Online Commercial Real Estate Certificate Programs

May 29, 2020

Overview of Online Commercial Real Estate Certificate Programs

Commercial real estate certificate programs are designed for students wishing to pursue a career in real estate as well as professionals working in asset management or the financial aspects of real estate. These certificate programs help teach students how to plan and develop various kinds of commercial real estate projects.

Online certificate programs in commercial real estate or commercial real estate practice can usually be completed fully online. Some online certificate programs can be completed in as little as 3 months. Depending on the program, students may expect to spend 3 to 5 hours per week completing coursework. Along with a certificate, some programs also offer continuing education units (CEUs) for professional development purposes.

Requirements for Online Commercial Real Estate Certificates

Online certificate programs in commercial real estate aim to equip students with the skills needed to oversee projects throughout the entire real estate development process, including analyzing, financing, building, and operating assets. Online students may have access to their coursework 24/7.

General Requirements

Students in online commercial real estate certificate programs could be required to complete 6 core courses in the subject, but some programs may require as many as 8 courses. Although course format may also vary by program, some of these online courses are set up with online lectures, multimedia content, and discussion boards. Students wishing to earn CEUs for the program may earn around 4.8 CEUs, depending on the program.

Common Courses

Real Estate Development

Students in real estate development courses receive an overview of the early planning stages of a real estate project and are required to carefully analyze a project and weigh the risk with the potential return. These courses may utilize case studies to let students explore various scenarios and apply analytical tools to make decisions. Students in these courses may also discuss how to coordinate the development process with other development team members, prepare budgets, conduct lease contract negotiations, and more.

Managing Projects/Properties

Students typically take a course in managing real estate projects through the development process and/or a course in managing real estate properties. Either course works to further develop management and leadership skills needed in real estate, but courses in managing the development process focus on techniques used to manage resources for a project, create a realistic budget, and prepare a project schedule. On the other hand, courses on managing real estate properties may focus on the waste management, maintenance, and operations management techniques used for various types of properties as well as the different interpersonal interactions involved in managing these properties, such as relationships with tenants and regulatory authorities.

Investment Decisions/Analysis

Courses that examine real estate investments aim to teach students how to correctly analyze investments and possible risk in order to make the best investment decision possible. These courses examine the different financial calculators and analytical tools available and help investors develop a clear strategy. Course topics may include time value of money, investment decision rules, mortgage financing, internal rate of return, and more.

Career Outcomes with a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate

A certificate in commercial real estate does not usually qualify a student for a particular job, but there are various careers in real estate development, financing, and asset management that could benefit from the program. Students with a certificate in commercial real estate may work for real estate developers, real estate funds, real estate advisory firms, and more. For example, real estate managers may utilize the skills offered in these certificate programs to help manage their properties and make sound financial decisions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), property, real estate, and community association managers are responsible for maintaining the value and overseeing the operations of commercial, industrial, and/or residential properties. As of 2019, these professionals made a median annual salary of $58,760. The job outlook from 2018 to 2028 for these managers was 7%, which was faster than average, per the BLS.

Commercial real estate certificate programs can be completed online in as little as 3 months. These programs generally consist of 6 core courses and equip students with valuable management and investment skills in real estate.

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