Real Estate Programs: How the Universities of the USA stack up


The unpleasant working hours and the grim atmosphere in the Finance industry has caused many gifted students to jump ship into the sector of real estate and Entrepreneurship. Firms like Google and Facebook have long taken over major banks as dream employers while real estate offers a myriad of job opportunities.

Yet compared to (investment) banking and consulting, recruitment for jobs in the real estate sector is less structured. Large companies in this sector don’t focus their recruitment like tech firms and investment banks at prestigious campuses with set amounts of students hired per year, rather revolving it through personal connections.

This approach seems logical, as many of the skills for real estate jobs for hedge funds or private equity firms require skills like those used in Finance: analysis, pricing, logic. A major difference are people skills.

With such similarities, and current development in job prospects, real estate programs and business programs carry many similarities. It is therefore vital to evaluate both: undergraduate business programs and real estate programs to judge among the most exceptional programs in the nation.

The rank of each program is usually measured through various metrics, as the methodology of Forbes, Princeton Review, and the US News & World Report suggest. Unfortunately, many of these rankings are geared towards prospective students with wellness in mind, emphasizing various metrics that are of little importance for recruiters and businesses.

“It is always important to keep in mind the different interests of the parties involved; the characteristics of a university that stand out to a student are not necessarily aligned with those of a recruiter” said Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors.

For example, the Forbes ranking bases 50% on the happiness and debt level of students, and an additional 7.5% on students’ graduation rates.

The Princeton Review bases its ratings “on surveys of 137,000 students at the 382 schools,” with each survey covering 80 questions. The questions cover a student’s opinion on:

  • school’s academics/administration,
  • life at their college
  • their fellow students
  • themselves

While this approach certainly creates results with large samples, the qualitative nature of the questions, unreliable nature of peoples’ opinion, and lack of relevant information make it difficult to take such results as a serious metric for program rankings.

The US News & World Report on the other hand arrives at its results for Undergraduate Business rankings by surveying “deans and senior faculty members at each undergraduate business program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.” The opinion of those surveyed is assessed, creating the ranking seen on the website.

Additionally, those same respondents nominate the ten best programs in business specialty areas like accounting, marketing finance, and real estate. Those programs that received the most mentions in each area appear on the site ranked in descending order by number of mentions.

Under these metrics, the real estate rankings for 2017 are as following:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Southern California
  • New York University
  • University of Texas – Austin
  • University of Florida
  • Marquette University
  • Cornell University

This mention-only ranking notably differs from the results of the overall best undergraduate business programs which are:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • New York University
  • Carnegie Mellon University (tied)
  • University of Texas – Austin (tied)
  • University of Virginia (tied)
  • Cornell University (tied)
  • Indiana University – Bloomington (tied)

Other methodologies such as the College Report from Payscale rank schools by the average starting pay and mid-career pay of alumni. The value behind such information is well-reasoned, but the data lacks information regarding graduate degrees and doesn’t cover a considerable portion of students. Until such data can be more comprehensive, it seems as if the US News & World Report has the most usable information for businesses and recruiters alike.

Principle Valued Approach outlined by Keith Knutsson


Successful real estate investment requires an enormous amount of commitment, sometime requiring more hours than the typical 40-hour work week. But, this comes easily when you are incredibly passionate. Investment management professionals must balance on the entrepreneurial tight rope, sticking to their niche market, seeking off market deals, and leveraging the full capacity of your team. Naturally, tension arises and there is a need to change gears, which requires patience.

Some of the most successful centi-millionaire family offices steward their money effectively because the approach is concise, with efficient means of implementation, and strategic. While some deals go smoothly and others feel like roller coasters, being able to maintain composure and patience while enduring the short-term calamity is key for focusing on the end-goal.

In contrast, those who fail to occupy enough valuable land, don’t envision the long-term, don’t add value, don’t optimize their operations, and are impatient. As specified by Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors, “the key is to identify a niche and commit, regardless of distractions.” A niche offers credibility as well as an ease of communication with a common goal in time. Intrinsically investing in your company is important because it is ultimately the driving force that sells others and convinces others that they feel comfortable putting their money with you.

Real Estate Investment Trusts Real in profits


In the post-crises era, REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) profits are driven by low-cost debt capital and high commercial real-estate values. Within REIT segments, office and retail commercial real estate values have seen slower growth in construction compared to warehouse and residential.

“Real-estate investment trusts efforts to develop large projects have maintained a supply of commercial real estate in check, feeding into the sector’s recovery” said Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors.

During 2008, excessive development activity weakened REITs’ credit profiles, but have since been steady, with growth in total development activity leveling off in the recent years. Throughout the post crisis period of the business cycle, REITs have demonstrated exceptional performance, given the sector has historically low-cost debt capital and record high commercial real-estate value environment.

Development volumes from office REITs have slowed due to a lack of employment growth in businesses that take up office leases as well as the shift of traditional cubical space to shrinking desk space in an effort to promote collaboration in the workplace.

The U.S. still faces an oversupply of retail real estate, therefore the focus is set on reassessing existing buildings rather than new construction. In addition, there has been more development activity in the multifamily and industrial real-estate sectors. In the residential segment, analysts have pointed out that the overwhelmingly increasing supply will exceed demand in certain parts of the country, potentially hindering rent growth.


The Gig Economy is Changing the Corporate Landscape – Keith Knutsson


According to a survey, 85% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs (Cushman and Wakefield, 2017). “Flexibility is the driving force today for choosing a dream workplace” said Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors. Free communication channels and globalized networks, have allowed for the fast growing “Gig Economy,” which consists of 20-30% of the working population worldwide.

The term “Gig workers” refers to consultants, contractors, or temp workers. The following professions are changing the corporate landscape. Nowadays, companies can easily hire non-permanent employees (temps) on an as needed basis. These “independent workers” are enjoying a balance of freedom, flexibility, and work life. However, there are some consequences. Gig workers lack healthcare benefits and job security.  Nevertheless, it is predicted that 40% of the global workforce will be independent contractors and ‘solopreneurs’ by 2020.

The impact of the gig economy will have a direct effect on workplace of the future. Globalization of work, global trade, and technology shifts have contributed to the rising gig economy.

Reasons for workers to choose independent work:

  • Ability to turn down projects if uninterested.
  • Freedom to choose type of work.
  • Flexibility; when and where to work.
  • Versatility; working on multiple projects for different clients.

Reasons for companies to hire independent workers:

  • Lower office space costs.
  • Reduced cost of healthcare and benefits.
  • Ability to bring in skilled workers/expertise when needed.
  • Scalability; ability to hire workers when necessary.

Analyzing the effect on the corporate environment:

Firms are redesigning their offices to provide fewer private offices and cubicles, and more open and collaborative space. There are two goals: 1) provide workplaces that facilitate collaboration and 2) decrease the firm’s overall rent expenses by providing less physical space per worker.

Companies have leased several million square feet of space in the past few years and that trend is expected to continue with the growth of the “gig” economy. This economy also impacts traditional corporate culture and the engagement of employees. When all employees are engaged, they are more likely to commit themselves to company goals and achieve higher levels of productions.

According to an analysis by Cushman and Wakefield, “65% of today’s school students will be doing jobs that don’t exist yet.” In addition to millennials rejecting traditional employment and choosing to work independently, artificial intelligence and robotics will also be more prevalent in the future. Businesses that will be successful in the future will be those who encourage adapt well to change.

Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors Announces Business Scholarship


The application period opened today for the Integrale Advisors Scholarship Program. This is an undergraduate scholarship for all students in the nation, providing up to $1,000 per year for four years of study for high-achieving students with financial need.

The application period will remain open until September 10, 2017.

Each scholarship is intended to cover a share of the student’s educational expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees.

“People from Integrale commit their time and ideas to encourage young people through our Young Mentor Program (YMP). Now for the first time, Integrale will assist young people by offering a scholarship to help with their academic pursuits,” said Keith Knutsson Managing Director of Integrale Advisors.

Scholars are selected based on exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others and leadership. Students must be residing in the U.S. at the time they submit their applications. Scholarships are awarded without respect to religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, geographic region, race or ethnicity.

Applicants must earn a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.2 or above and must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited university or other institution of higher learning in the United States. Candidates should apply through instructions on the Company’s website