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Altus, NAREIT And NCREIF Launch Challenge To Test University Students’ CRE Investment Knowledge

Harvard University's Widener Library

In collaboration with leading commercial real estate associations NAREIT and NCREIF, Altus Group has launched its latest Real Confidence University Challenge, mobilizing 195 students from 38 universities in North America and Europe in a competition to test their real estate investment knowledge through the end of 2017.

The challenge is simple: Students from top universities — including schools like Harvard University (pictured), Cornell University, Penn State and Johns Hopkins University — have one year to invest a hypothetical $1B into public and private real estate to generate the highest yields. The university with the best performing portfolio at the end of the term will receive a $30k prize.

“Altus Group and our partners are pleased to report that since the Challenge kicked off in 2015, we’ve more than doubled the number of participating universities and have expanded to include participants from Canada and Europe,” Altus Group director of research Chuck DiRocco (below) said.


The challenge has gained momentum among real estate professionals and academic leaders. When the challenge started in 2015, 90 students from 15 universities took part; last year, 180 students from 32 universities participated. As the year progresses, quarterly updates and prizes of $5,000 will be dispersed to the universities with the top-performing portfolio — with a $30k grand prize awarded in January 2018.

“The Real Confidence University Challenge aids in the education of future professionals by helping them develop a better understanding of CRE investing by now offering portfolio back-testing, efficient frontier and attribution analysis tools,” DiRocco said. 

CORRECTION, FEB. 14, 9:31 ET: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated the quarterly and grand prize. The story has been updated.