While in college, my start in real estate was simply a fluke. Someone in the college counseling center mentioned to me that CSX Realty was looking for an intern to negotiate leases of abandoned track lines in Northern Michigan. After a year or more, a coworker handed me a copy of the monthly publication entitled, “Appraisal Journal of Real Estate,” and on the back page, it listed job openings. There was an appraisal intern position open in Daytona Beach, Florida! At 23 years-old I jumped at the opportunity, and for two years, I traveled Florida conducting research and eventually valuing land and buildings. Eventually, I returned to Baltimore and my work experiences over the years reflect a background (refer to LinkedIn for career history) that is a diverse mix of professional experience having 30+ years (time flies!) of investing in development projects but also workouts of commercial real estate for both profit and nonprofit investors. I’ve played the role of lender, appraiser, JV partner (GP and LP) under the titles of asset manager, workout manager and more recently CFO. This perspective (which is brought to the classroom), provides the student, a view from various “angles” when evaluating real estate investments.
In the spirit of giving back to the real estate community and from an academic perspective, my volunteer work centers around lecturing at both the undergraduate and graduate degree levels, in Real Estate programs with a focus on courses with the following themes: commercial real estate development, real estate finance, structured real estate finance and forecasting using Excel and Argus A&E. The Urban Land Institute has also served as a great medium for me to share my thoughts to the real estate common the state of real estate submarkets and trends.
Since I began volunteering to teach starting in 1997, I have created my own forecasting models in Excel that are used in the industry and within the classroom setting to apply to actual real estate investments. Other technologies used in the classroom include Argus (A&E), CoStar, REIS, Means Cost Data, that when combined provide students a toolkit of resources to evaluate and or restructure investments for both ground-up developments and existing cash flow assets.
Grounded in the principle that students “learn by doing” to this end, using actual real estate deals, I create a variety of real-life scenarios that challenge the students to employ critical thinking to arrive at practical strategies to develop, manage, invest and or work out commercial real estate investments.