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USD graduate real estate team wins first place in ARGUS competition

A team of five University of San Diego Master of Science in Real Estate students were awarded first place in the 2014 ARGUS Software University Challenge, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate announced Friday. This is the third time USD placed first; USD placed second the other two years the competition was held.

The ARGUS Software University Challenge is an international competition that gives students the opportunity to analyze comprehensive and complicated real estate issues. This year’s ARGUS competition challenged each team to complete a case study titled, “Bayougoula: The Hunger Game of Thrones.” The USD team prepared a report for the owner of a portfolio of real estate, recommending the best course of action for the real estate properties. The portfolio included an apartment complex, an office building and a retail center in the downtown area of the fictitious town, Bayougoula.

“We are thrilled to see our students take first place once again in this competition,” said Charles Tu, Ph.D., the Daniel F. Mulvihill professor of commercial real estate who served as faculty adviser for the USD team. “The students applied many aspects of the MSRE program in analyzing the case and formulating their recommendation.”

USD prevailed over 15 other teams from across the U.S. and around the world, including: University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Chicago, New York University, Indiana University, The Pennsylvania State University, American University, Louisiana State University, Florida International University, Saint Joseph’s University, College of Charleston, Fordham University, Covenant University in Nigeria and York University in Canada.

The winning USD team included: Victor Alfonso, William Bettencourt, Omar El-Mofty, Jon Mesa and Benjamin Murray. The team will be awarded $8,000 for its victory.

“This was an extremely difficult challenge that the entire team was completely committed to from day one,” said Alfonso. “We were proud to represent USD and thankful for the opportunity to showcase our knowledge and experience.”

ARGUS Valuation DCF is the industry standard for commercial real estate cash flow projection, transaction analysis and asset valuation.

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