Students took a crash course on real estate, worked with an industry mentor, and then applied that knowledge to create a presentation for a panel of industry experts
By Stephen Wilson
For the fourth time, brave Lafayette students crammed 40 hours of real estate learning into a few weeks for the Real Estate Case Competition at the Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
This year the case had students study university based retirement communities (UBRC), something that could benefit Easton’s vibrant aging population who are committed to the city and life on College Hill.
To prepare, students took a crash course on real estate, worked with an industry mentor, and then applied that knowledge to create a presentation for a panel of industry experts who also happen to be distinguished alumni and parents: J.B. Reilly ’83, Susan Carras ’76, and Andrew Deery P’25.
Further assistance came from a major partner. Students had access to the foundation of real estate educational modules through the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to help prepare. Following the competition, students are eligible to complete the commercial real estate certificate program through ULI.
While many students participated in the preparatory activities, only three teams presented models and recommendations to the judges.
Naya Kurdy ’25, Daniel Andrade ’25, and Yumna Hussain ’25 formed K.A.H. Real Estate. They studied UBRC communities at Haverford College and Lasell University, outlined amenities, set project scope, and determined costs, all around their big question: What might people pay to be a Leopard?
Student-athletes made up Exodus Advising Group, including Madi Wahrmund ’22, Ben Wild ’22, and Sophia Hudson ’22. They had three goals: align with the College’s growth, diversify revenue streams, and enhance student experience. To that end, they outlined a target market within a 10-mile radius, an amenity-rich 100-unit facility, and a reasonable cost structure.
RISC Takers & Advisors took a different approach than others. They outlined why this was not a project to pursue. Angela Busheska ’25, Trang Tran ’25, and Baris Yazici ’25 cited disadvantages including demand, affordability, and lifestyle differences between seniors and, well, seniors.
While the judges praised each team and were quick to hail RISC Takers & Advisors for getting to “no” as quickly as possible, most of their questions were particular and pointed. Their deliberations resulted in a win for Exodus Advising Group with K.A.H. Real Estate and RISC Takers & Advisors earning second and third, respectively. K.A.H. Real Estate also earned the audience choice award.
“The time this competition demands as an extracurricular activity, and the material and concepts that students navigate are not for the faint of heart,” says Yusuf Dahl, Bradbury Dyer III ‘64 Director for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “All three teams should be pleased with the work they did and the presentation they prepared.”
Dahl was excited to announce that such work also will have the time it requires in the future as Rexford Ahene, professor of economics, plans to teach a real estate development course in the fall.
“This shows the impact the Dyer Center has had on turning student interest and alumni success into curricular gains for future Leopards,” says Dahl.