Online MBA in real estate programs provide graduates with advanced expertise that can lead to new job opportunities, promotion, and salary advancement. MBA coursework cultivates advanced skills in real estate development, market and financial analysis, risk assessment, and accounting. Students also learn business communication, collaboration, and project management skills.
New professionals may use this advanced degree to help them qualify for entry-level positions, such as real estate brokers or sales associates. These careers garnered a median annual salary of $50,300 in 2018, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. The BLS projects 7% career growth among real estate brokers and sales associates between 2018-2028.
An online MBA in real estate also meets the educational requirements for top positions in the field, such as real estate development manager and vice president of real estate acquisitions.
Careers in Real Estate
MBA in real estate graduates often enjoy numerous career opportunities. New graduates without prior real estate experience may qualify for more entry-level careers, such as real estate agent or appraiser. Experienced professionals with this advanced degree can qualify for management and executive positions, such as real estate analyst, development manager, or vice president. Some graduates also use the knowledge and skills gained in real estate MBA programs to found new real estate companies or other ventures.
Real Estate Agent
These professionals guide clients through the stages of selling and buying property. Daily activities include reviewing comparable prices to establish property value and conducting negotiations between buyers and sellers. Real estate agents must obtain state licensure by exam. These professionals need strong interpersonal skills to cultivate successful relationships with clients and negotiate real estate prices. PayScale indicates that real estate agent salaries average $47,814 annually.
Real Estate Analyst
Often employed by companies with considerable real estate holdings, these analysts oversee company real estate by tracking markets, analyzing data, conducting risk assessments, and making recommendations regarding investment portfolios. Real estate analysts also coordinate service agreements with property managers, negotiate transactions, and present reports for company executives. PayScale salary data suggests that these professionals average $59,826 annually.
Real Estate Appraiser
Appraisers evaluate properties by conducting inspections, calculating property value, and estimating the worth of various property assets. Appraisers also need to know the structural and aesthetic value of additions and improvements completed since prior evaluations. These professionals create detailed written reports, requiring writing and basic math skills. According to PayScale, real estate appraisers average $60,286 annually.
Real Estate Development Manager
These managers expand real estate companies through excellent customer service and operations and financial management. Real estate development managers need advanced professional communication skills, and they often employ accounting skills and business acumen. These managers estimate costs, analyze markets, create budgets, and monitor company finances. Real estate development managers also train and manage real estate teams. PayScale indicates an annual salary averaging $95,733 for this position.
Vice President, Real Estate Acquisitions
These top-level executives assist real estate acquisitions presidents in managing company real estate. Vice presidents supervise acquisition processes, including underwriting and closing processes. Tasks include drafting real estate documents, including letters of intent, purchase terms, and joint venture agreements. Successful vice presidents benefit from attention to detail and excellent writing skills. The salary for this position averages $135,475 annually, according to PayScale.
How to Choose a Program in Real Estate
MBA programs vary widely in cost and quality, so aspiring real estate MBAs should research factors like tuition prices, financial aid information, and student outcome data for each prospective program. We cover these and other factors in more detail below.
Ask for information on how lessons are delivered in the program
Many online students pursue a real estate MBA while continuing to work, so part-time programs and/or programs with evening or asynchronous attendance options are beneficial. Asynchronous attendance permits students to watch lectures and contribute to discussions at their convenience rather than meeting at specific times. Students looking to complete their MBA in 12-18 months can choose from the many accelerated MBAs available.
Get details on what support is available to students
Completing online MBA programs require motivation, self-discipline, and functioning technology. Some schools offer 24-hour, online IT support for students. Programs that provide online tutoring support also prove very helpful for students tackling the advanced, rigorous coursework of MBA programs. Many programs also provide individualized academic advising, program coaching, and career counseling.
Estimate your expected program costs
MBA programs tend to cost more than other master's programs because MBA degrees often translate into considerable salary advancement. According to PayScale, professionals with an MBA in real estate average over $100,000 annually, whereas bachelor's in real estate graduates average $66,000 annually.
Good MBA programs often cost around $60,000, although prices differ considerably by school. Public schools typically cost less than private schools, and in-state students at public schools typically pay the least. However, many schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency.
Ensure the school's admission requirements align with your expectations
Applicants to MBA in real estate programs typically need professional work experience and a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Many programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite coursework in business, although students can sometimes complete these foundational courses at the beginning of their MBA program.
Application materials typically include essays, recommendations, and resumes. Many schools require GMAT/GRE scores, but they may waive this requirement for experienced professionals and/or students with successful performance in prior graduate programs. Students should check admission requirements carefully before applying.
Compare student outcomes data
Many MBA programs highlight positive student outcomes data, such as high graduation and employment rates. Other positive performance markers include high net present value, return on investment, and low loan default rates. Comparing student outcomes data by program can help prospective students find high-quality programs.
Look for partnerships with local businesses and communities
Many MBA programs boast advantageous partnerships with local businesses and communities. These partnerships may provide MBA students with internship or employment opportunities. Some programs also maintain affiliations with organizations in other cities, both domestic and abroad. Students interested in travel may consider MBAs with these opportunities.
Make sure the program is accredited
Researching a school's accreditation status helps prospective students identify quality real estate MBA programs. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. Top MBA programs usually maintain programmatic accreditation from one of the following accrediting bodies: the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Speak with current students and alumni
Speaking with alumni and current students can offer valuable insight into the pros and cons of prospective MBA programs. These individuals can answer questions that program websites fail to address, filling in important gaps in knowledge. Alumni and current students frequently offer tips that can help prospective or new students make the most of their MBA.
Real Estate Curriculum
Most MBA in real estate programs feature advanced management courses in marketing, finance, and operations. Other core topics may include leadership, business strategy, and data-driven decision-making. Real estate MBAs also offer courses in real estate capital markets, real estate valuation, and real estate finance. Some programs allow students to specialize in areas such as entrepreneurship, sustainability, or business analytics.
The sample curriculum below includes common courses that appear in real estate MBA curricula. Keep in mind that real estate MBA curricula vary by school and program.
- Real Estate Market Analysis
- This course examines real estate and economics research methods and teaches students how to analyze market trends, sales, and lending. Enrollees also learn to research and analyze consumer spending patterns, employment trends, and population behavior. Additional topics include land use, city and traffic planning, urban renewal, and shopping center development. This course may require previous coursework on real estate principles.
- Real Estate Law and Contracts
- Students in this course learn the legal and ethical duties of real estate agents. The course outlines broker-agent and agent-client relationships, emphasizing the importance of creating and maintaining these relationships. Topics covered include buyer-seller agreement starting and ending processes. Students learn how to streamline and clarify these processes.
- Real Estate Development
- This course cultivates the advanced organization, coordination, and project management skills needed to succeed as real estate developers. Students learn analytical tools to understand real estate markets, industry cycles, and municipal regulations. Understanding of these factors helps real estate agents successfully analyze, plan, and carry out real estate development projects. This course typically uses case studies to cover topics such as financial projection, budgeting, scheduling, and management.
Comparison of Real Estate Degrees and Specializations
Students interested in graduate-level real estate study can choose between a master of science in real estate and an MBA in real estate. The MS features more real estate-specific courses and may feature various specialization options.
The MBA provides more general business management coursework, including economics and financial management, and often leads to higher salaries. According to PayScale, professionals with an MS in real estate average $72,000 annually, while real estate MBAs average $102,000.
|Degree Type||Description||Potential Career Paths|
|Master of Science in Real Estate||This degree covers a variety of real estate concepts, such as appraisal, market analysis, negotiation, law, and property management. Programs may require capstones, like business or development plans for real estate projects. Departments may offer concentrations like real estate assessment or finance and investment.||Real Estate Broker, Property Manager|
|MBA in Real Estate||An MBA in real estate usually requires around 9-12 credits of real estate courses. Departments may mandate specific classes or allow students to choose from options. Most program credits typically concern business principles, such as economic analysis, financial management, and spreadsheet analytics. These programs may not require a capstone.||Real Estate Investor|
Cost and Length of a Real Estate Degree
MBA program prices vary considerably. Prospective students should compare program prices and cross-check outcomes and financial aid data. Many MBAs cost between $60,000 and $80,000 in tuition alone. Other costs may include books, an updated computer, and study abroad or residency experiences.
The traditional MBA degree requires two years of full-time study to complete. Accelerated programs allow students to finish faster by taking courses during multiple, short terms throughout the year, including the summer. Students in accelerated programs typically take between one and two years to finish.
Part-time MBA programs, often a good option for busy working professionals, may take three years or more to complete, although some accelerated part-time programs allow students to finish within 18 to 24 months.
Other MBA programs include the executive MBA, usually a two-year degree tailored to experienced managers, and the dual MBA, which allows students to earn two degrees at once. Many undergraduate business students opt for a dual-degree program that enables completion of both a bachelor's and MBA degree within just five years.
Real Estate FAQs
- What can you do with an MBA in real estate?
- MBA in real estate programs give new professionals a competitive edge over bachelor's degree-holders for real estate positions. More experienced real estate professionals typically pursue the MBA to obtain career or salary advancement or gain the expertise needed for entrepreneurial real estate ventures. Other graduates may use the degree as a foundation for doctoral study or research careers.
- Is real estate a good career choice?
- This industry can lead to above-average salaries and diverse, exciting opportunities working with a variety of people. However, real estate success depends on many factors, including location, employer, and market conditions.
- Is it worth it to get a master's in real estate?
- Professionals aspiring to top real estate positions stand to benefit considerably from earning an advanced degree in the field. Master's-level study frequently enhances job performance, raises salaries, and gives graduates a competitive advantage in the job market. Real estate MBAs average over $102,000 annually, according to PayScale.
Real Estate Scholarships
Charles Grossman Graduate Scholarship
Awarded directly to recipients by the International Council of Shopping Centers Foundation (ICSC) and ICSC Canada, this scholarship provides $10,000 toward school expenses, a fully funded trip to the RECon or ICSC conferences, mentorship from an industry professional, and an ICSC student membership. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in graduate school at an accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Application requirements include two essays, a resume, transcripts, and a recommendation.
ICSC Graduate Diversity Scholarship
This scholarship grants a qualifying student $5,000 for school expenses, full RECon or ICSC conference travel funding, ICSC student membership, and a mentorship opportunity. ICSC considers underrepresented racial or ethnic minority applicants with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency with a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrated real estate career plans, and enrollment in a graduate program at an accredited university. Applicants submit transcripts, resume, essays, and a recommendation.
Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., Graduate Scholarship
ICSC grants two of these $10,000 scholarships annually to graduate students at accredited schools. The award includes a funded trip to an ICSC conference, student ICSC membership, and industry mentorship. Candidates need a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrated interest in real estate and in giving back to the community. Application submissions include essays, a resume, a recommendation, and a FAFSA student aid report, if applicable. ICSC favors applicants with financial need.
Michigan Realtors Scholarship Trust
This trust offers $500-$3,000 scholarships, distributed over two terms. To qualify, applicants must be Michigan residents and full-time students in a business-related degree program applicable to real estate careers. Students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA, demonstrated good citizenship and character, and a successful interview with a qualified REALTOR member. Applicants also submit transcripts, a cover letter, a letter of recommendation, and a resume.
Pension Real Estate Association Scholarship
PREA awards $30,000 to several students majoring or concentrating in real estate. Award distribution varies, but a portion of the award goes to Robert A. Toigo Foundation scholarships for minority students.