is unacceptable and at a minimum you will receive a zero. Similarly, if someone is found cheating or plagiarizing in their case study submissions as well as their final paper they will be dealt with in accordance with the university policy. The following websites provide insight on both plagiarism and cheating and students will not be able to plea ignorance and will be held accountable for their actions.

    - Roosevelt University Academic Integrity:

    - Indiana University:

    Although Real Estate events have been considered in the design of this schedule, students will be notified in advance of any changes due to guest speaker availability or any other unforeseen factor at the time being. Any changes to the syllabus will be posted on blackboard and emailed to all students ONLY at their Roosevelt University emails.


Course Outline Topic Overview

    Week 1 (Jan. 26): Overview of Course

    Readings: Chapters 1, 2 and 6

    ; Course structure: topics covered, exams, grades

    ; Space & Asset markets

    ; Market Analysis

    Week 2 (Feb. 2): Basic Real Estate Finance


    Assignments 1 & 2 given out Anderson Street & Angus Cartwright

    (Harvard Business School cases)

    Readings: power point slides, Chapters 7, 8, 16, 17

    ; Six- functions of a dollar

    ; Basic mortgage calculations

Week 3 (Feb. 9): Pro-forma structure


    Discussion of Assignment 1

    Readings: Chapters 10, 11 and 14

    ; Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

    Week 4 (Feb. 16): Overview of basic Survey design

    Readings: will be provided as handout

    ; Stages of the survey process

    ; Formulating questions

    Week 5 (Feb. 23): Overview of basic Project Management tools

     Discussion of Assignment 2

     Readings: will be provided as handout

    ; Gantt & Pert Charts

    ; Critical Path method

    Week 6 (Mar. 2): Investment Analysis of Development projects (Online) BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 Tasks 1 & 2 performed by


     Readings: Chapters 28 29

    ; Enumerating project costs and benefits

    ; Project feasibility overview

Week 7 (Mar. 9): Midterm Leases & leasing strategy

    BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 Tasks 1 & 2 performed by


    Readings: Chapter 30

    ; Lease terminology and strategies


    BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 Tasks 3 & 4 performed by



    Week 8 (Mar. 23): Presentation of Tasks 1 - 4 for both BOMA/CHICAGO project tracks

    BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 - Task 5 performed by students

    Readings: will be provided

    ; Discussion & instructor input on the project assigned by BOMA/Chicago

    Week 9 (Mar. 30): Presentation of Task 5 for both BOMA/CHICAGO project tracks

    BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 Task 6 performed by students

    ; BOMA/Chicago representatives will be in attendance

    Week 10 (Apr. 6): Proposal submission to the two BOMA/CHICAGO committees (Online) BOMA/CHICAGO project: A team representative will attend the Track 1

    meeting and argue the proposal made by the team.

    Students in Track 2 will present their findings during this

    week to a committee representative

     Readings: will be provided

    Week 11 (Apr. 13): Workshop - progress reports on BOMA/CHICAGO committee meetings

    Assignment 3 given out Shady Hallow Apartments

    BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 Task 7 (Track 2 will only focus

    on survey component)

     Readings: will be provided

    ; Instructor input on the project assigned by BOMA/Chicago

    ; Discussion on BOMA/Chicago project

    Week 12 (Apr. 20): Workshop - progress reports on BOMA/CHICAGO project

    Discussion of Assignment 3

    BOMA/CHICAGO project: Tracks 1 & 2 Task 7 (Track 2 will only focus

    on survey component)

    Readings: will be provided

    ; BOMA/Chicago representatives will be in attendance

Week 13 (Apr. 27): Commercial real estate panel guest speakers

    Readings: no readings

    ; Discussion on current commercial real estate trends

    Week 14 (May 4): Student reflection discussion on Service-Learning component of the class

    Exam week (May 11): Final report due on BOMA/CHICAGO project Task 8 from both Tracks


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