Real Estate Development Alum Builds Alongside DIY Channel This Spring

It’s not often that your degree leads to a gig on TV, but for 2014 MS in Real Estate Development graduate Chris Oursler, that’s what happened.

Chris OurslerOursler is president of his own company, Oursler Construction, and has joined his sister Marnie Oursler of Marnie Custom Homes on her show called “Big Beach Builds” that will air on the DIY channel this spring. The show gives outdated beach homes modern updates while still preserving their charm.

Oursler has grown up in the real estate industry having worked for his father’s home building company. He has since spent the last 12 years in project management on everything from boutique urban infill condo projects in Washington, D.C., to large scale production home building developments in the suburbs.

Oursler’s interest in Mason was due to its Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship’s (CREE) strong connections to the regional real estate market.

“Mason has always provided the best market data for housing, and some of the strongest real estate development companies are members of CREE.”

Having his professors (and some fellow students) run real estate companies during the day and come to class at night was also extremely valuable in providing real world examples on the concepts from class.

Oursler says he knew his MS in Real Estate Development degree was paying off when his bosses started asking him for his opinion on strategic decisions on real estate acquisitions.

“I felt like I was finally sitting at the ‘big kids’ table. This only happened because Mason gave me the technical skills to value real estate, and the personal skills to help me explain my valuations to guys that had been developing real estate for longer than I have been alive.

Having grown up on a construction site watching his father and uncles build to enrich their own community had a big influence on him. “I grew up emulating them and wanting to carry on the tradition of being a builder,” he says.

Starting a business has been and continues to be Oursler’s biggest challenge so far.

“Leaving a stable job to follow your dreams is exciting but also a little scary,” he says.

We can all watch Oursler build his dreams on DIY this fall.


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