Get Involved

Real Estate Association | Real Estate Study Tours | Mentorship Program 

Student Club: Real Estate Association

The Real Estate Association (REA), a group of more than 200 students interested in real estate investment and management, works with the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate to coordinate activities that leverage the educational and networking opportunities available to students.

Focused on enhancing members’ industry knowledge and career opportunities, the club organizes industry orientation sessions and panels, site tours, local and international study trips, and social events. One of the largest and most active clubs at Columbia Business School, the REA is an important contributor to students' total real estate experience.

Contact the REA Co-Presidents for more information on the club.


Real Estate Study Tours

Each year, the Real Estate Association plans an international study trip to learn more about diverse and emerging real estate markets. The 2018 trip was to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Past destinations have included Mexico, China (including Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzen, Beijing, and Shanghai), South Africa, Brazil, and Colombia. International trips are co-sponsored by the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate and the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for International Business.

Mexico City 2019
2019

Mexico City

In March 2019, a group of MBA students and from the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate traveled to Mexico for a real estate study tour. The group spent 7 full days in Oaxaca and Mexico City, splitting their time between professional and cultural activities in order to learn about the nuances of the local market. Also in attendance were Paul Milstein Center Executive-in-Residence Leanne Lachman and Managing Director Kristin Svenningsen. The trip was sponsored by the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. The trip was organized by April Chye ’19, Jason Yun ’19, Valentina Pardo ’19, Federica Burelli ’20 and Chris Grube ’20. 

Read the wrap-up →

Hong Kong and Shanghai 2018 "Through our tour through Hong Kong and Shanghai, we felt the rapid changes apparent in the Chinese real estate market through a first-hand look at past, present and future developments."
    —Kenneth Thompson ’19
2018

Hong Kong & Shanghai

From March 12th to 16th, 2018, 30 Columbia Business School real estate students and administrators traveled to Hong Kong and Shanghai, learning about the market in China and meeting with both local and foreign real estate companies. Also in attendance were Paul Milstein Center Executive-in-Residence Leanne Lachman and Managing Director Kristin Svenningsen. The trip was sponsored by the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. The trip was organized by Mandy Yeung ’18, Pat Banyatpiyaphod ’18, Robin Lore ’19, and Tommy Chan ’19. 

Read more →

View the photo slideshow →

South Africa 2017
2017

South Africa

On March 13th 2017, 36 students aimed to get to the bottom of all things Real Estate while embarking upon this journey. Joined by Executive-in-Residence of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Leanne Lachmanand Soula Proxenos of International Housing Solutions, we visited Johannesburg and Cape Town, touring established private and public real estate investment firms, banking institutions, local entrepreneurs and non-profits investigating the state of the real estate market in South Africa. What did we learn along way?

Read more →

View the photo slideshow →

China and Singapore 2016 "Trekking from Singapore to China's Pearl River Delta, our study tour gave us an exclusive look at the evolving real estate dynamics that continue to shape and drive these Asian markets. The scale, speed and grandiosity of the urban development we encountered was both overwhelming and exhilarating."
         —Charles Griffith ’16
2016

China (Guangzhou and Shenzhen) & Singapore 

Forty students from Columbia Business School attended a study tour to Singapore and Southern China from March 13th through March 20th. Also in attendance were Professor Lynne B. Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate, and Executive-in-Residence Leanne Lachman. The trip was sponsored by the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. The trip was organized by Charles Griffith ’16, Cheryl Kong ’16, Durrell Mack ’17, Joseph Noon ’17, and Erin Williams ’16.

Singapore and Southern China (specifically Guangzhou and Shenzhen) were chosen for this year’s trip due to high growth and rapid development in both areas from a real estate perspective. Both locations experience immense governmental involvement from concept inception, planning and entitlements through development.

Read more →

View the photo slideshow →

Chazen 2015 "The study trip gave us the opportunity to learn about real estate investing and development in emerging Latin American markets, and how many of the leading firms we met with are trying to professionalize these real estate sectors."
    —Christopher Doman ’15
2015

Bogotá, Colombia and Mexico City, Mexico

During Columbia Business School’s spring break from March 14 through 22, a group of 22 real estate students and faculty members traveled to Bogotá and Mexico City to understand more about these emerging markets, their real estate dynamics, and doing business in these cultures.

On the docket were full days of visits with local real estate players such as Terranum Capital in Bogotá and Thor Urbana Capital in Mexico City, in addition to city tours and visits to historical sites and museums.

Read more →

View the photo slideshow →

Mexico City 2019 "Our week allowed us exclusive access to some of the most highly respected businesses in China and in the world. Through site tours, presentations, and case studies, we gained first-hand understanding of one of the globe's most closely watched real estate markets."
        —Dennis Giuliano ’15
2014

China: Beijing and Hong Kong

A group of 32 Columbia Business School real estate students and faculty members headed to Hong Kong and Beijing over spring break 2014 for a deeper look at the Chinese property market.

On the agenda: dim sum, a Peking duck dinner, the Great Wall, and visits with more than a dozen local and international developers and investors. The extensive itinerary included meetings with companies ranging from Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, to local players like Swire Properties, one of the largest commercial landlords based in Hong Kong.

Read more →

Brazil 2013 "The Brazil study tour surpassed my expectations in terms of depth of insight gained from the company visits and was also a great opportunity to get to know my classmates better."
        —James Hoeland ’13
2013

Brazil

South America’s leading economy and one of the most intriguing markets for global real estate investors was the destination for this year’s Columbia Business School Real Estate Association international study trip.

Students were accompanied by Lynne Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate and Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate and M. Leanne Lachman, Executive-in-Residence at the Paul Milstein Center.

Read more →

China 2012 "The trip was a huge success in terms of the quality and variety of the companies we visited, the number of sites we toured, and the breadth of the education we received. It was certainly worth the 30 hours of flying, the bureaucratic red tape, and massive jet lag."
        —Matt Giammanco ’13
2012

China: Shanghai and Hong Kong

One country, 2 special administrative regions, 9 passport stamps, 12 company visits, 26 students, not to mention planes, trains, automobiles, and boats were all part of the 2012 trip.

Students were accompanied by Lynne Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate and Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate; M. Leanne Lachman, Executive-in-Residence at the Paul Milstein Center; and Kate Kerrigan,Administrative Director of the Paul Milstein Center.

Read more →

Mexico 2011 "In just one week I went from knowing nothing about real estate in Latin America to feeling like I had a strong understanding of what the industry's unique characteristics are in the region."
        —Matt Micksin ’12
2011

Mexico

In 2011, 24 real estate students visited Mexico to learn more about the real estate market in Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas. The group was accompanied by M. Leanne Lachman, faculty advisor and Executive-in-Residence, and Nicola Mare Usher, the Assistant Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate.

Highlights of the trip included company visits and site tours with CBRE, Grupo Ideal, Mexico Retail Properties,  dine, O’Connor Capital Partners, Walton Street Capital, PREI, GEO Residencial, and Snell Real Estate; and a reception with the Alumni Club of Mexico City at Club 51 in Torre Mayor.

Brazil 2010 "I highly recommend going on a real estate sudy tour, it's a rare opportunity to be able to experience a whole new culture with a dedicated group of your peers, and obtain unadulterated access to professionals in those markets."
        —Rishi Gupta ’11
2010

Brazil

In 2010, 26 real estate students visited Brazil to learn more about the emerging real estate market in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janiero. The group was accompanied by Lynne Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate and Director of The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, and M. Leanne Lachman, faculty advisor and Executive-in-Residence.

In Sao Paolo the group took a city tour visiting Ibirapuera Park, Historical Downtown, and the Govenors Palace among other sites. Students met with colleagues at Jones Lang LaSalle, Tishman Speyer, GP Investments, GTIS Partners, and Hines; and enjoyed a reception with alumni living and working in the Sao Paulo area. In Rio de Janiero the group toured the city and had the opportunity to meet with colleauges at BR Malls, the Rio Olympics 2016 Organizing Committee, and the City Planning Office.

2009

South Africa

In 2009, 20 real estate students visited South Africa to learn more about the real estate market in Capetown and Johannesburg. The group was accompanied by Lynne Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate and Director of The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, and M. Leanne Lachman, faculty advisor and Executive-in-Residence. 

In Johannesburg the group toured Soweto and Soccer City and enjoyed company visits and site tours with Broll Properties (CBRE), Apexi Properties, Growth Point Properties, and Gauteng Tourism. Highlights of their agenda in Capetown included a Winelands your and company visits and site tours with Dubai World Africa; One & Only Cape Town, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Company, Pam Golding Properties, and Rabie Property Group.


Mentorship Program

 Matthew Giammanco '13 and Katherine Vila '16

The Columbia Business School Real Estate Association together with the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate run an Alumni Mentorship Program for real estate-focused MBA students.

Pairing first-year MBA students who have demonstrated interest in real estate with a young alumnus in the industry, the program fosters networking and promotes the pursuit of careers in real estate. It is not intended to be tied to an internship or job opportunity. The mentor-mentee relationship is designed to last for the entire period of a student’s studies at Columbia Business School.

Jonathan More ’09 of Mayfair Investment Partners helped launch the Mentorship Program in 2011 and remains involved as a mentor and adviser to the program. In his words:

The Columbia Business School Real Estate Alumni Mentorship Program was founded on the premise of truly bridging the gap between current CBS students [on a real estate career track] with CBS real estate alumni. Relationships are currency in the real estate business. Involving students in the alumni community early on in their Columbia experience allows them to sharpen their professional knowledge on the institutional real estate market and grow their rolodex, while concurrently amassing important skill sets and experiences in the classroom. Personally, I've been a major beneficiary of the warmth, generosity, and support of the CBS real estate alumni community. The Mentorship Program allows me to pay this generosity forward to CBS students, all the while staying closely involved with the CBS community.

If you are interested in serving as a student mentor please email Tricia Philip-Rao, Assistant Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate.