Advanced Real Estate Development and Finance

This course builds on GSD 5204 and comparable introductory real estate courses offered by other schools at Harvard.  It is an essential course for anyone going into real estate development, acquisitions, asset management, or private equity. This year’s course is divided into two major sections.

Section 1 focuses on individual properties or projects and covers five major topics: (1) advanced financial analysis and structuring for land and development, (2) advanced financial analysis and deal structuring for acquisitions (including complex waterfalls), (3) the asset’s capital stack, distress, and “special situations” investments, (4) management and recovery of an asset in a distressed environment, (5) the real estate underwriting process, investment committee package and stochastic return analyses.

Section 2 focuses on the essential concepts and skills required to build performing real estate portfolios and companies. Section 2 covers five additional topics: (6) real estate market cycles and investment considerations, (7) portfolio construction and techniques for optimizing long-term risk adjusted rates of return, (8) REITs and the IPO process, (9) raising equity capital for real estate projects, portfolios, and companies, (10) proptech and cleantech in real estate.

The course will use a combination of  case studies, lectures and problem sets to examine a multitude of important advanced real estate topics. Many of the cases require students to apply a full range of real estate skills and learnings to evaluate the appropriate strategic opportunities. We will also host guest lecturers who are renown experts in their respective fields.

The course’s objectives and learning outcomes are to provide students with:
1. in-depth financial analytical skills that are essential for project development and acquisitions, as well as asset and portfolio management,
2. ability to analyze market cycles and manage projects through distressed environments,
3. insight and understanding for how company leaders apply course concepts when building strategic portfolios and successful track records,
4. knowledge of how companies raise capital and what investors specifically underwrite during capital campaigns,
5. knowledge and knowhow of how the proptech investment process works and what constitutes a good proptech opportunity,
6. a deeper comprehension of how to add value to a real estate company’s long-term prosperity and success.

Course Prerequisites:  GSD 5204, HBS Real Capital, or a comparable quantitative course in real estate where you gain the working knowledge of real estate economics and learn how to model transactions, waterfalls, and investor returns, as well as how to construct a real estate development pro forma in Excel. This will be the assumed starting point for this course.

Students who took ONE of the two modules, 5275 or 5276, may take this course for two units.