Real Estate Finance: Advanced

Credit markets have made a strong comeback since the global financial crisis. Fears of a global financial system meltdown have now been replaced by concerns about asset valuation bubbles, too much capital chasing too few high quality investment opportunities, the desperate search for investment returns, and the volatility resulting from reduced government stimulus. To be successful in today's uncertain market, commercial real estate industry participants need an understanding of the most commonly used real estate financial analysis techniques, approaches to financial modeling, newly available real estate data sources and indices, and quantitative tools available to manage portfolio risk. 

This course provides insights into analyzing the financial risks and opportunities in today's marketplace by utilizing quantitative analytics taught in popular graduate courses at MIT. Current real estate finance market dynamics and trends, the rapid return of securitization, example transactions and identification of the most active capital sources will also be discussed.

Computer Requirements:

Laptops or tablets are required as course materials will be distributed electronically.

Earn a Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance and Development
This course is part of the Real Estate Finance and Development certificate program, offered jointly by MIT Professional Education and the MIT Center for Real Estate. 

Learn more about how you can earn a Professional Certificate when you take this and other real estate courses.

This course has been approved for 16 CPD credits toward renewal of the CoreNet Global MCR designation.

Lead Instructor(s): 

David Geltner


Jun 13, 2019 - Jun 14, 2019

Course Length: 

2 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Closed

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

Registration for the 2018 session has closed. We'll open for the 2019 session this fall.

Participant Takeaways: 

Participants will learn to:

  • Understand fundamental financial economic concepts and tools as applied to real estate investment.
  • Become conversant with the cutting-edge of real estate investment, relevant for institutional investment management.
  • Understand the basics of real estate risk management techniques and products.

Who Should Attend: 

This course is applicable to a wide range of professionals across the real estate, banking, finance/investment, and insurance industries. Specifically, the course may be of interest to analysts and investment professionals, fund managers, investment portfolio managers, financial advisors, investment bankers, fixed-income analysts, financial risk managers, global financial market specialists, and professionals working in macroeconomic policy. More generally, this class can be valuable to anyone dealing with global financial markets and real estate investments.

Program Outline: 

Day One

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Registration, breakfast

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM: Introduction / Current Trends in the U.S. Debt Market
The opening session will provide an overview of the current dynamics and trends of the commercial real estate debt market. Market challenges including high asset valuations, intense competition for high quality commercial mortgage transactions and the desperate search for yield will be discussed. The current lending activities of life insurance companies, banks, CMBS conduits and Fannie/Freddie will be examined.

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM: Break

10: 45 AM - 12:15 PM: Financing and Shadow Banking
The real estate asset market is part of the larger capital market, which includes, for example, equity and bond markets. The capital market is an important source of the financing of real estate assets. In this session, we will provide an overview of the capital market, in particular, the debt and equity markets. Special emphasis will be placed on innovation in financing as a response to market imperfections and costs facing particular firms. We will also introduce shadow banking, the provision of capital outside the scope of the regular banking system, and discuss its importance as a source of financing real estate and its attendant risks.

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM: Lunch

1:15 PM - 2:45 PM: Innovation in Debt Capital Markets
The innovation within real estate capital markets, particularly debt markets, has changed the landscape of capital providers to the real estate business. These increasingly complex business models carry new opportunities and risks for both borrowers and lenders. In this session we will focus in more detail on several of these lending platforms and their underlying economic models – how their motivations differ from traditional platforms, how they assess and manage risk, how they make and lose money, and how these impact borrowers and bondholders.

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM: Break

3:00 pm - 5:00 PM: Current Trends in the US Equity Market, Debt Market Group Case Study

This segment will analyze the current trends in institutional equity real estate investment, including: investor outlook, where we are in the market cycle, foreign investment activity, key factors that institutional investors watch closely before investing and current market dynamics.

The second half of this session will be dedicated to an interactive group case study that highlights the challenges lenders face at the top of market. The class will be divided into groups to work on the case, which uses a loan opportunity to highlight typical issues faced by lenders and borrowers when negotiating a financing.

Day Two

9:00 AM - 10: AM: Group Preparation for Graybar Syndications Case Study

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 AM - Noon: Correctly Measuring and Analyzing Pricing Risk
This lecture will provide an introduction and overview of real estate price and investment performance indexing. We will also consider how the capital asset market prices risk as it relates to real estate’s role in the asset markets and the investment portfolio. (Ref: Selected portions of Geltner-Miller (3e) text Chapters 21, 22, & 25).

Noon - 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM: When the Money Meets the Developer: A more scientific look at joint venture terms between institutional money partners and managing partners in real estate development
This lecture will apply some of the preceding knowledge to a particular and ubiquitous question in institutional real estate investment: the joint venture agreement terms between the money partner and the developer or manager partner. We will show how empirical evidence about real estate price dynamics can be used to quantify the risk/return trade-off between the two partners. (Ref: Geltner-Miller (3e) text Section 15.3 of Chapter 15).

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM: Break

2:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Graybar Syndications Case Study and Class wrap-up
This case asks you to evaluate a proposed offering to invest in a major office building in downtown Manhattan. Your group of attendees will present their analyses of the offering and render a final investment decision.

Course Schedule: 

This course meets 9:00 am – 5:00 pm both days.

Laptops or tablets are required as course materials will be distributed electronically.

Participants’ Comments: 


“This course was short but very well done. I go to a lot of trainings that don’t go too deep and are geared towards beginners. This course was full of substance and more complex, which was appreciate! I felt like this course was a great value with best in class professors. This course did a great job of bridging the gap between the theoretical and practical. I highly recommend this course and look forward to staying in touch with the Center for Real Estate.”


“Yet again, great course! Excellent material and superb professors!”


“David and Walter were excellent! Very informative and also obviously extremely knowledgeable."


“[This] course offered a great dissection of the risk and reward components of Commercial Real Estate Finance. The teaching forum was highly collaborative. Professor Geltner and Dr. Torous were all exceptional in sharing their expertise on the subject matter.”


“RE Finance Advanced confirmed that focusing and understanding the details and data available in RE is necessary.”



This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.


Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (30%) 30
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (50%) 50
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (20%) 20

Delivery Methods: 

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (90%) 90
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (10%) 10



Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (20%) 20
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (70%) 70
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (10%) 10