Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets, you will:

  • Learn about various sectors of commercial real estate and the different options for investing in them
  • Analyze how to navigate the short- and long-term trends and the evolution of the commercial real estate industry
  • Understand how to balance risk and return in a sector impacted by macro-economic forces such as inflation and recessions
  • Gain clarity and confidence around evaluating potential real estate investment partners and opportunities
  • Explore the drivers of real estate markets and discover how to invest and manage risk globally
  • Determine how best to fit real estate into an overall investment strategy

Risks and Pitfalls: This program explores some of the risks of investing in real estate.

Experience and Impact

The commercial real estate landscape has fundamentally changed. What was once prized — such as the familiar “location, location, location” — may be a liability tomorrow. Continued shifts in how and where people prefer to work and interact, along with economic forces including inflation and recessions, are causing major fluctuations in demand and pricing. They may also cause investors to avoid the asset class entirely.

Unlike other industries that can retool a manufacturing line or discontinue a product or service, commercial real estate cannot pivot or revamp its business model quickly. That means real estate investors must be highly attuned and aware of these shifts, nimble and ready to change course in order to capture returns.

Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets is led by faculty from Wharton’s top-ranked real estate department and the world’s premier real estate education and research center. Highly engaging sessions that include interactive exercises, case studies, and small-group breakouts explore the fundamental concepts and nuances of commercial real estate. Participants investigate many real estate investment strategies, including direct investment, investing in public equity, lending to real estate, investing in real estate debt, and investing in a company or private equity firm that is itself investing in real estate.

This program is particularly relevant for institutional investors and financial advisors to high-net-worth clients. Participants will become more assured, discerning evaluators of potential investments in the U.S. and globally, and learn how to diversify investments across countries, find local partners, and assess and hedge currency risks.

You will leave with a deeper understanding of the concepts, terminology, strategies, and opportunities that will enable you to confidently add both domestic and global real estate to your investment portfolio.

Global Perspective: Learn what to look for when investing globally.

Session topics include:

  • Real Estate Growth, Booms, and Risk: What Has Happened and What Can We Expect?
  • Cash Flow, Cap Rates, and Property Investment
  • Liquidity and Capital Structures in Times of Stress
  • Navigating Passive Real Estate Investing: REITS, Private Equity, Bonds, and Debt
  • Portfolio Allocation to Real Estate: Risks, Returns, Opportunities, and Downsides
  • Property Investing: How to Make Money and Avoid Going Broke, and Why Great Leadership Matters
  • Global Real Estate: Debt and Equity Markets
  • Real Estate as a Hedge Against Inflation: Separating the Signal from the Noise

audio icon

Listen to Faculty Interview:

Professor Todd Sinai talks about Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets in this interview on Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM.

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Who Should Attend

Professor Todd Sinai on the classroom experience.

This program is designed for those who invest large amounts of capital, such as institutional investors and financial advisors, who do not have a background specifically in real estate but who need to acquire or enhance their understanding of the sector or need a refresher on emerging real estate trends. This program is not for commercial real estate brokers, real estate developers, or other professionals whose primary focus is on the acquisition, construction, financing, or selling of commercial real estate.

Ideally, participants should already have a grasp of concepts such as net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), free cash flow, discounted cash flow analysis, return on investment, and cost of capital. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel is expected.

Some of the job functions and roles include:

  • Asset managers and chief investment officers for large publicly traded or privately held corporations and institutions such as pension funds, university endowments, and foundations
  • Sovereign wealth fund professionals
  • Family office representatives and other private wealth advisors to ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families
  • CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals who advise institutional investors

Additionally, this program provides an excellent learning opportunity for ultra-high-net-worth investors who are frequently pitched commercial real estate investment deals and wish to be better educated in the subject.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group-enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Todd Sinai

Todd Sinai, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

David B. Ford Professor; Professor of Real Estate; Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy; Chairperson, Real Estate Department, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Commercial real estate and real estate investment trusts, real estate and public economics, risk and pricing in housing markets, taxation of real estate and capital gains

Joseph Gyourko

Joseph Gyourko, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Martin Bucksbaum Professor; Professor of Real Estate; Professor of Finance; Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy; Nancy A. Nasher and David Haemisegger Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Housing markets, real estate finance, and real estate economics

Asuka Nakahara

Asuka Nakahara, MBASee Faculty Bio

Practice Professor of Real Estate; Associate Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, The Wharton School

Maisy Wong

Maisy Wong, PhDSee Faculty Bio

James T. Riady Associate Professor of Real Estate; Assistant Director, Grayken Program in International Real Estate, Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Development economics, real estate economics, urban economics


As an institutional investor and allocator, I attended Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets to gain insight into this important asset class and to address the complexities introduced by current events. Real estate is an enduring need that must be satisfied. Change, particularly events impacting the real estate market, creates opportunity to seek out and identify new real estate needs that can be profitable investments. Change also creates risks as opportunities from an earlier era lose their relevancy. In some sense real estate has become a better opportunity given recent events and trends but also is facing sizable risks to existing investments.

There are many aspects of the course I appreciated and from which I gained value. The faculty are exceptional, and the fellow students are all serious and experienced professionals. I particularly enjoyed interacting with the class to discuss various case studies of real estate investment opportunities and very much valued the panel of industry experts discussing their real estate investment strategies and current market events. Todd Sinai provided an excellent fundamental understanding of real estate, some great case studies, and a discussion of risks. Joseph Gyourko provided an interesting discussion of the impact of COVID-19. Asuka Nakahara generated an excitement for the opportunity of investing in real estate and made the market come to life with case studies. Maisy Wong provided an excellent, well organized discussion of global real estate investment.

Overall, the course provided me a deeper understanding of the opportunity and risks of investing in real estate as well as how to access real estate returns. I can now better allocate capital to real estate by understanding how that capital should be deployed among sectors, geographies, and instruments as well as how to manage the risks of that investment.

There is no doubt I will recommend this course as well as the other Wharton Executive Education offerings to investment professionals. Also, I have made a commitment to complete the excellent and professionally enriching Advanced Finance Program."

Scott Anderson CFA, Institutional Investment Management Executive

I would recommend this program to people who are not yet in the real estate investment industry but are wondering how COVID-19 would impact their investment portfolios, as well as people who are already in the investment industry but want to capture any potential opportunities arising post COVID-19."

JM Yun Senior Associate, Watson Farley & Williams

Getting to know and learn from my professors and peers and hearing their perspectives and opinions as well as honing and sharpening my real estate investment skills and putting myself in the seat of the investment manager was extremely important."

Julia Davis Principal/Founder, Maslin Advisors

The Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets program was timely and just right for me to learn more about this alternative asset class. We were in the midst of developing a product program for the launch of our real estate fund, and this program was perfect to help us complete our product launch. We needed to go deeply into the many real estate investment strategies such as lending, direct investments, public equities, etc. and to better grasp the advantages and drawbacks of each.

Attending the program provided us with the necessary tools, concepts, and strategies. We’ve gained clarity and confidence prior to rolling out our real estate fund. I returned to my organization with the critical insights and frameworks to structure our funds for the long run.

I also came out of the program equipped with new strategies to enhance operational efficiencies, to create value through improvements in operations, and to analyze a pro forma. I gained a better understanding of how critical the capital structure is in real estate, and to slice and dice the capital stack.

The session on what investors look at when going to countries outside of their home country was particularly valuable to me: understanding macro factors that make investors jittery such as a country’s foreign debt, foreign currency reserves, current account, and other factors. Moreover, the sessions on the changing face of real estate in cities, private equity investing, and property investing were all highly insightful and of immense value.

The high caliber of both the faculty and the participants contributed much to the learning experience. The faculty’s broad range of expertise enabled them to take academic lessons and apply them to the real world. My peers were experienced and knowledgeable, which enhanced the interaction inside as well as outside the classroom."

Jorge Quintanilla CEO, Capital Safi, La Paz, Bolivia

My company provides analytics for clients on the buy side and sell side of Wall Street. We deal with the analysis of securitized products, which have a number of different underlying products including commercial mortgage-backed securities. So in that respect we deal with real estate.

The program was terrific and really well structured. It covered all aspects of assessing and analyzing real estate investments. You gain an understanding of the risks and other aspects of real estate investment whether domestic or international. The lead professor, Todd Sinai, explained in detail about commercial real estate, real estate investment trusts, risk and pricing in housing markets, and taxation.

I really enjoyed Asuka Nakahara’s discussion of how to analyze real estate as a regular individual, whether it’s buying a home or investing as a general partner into apartments, for example. Another big takeaway for me was pro forma modeling and analyzing: we looked at a number of scenarios — different economic conditions — and modeled how a real estate investment would perform.

Also among my most valuable takeaways was an understanding of the risks and regulations involved in global investment. Maisy Wong brought us the global perspective, which was really an eye-opener for people who were not aware of some of the considerations of investing in other countries. Another important learning I acquired was how to identify an impending real estate crash. I appreciate having that perspective now.

I have already adopted some of the techniques from the program in my everyday work. For a couple of clients for whom I’m analyzing their investments, I have been able to identify risk factor scenarios and risk analysis of various traded instruments. And I have a fuller understanding of the different factors that affect the risk analysis of the products my company buys and sells.

Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets was a very good program for anyone who wants to use real estate as an investment vehicle. I recommend it highly.”

Sanjay Rajaram President, ImagineSys Inc., Princeton, New Jersey

I am an angel investor, helping communities set up businesses. I help them with funds, advisory services, and business development. I own some real estate properties in Canada, the U.S., and China — that’s another part of my business — and for quite some time I’ve been wanting to get more involved in the real estate industry.

Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets was an excellent program and was exactly what I was looking for. It helped me in many different areas. I am trying to extend my investments from residential to commercial, and it really helped me understand the big picture of the commercial real estate market. I appreciated learning more about different sectors such as apartment buildings, retail, and industrial.

Another important area for me was ROI and risk analysis. I gained more insight into business ROI so I can measure and quantify my investments in more detail. While I have used traditional risk analysis tools in this space, the course expanded my vision into using other valuable tools.

The professors, along with many of my classmates, provided me with a better understanding of market trends. This helped me define my next step in real estate investing. The program had a big impact on my business plan: I immediately changed my investment portfolio, and I purchased some REITs. Even when the stock market dropped recently, my REITs did pretty well. I have also decided to move some of my Canadian apartment building investments to the U.S., which is important to my plan.

Todd Sinai was a great course leader. Professors like him and Joseph Gyourko not only have plenty of knowledge and theory in this space, but they are successful and experienced in real estate themselves. The program was very practical and real world.”

Jacky Chen Investor and Business Advisor, York Angel Investors, Toronto, Canada

I am a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics, so my professional job has no direct relationship with real estate. But I wanted to attend Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets to understand the principles of real estate investment. I learned a lot from the program. It conveyed important information such as how to focus on the risk first, and how to use different techniques to project the profits and returns.

The faculty were terrific. There is a reason these individuals get to teach at Wharton! The academic director, Todd Sinai, was very knowledgeable and friendly. He did a great job of bringing together all these excellent professors and selecting topics that covered every major area of real estate investing. The most interesting parts of the course for me were the talks by Maisy Wong, who discussed international real estate investment. That really helped me open my mind and gave me a very good, real sense of how to do global investment.

The concepts, knowledge, and skills taught in this course go beyond real estate to other investment areas, such as how to foresee and control risk, how to assess an offer and the return, and how to develop personal relationships in order to improve your investments. The most important part of the program for me was it emphasized that in the end, it’s all about the people: your partners, clients, and contractors.

On a 1-10 scale I would give this program a 9. I want to congratulate Wharton for offering such a wonderful course.”

Song Liu, PhD Director of Bioinformatics, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York

Date, Location, & Fees

If you are unable to access the application form, please email Client Relations at

December 10 – 13, 2024Philadelphia, PA$10,250

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

Download ScheduleApply Now

Hotel Information

Fees for on-campus programs include accommodations and meals. Prices are subject to change.

Read COVID-19 Safety Policy »

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


Still considering your options? View programs within Finance and Wealth Management or:

 Find a new program