Topics Covered in the Certificate in Real Estate Development

This course format appreciates the time limitations of today’s employees and encourages active learning.

Program Schedule

Module Topic Instructor(s) Date
1a Program Introduction (Online Delivery) Benjamin Gianni, Hugh Gorman Sept 28, 2021
1b Planning and Zoning Dimensions Inger Squires & Larry Beasley Sept 28-29, 2021
1c Legal Dimensions in Real Estate Development Jamison Young Sept 30, 2021
2a Finance Fundamentals Rebecca Renfroe Oct 19-20, 2021
2b Real Estate Finance Adam Zaret, Jeff Baysarowich & Dan Dixon Oct 20-21, 2021
3a Marketing and Transactions Chris van Popta, Derek Lobo, Vanessa D’Sa & Shawn Hamilton Nov 16-17, 2021
3b City Building by Design Joe Berridge Nov 18, 2021
4 The Pro Forma Conner Shea Dec 7-9, 2021

Program Outline

Module 1a: Program Introduction

This course sets the historical, political, legal and geographic context for contemporary land development, introduces the players, and explores the policies that control the built environment.

Module 1b: Planning and Zoning Dimensions

What are the processes through which development applications are made? How does zoning work? What’s involved with challenging and/or changing zoning? Considering that all cities are chartered by their provinces, what happens when local bylaws contradict provincial policies?

Module 1c: Legal Dimensions in Real Estate Development

Following an overview of property ownership, the course will cover basics in Corporate Law, Contracts. Municipal Law & Remedies, Real Property Fundamentals and Real Estate Transactions. The latter will include information on negotiating the deal (LOIs, due diligence, etc.), mortgage financing (collateral vs. conventional), construction loans, leasehold financing, dealing with tenants, etc.

Module 2a: Finance Fundamentals

The goals of this course are a basic introduction of financial statements and project evaluation tools to allow for rational decisions on projects, and an understanding of concepts that will facilitate intelligent discussions with financial people. Included will be: analysis and interpretation of financial statements, including income statements (revenue, cost of sales, gross and net profit, capital and operating expenditures), balance sheets (assets, liabilities, equity, current and fixed assets, short / long term liabilities, depreciation and retained earnings), and real estate specific ratios and metrics (capitalization rates, ROI, payback period, discounted cash flow, etc.).

Module 2b: Real Estate Finance

Building on the first principles learned in the Finance Fundamental Course (TVM, NPV, IRR, Capital Structure), the Real Estate Finance course examines the essential concepts, metrics, and calculations employed in real estate investment analysis for development projects. This course focuses on key topics such as income and cash flow analysis, valuation, return metrics and sources and uses of capital in real estate. .

Module 3a: Marketing and Transactions

This course examines the market research, marketing and sales process and will answer the following questions; What is the feasibility of the development? Who is the target market? What is the product offering? What is the brand positioning for the development? How will the development be sold? How will the success of the development be measured?

Module 3b: City Building by Design

Returning to the theme of city building, this course explores the realities of city building by understanding the essential forces that drive the contemporary city. Topics include the importance of economic infrastructure, the potential and limits of community consultation, public-private synergies, the interface between government and private sector interests, public development agencies, tax increment financing, development fees, density bonussing and other mechanisms of financing improvements to the public realm. The course examines the role of design in achieving the “quadruple bottom line” of profit, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and purposeful improvement to the built environment. As a bridge back to “City Building by Policy” this course re-examines the limitations and possibilities of planning and policies.

Module 4: The Pro Forma

A pro forma analysis is a fundamental decision-making tool in assessing the viability of a real estate development project and is used to test the financial feasibility of the development. The proforma includes three key elements; costs assumptions, revenue assumptions, and timeline assumptions. All assumptions are gathered and compiled into the proforma to project the financial return for the project. These calculations yield a net financial return that the developer can expect to achieve, and is the analysis that developers use to decide whether to move forward with a project. As a final part of this Certificate program, instructors will guide candidates in the writing of a pro forma for a hypothetical project.