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Are you ready to re-learn how you thought about Real Estate Investment?

by: Zach Shipps

Representing MIT as the 2014 National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM) fellow at the Executive Officers conference in Chicago was an honor and incredible opportunity to engage industry leaders in an intimate setting. The two-day event was highly interactive around a theme of “re-learning” with 60-70 attendees representing the top real estate investment firms in the nation. The best minds behind leading firms in the real estate industry came together to brainstorm and intentionally think through challenges they are facing as companies and leaders.

Key issues addressed by the conference reflected critical topics facing the industry today including crowdfunding, employing millennials, big data in real estate, the future of GSE’s, and interest rates. These matters were presented by industry experts such as David Brickman (MIT MS ’87) the Executive VP of Freddie Mac discussing the future of GSE’s and Jillene Hellman the CEO/Founder of Realty Mogul defining the crowdfunding platform as a new source of capital.

Highlights over the 48 hours in Chicago included a river tour of focused on the architecture along the Chicago River, timely panels led by industry leaders, and new friendships developed. My personal experience at the NAREIM conference was phenomenal and proved to be one of the best opportunities to engage industry professionals on an intentional basis. Six fellows representing leading business schools across the nation also brought a broad range of experience and insight to the event, bolstering the collaborative environment. As a NAREIM fellow, I was able to engage in the event and discussions confidently with insights developed and sharpened in the MIT culture.

Personal Reflections:

NAREIM embodies many of the common themes exhibited by MIT such as innovation in the real estate industry, the collaboration of thought leaders, and fostering an entrepreneurial flair that is woven into the fabric of the organization.

NAREIM and the MIT Center for Real Estate share a common focus of engaging the real estate industry around innovation, fostering collaboration, and consistently questioning the accepted methods while “re-learning” the path forward.

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