In 2018, Michael and I designed and built the A.CRE Accelerator program. We sought to build the preeminent tool for learning and mastering real estate financial modeling. It was intended to provide a clear path to real estate financial modeling mastery, and ultimately give Accelerator Graduates a significant advantage in the industry.
Now as we approach the 3-year anniversary of the Accelerator’s initial launch, it’s inspiring to see how the Accelerator program has accomplished all of that and more!
Today, the Accelerator program is used by dozens of top universities and institutional real estate firms to teach the next generation of real estate professionals. Thousands of individuals have likewise leveraged this case-based program to master real estate financial modeling, model their own deals, land a job in CRE, and further their careers in real estate.
The program’s Certificate of Completion is viewed by employers and investors as a strong assurance of the Accelerator Graduate’s commitment to the industry and as evidence of their superior real estate financial analysis skills.
But with all things tech, consistent innovation and improvement is essential.
So, to ensure the Accelerator’s long-term prominence and to offer an improved experience for members, we’ve spent the past year building the Accelerator’s next-gen learning platform. Today, we’re excited to open up beta access to that new learning platform for all existing Accelerator members.
- Not yet an Accelerator member? Consider joining today.
How to Access the New (Beta) Learning Platform
Before I share what’s different about this new (beta) platform, allow me to explain how all existing Accelerator members can access the beta platform right now:
- Go to: https://app.adventuresincre.com
- Enter your A.CRE username (i.e. the email address you use to login to the current Accelerator platform)
- Enter your A.CRE password (i.e. the password you use to login to the current Accelerator platform)
Once logged in, you’ll be taken to the initial welcome screen (see image above). Click the ‘Get Started’ button and you’ll be taken to the curriculum page.
Click the ‘Start’ button under the ‘Accelerator Core Curriculum’ to be taken to the ‘Guide to Getting Started’ for the new Accelerator learning platform.
Important: This new platform is currently in a beta period. If you choose to access and use the new platform, you will likely encounter issues/bugs. When you do, please report them to help us prepare the platform for a full release in early 2022. See FAQ for more details.
What’s Different About This Next-Gen Learning Platform?
But before I do, let me first say this. While there are a lot of new features in this next-gen learning platform, what hasn’t changed is the core curriculum, case-based method, and building-blocks approach to mastering this skill. So, whether you complete the Accelerator core curriculum via the old platform, or via the new platform, the outcomes (e.g. land the job, model the deal, earn the raise) are the same.
1. A new and improved LMS
In its current form, the Accelerator program consists of a series of 16 core courses, dozens of supplementary tutorials, advanced concept modules, and case studies, as well as the Accelerator forums. Those learning materials are delivered to students via, what in tech-speak we call, a learning management system (LMS). The new platform is a brand new LMS.
- The current LMS for the Accelerator program is located at https://www.adventuresincre.com/academy/.
- The new LMS for the Accelerator program is located at https://app.adventuresincre.com/.
The new LMS is built from scratch based on Accelerator Graduate feedback and on what we’ve learned in our first three years running the Accelerator program. Here are a few of the technical differences between the old LMS and the new LMS:
- The new LMS is a custom-coded platform built by A.CRE over the past year, unlike the out-of-the-box (and less flexible) LMS we currently use.
- The custom-coded nature of the new LMS provides for unlimited growth and flexibility in order to meet the future needs of Accelerator members.
- It is significantly faster and easier to navigate.
- Improved mobile/tablet access, viewing, and navigation.
- There are far fewer clicks between curricula, courses, and lessons.
- The content is presented in a straightforward manner, with curriculum and course progress conveniently displayed in various places.
- The Certificate of Completion is easier to find, download, and share.
- Reporting capabilities have been greatly improved.
- All account details are now managed directly from the frontend of A.CRE, rather than in both the frontend and in the LMS.
- Student-instructor Q&A section that replaces the forums. The Q&A section is housed within each course, so users don’t have to leave the lesson page to ask a question or read replies to others’ questions.
2. Better Organization of Additional Learning Materials – Endorsement Curricula
The Accelerator was launched with 16 core courses and a student-instructor forum. Since that time, and based on feedback/requests from Accelerator members in the forums, dozens of supplementary materials and advanced concept modules have been created to enhance the learning experience.
At present, these additional materials have grown to include 10 bonus case studies, 30 short video tutorials, 17 bonus Watch Me Build videos, a Definitive Guide to Excel for Real Estate, 17 property-level advanced concept modules, 6 partnership-level advanced concept modules, and a Careers and Networking in CRE course.
As these additional materials have grown, knowing which additional materials to take and in what order has become more difficult.
The new Accelerator platform seeks to bring better organization of those additional materials via a new feature called the ‘Specialized Endorsement Curriculum’. At launch of the new LMS, the program will now include six Specialized Endorsement Curricula:
- Advanced Modeling – Real Estate Debt
- Advanced Modeling – Partnership Cashflows
- Advanced Modeling – Development
- Mastering MS Excel for Real Estate
- Advanced Modeling – Property and Portfolio
- Career Advancement in Real Estate
Upon completing an endorsement, Accelerator members will receive an Endorsement Certificate. This certificate can be added to the Accelerator member’s LinkedIn profile and resume to demonstrate further mastery of specific specializations.
Going forward, the A.CRE team will continue to enhance the existing endorsements and add new Endorsements based on feedback from Accelerator members.
3. Custom Curricula and Reporting Capabilities for Enterprise Clients
The Accelerator Core Curriculum uses a building blocks approach to help members gain real estate financial modeling mastery. To accomplish this, and to ensure that no gaps exist in the Graduate’s knowledge, we start with the most basic (i.e. direct cap) and progressively introduce more and more advanced concepts.
Feedback we’ve received from several of our enterprise clients (e.g. universities and companies) is that the core curriculum may be too advanced or too basic. They’ve requested custom curricula to suite the needs of their users, and our current LMS is less capable of responding to that request.
The new LMS will allow the A.CRE team to build custom curricula based on the needs of the enterprise. And then create custom reports and provide custom access for the professors and managers that proctor the enterprise learning.
Frequently Asked Questions About the New Accelerator Platform
Rolling out the new Accelerator platform means new and existing Accelerator members have questions. Allow me to share answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about the new LMS.
When will the beta period for the new platform end?
A beta release of software refers to a period during which a large group of users are provided access to the software under real conditions. A beta release generally follows an alpha release, during which a smaller group of users test a less functional version of the software.
The new Accelerator alpha period was completed by a group of Cornell and UNC graduate real estate students over the past few months. Significant updates were rolled out based on what was learned from that alpha period.
The beta period will begin October 2, 2021 and will run through at least the end of 2021. Depending on what is learned from the beta period, the final product will be released to the public in early 2022.
Who can access the platform during the beta period?
All new and existing Accelerator members can access the new Accelerator platform starting October 2, 2021.
It’s important to remember that the platform is still in beta, and therefore contains bugs. Members that choose to use the platform during the beta period should expect to encounter issues.
What happens if I encounter a bug when using the beta platform?
Your feedback is invaluable to help us test and finalize the new platform. When/if you encounter issues, please report the bug via the Contact Us page:
- Click here to access to the contact us page and then select ‘Report Bug with Accelerator Beta Platform’ under the ‘Reason for Inquiry’
Can I transfer my progress from the Old Platform to the New Platform?
Yes, although for now that process is manual. Thankfully, it is a simple process on our end to handle manually. If you’d like your Accelerator progress transferred from the old platform to the new, simply message us via the Contact Us page:
- Click here to access to the contact us page and then select ‘Transfer Accelerator Progress to New Platform’ under the ‘Reason for Inquiry’
A member of our team will then perform that progress transfer within two business days. In the meantime, feel free to start from where you left off and we’ll come behind you and mark your previous progress as complete.
When Will the New Platform be Ready for Enterprise Users?
The beta period and new platform is currently only available for individual Accelerator members. In the coming months, we will be communicating with our enterprise partners about transitioning their new employees/students to the new platform.
I am an existing Accelerator member – Will I have to move to the new Accelerator platform?
We recognize that change is difficult, and for those that are comfortable with the old Accelerator platform this change can be disruptive. The current plan is to stop supporting the old platform in mid-to-late 2022. This however doesn’t mean you will no longer have access to the platform, but simply that the old platform will no longer be supported/updated and that links to the old platform will no longer be included on the A.CRE site.
I’m a former Accelerator member and Graduate of the Program. What happens to my Certificate of Completion when the old platform is phased out?
Once a Graduate of the Accelerator Program, always a Graduate of the Accelerator Program. Your Certificate of Completion will still exist and your username/password will still work on both the old and new platform going forward.
What if I have other questions?
If you have any other questions about the rollout of the new Accelerator platform, feel free to contact us via the A.CRE Contact Us page.