The Real Estate Finance and Investments Certification (REFAI) from Linneman Associates and Real Estate Financial Modeling is a rigorous 100% online educational self-study program that is focused on practical, high-impact outcomes for its students.

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Program Interview

The overarching goals of the program are to provide students with a solid theoretical and technical grounding in real estate finance and investments, and to make students more critical thinkers with respect to the business of real estate across all property and deal types, setting them up for success in the workplace.

The program curriculum is equal to that of “Real Estate Finance and Investment Analysis 101” semester-long courses delivered in the traditional classroom format in top MBA and Masters in real estate programs.

The backbone of REFAI is the 5th Edition of the textbook Real Estate Finance and Investments: Risks and Opportunities, “the Blue Bible of real estate,” authored by Dr. Peter Linneman and Bruce Kirsch. In circulation for 15 years and based on his Wharton classes, the book reflects Dr. Linneman’s frustration with texts that concentrate excessively on theoretical detail and literature, while ignoring important aspects of financial analysis and decision making. This book balances the “real world” aspects of real estate finance without compromising key theoretical underpinnings. It covers the basic mathematics of real estate finance and investments, while stressing the ambiguity of decision making.

The book, and the REFAI program by extension, is an exploration of the key concepts of real estate finance and investment strategy, not a mere formulaic analysis of numbers designed to give you “the answer” to any and all real estate investment decisions.

Holding the REFAI Certification signifies proficiency in this material and the ability to apply that knowledge by overlaying sound analytical frameworks on real world problems. Candidates must earn a minimum passing grade of 70% to complete the requirements for the Program and receive the Certification. Candidates are forewarned that this grade depends upon their performance and passing is not guaranteed.

Content Highlights

The overarching goals of the program are to provide students with a solid theoretical and technical grounding in real estate finance and investments, and to make students
The rigorous REFAI Certification Program examines:
  • Basic financial analysis and metrics
  • Dynamic financial modeling in Excel
  • Selection of discount and capitalization rates
  • Dynamic financial modeling in Excel
  • Development feasibility
  • Lease negotiation
  • Preferred return, promote and catch-up structures
  • Corporate rent versus own decisions
  • Owner exit strategies
  • Investing internationally
  • Dynamic financial modeling in Excel
  • Valuation of properties subject to ground leases
  • REITs
  • Going public as a real estate company
  • Real estate entrepreneurship

 

Skill and Objectives

The overarching goals of the program are to provide students with a solid theoretical and technical grounding in real estate finance and investments, and to make students
Upon completion, REFAI Certification Holders will be able to perform in Excel:
  • Forecasting property income and expense cash flows
  • Building a mortgage payment schedule with an Interest-Only component
  • Calculating IRR and NPV
  • Allocating construction costs according to a bell-shaped curve
  • Valuing a ground-up development site on a residual basis
  • Forecasting an asset’s future stabilized Net Operating Income
  • Performing sensitivity analyses around the driving variables in a transactiont
  • Calculating loan interest for multiple layers of debt financing
  • Evaluating whether a corporation should own or rent facilities.

 

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A comprehensive look at real estate finance and investments, and also development. But perhaps more importantly, it is written in a way that is clear, direct, and immensely practical to the actual world of real estate.
Brandon Donnelly
Real estate developer with M.A. in architecture

Format & Time Commitment

The overarching goals of the program are to provide students with a solid theoretical and technical grounding in real estate finance and investments, and to make students more critical thinkers with respect to the business of real estate across all property and deal types, setting them up for success in the workplace.

The Course Textbook

Title: Real Estate Finance and Investments: Risks and OpportunitiesCurrent Edition: Fifth

Authors: Peter Linneman, PhD and Bruce Kirsch

Length: 457 pages

Chapters: 26

Additional Sections: 9

First Published: 2003

University Adoptions: 125+

REFAI Textbook

 

Unique Features:

  • Chapter 1 available as an audio book
  • Hands-on Excel modeling exercises integrated throughout
  • 30-page mobile-friendly Online Companion website
  • Chapters on Due Diligence and Corporate Real Estate
  • Selection of discount and capitalization rates
  • ARGUS platform overview.
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