Real Estate Finance: Fundamentals

The Real Estate Finance: Fundamentals course is a “finance boot camp” for real estate developers, investors, lenders, lawyers, and other real estate professionals who need to analyze the financial feasibility of real estate development ventures.

Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of how investment returns are calculated and how income producing assets are valued. Designed for those without a financial background, this course integrates finance theory and taxation principles with conventional real estate practice.

Computer Requirements:

Laptops or tablets are required to access course materials. All materials will be distributed electronically.

Earn a Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance & Development
This course is part of the Real Estate Finance & 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): 

Walter Torous


Jun 10, 2019 - Jun 11, 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 this course is closed for Summer 2019.

Participant Takeaways: 

Participants of this course will:

  • Understand the financial infrastructure underpinning real estate development
  • Learn how financial drivers such as capital structure, investment returns, and taxes motivate stakeholders
  • Understand the combination of factors that determine financial feasibility

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 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: 

Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

Computer Requirements: Laptops or tablets are required to access course materials. All materials will be distributed electronically.

8:00 am – 9:00 am: Registration / breakfast

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Valuation: Understand Net Present Value (NPV), Opportunity Cost, Multiples and Cap Rates

10:30 am – 10:45 am: Break

10:45 am – noon: Health Development Corporation Case: Preparation and Discussion

Noon – 1:00 pm: Lunch Break

1:00 pm – 2:15 pm: Measuring Investement Performance: Understand Nominal Versus Real Returns, Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and Introduce Risk-Return Tradeoff in Real Estate Investments

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm: Break

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Pro Forma Analysis: Develop Property Pro Formas, Introduce Debt Financing, and Understand Potential Abuses of Pro Formas

8:30 am – 9:00 am:

9:00 am – 10:30 am: IBET Pension Fund Case: Preparation and Discussion

10:30 am –10:45 am: Break

10:45 am – noon: Leases: Space, Operating, and Land

Noon –1:00 pm: Lunch Break

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Sources of Financing

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Break

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm: Risk and Return: Understand Diversifiable Versus Non-diversifiable Risk, Real Estate in a Portfolio Context

Course Schedule: 

Course runs 9:00 am – 4:30 pm on Monday, and 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on Tuesday.

Participants’ Comments: 


“Attending MIT [CRE] for the Real Estate Finance: Fundamental course has given me the fundamental financial concepts applicable to real estate development. The instructor was very experienced and knowledgeable and was able to answer questions with facts and figures. The environment was conducive and a worthwhile experience.”


“A great refresher course, even for real estate professionals with experience. Engaging instructor and great tips.”


“I always regretted not adding an MBA to my JD. This course offered a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of real estate finance to enhance my practice. It was a perfect survey for professionals supporting the real estate industry – informative without being overwhelming.”


“Excellent course on the fundamentals of finance, and specifically real estate finance. Tod is an excellent teacher and was able to break down concepts much better than many of my MBA professors.”


“Although not new concepts, by far the best delivery of these concepts I have been involved with.”


“Clarified methods to determine the real value of real estate projects.”


“Great course- very informative. I will be recommending future offerings to my colleagues.”



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 (45%) 45
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (10%) 10
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (45%) 45

Delivery Methods: 


Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (50%) 50
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (50%) 50


Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (75%) 75
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (25%) 25