Smeal takes third place in international real estate case competition

November 16, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A team of six undergraduate students from the Penn State Smeal College of Business took home third place in the third annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, held Nov. 10 in New York.

Eleven of the world's leading real estate undergraduate programs entered teams in this year's competition, including teams from Canada, China, and Europe. Each team received the case via email on Nov. 5 and had about five days to research the case, prepare their analysis and craft a presentation.

The case required the teams to conduct a hold/sell analysis to advise a pension fund on whether to keep in its portfolio a property in New York's Meatpacking District. Smeal's team came up with a disposition strategy, analyzed the market and competitive properties, and completed a financial analysis. From there, they created a PowerPoint presentation and presented to a panel of judges comprised of high-level real estate industry professionals.

Each team had 20 minutes to present their analysis followed by 20 minutes for questions from the judges. The teams were judged on their investment recommendations, approach to the problem, and presentation skills, in addition to their ability to answer and respond to the judges' questions.

Smeal's team advanced out of the first round to the finals along with Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin, who placed first and second, respectively.

The six Smeal team members were selected from Penn State's real estate case studies course (R EST 497) led by Richard Button, assistant director of the Institute for Real Estate Studies, who served as the team's faculty adviser. The team consisted of Chad Dipersio, Allison Marciniak, Dan Maurer, Tyler Moss, Josh Natker, and Jarrett Richards. They will split the third-place prize of $2,000 between them.

This is the second year that Smeal has participated in the Cornell case completion. Last year, Smeal placed second.

Also participating in this year's contest were Indiana University, New York University, Maastricht University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Guelph, the University of Michigan, Renmin University of China, and Villanova University.

For more information on the competition, visit


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 17, 2011