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Real Estate Development Masters Program Career Paths

Real estate development companies are looking for well-rounded masters in real estate development graduates to fill a variety of positions. Mason MS in Real Estate Development students come to the program with a range of experience from none to ten plus years and backgrounds including real estate law, finance, property management, construction, and so on. More experiences students use the real estate development masters program to advance their careers into managerial or senior level positions. Less experienced students generally, are hired for junior level postions at two levels.

The entry level position is usually labeled a project analyst. This person must have strong analytical skills that allow them to create an Excel spreadsheet to display a project proforma that estimates income and expenses for a proposed real estate project over a multi-year period and calculates annual ROI/ROE; as well as forecasting residual project value from an assumed sale in an out-year that will result in an IRR calculation.

In addition to Excel financial analysis skills, the project analyst ideally will be certified in ARGUS, a tool for analyzing operating real estate projects like multi-tenant/lease shopping centers and office buildings. Mason’s MS in Real Estate Development provides workshops in both Excel and ARGUS to ensure our real estate graduates possess these necessary skills.

One step above the project analyst is the project manager. This position can vary greatly among development companies in responsibility bestowed and experience required. But in  general, this employee is responsible for managing one or all the principal stages in a ground-up real estate project: market analytics and land acquisition, land planning and design (engineering and architecture), finance, construction, and marketing/leasing.

Learn more about real estate development careers and Mason’s real estate program.

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Bob Wulff

I am director of George Mason University's Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship and MS in Real Estate Development. I have more than 35 years of Washington, D.C., area real estate industry experience. Most recently, I served as senior vice president at B. F. Saul Company where I was responsible for acquisition and development of projects for the firm's $6 billion real estate portfolio. I also served as executive vice president at Hazel Land Company and vice president at The Peterson Companies. I've spent time as an investment banker with Smith Barney Harris Upham Company in New York City in their corporate finance division and also served as deputy development director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the UDAG program.

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