Despite the tremendous amount of crossover between skills needed for commercial real estate and corporate real estate, universities with real estate schools across the country do not typically differentiate the two and do not have specific classes teaching corporate real estate.
As a result, there’s a growing void in the corporate real estate talent pipeline because students are unaware of corporate real estate practices and opportunities as a potential career. That’s changing now.
Recently, CoreNet Global and Arizona State University collaborated on a solution to address the void. If approved, the newly proposed program will be presented through ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business, Finance Department and its Real Estate Club, and taught over nine months starting next fall by CoreNet Global practitioners.
A total of six to nine class sessions will be held once a month in the evenings, lasting 90 minutes each. Upon completion of the program, each student will receive a non-degree, non-credit certificate.
The program is designed to foster the dialogue between industry practitioners, academics and students to advance knowledge and scholarship specifically about corporate real estate.
HOW IT STARTED
The CoreNet Global Arizona Chapter helped initiate the dialogue between ASU and CoreNet Global’s existing University Relations and Professional Development Program to develop the program’s curriculum, which will enable student access to CoreNet Global’s institutional knowledge, members and career opportunities.
Since 2014, CoreNet Global, a non-profit association providing education and best practices for corporate real estate that represents nearly 10,000 executives and 47 local chapters globally, had been working to strengthen its academic relationships globally.
“We are looking for the next generation of ideas,” says Angela Cain, CEO of CoreNet Global. “At the same time, we want graduate and undergraduate students to understand that corporate real estate is a profession unto itself, and a valid career path.”
Four-year CoreNet Global Arizona Chapter board member Mark Singerman, vice president and regional director for the Rockefeller Group’s Arizona region, helped coordinate efforts between ASU, CoreNet Global, and its Arizona Chapter since the idea originated last May.
While CoreNet Global has partnered with other university’s real estate schools, the program at ASU will be the first of its kind.
Mark Stapp, executive director of ASU’s Masters of Real Estate Development and facility director of the undergraduate minor in real estate, says, “This marks the first time there’s an officially recognized program within a university that’s teaching corporate real estate with the CoreNet organization.”
“The timing was good,” Stapp adds, “because I was in the mode of trying to figure out what we can do for the minor in real estate to increase value proposition and education opportunities for our students that was directly related to students ability to use in seeking employment.”
WHY IT’S NEEDED
“Corporate real estate has become a much more defined vocation,” says Singerman, “and universities around the country haven’t recognized it yet as a discipline.”
Overall, real estate is a big cost to companies from how it’s managed to how it can be used as a vital tool in hiring, employee retention and effective strategies to improving the company’s bottom line.
“Every single company — small, medium and large — deals with real estate in some regard whether that’s owning and designing a facility or renting space,” says Stapp. “Companies are constantly making decisions about real estate that helps them manage their operations as effectively as possible.”
For these reasons and others, Singerman thinks educational programs like this will catch on at other universities with real estate schools.
“We are really the guinea pig here,” he adds. “We are creating the wheel.”
A wheel that might be used by CoreNet Global in the future as a template for the implementation of programs with similar intentions.
Singerman and Stapp are both hopeful the new program will be a success at ASU and eventually added as a for-credit undergraduate course as part of the real estate minor, which could possibly be in the next two to three years.
“It’s about jobs,” says Singerman. “It’s our members who need a pipeline for students interested in corporate real estate and for students it’s another potential career path that they didn’t otherwise know about.”