Real Estate Course Allows Students to Invest in Real Property

Professor Graig Arcuri’s Real Estate Capital Markets class at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management is taking learning to a new level.

Moving from classroom theory to practical application, students not only evaluated properties, but also had the opportunity to solicit financing to acquire the properties, gaining valuable real-world experience.

“In the course, we discuss ways to finance projects, including ways to avoid using personal capital,” said Professor Arcuri. “Students learn about acquiring equity and finding investment tax credits, and as an example, their final project was intended to let them experience first-hand the principles they were learning in the classroom.”

One group looked into acquiring apartment complexes just outside of Syracuse, New York, examining the true value of the properties and determining what would be feasible.

“Throughout this process, we learned the many layers and obstacles that are involved with obtaining a piece of real estate,” said Eric Anthony ’16, a finance and real estate double major. “To the naked eye, it seems all that is needed is an exchange of money, but there are months of preparation and behind-the-scenes work that goes into an eventual deal.”

According to Professor Arcuri, the students have the opportunity with this project to apply everything they learn, from marketing to finance, instantly showing the value of the education.

“We effectively turned education into real revenue and that’s how they really learn,” said Professor Arcuri.

The students developed proposals that they presented to local bankers at the end of the semester.

“The students presented their loan proposals and provided details that a bank committee would be looking for,” said John Carpenter ’89, a former chief credit officer who now consults for local banks. “I wish we had Professor Arcuri when I went to Whitman. The perspective of having the students exposed to bankers gives the extra element they wouldn’t normally have in a classroom project.”

Carpenter added that the students were well-prepared and the resulting discussions with the bankers were valuable both to the professionals and the students.

“Normally, professors teach from slides and give examples. Professor Arcuri threw us out into the real world and allowed us to have a professional experience,” said Anthony. “Just like in real life, not everything went as planned, but the course taught us valuable lessons for the future.”

For more information about Whitman’s real estate major, click here.