Real estate case competitions present an opportunity for students to hone their skills by working on real-life or hypothetical case studies to solve actual business problems. These competitions assess a team’s capacity to collaborate, analyze, research, and present their solutions to a panel of judges, comprising current industry commercial real estate leaders. Here at A.CRE, we highly encourage university students interested in a commercial real estate career to consider participating in some real estate case competition while pursuing their degree.
We recently updated this post with a Google Sheet file sharing more details of each case competition we were able to find. In this new tool you will find the location, who the sponsors are, what entity holds the competition, the duration, the registration type, their first edition, the education level, how many rounds, a link to their website, contact information, and their unique features. You can find this tool here.
How Real Estate Case Competitions Work
Typically, competing teams have a period of 24 hours to several months to develop sophisticated written, visual, and oral presentations. Each team is assigned the same case site and provided with the same essential information and assumptions about the property, ensuring that all participants are evaluated fairly. These cases are highly competitive, with international and U.S.-based business schools invited to participate.
All team members are expected to participate actively in the presentation phase, followed by a question-and-answer session. Judges evaluate each team’s depth and extent of analysis, relevance, originality, persuasiveness, and overall presentation. Winning teams often receive scholarships, providing an excellent incentive for students to put forth their best efforts.
Business Schools with Real Estate Case Competitions
Columbia, Wharton, and Cornell are just a few examples of top-tier business schools that host prestigious real estate case competitions for students to showcase their skills. In fact, international and US-based business schools are invited to participate, making these competitions highly competitive. You can find examples of their case studies here: Columbia Case Study Example, Wharton Case Study Example, and Cornell Case Study Example.
Here’s a list of other real estate case competitions:
- URECC (Undergraduate Real Estate Case Competition)
- Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition
- The Case Competition
- Mulroy Real Estate Challenge
- UNC Kenan-Flagler Real Estate Development Challenge
- Colvin Case Study Challenge
- Kellogg Real Estate Venture Challenge
- Marshall International Case Competition
- Utah Real Estate Challenge
- ULI Hines Student Competition
- NAIOP Real Estate Challenge
- HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing
- Westman Centre Case Competition
- Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation’s Annual Real Estate Challenge
- University of Texas at Austin, National Real Estate Challenge
- The Impact Investing in Commercial Real Estate Competition
Tips and Resources for Real Estate Case Competitions
Participating in real estate case competitions provides college students with invaluable experience and networking opportunities, which can benefit their future careers. These competitions allow students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills, giving them an edge in the workforce. Additionally, participation in these competitions is a strong signal of a student’s passion for commercial real estate, which future employers highly value, especially when the students do well!
To help you prepare for your next real estate case competition, we’ve provided potential real estate financial models and actual presentations from the past. The A.CRE Accelerator program will develop the real estate financial modeling proficiency required for these competitions (and your career!). Additionally, we’ve interviewed the winning team from the University of Texas at Austin Real Estate Case Competition. With all this information you too can have a shot at winning a real estate case competition, or at the very least, a great experience.
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Use the Real Estate Case Competitions tool
We regularly update the tool (see version notes).
- Initial release of this tool