Student Real Estate Experience Program Continues to Flourish


With each conference since the Student Real Estate Experience Program started in 2015, the field of students seems to get stronger and the participation greater. At this past SIOR World Conference held in Denver, CO, seven students from universities across the country and around the world attended. Local SIOR Chapters selected students from their region and provided the means for them to attend the conference. The Chapters also matched the students with an SIOR mentor who introduced them to fellow SIOR’s and the exciting possibilities of a career in commercial real estate. For its part, The SIOR Foundation matched chapter expenses for travel and hotel accommodations and hosted a welcome dinner for participants and their mentors.
Students at SIOR Denver


Fall 2018 SIOR Foundation Student Real Experience Program Participants, along with program mentor, David Hagan, SIOR, CCIM.


Below are just a few of the comments provided by the participants about their experience in Denver and with SIOR:


"I had an awesome experience at the SIOR Fall 2018 World Conference. It was an amazing opportunity to network with commercial real estate's elite brokers from around the globe. Each member was welcoming, kind, and genuinely willing to help in any way they could. I can tell that the relationships formed in Denver will last for many years."


“Please allow me to thank all the members of SIOR and the SIOR Foundation for helping with my school tuition and most importantly, exposing me to the world of Commercial Real Estate. I had an amazing time hearing about market experiences, deals gone wrong, friendships being established, and Herb turning the real estate market cycle into baseball innings. As an aspiring real estate investor and broker, I attended the investment themed breakout sessions which not only gave me a better insight into the stability of the market but also re-enforced many of the topics that I have been studying as of recently. Moreover, I took away some estate planning tips as well! Nevertheless, I appreciate the talks that many of you had with me regarding my future professional plans and my future timing entering as a commercial real estate broker. Your advice has been noted. Overall, the conference was outstanding and I do hope that the scholarship winners who attended can be invited back next year. Thank you all for an amazing time!”


“The SIOR conference provides an unparalleled experience to network with individuals who are the best in the business. The breakout sessions provide in-depth knowledge into different real estate markets as well as insights into how real estate will be impacted by changes in the economy over the next 12 months. Not only was attending the SIOR conference a ton of fun, but it was the most enriching educational experience I have had during my college career.”





Each of these personal stories are remarkable yet none more so than the response from Lu Zhao, a Chinese woman studying Real Estate Finance at the University of Reading, located between London and Oxford on the River Thames in the historic county town of Royal Berkshire. Her mentor at the Denver conference was Andrew Smith, SIOR, with Carter Jonas in London.  She responded to the 22-question Post Attendance Questionnaire with answers that filled seven pages! She also produced a video on her experience.


Here is a sampling of Lu’s questionnaire responses:


In the first question, asking students for their takeaways from conference, Lu replied, “I found that many members have been involved with SIOR for more than 10 years. They are work partners, friends and even families, and I am moved by the warm atmosphere and want to join SIOR to become a valuable member.”


On benefits the students experienced at the conference: “Students can communicate with industry experts, which is very helpful in defining future career directions and expanding the student’s social circles. Also, students can find job opportunities at the conference.”


On the first night welcoming dinner hosted by the Foundation (David Hagan, SIOR, CCIM) with mentors and students in attendance, as well as a larger group dinner a couple nights later (with the European chapter), Lu said that both were great and allowed her and other students to become friends quickly and that the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere at both dinners made it feel like gatherings of friends and family.


To the question on whether the conference influenced her future career choices, Lu wrote: “The World Conference will surely influence my decision about a career in commercial real estate. Previously I focused on traditional residential housing. However, this conference has stimulated interest in commercial real estate. If I can have an internship in the UK in the coming year, I would like to give priority to commercial real estate projects.”


To the question, do you feel like you will stay in contact with other students you met at the conference? “Yes”, she said. “The interaction between her and the students gave her a much better understanding of the U.S. economy and market and that she and her roommate Caci are already planning to meet in New York next year.” She added: “If not for the program, I think it would be difficult for me to have friends in the United States.”


For more information on how your chapter can participating in this exciting program, please contact the SIOR Foundation at 202.449.8208.