Tag Archives: W.P. Carey School of Business

Chandler Innovation Center

Nominate Your Favorite for a Spirit of Enterprise Award

Want to help honor your favorite Arizona company? Nominate it for a 2013 Spirit of Enterprise Award.

The awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University recognize some of Arizona’s best businesses for creating jobs, boosting our economy and treating customers right. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, China Mist, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as rapidly growing businesses, such as GlobalMed and WebPT.

“We’re looking for firms that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” says Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They should have a great story and a positive culture internally, and be exemplary community partners in terms of how they give back.”

You can nominate any company that is:

* A for-profit enterprise in business for at least four years;
* Incorporated, headquartered or having a majority of its business operations in Arizona;
* Employing at least three or more full-time workers;
* Able to demonstrate profitability over the last three years combined.

In addition, one minority-owned business will receive the Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Once a company is nominated, it will have until July 31 to complete an awards application.

The winners of the 17th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards will be announced at a luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on Nov. 22. Hundreds of Arizona business and community leaders attend this annual event.

For more information on nominating a company, applying for the awards, or attending the luncheon, call (480) 965-0474 or visit spiritofenterprise.org.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. In addition, companies can use the center to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

homes

Prices Up, Foreclosures Down, Investors Losing Interest

Phoenix-area home prices are back on their way up again, after a short drop in January. The latest housing report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows soaring prices, dropping foreclosures and waning interest from investors looking at Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of February.

* The median single-family home price shot up more than 4 percent in just one month — January to February.
* The median single-family home price went up 36.5 percent from February 2012 to February 2013.
* Foreclosures have resumed their downward trend, after a brief post-holiday bump, and they are likely to fall below the “normal,” long-term level by the end of next year.

Phoenix-area home prices have risen sharply since hitting a low point in September 2011. The median single-family home price went up 4.3 percent from January to February. It went up 36.5 percent – $124,500 to $170,000 – from last February to this February. Realtors will note the average price per square foot rose 30.9 percent year-over-year. The median townhouse/condo price increased 39.4 percent – from $77,500 to $108,000.

“These substantial increases were predicted in our last report and are almost certain to continue in March,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “Pricing typically strengthens during the peak buying season from February to June each year.”

Orr adds the market is still dealing with a chronic shortage of homes available for sale. The number of active single-family-home listings (without an existing contract) in the greater Phoenix area fell about 5 percent just from February 1 to March 1. Also, 79 percent of the available supply is priced above $150,000, creating a real problem in the lower range.

“The shortage continues to get more severe among the most affordable housing sectors,” says Orr. “Overall, ‘distressed,’ bargain supply is down 32 percent from last February, since we’re seeing fewer foreclosures and short sales. First-time home buyers face tough competition from investors and other bidders for the relatively small number of properties available in their target price range.”

Thanks to the tight inventory, the amount of single-family-home sales activity was down 10 percent this February from last February. Things don’t appear to be getting better.

“Higher prices would normally encourage more ordinary home sellers to enter the market, but it seems many potential sellers are either locked in by negative equity and/or staying on the sidelines, waiting for prices to rise further,” explains Orr. “At some point, we will reach a pricing level where resale supply will free up, but we are not there yet.”

While high-end, luxury-home resales are picking up some steam, many frustrated home buyers in the lower price range have been turning to new-home construction. As a result, new-home sales were up an incredible 67 percent from last February to this February. New-home sales have almost doubled their market share from 6 percent to 11 percent over the last 12 months. Still, Orr says new-home sales have a long way to go to recover their normal percentage of the market.

He adds, “New homes are not being built in sufficient quantity to match the population growth in the Phoenix area. The construction industry remembers overbuilding from 2003 to 2007, contributing to the disaster in 2008 that resulted in layoffs and bankruptcies for some developers. For now, it looks like they will probably build fewer than half the homes needed to keep pace with current population trends.”

Investor interest also continues to wane in the Phoenix area. The percentage of homes bought by investors from 2011 to mid-2012 was way up, but it declined in Maricopa County from 37 percent last February to 29.7 percent this February. Many investors are looking at other areas of the nation where prices haven’t recovered as much and more bargains are available. Orr labels it a “significant down trend” here.

Foreclosures and foreclosure starts (homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days) are both back on a downward trend, too, after a short post-holiday bump. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and townhome/condos fell 25 percent from January to February alone. They were down 52 percent from last February. Foreclosure starts were down 61 percent from last February. Orr predicts foreclosure-notice rates may be down to “below long-term averages” by the end of 2014. Meantime, the lack of cheap foreclosed homes continues to help push prices up.

“The significant annual price increase over the last 12 months has now spread to all areas of greater Phoenix,” says Orr.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201303.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

Phoenix-Area Housing Market

How to Survive the Phoenix-area Housing Market

The Phoenix-area housing market is especially difficult for home buyers to navigate right now. They face rising prices, competition from investors and other bidders, and a short supply of available homes for sale. That’s why The Arizona Republic and the ASU Real Estate Council at the W. P. Carey School of Business are hosting a free event to help people sort through the complications.

“We keep hearing from potential home buyers how tough it is to deal with current conditions in the Valley housing market,” says Catherine Reagor, who covers the real estate market for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com. “This is one way to help.”

The event called “Phoenix Housing Market Explained” will be held Saturday, April 6, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

It will feature:

* Catherine Reagor, senior real estate reporter for The Arizona Republic
* Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business
* Mark Stapp, the Fred E. Taylor Professor in Real Estate and director of the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program at the W. P. Carey School of Business

The three will participate in a panel discussion and then take questions from the audience. Reagor will offer insight into what she’s seeing as buyers and sellers negotiate ever-changing market conditions…and prospective buyers try to secure a mortgage.

Orr, a prominent real estate expert whose monthly reports on the Phoenix-area housing market are often covered by the national media, will talk about many factors that could affect prospective home buyers right now.

“Everything from investors to rising prices and the short supply of houses are coming into play for people who want to own a new home,” says Orr. “It can be frustrating to bid repeatedly for properties and still come up dry. I’ll go over some of the latest data that could help provide an edge.”

Stapp, an established real estate developer himself, will moderate the discussion and explain current trends in new-home building.

The event will be held in the Business Administration C-Wing Building, or BAC, at 400 E. Lemon St. at ASU in Tempe. Parking is available just across the street at the intersection of Apache Boulevard and Normal Avenue. Signage will direct participants from the garage to room BAC 116 on the first floor of the BAC building.

Because space is limited, registration is encouraged at conversations.azcentral.com. More information about the event can be found at www.money.azcentral.com, www.wpcarey.asu.edu, or by calling (602) 444-4931.

More information about the Valley real estate market is available in the W. P. Carey School’s monthly reports at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/market-reports.cfm.

Chandler Innovation Center

Spirit of Enterprise kicks off process

The W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU launched its 17th annual Spirit of Enterprise Kick-off Breakfast at the Edward Jones Training Facility on Wednesday.  This annual breakfast marked the start of the nomination process for 2013 Spirit of Enterprise and honored the 2012 sponsors and award recipients.

Highlights of the breakfast, according to Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W.P. Carey School of business, were:

·  More than 25  Spirit alumni in attendance at the breakfast from as early as 2001 right on through 2012;
·  More than 30 companies nominated by Spirit alumni;
·  12 STEP projects (Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects);
·  12 Review sessions (each one comprised of one alumnus reviewing 50+ applications for Spirit Awards for a particular year);
·  6 separate guest speaking engagements in undergraduate and MBA entrepreneurship courses;

The Spirit of Enterprise celebrates ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship and opens the door for entrepreneurs to have access to the tools listed above.  For more information, and to nominate your company for an opportunity to participate in these programs, go to http://wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit/.

WPCarey-School-Sign

W. P. Carey School Ranks Top 30 in the Nation

U.S. News & World Report announces its prestigious annual rankings for “Best Graduate Schools” today. For the sixth year in a row, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University ranks Top 30 among the best graduate business schools in the nation.

“We’re really proud to demonstrate consistent excellence at the W. P. Carey School of Business,” says the school’s dean, Amy Hillman. “This particular ranking is largely determined by our peer business schools and corporate recruiters who offer our students jobs, so they are very aware of the great work happening here. Thank you to the dedicated faculty members, staff and students who do their best every day to keep us on the cutting edge of education.”

The new list for 2014 ranks the W. P. Carey School No. 30 for its full-time MBA program. It’s the best ranking for any Arizona school. The full-time program also ranks among the Top 20 nationwide for career placement at graduation, demonstrating the school’s keen interest in preparing students to succeed in the real world.

“In addition, our full-time MBA is among the two least expensive programs in the Top 30, a clear value,” says Stacey Whitecotton, senior associate dean of graduate programs at the W. P. Carey School. “It’s also among the two smallest programs in the Top 30, allowing us to keep class sizes at a personal level.”

In January, U.S. News & World Report also pre-announced that the W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program ranks No. 2 among online graduate business programs in the country. The online MBA program is known for its flexibility, convenience and offering of the same stellar faculty members who teach in the school’s highly ranked face-to-face programs.

Several other W. P. Carey School programs also appear on new graduate-level “specialties” lists from U.S. News & World Report this week. The evening MBA program ranks No. 22 among part-time MBA programs nationwide, the highest ranking for any Arizona school on that list. The renowned supply chain management program ranks No. 6 for supply chain/logistics, and the information systems program ranks No. 16 in its category. Also, the Ph.D. program in economics ranks No. 36 in its field.

Other recent high rankings for marquee programs at the W. P. Carey School:

* U.S. News & World Report ranks the undergraduate business program No. 24 in the nation.
* The Wall Street Journal ranks the executive MBA program in the Phoenix area No. 13 in the world.
* Britain’s Financial Times ranks the school’s China-based executive MBA program No. 21 in the world.
* The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the school No. 18 in the world for “economics/business.”

housing.prices

Phoenix Area Ready for Even Higher Home Prices

Even though the median Phoenix-area home price shot up by more than a third last year, we can expect area prices to keep soaring in 2013. That’s according to a new housing report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which offers the latest numbers for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of January:

The median single-family home price went up 35.3 percent — from $120,500 to $163,000 – between January 2012 and January 2013.
The very limited supply of homes available for sale in the lower price range is expected to keep pushing prices higher.
Foreclosures went up somewhat in January, but it’s believed to be a normal, post-holiday-season bump that is already reversing.

Home prices have risen dramatically in the Phoenix area since reaching a low point in September 2011. The median single-family home price actually went slightly down between December 2012 and January 2013, but it’s expected to be a tiny blip on the radar. The new report by Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, says low inventory will keep forcing home prices higher in the Phoenix area this year.

“The recent decline was predicted in our last report and is a seasonal effect,” explains Orr. “Pricing is almost always weaker in January, but February signals the start of peak buying season that lasts until the end of June. Make no mistake – prices are going to rise significantly during this period. There is nowhere else for them to go until a significant new source of active listings enters this supply-constrained market.”

The median single-family home price was already up 35.3 percent – from $120,500 to $163,000 – from January 2012 to this January. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 28.5 percent at the same time. The median price of a townhouse/condominium went up a whopping 45 percent – from $70,000 to $101,500.

Sales activity fell 12 percent from January to January, largely because of the lack of inexpensive homes available for sale. At the higher end of the market, sales are up somewhat from last year, but at the low end, multiple bidders face tough competition for few homes. Discounted, “distressed supply” – like homes from foreclosures and short sales — dropped 38 percent from the beginning of February 2012 to the beginning of February 2013. Overall, the number of single-family homes for sale priced under $150,000 (without a signed contract) is only a 43-day supply. Still, this is better than the 18 days of inventory available in June.

“We still have a long-term supply shortage with only about 50 percent of the active listings (without contracts) that we would expect to see in a normal market,” says Orr. “Consequently, the trend is for prices to continue to rise across most sectors. Most homes priced reasonably below $500,000 continue to attract multiple offers in a short time. Sellers are firmly in control.”

Since the number of bargain foreclosed homes and short sales available is generally dropping, many buyers are turning to alternatives like new-home sales, which are up an incredible 61 percent this January from last January. New-home construction permits are up 42 percent from a year ago. Home builders bought up a massive 2,272 lots in December to help meet demand. However, the trend dropped off in January, with only 143 lots changing hands, so Orr says the sales appear to have been timed for tax purposes by sellers concerned about paying higher tax rates in 2013.

Also, investor purchases are declining slowly after peaking in late summer, and Orr anticipates they will decline further as fewer bargains can be found. The percentage of investor purchases in Maricopa County dropped from 39.2 percent in January 2012 to 31.8 percent this January. Orr adds he doesn’t think large investors are driving the market as much as some analysts would have you believe.

“Some commentators have suggested that the presence of large investors is causing the recent price rise,” says Orr. “This vastly exaggerates their effect on our market. Large investors account for only around 8 percent of purchases, and if they disappeared overnight, there still would not be enough homes on the market to satisfy the small investors, second-home buyers and regular owner-occupiers.”

Foreclosures and foreclosure starts (homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days) went up a little from December to January. However, this is a normal yearly occurrence, because banks typically pull back on foreclosures during the holiday season. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and condos were still down 45 percent this January from last January. Foreclosure starts went down 33 percent at the same time.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201302.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

Amy-Hillman

New Carey School Dean Takes Over

One of the top business schools in the nation will have a new dean at the helm, starting tomorrow. Current Executive Dean Amy Hillman — a world-renowned management expert, popular teacher and noted researcher — will take over as dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, effective March 1.

Hillman is the first-ever female dean of the school, which has undergraduate, full-time MBA, part-time MBA and online MBA programs all ranked Top 30 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. She is outlining a clear vision for the future.

“We’re going to keep advancing what we do to help our students achieve career and life successes,” says Hillman, who has played a key role in the growth of the school in her four years as second-in-command/executive dean. “Our world-class faculty is full of researchers who teach cutting-edge skills. We want to use this knowledge and our excellent position in a major metropolitan area (the Phoenix area) to help support the business world. We plan to broaden and deepen our business partnerships to become a ‘go-to’ place for firms to come to advance their work force and get help with real-life projects. We’re also going to focus on providing even more value and connections throughout the world for our vast 80,000-plus alumni network.”

Hillman never had dreams of academia when she was younger. She actually got her MBA on evenings and weekends, while striving to improve as general manager of a small retail and manufacturing business. However, several of her professors had such a profound influence on her that she realized she’d rather teach others about business than stay in her current job.

“As both an undergraduate and graduate student, I had individual faculty members who had a huge influence on my life,” says Hillman, who has been recognized with outstanding teaching awards every place she has worked. “I felt a sense that if I could make a difference for one student, like these faculty members did for me, then I would personally feel more accomplished than I did in the corporate world.”

Hillman has already made a clear mark on the W. P. Carey School in her decade-plus on the faculty as a management professor. She has championed entrepreneurship projects through the Spirit of Enterprise Center and helped to expand the school’s degree offerings to allow access to more students. (The school’s current total is more than 10,000 students). Recently, she was instrumental in the school introducing several new specialized master’s degrees to help undergraduates from other fields combine their passions with a solid business foundation. These include nine-month master’s programs in management and business analytics.

“I love ASU, and this opportunity to be a leader here, at a place that I love, is a real privilege,” says Hillman. “This is especially significant, since this year is the 10th anniversary of the gift from businessman/philanthropist Wm. Polk Carey that gave the school its name. We’ve come so far, thanks to this transformative gift, and we plan to go even further over the next 10 years.”

Hillman will preside over the opening of the new 129,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art McCord Hall this summer. The building will complement the two existing business-school structures, providing more classrooms for graduate and undergraduate honors students, technologically advanced team study rooms, a new career center, world-class conference facilities and outdoor assembly areas.

“This is a chance for us to really advance the science and culture of learning business,” says Hillman. “The way the building is set up, it will actually help our students to develop teamwork, communication and critical thinking skills.”

Hillman is also a strong supporter of the school’s research efforts. She is a renowned researcher in management, focusing on boards of directors, corporate political strategies, and how links between firms and their external contingencies improve financial performance. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report, among other venues. The journal Technovation recently ranked the W. P. Carey School No. 1 among all business schools worldwide for authoring research in the Top 45 academic business journals with the most global impact.

“What makes this school special, though, is the people,” says Hillman. “The faculty, staff and students are so amazing, supportive and encouraging of each other. At some older, established schools, there is a sense of complacency. The W. P. Carey School is like a nimble entrepreneur, seeking to constantly improve. That feeling permeates our culture, helping us to transform and advance lives, the school and the business world.”

Hillman takes over for current dean, Robert Mittelstaedt, who is semi-retiring after 40 years in academia, including various leadership positions at the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an experienced business co-founder, a board member of three public companies and author of two business books. He will continue to serve at ASU as an adviser to the president and provost, as well as work on a project focused on the business and technical issues facing electric utilities in the future.

For more information about the W. P. Carey School of Business and its programs, visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu.

Phoenix-Area Housing Market

Phoenix Housing Report: 2012 Numbers and Look Ahead at 2013

Though home prices continue rising, things are still far from perfect in the Phoenix-area housing market. A new year-end report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides a 2012 summary of the numbers for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as well as some insight on what’s ahead:

* The median single-family-home sales price shot up almost 34 percent — $122,500 to $164,000 — from December 2011 to December 2012.
* The supply of homes for sale fell 6 percent from January 2012 to January 2013, with discounted, “distressed” supply down a whopping 42 percent.
* Foreclosures finally plummeted 51 percent from December 2011 to December 2012, signaling we are near the end of a terrible chapter in the Phoenix-area housing market.

Mike Orr, the report’s author, says things have dramatically changed in the Phoenix-area market over the past year or so. Prices have risen significantly since they reached a low point in September 2011.

“2012 was all about low inventory, which has been driving up home prices,” explains Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Foreclosures and short sales have gone down, eliminating the sources of many cheap homes, so the more expensive types of transactions, like normal resales and new-home sales, went up. As a result, new-home construction, which was at rock bottom in 2011, also really came roaring back in 2012.”

The median single-family-home price in the Valley went up about 33.9 percent from December 2011 to December 2012, rising from $122,500 to $164,000. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 27.2 percent. The median townhouse/condominium price went up 42.7 percent, from $70,000 to $99,900.

“However, we expect to see that prices held steady or even fell slightly between December 2012 and January 2013,” says Orr. “Between Christmas and the Super Bowl is always a quiet time for home sales in Greater Phoenix, with ordinary home buyers much less active than average and investors continuing to concentrate on the lower price range.”

On the overall supply of homes for sale last year – Orr says inventory went down 6 percent from the beginning of January 2012 to the start of January 2013. Still, the supply began to bounce back toward the end of the year, increasing 13 percent in the fourth quarter. The supply of cheap, “distressed supply” plunged 42 percent over the year, as foreclosures and short sales fell. Overall sales activity also fell 12 percent for single-family homes and 13 percent for townhomes/condos from December to December.

“With prices moving substantially higher, it’s not surprising that buyer interest eased a little,” says Orr. “We still see multiple bids for many resale listings, but demand isn’t as strong as it was in spring 2012.”

Investor interest has dropped somewhat in recent months, after peaking in late summer. This means ordinary home buyers face less competition from investors’ all-cash offers. Still, all-cash purchases accounted for more than a third (35.5 percent) of the deals in Maricopa County in December. Some investment groups have started buying homes wholesale in bulk from other investors, since the market has become more competitive. Nevertheless, Orr asserts most investors are using their own money and not debt, so he doesn’t expect another housing bubble from this activity.

“Developers are also becoming more active, as bargains become tougher for the average buyer to find and those buyers turn to new-home construction,” says Orr. “Developers are stocking up on vacant lots – having purchased almost 2,300 of them, plus several tracts of undeveloped land, in December alone. However, the number of permits to build on the lots hasn’t shot up, so it looks like developers are trying to remain flexible, deciding whether to build or hold the land for the future.”

Foreclosure starts – homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – are down 40 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. Completed foreclosures are down 51 percent.

Almost all areas of the Valley rebounded significantly in 2012. In fact, Wickenburg is the only city where the average price per square foot went down from December 2011 to December 2012.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201301.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

My Electronic Pillbox can help with complex medicine regimes

Cheap medicine more vital, study reveals

People may think it’s more vital to take their medicine, if that medicine is cheap. A new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows consumers believe prices for lifesaving products are based on need and not profit. Therefore, they often assume their risk of getting a serious illness is higher when the medicine is less expensive, and they’re also more likely to plan to get the treatment, including flu shots.

“We find that people have a fundamental belief that everyone should have access to lifesaving care, such as vaccines, doctor’s visits, screening tests like mammograms, and cancer treatments,” says Assistant Professor Adriana Samper of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Nobody wants anyone to die because they didn’t have the resources to cover the treatment. Therefore, they believe communal pricing (based on need), rather than the normal market pricing for other goods, applies in these situations. They expect medicine for a serious illness to be inexpensive.”

Samper’s new marketing study, co-authored with Assistant Professor Janet Schwartz of Tulane University, will appear in the April edition of the Journal of Consumer Research. In a series of experiments, the researchers demonstrated several interesting points about medication pricing, and those points held true, even if insurance — not the consumer — was going to pay for the treatments.

In the first experiment, participants in an online study were asked to evaluate 10 products and services based on whether they were priced for “communal” purposes or market value. Vaccines, doctor’s visits and drugs used to prevent serious illnesses all ranked as being driven by communal pricing, while items like tax-preparation services, restaurant menu items and home electronics all ranked as market-driven.

In the next experiment, online participants were asked about a fictitious cream described as either preventing skin cancer or preventing age spots. The cream was also offered at a low price of $25 or a high price of $250. Price had no effect on attitudes toward the cosmetic cream, but when the skin-cancer treatment was only $25, respondents believed they needed it more — that they were at higher risk for the disease.

“We see the same thing for a flu shot,” says Samper. “People are more concerned about getting the disease and addressing prevention if the vaccine is cheaper. That’s an important note for health officials during our especially tough flu season right now.”

A third experiment showed participants an ad for the same cream, with the same image, but slightly different versions of text, again reflecting whether the cream was for skin-cancer prevention or cosmetic purposes. The two different price points were offered in each case. Consumers were much more likely to keep reading the ad and planned to pursue the treatment in the case where the cream was for skin cancer and the price was lower. This happened even when insurance was going to pay for the cream at either price.

“This implies a possible problem with the recent push for price transparency,” adds Samper. “In some cases, high prices may signal lower self-risk, and people may not think it’s important to get needed treatments just because the cost is high.”

In the last experiment, the researchers tested the effects of different types of messages meant to encourage people to get flu shots. They used the two prices again and also varied whether the flu’s consequences were described as self-focused — such as missing work or paying medical bills if you got the flu — or societally-focused — such as getting other people sick or hurting economic productivity with the flu’s spread. Very clearly, individuals again increased their assumption of risk and intentions to get the vaccine in response to lower price, but only when the message focused on personal consequences of the flu.

“Therefore, public health officials should take note: Ads emphasizing the protection of other people do not appear to convince people to get vaccinated,” say Samper. “People respond best to messages that emphasize how illness will personally affect them.”

The full study can be found at http://www.jstor.org/stable/info/10.1086/668639.

flinn scholars

W. P. Carey School Offers Free College Prep Program

High school students who want to know what it’s really like to attend one of the top business schools in the nation are about to get their chance. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is now accepting applications for its annual free Fleischer Scholars college-prep program.

This is the fourth year of the business program, which is being doubled in size to accommodate about 60 Arizona high school students. Economically disadvantaged students between their junior and senior years are encouraged to attend. Participants will spend a week with supervising mentors in Barrett, the Honors College at ASU’s Tempe campus, while learning business skills and preparing for college.

“The Fleischer Scholars Program is designed to help deserving students learn about business careers, college study skills, and application tips, including financial-aid advice,” explains Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business, which has an undergraduate business program ranked Top 25 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. “Students will get to work with current W. P. Carey School students and faculty members, as well as local business leaders. We want to set them on the path to success.”

High school counselors and teachers are asked to identify strong candidates interested in business to attend this summer. Students from the W. P. Carey School’s business magnet-school programs at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe and Liberty High School in Peoria are among those who will consider this.

“These kids are in for a great week and an amazing experience,” says Sebastian Navarro, a past Fleischer Scholar, who now attends the W. P. Carey School of Business. “I can’t say enough how valuable this program was. I learned about the business school and did some incredible networking with the college staff. I also got a student mentor who still helps me plan out my classes, and I was able to choose a major based on what I learned. I got a feel for living in a dorm atmosphere and what college life is really like.”

The program is available in two different sessions this year: June 9-14 or 23-28. Applications are due April 1. For more information, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu/summerscholar or call or e-mail Katie Cobos at (480) 965-5187 or Katherine.Cobos@asu.edu.

The entire program is sponsored by local entrepreneur Morton Fleischer and his wife, ASU alum Donna Fleischer. They want to educate young people about the opportunities and achievements freedom provide, so students can add to the legacy of American entrepreneurs.

paying_for_online_education

W. P. Carey’s Online MBA Program Ranks No.2 in Nation

For the first time ever, U.S. News & World Report is issuing complete numeric rankings of the country’s best online graduate business programs. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University comes in an impressive No. 2 on the list.

“We’re extremely happy to see U.S. News confirm we have one of the world’s best online MBA programs,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Increasingly, students are looking for the flexibility of an online program, but they don’t want to sacrifice the high quality of a top university. The W. P. Carey School was one of the first highly respected schools to get into the online arena – more than a decade ago — and we offer the same stellar faculty and degree in our online program as we offer in all of our other highly ranked MBA programs.”

In addition to the new online-MBA ranking, U.S. News & World Report already currently ranks the W. P. Carey School’s undergraduate business, full-time MBA and evening MBA programs among the nation’s Top 30 in their respective categories.

As far as online programs, last year, U.S. News & World Report only issued an “Honor Roll” of 14 graduate business choices and some rankings on subcategories, but the publication stopped short of giving a full, overall rankings list of the top programs. The W. P. Carey School did make the “Honor Roll,” but this year’s clear-cut No. 2 is more definitive. The new rankings are based on important criteria: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, and faculty credentials and training.

“This means U.S. News & World Report looked at our accomplished students, renowned faculty, small class sizes, diverse online-learning technologies, prestigious accreditation, and reputation among peer schools, and they placed us among the two best online MBA programs in the entire United States,” explains Stacey Whitecotton, associate dean for W. P. Carey MBA programs.

Students serving in the military, starting their own businesses and traveling extensively for their jobs are among those who have chosen the W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program. For example, NFL Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff completed the program, even while attending NFL training camp. Lieutenant Colonel Scott Coulson, who was awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a Combat Action Badge for his service and actions while leading combat missions in Iraq, participated in the program while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

This past summer, QS, a Britain-based company that helps students select MBA programs, ranked the W. P. Carey School’s online MBA program among the Top 15 in the world. QS says there are at least 300 online MBA programs right now and that attention has boomed, going from just 4.4 percent of MBA students interested in 2008 to 15.6 percent interested in 2012.

The W. P. Carey School’s popular two-year online MBA program allows students to meet at a face-to-face orientation just once at the ASU campus, then complete the rest of the courses completely online. Students work in small, personalized teams with peers from other industries, focusing on one course at a time. This is also one of the few online MBA programs in which students can earn their degrees with an area of emphasis, such as finance, international business, marketing or supply chain management. Participants have a dedicated financial aid specialist and a career center to help them with job searches. For more information, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu.

The W. P. Carey School also offers other online graduate business programs: a weekend/online hybrid MBA, a 16-month online Master of Science in Information Management, and a newly announced 21-month Master of Science in Supply Chain Management and Engineering.

housing.prices

Phoenix-area Home Prices continue to Rise

More ordinary buyers are finally getting into the Phoenix-area housing market as home prices continue to rise and investors find fewer bargains to snap up. That’s according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which reveals the numbers for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of November:

> The median single-family home price continued to rise, jumping from $157,000 in October to $162,500 in November.
> The tight housing supply grew 31 percent between September and December, but another drop may be coming in the spring.
> All-cash offers are finally on a downward trend, signaling that investor interest may be waning a bit and more ordinary buyers are able to successfully compete for homes.

Phoenix-area home prices reached a low point in September 2011, followed by a sharp rise that’s expected to continue into 2013. The median single-family home price in November was up to $162,500 from just $120,000 last November — a 35.4-percent increase. Realtors will note the average price per square foot rose 27.4 percent year-over-year. The townhouse/condo median price is up almost 43 percent, from $70,000 to $100,000.

However, according to the report’s author, Mike Orr, the market is unbalanced, with not enough homes available for the many buyers, especially at the lower end. The number of homes for sale, but not under contract, was down 7 percent year-over-year at the start of December. Specifically, the amount of bargains or “distressed supply” was down a whopping 43 percent from last year. Things started to improve this fall, with total supply up 31 percent from September to December, but Orr doesn’t see more good news coming.

“We don’t see a strong flow of new listings coming onto the market,” says Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “For example, short-sale listings are down about 70 percent compared to this same time last year. As the market improves, it seems many people may have decided to hang onto their homes in an effort to let values keep going up. I also anticipate another possible drop in supply this spring. Unless new-home builders can start keeping up with rising demand, we may have a chronic supply problem.”

Ordinary buyers, who usually need financing, still face multiple bids and tough competition from investors offering sellers preferred all-cash deals. In fact, almost half (48.4 percent) of the single-family-home sales under $150,000 in November were all-cash purchases. However, the percentage of homes bought by investors declined from 35.5 percent in August to 27.5 percent in November. Orr says investor activity peaked around August and is on a long-term downward trend. With the possible exception of a brief, normal holiday spike in December/January, he expects a continued drop in investor activity.

“As prices go up each month, price-sensitive buyers, such as investors, get a little less enthusiastic,” explains Orr. “Bargain hunters haven’t got much left to pick over, which is allowing more normal buyers to jump into the market before prices rise past what they can afford.”

Foreclosures are down in the market. Completed foreclosures on single-family and condo homes dropped 34 percent from November 2011 to November 2012. Foreclosure starts – homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – went down 48 percent.

Sales activity stayed relatively level, dipping just 1 percent from November to November. The most expensive types of sales, new-home sales and regular resales, are up 32 percent and 84 percent. All types of discount sales, such as short sales and bank-owned-home sales, are down.

Almost every area of the Valley has seen prices explode over the past year, led by Pinal County, including Eloy, Arizona City and Maricopa.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201212.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

customer.service

ASU Center becomes a resource to teach service

Customer service was once viewed as the cost of doing business.

“Across almost every industry, leaders are focusing on service as a way to compete in today’s competitive marketplace,” says Mary Jo Bitner, academic director for the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

But times have changed. Companies that are in search of new revenue streams are finding that in addition to providing great customer service, offering value-added services to their product lines are helping their bottom lines. And the help them make the most of the opportunities, many are seeking help from the ASU Center, which focuses on research and executive education in managing and marketing services.

“Customer demand and the competitive challenges posed by the commoditization of many products has pushed many goods-based companies to take another look at services as a source of revenue and profit,” says Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Services Leadership, who has spent the past 20 years tracking the growing importance of services as a product. “Many are following market leaders to become goods-and-services companies.”

For example, Boeing has broadened its offerings by adding the lucrative market of services to its aircraft manufacturing. The Hewlett Packard and Compaq merger created a new company whose major product is services. IBM’s impressive financials over the past decade — in shining contrast to its competitors — were largely the result of its service businesses.

“In 2001, we were launching our first fee-based service business,” says Steve Church, president of Avnet Integrated and chief corporate business development and planning officer. “We wanted to offer more services and solutions. We knew a lot, but there was a lot we didn’t know.”

Church says Avnet’s membership in the center — which concentrates on expanding service innovation by combining the latest scientific insights from the academic world with the best of business strategy in the real world — allowed the company to “build a culture of service excellence that focuses on the customer and gives each a great customer experience.”

The Center, which was created in 1985, remains the only one of its kind in the United States, devoted to research and education in the services field.  Its research findings form the foundation of the Center’s executive education program, attended by managers and executives of leading firms.  Member companies include AT&T, Charles Schwab and Co., Ford Motor Company, IBM, Mayo Clinic and others, who sponsor research, fund scholarships, host MBA student teams and participate in executive education.

Many member companies sponsor research that is published in academic journals, and shared at the Center’s executive education forums. Bitner, for example, has been studying the effects of self-service technologies (SST), working with Ford and a major pharmaceutical benefits management company.

“The Center is really a tremendous resource for any company that has a strategy to to improve customer serve or add services to augment its products,” Church says. “We learned that by getting our employees engaged in customer service, we built customer loyalty, it helped us compete, and it enhanced our financial performance.”

Which Common Brands Are Most Sustainable?

As you do your shopping this holiday season, would it help to know exactly which toys, electronics, food and other items are better for the environment? A prominent researcher at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is helping to develop a system that will tell retailers, manufacturers, and eventually consumers, about the sustainability of many of the products we buy every day.

Professor Kevin Dooley is research director of The Sustainability Consortium, an impressive group administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, featuring big-name-members, such as Unilever, BASF, MillerCoors, Mars and Walmart, with combined revenue of more than $1.5 trillion. The consortium is developing criteria that will allow you to easily identify which products are the most sustainable in their categories, based on factors like emissions, labor practices, water usage and waste creation. The consortium’s efforts were recently named among 10 “world-changing ideas” that are “radical enough to alter our lives” by Scientific American, and this year, the consortium’s work really vaulted forward.

“We have now established the critical issues and best areas in which to improve more than 100 types of the most common products — everything from electronics and toys, to food, drinks and personal care items,” says Dooley. “We’re helping businesses focus on the most important sustainability issues and giving them a way to measure and share their progress in making products better. This year, we were able to make rapid progress, thanks to the intense efforts of our staff and the stakeholders involved.”

In addition to big advances in creating these tools for companies to use, the consortium also finalized a huge partnership this year. The Consumer Goods Forum is a commercial trade organization with more than 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and others as members worldwide. Working with this group will help the consortium to create a single global framework for sharing information between retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and consumers.

The consortium also announced expansion into China, thanks to a $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation. The consortium will build relationships with Chinese manufacturers and retailers, exchanging information about best practices. It will also help implement a training program for Chinese factory managers and owners, utilizing regional knowledge about social and environmental issues. In other global efforts, the consortium hosted visits and events in Chile and Japan this year, and it’s strengthening ties with a university in Europe.

Dooley says making products more sustainable is getting even more important, as the number of middle-class consumers worldwide keeps growing. We’re creating and consuming more goods — using more energy and disposing of more waste in the process.

“It’s vital to show companies that sustainability and profits aren’t mutually exclusive,” says Dooley. “Investing in sustainability can actually help boost a firm’s bottom line. Sustainability efforts involve streamlining processes, using less energy and creating less packaging. All of this can help save both money and the environment.”

Dooley adds that 40 to 50 percent of environmental impacts can be traced to the life cycle of consumer products sold in retail stores. Therefore, making better choices about which products we buy and how those products are manufactured are truly significant. Dooley notes that some criteria developed by The Sustainability Consortium are already influencing major companies.

“For example, Walmart now requires all suppliers of laptop computers to ship those computers with energy-saving settings as the default,” says Dooley. “Other retailers are already using the consortium’s criteria to choose areas in which they can ask their suppliers to improve. Hopefully, we’re helping many companies consider more sustainability aspects when they’re selecting suppliers and drawing up contracts.”

Dooley teaches sustainability in the W. P. Carey School of Business’ supply chain management programs, consistently ranked Top 10 nationwide. He points out the pioneering way The Sustainability Consortium is integrating the efforts of members across academia, government, private companies and non-governmental organizations. The group is conducting practical research that can affect mainstream consumers around the world.

“The current focus of the consortium is to make the existing system of creating and using products as efficient as possible,” says Dooley. “As industry capabilities mature, we and others will also start looking at how we can consume less, reuse more, change products to services, and make items last longer overall.”

In 2013, the consortium will start working on criteria for clothing, footwear, textiles and many different durable goods like bicycles and hardware. To learn more about The Sustainability Consortium’s efforts, visit http://www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/.

Jay Parry Headshot

Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Hires CEO

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee today announced the appointment of Jay L. Parry to head the organization as Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, Parry will oversee the Host Committee and will work closely with the NFL to deliver a successful Super Bowl XLIX to the State of Arizona, including driving marketing efforts, developing and implementing NFL and Host Committee programs, spearheading sponsorships, fundraising and community relations, and managing financials.

Super Bowl XLIX will be the third Super Bowl played in Arizona, and the second played at University of Phoenix Stadium. Super Bowl XLII in 2008 had an economic impact of $500 million, according to a study conducted by the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.

Parry brings a sports and business acumen uniquely suited to lead the Host Committee’s efforts for Super Bowl XLIX. Most recently, she was senior vice president of Brand and Business Development for the Phoenix Suns. Parry also spent seven seasons as president and chief operating officer of the Phoenix Mercury. During her tenure, the Mercury won two WNBA championships and generated double-digit business growth in corporate partnerships and attendance. Prior to her career in professional sports, Parry was an executive in a variety of roles with Bank of America, most recently as executive vice president in the Central Region. She served on the MVP Host Committee when Arizona hosted Super Bowl XXX in 1996. Currently, Parry serves as a director on the boards of several local organizations, including Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE,) BMO Harris Bank Arizona Advisory Board and Thunderbirds Charities. See www.AZSuperBowl.com for Parry’s full biography.

Parry was named a Most Admired CEO by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2010 and in 2008, was selected one of the Arizona Woman magazine’s “20 Women Who Will Shape Arizona by 2020.”

Parry will report to David Rousseau, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman and president of Salt River Project.

“Jay’s appointment is an amazing coup for the Host Committee,” said Rousseau. “She is the ideal candidate for this role because of her deep experience in sports marketing, business and her strong ties to the community. Jay’s proven leadership skills make her well-suited to drive all facets of the organization from sponsorship and community activation and engagement, to the complex logistics involved in putting on the Super Bowl.”

“Arizona has so much to offer, and I’m honored and excited to be a part of demonstrating this to the world through the Super Bowl,” said Jay Parry, CEO, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. “Sports and business are not only my expertise, but my passion. Super Bowl is an exciting opportunity for Arizona that will leave a lasting legacy for our entire community.”

The successful 2015 game bid was prepared by the Host Committee, led by Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals, Mike Kennedy, former chairman of the Host Committee, and Winnie Stolper. Stolper has worked with the Host Committee since 2006 and will take on the role of Chief Administrative Officer reporting to Parry.

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee will bring together influential business leaders, senior government representatives, Convention and Visitors Bureau personnel, and thousands of volunteers to insure Super Bowl XLIX is a success, and results in positive economic impact under a global spotlight that enhances community pride.

Amy-Hillman

Hillman Named Dean of W. P. Carey School of Business

Amy Hillman has been named dean of Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business, effective March 1, 2013. The school’s current executive dean, Hillman has served as second-in-command at the school since 2009, playing a key role in its growth and success.

U.S. News & World Report currently ranks the school Top 30 in the nation for undergraduate business, full-time MBA and part-time MBA programs.

Hillman succeeds retiring dean, Robert Mittelstaedt, who helped vault the W. P. Carey School of Business into one of the largest and highest-ranked business schools in the world, with more than 10,000 students. He will remain at ASU as dean emeritus and professor of management.

“Amy Hillman is a devoted teacher, a noted researcher and a gifted administrator,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “She has been an integral part of the W. P. Carey School management team that has had so much success during the past decade. We are fortunate that Amy has agreed to move into the school’s deanship to further enhance the school’s excellence.

“I wish to thank Bob Mittelstaedt for his leadership of the W. P. Carey School, and I am delighted that Bob will continue to serve ASU by doing special projects and advising me and the provost.”

Said Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth D. Phillips, “Amy Hillman is a top scholar in her field, and she is a creative and flexible administrator well-suited to lead the W. P. Carey School in a time of very rapid change in higher education.”

Hillman is a world-renowned management professor and holds the Rusty Lyon Chair in Strategy at the W. P. Carey School. She has won numerous national awards as an outstanding reviewer and researcher. She was editor of Academy of Management Review, the world’s top management journal in terms of citation impact, and her research has been featured in USA Today, The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead a terrific group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and our friends in the business community forward,” said Hillman. “The W. P. Carey School of Business is on a steep trajectory toward becoming one of the world’s finest institutions committed to making meaningful contributions to the lives of our stakeholders and also to the future of business practice.”

Students and colleagues consider Hillman to be an exceptional teacher, having honored her with two Outstanding Professor Awards and two Outstanding Teacher Awards. She was also voted one of the most popular professors in Businessweek’s rankings of MBA faculty in 1998.

Before her impressive tenure in academia, Hillman worked as general manager of a small retail and manufacturing business, and she now plays a key role in promoting entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School. For example, she helps to advance the school’s Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year.

Hillman previously taught at the University of Western Ontario, Michigan State University, Johannes Kepler University in Austria, Texas A&M University and Trinity University. She has a Ph.D. from Texas A&M, where she was also named Outstanding Doctoral Alumni.

Mittelstaedt joined the school in 2004 and will semi-retire after spending about 40 years in academia, including various leadership positions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

home.prices

Phoenix’s median home price continues to rise

A new report by real state researchers at Arizona State University says the median home price in metro Phoenix during October increased by 34 percent when compared to the same period a year before.

The report by the university’s W.P. Carey School of Business says the median home price stood at $157,000 in October.

The median home price for October 2011 was $116,000.

The researchers also said the supply of homes and condos in metro Phoenix increased 31 percent over the past three months.

housing.prices

Phoenix-area Home Prices Rising Again

After several months of hovering in the same tight range, Phoenix-area home prices are on the rise again. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reveals the numbers for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of October:

After staying between $149,000 and $150,000 for four months in a row, the median single-family home price finally bounced up to $157,000 in October.
The short supply of homes available for sale on the market has gone up 31 percent over the last three months, but will likely level off for the winter.
New-home sales are skyrocketing – up 85 percent from the same time last year.

The median single-family home price reached $157,000 in October, up more than 34 percent from the same time last year. That’s when it was at just $116,800. Realtors will note the average price per square foot has also gone up almost 26 percent since last October. Prices have been rising sharply since September 2011, with the exception of one recent pause.

“After four months of limited movement in the median single-family home price, the Phoenix area is again seeing an upward trend,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The summer lull ended, and we had an influx of snowbirds and other buyers. We’re seeing about 5 percent more sales activity this October than last October.”

Some of the increased activity is thanks to more homes becoming available on the market. As prices go up, more existing homeowners are willing to sell. The overall supply of homes and condos available on the Phoenix-area market went up 31 percent over the past three months. However, Orr suspects the supply peaked in November and will start declining again as winter begins. Even now, it’s a relatively tight supply, especially at the lower-priced end of the market.

“The overall number of active single-family home listings without an existing contract as of Nov. 1 was fewer than 12,500 in the greater Phoenix area,” says Orr. “Also, 76 percent of that supply is priced above $150,000, so ordinary buyers in the lower range still face rough competition from multiple bidders, including investors and others making preferred all-cash offers.”

Almost half of the homes bought for less than $150,000 in October were the result of all-cash deals. Though investor presence is declining somewhat in the Phoenix area, investors were still involved in almost 30 percent of the housing-market transactions.

Fewer cheap properties are flooding onto the market as foreclosure rates go down. Foreclosure starts – homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – were down 41 percent this October from last October. Completed foreclosures were down 15 percent.

The market is starting to shift toward a much greater percentage of normal resales and new-home sales. Normal resales are up 100 percent from last October, and new-home sales are up an impressive 85 percent.

“New single-family home sales had a strong month in October, topping 1,000 for the first time since 2010,” says Orr. “As a result, developers are clamoring for new vacant lots on which to build. Because of competition, developers are being forced to pay higher prices than in the recent past, so we conclude new-home prices will rise substantially over the next year. That will also likely pull normal resale prices higher as long as there’s a shortage of housing inventory.”

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201211.pdf. More analysis is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

education.business

W. P. Carey School Offers New Scholarship Program

If you’ve ever thought about going back to school to try to advance your career and make more money, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University offers some of the best values in education. In particular, its full-time MBA program has consistently been recognized as one of the best in the nation for “return on investment.” Recently, the school announced it’s adding a new scholarship program to make it even easier for some of the best students in the country to get an MBA through that program.

“We recently introduced the Wm. Polk Carey Memorial Scholarship Fund to help successful applicants for the full-time MBA program cover the costs of education,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Last year, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked our full-time MBA program among the Top 20 in the world and the Top 10 in the U. S. for ‘return on investment,’ indicating superb value. However, we still wanted to push even further to help more deserving students access a highly ranked MBA program.”

The Bloomberg Businessweek article pointed out that students completing the W. P. Carey School’s full-time MBA program could see an annual pay increase of about $40,000. It also indicated that it would likely take less than five years for a W. P. Carey full-time MBA student to recoup all the costs of getting an MBA, including the salary the student gives up to go back to school full-time.

The school’s full-time MBA program is known for high quality. It is currently ranked among the Top 30 “Best Graduate Schools” for business in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. It was one of the two least expensive programs in the entire Top 30 this year. In addition, it’s recognized for its personalized feel, with small class sizes. Students can specialize in multiple areas of emphasis, including finance and supply chain management, a field in which the W. P. Carey School consistently ranks Top 10 in the nation. This year, 89 percent of the school’s full-time MBA students were employed within 90 days of graduation.

The new scholarship fund is named after the school’s benefactor, real estate investor and acclaimed philanthropist Wm. Polk Carey, who donated $50 million to the school in 2002/2003. Carey passed away in January, but his generosity continues to be felt by students. Now, every applicant to the W. P. Carey School’s full-time MBA program will be considered for the scholarship money, which could completely cover the program’s costs for the very best students. No additional application is required.

For more information on W. P. Carey MBA programs, visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/mba.

200392710-001

Why Different States Are Getting Out of the Housing Crisis Faster

America’s housing market is finally starting to really recover from the Great Recession, but some areas of the country are fighting back faster than others. New research from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University indicates one reason: Different states have dramatically different mortgage laws, and some make it easier to push through tough times.

“The laws across states use different legal theories as the basis for mortgages, and they balance the rights of creditors and borrowers very differently,” explains Assistant Professor of Real Estate Andra Ghent of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The variations started early in America’s history, and they’re not really based on economic reasons, but they’re still having a major influence on what’s happening now with the housing market.”

Ghent runs through a few main issues playing a role in whether a state has already gotten through the worst of the housing crisis or whether it’s still plodding along:

Some states require judicial involvement in foreclosures, while others don’t.
Some states require a massive amount of paperwork, including the original promissory note, in order for a lender to foreclose.
Some states require a longer “redemption period” of time, during which the borrower can be behind on payments, before a foreclosure can happen.

Ghent says, in general, many of the states that don’t require judicial involvement or tons of paperwork have already run through the bulk of their foreclosures and are finally seeing rising property values. That’s because the flood of cheap, foreclosed properties onto the market has stopped.

Arizona is one of the states in which the damage happened relatively quickly, and there’s no longer a big backlog of foreclosures to go through the process. Phoenix-area home prices have been rising dramatically since last fall.

“The key is quick resolution of the situation,” says Ghent. “For example, if a state requires a longer period before foreclosures can happen, then that generally means the homes deteriorate more as the borrowers realize they’re going to have to leave and stop taking care of the property. This is bad for the neighbors and the property values.”

Ghent adds she doesn’t see much renegotiation during the times leading up to the foreclosures. The rules just allow for drawing out the situation.

“New York and Florida, for example, have very slow foreclosure processes,” Ghent says. “Properties can sit around without any maintenance for two to four years while they work their way through the maze, before they finally get a new owner.”

Ghent also doesn’t think that making more foreclosures go through the judicial process will help prevent problems like robo-signing. That’s where some lenders didn’t properly review all the individual details of the cases or follow all of the required procedures.

“In most of those cases, the borrowers were really behind on their payments and would eventually have lost the homes, anyway,” Ghent says. “Fraud is unacceptable, but it was also a case of sheer volume. If those particular states had required less paperwork, that’s what might actually have helped prevent more robo-signing.”

Ghent emphasizes that getting rid of the patchwork of different state laws would ultimately benefit the housing market as a whole.

“Can you imagine how much money, time and resources we could save, if we didn’t have 50 different sets of laws, paperwork and legal-expertise requirements?” she asks. “Again, there appears to be no real economic reason for the differences. Many of these laws date all the way back to the 1800s, and some were changed just after the Great Depression.”

Overall, Ghent has one big message for those who can influence the process in the future.

“Nobody pays attention to mortgage laws for 50 to 60 years at a time,” she says. “They only examine these laws after a major event, so the time to change is now.”

Ghent’s research on the history of America’s mortgage laws can be found online at
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2166656.

customer.service

Help to ease Holiday Shopping Customer-Service Worries

As we approach holiday shopping time, many of us start thinking about long lines, frayed nerves and dealing with frazzled customer-service representatives. However, some companies are now taking the time to turn customer-service interactions into a strong point of competitive difference that makes consumers want to come back for more, especially when price and other considerations are basically equal.

A new program from the Center for Services Leadership at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is designed to help make your service experiences better. It’s also meant to help improve relationships between participating companies and the firms they work with, such as suppliers, distributors and retailers.

“We worked with Honeywell to create a groundbreaking, totally online program aimed at making every single customer-service representative and field service representative completely focused on excellent service,” says Associate Professor Nancy Stephens of the W. P. Carey School of Business, faculty director of the program. “Honeywell Aerospace is the first company to decide to send every one of its customer-oriented representatives – 1,400 people — through the program. They want to make a very visible commitment to customer service, and other companies are looking at the program, too.”

“The partnership that’s come together between the W. P. Carey School’s Center for Services Leadership at ASU and Honeywell has really allowed us to put together a fantastic program that develops the customer-service skills for Honeywell Aerospace employees,” says Adrian Paull, Honeywell vice president for customer and product support.

Honeywell’s first class just graduated from the academy in late October, but the program can be customized by other firms. Some units are already being taken online by employees at other big-name companies.

“All companies have business-to-business relationships they want to nurture,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Robert Mittelstaedt. “This new program creates an opportunity for them to really polish their customer-service skills, not only for the general public, but also for those B2B customers.”

The Center for Services Leadership helps well-known firms respond to the challenges faced as services have become a driving force in economies around the world, with less growth happening in products and manufacturing. The center’s member companies include household names like Boeing, FedEx, Honeywell Aerospace, IBM Global Services, Mayo Clinic, PetSmart, Siemens Industries, Southwest Airlines and State Farm Insurance Company.

“The companies looking at this program understand that it offers expertise from the center, including faculty instructors from the Top 30-ranked W. P. Carey School of Business,” says Professor Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of the center. “At the same time, the program is also extremely flexible, since it’s offered online. It allows for standardized training across all of a company’s worldwide locations and the chance for employees anywhere from Dallas to Shanghai to Berlin, to get out of their everyday mindsets and interact with each other and make things better for their customers.”

“Wherever we are in the world, we need to operate within the cultural boundaries of that area and provide customer service that is needed and expected by the people in that area,” says Eileen Barry, a customer support project manager at Honeywell. “The major change that the W. P. Carey School training has provided to me personally and at work each day is to always think of things through the customer’s eyes.”

Some courses in the program include “Listening to the Voice of the Customer,” “Designing Customer-Focused Service Processes,” and “Recovering from Service Failures.” The idea is to make customers happy and to address any customer disappointments with great recovery. Those who complete the program receive a certificate and are eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Arizona State University. These units are widely used as a measure of participation in non-credit, professional development courses.

For more information about the Center for Services Leadership or the new program, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu/csl or call (480) 965-6201.

economy

2013 Economic Forecasts for U.S. & Arizona

Arizona’s economy improved somewhat this year, but what can we expect in 2013? Top experts on the U.S. and Arizona economies will deliver their forecasts for the state, nation, stock market and housing market at the Valley’s largest and most trusted economic-forecasting event on Dec. 5.

The 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase. About 1,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“Arizona’s economic forecasters are patting themselves on the back, since their projections made a year ago appear to be accurate for 2012; the state seems certain to record about 2-percent job growth, and we are seeing the beginning of a housing comeback,” says Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “However, 2013 is a different story. A huge cloud of uncertainty is caused, not only by questions about what the next Congress will do, but also about how the overall U.S. economy will react to recession in Europe and slower growth in China. Though the national economy always has some impact on Arizona, until housing and population growth really pick up, the state seems destined to closely follow the national business cycle. If the U.S. economy contracts, then Arizona’s economy will, too. That’s the major risk we’re watching.”

Presentations will include forecasts on:

* Arizona and the regional economy from McPheters, who is also editor of the prestigious Arizona and Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast publications.
* The U.S. economy from Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, a widely quoted media expert with two decades of financial experience, including a position at the Federal Reserve.
* The financial sector from Anthony Chan, chief economist for private wealth management at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, appears monthly on CNBC and is a member of the Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones weekly economic indicator panels.
* Real estate and construction from Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Elliott D. Pollack and Company, a highly regarded Scottsdale-based economic and real estate consulting firm.

The 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon will be held in the Phoenix Convention Center’s West Ballroom on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission is $90 per person. Proceeds are used to support student scholarships, faculty research, and other academic and professional activities in the Department of Economics at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

For more information, including registration details, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu/efl or call (480) 965-3531.

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Blueprinting

In the final session of the 2012 Small Business Leadership Academy, attendees took an in-depth look at brainstorming. For a company with a limited number of employees, it’s more important than ever to get the best from each of them. Many small business owners see that they have high-potential individuals who can become leaders, but they don’t bring their ideas out.

“What the cybernetic effect of communication tells us is that if people commit to an idea too soon, they’ll be stuck on that idea,” said Ruth Barratt, clinical assistant professor of management at the W. P. Carey School of Business. It’s important when you’re facing the prospect of asking your employees how you can innovate, that it be presented in an open way. They should take time to think by themselves in a quiet space. Then once the group re-convenes, write all the ideas down on a board, as quickly as possible.

Then work through the ideas. Don’t allow the extroverts in the group, or the negative people in the group, to interfere with the idea creation process. So while you’re putting all the ideas on paper, there should be no criticism of ideas. This allows for ideas that might seem silly or ill-conceived at first glance to get their proper consideration. It also gives those people who worry about offering the “perfect” idea a safe space to be more open and creative.

Changing the way you share ideas can have a large impact on your business as your high-potential employees feel increasingly comfortable with these aspects of idea-generation and leadership.


Listen to the Podcast


The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U.S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

deal

ASU program helps leaders of small businesses

The fifth annual Small Business Leadership Academy at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU helps small business owners and executives learn how to improve efficiency, streamline operations and raise profits.

“Classes are held just one night per week, so they fit right into busy executives’ schedules,” said Dawn Feldman, executive director of the W. P. Carey School of Business Center for Executive and Professional Development, which hosts the program. “Participants not only take away great business knowledge, but also a new support network of peers that will exist long after the program is over.”

Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding co-sponsor, offers a number of scholarships to its current suppliers and small business customers.

“The academy offers an outstanding opportunity for small business owners to gain knowledge from highly acclaimed professors and establish lasting relationships with other community small business owners,” said Carrie Young, senior director, corporate operations services for SRP. “The partnership we have with ASU, coupled with the sponsorship and scholarships we offer to the academy, is a natural fit for SRP in supporting economic development within our own community.”

As part of a larger partnership with ASU focused on small business support, JPMorgan Chase is also a top sponsor, providing 15 scholarships to the academy.

“As Arizona’s number one SBA lender, we know how important small businesses are to our economy,” said Joe Stewart, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase in Arizona.

Participants must come from companies that have been in business for at least three years; have annual revenues between $1 million and $10 million; and have fewer than 100 employees.

For more information, call (480) 965-7579, e-mail wpcarey.execed@asu.edu or visit wpcarey.asu.edu/sbla.