Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Music can beat MS

Assistant Professor Morris Davis is more than just an expert in real estate and urban land economics, he's also a rockin' musician. This Sunday February 21st, he and the band Hot Money will be playing at the High Noon Saloon during the Second Annual "Music Can Beat MS" concert.

Join them--plus Main Street Wisdom, Primitive Culture and more--starting at 5:30 for a great time for a great cause. All funds go to the Wisconsin Chapter of the National MS Society.

See you at the show!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

UW students to take the plunge to support Special Olympics

The Wisconsin School of Business has a great MBA program which provides a world class education for its students, but there is more to the school than just academics. UW culture places a strong emphasis on community service and a balanced life beyond work or academics. Following this philosophy, more than 50 Wisconsin MBA students and faculty (seen here in a picture from a past plunge) will brave the cold this weekend in order to raise money for the Special Olympics.

These brave souls will be among hundreds of people participating in Wisconsin’s annual Polar Plunge, a charity event where people gather pledges in return for a quick dip into the frigid waters of Lake Monona in Madison. The MBA program has traditionally been among the top fundraisers in the event. Last year the program rose over $10,000 for the Special Olympics, but students this year have been working hard to beat last year’s total.

Students will take the plunge Saturday afternoon February 20th at Olin Turville Park--so come on out to support the Special Olympics!

Money raised from the Polar Plunge will support local Special Olympics programs in Wisconsin, allowing nearly 10,000 athletes with cognitive disabilities to experience the joys of participation in sports and competition with their peers. Visit the Special Olympics website for more information on the Madison Polar Plunge. You can also make a donation to the UW MBA team here.

Jeff Swhier is a first year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business. He moved back to the Midwest from NYC to take a position in a property management company and plans to return there after completing his degree.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What we need is an overhaul

by Morris A. Davis, Assistant Professor of Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business

Check this out. I'm not a fan of Krugman's but he is right on the mark here.

Obama's economic team is just awful. It needs an overhaul. The new team should:

(a) shift center-left with respect to Wall Street. The team should (i) break up the existing big banks--wipe out the equity, fire all top management, and boards of directors, and turn control to debt holders--and (ii) re-enact Glass Steagall.

The largest banks are all zombie banks. They are all in survival mode now, which is why they aren't lending (except when directly encouraged by the government). They are trying to stockpile cash to survive the upcoming massive losses on commercial and jumbo mortgages.

(b) shift center-right with respect to taxes and job growth (i.e. less talk about stimulus, more temporary targeted tax cuts for firms and employers to stimulate job growth--yes, it works if done properly).

Real Estate Club and employment outlook

Meet Our Current Students:

On of the strongest aspects of the Wisconsin Real Estate program is the Real Estate Club (REC), a student-run organization open to both MBA and undergraduate students. The Club allows students to connect directly with industry leaders through guest lecturers covering a wide range of topics including the capital markets, development, green building, and institutional trends.

Last week was a busy time for the Club. We listened to David Shulman discuss his long experience working with REITs. His background ranges from a dissertation in the mid-1970s, to his experience as a managing director at Lehman Brothers, to his perspective on present trends in the REIT markets.

The previous week, our guest was David Bossy, chairman of Mid-America Development Partners in Oak Brook, IL. David used his 25 year experience in retail brokerage to found the successful development company. The firm meets the challenges of building shopping centers, new urbanist stores, and urban big-box retail.

The most anticipated Club event occurred between those meetings, the REC Career Fair. Almost 20 companies, both regional and national, sent representatives to Grainger Hall looking for the next crop of real estate leaders. Club members were able to talk with a range of firms, determining what type of opportunities they are interested in pursuing and where those opportunities exist. Bank of America is flying two first-year MBA's to Charlotte, NC for final interviews this week. Overall the event was a success, with hiring prospects greatly improving over last year.

Travis Campbell is a first year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business. He summer schedule is still open, if any employers are looking for a high-quality intern.

: It's easy to recruit Wisconsin Real Estate students for internships and permanent positions, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. Visit our website for more information and to request a resume book today.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hands on a live REIT portfolio at Wisconsin

Another entry in our Meet Our Current Students series, this week from first-year real estate MBA student Kan Zuo:

In the last couple of weeks, the Wisconsin School of Business and the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate both greeted many prospective students. One thing attracting them is the hands-on approach to business education that exists here at UW-Madison.

Specifically, the Graaskamp Center offers the AREIT (Applied Real Estate Investment Track) program in which students not only learn about real estate financial markets from textbooks and classes but also manage a live $1 million portfolio of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate operating companies.

This semester, the Real Estate 740 class Real Estate Capital Markets: REITs and Other Equity Investments provides a foundation for the challenge. Students interested in the AREIT program can also take the applied security analysis class (Finance 535) offered by the business school as additional preparation. Last week, David Shulman, director of the AREIT program, also gave an interesting speech to both the Real Estate 740 class and the Real Estate Club about the future of the REIT industry.

Kan Zuo is a first year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate. Originally from China, he completed his undergraduate education at Beloit College in 2006 with a double major in Economics and Management and International Relations. As an undergraduate, he interned with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

The first program of its kind in the country, the Applied Real Estate Investment Track (AREIT) allows a team of 2nd-year MBA students the opportunity to manage a real-world portfolio invested in real estate investment trusts (REITs). Learn more about this innovative program here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What is the Global Real Estate Master?

François Ortalo-Magné, real estate department chair and architect of the innovative graduate-level degree program, explains in this video. Watch it now:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

VIDEO: Experiments in boom and bust periods

Abdullah Yavas, professor of real estate and urban land economics at the Wisconsin School of Business, spoke today in Grainger Hall as part of the ongoing faculty seminar series Rays of Research. His presentation on Asset Characteristics and Boom & Bust Periods was streamed live online. The video is now available to watch on demand--just click here.

Professor Yavas' research interests include real estate brokerage, mortgage contracts, economics of information, and experimental economics. He has published over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals, and his research has also been cited in such popular media outlets as Money, Time, Business Week and Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MIPIM conference provides great opportunity for real estate students

Today we have the latest entry in our continuing Meet Our Students series:

After a relaxing winter break, students returned to class in January and shifted their focus from snowball fights and family over the holiday to the events of the coming semester. The most exciting of which--for me anyway--is the trip that real estate MBA students will take in March to MIPIM, the international real estate conference in Cannes, France.

This trip is the capstone of the first year of the Real Estate MBA Program here at UW and a great opportunity to attend the leading international real estate conference. In a time of unprecedented turbulence in the real estate market, it is invaluable to be able to attend this conference and gain insights from some of the most influential people in the industry. I cannot wait to hear the different viewpoints of the representatives from nations around the world and hopefully, as the only university program in the country attending the conference, my fellow students and I will provide a valuable perspective for the other representatives as well.

Keep an eye out for an updates on our plans for MIPIM as the semester goes a long and I will be sure to give a recap of what is sure to be an amazing experience after we return from France in late March.

Jeff Swhier is a first year MBA student in the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business. He moved back to the Midwest from NYC to pursue take a position in a property management company and plans to return there after completing his degree.

Click here for more coverage of MIPIM and MAPIC events, as well as Professor François Ortalo-Magné's closing keynote presentation from MIPIM 2009.