Certificate in Real Estate Development (CRED)

The Sprott School of Business and the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism are excited to offer a new joint Certificate in Real Estate Development.

The curriculum will address elements of policy, law, finance, marketing and design, structured in 3-day blocks throughout the calendar year for a total of 96 hours. Each block will comprise two distinct courses taught by leading practitioners and academics.

Click here to download a digital copy of the program brochure.



Who should take this certificate program?

  • Developers who are looking to deepen their understanding of development processes, manage risk, and improve their grasp of roles and responsibilities of the various players involved with land development.

  • Architects and other design professionals wishing work more effectively with developer clients and/or to expand their expertise to include real estate development

  • Planners who engage with public/private development negotiations, and who are part of the decision-makers on how new development proposals affect their city.

  • Property owners who are looking to gain a better understanding of the benefits and risks of development and redevelopment

  • Investors interested real estate as a new category of asset, and wishing to engage third party developers

  • Professionals in service to the development industry, including legal counsel, accountants, bankers who want to broaden their understanding of their clients’ needs

  • Portfolio Managers, real estate advisors and project managers in the government who wish to better understand the real estate environment that they work in



What makes this program unique?

  • Partnership between Business and Architecture professional schools; financial acumen coupled with design thinking and creativity.

  • Keynote speakers & lead instructors are subject matter experts from major Canadian cities, including experienced professionals from both public and private sectors.

  • Mentorship opportunities are built into the learning process – from instructors, guest lecturers and fellow students, with time scheduled for informal networking.

  • Limited class size, affording opportunities for interaction and discussion.

  • Conveniently scheduled.  Packages into four compact modules of 3-days each.



Top 5 Reasons to Register:

  • Access to leading real estate and design experts and speakers from across Canada

  • Unique program exploring the complex interdependent relationships of all parties involved in the lifecycle of real estate development

  • Convenient class modules in a part-time format, receive your professional development hours

  • Great networking & sharing of experiences to reinforce your learning

  • Designed to advance your career growth opportunities







Tentative Schedule:


1st Block: Oct 1 – 3, 2019


City Building by Policy

The first course in the series explores the history and role of policy in shaping the built environment. Comparisons are made between highly regulated cities like Vancouver, and those like Houston where regulations don’t exist. How effective is the marketplace in determining what gets built and where?  Does government have a role in ensuring that the public interest is considered and that social responsibility is built into our city development.  What are the advantages, limitations, and unintended consequences of regulation?


Planning and Zoning Dimensions

What are the processes through which development applications are made? How does zoning work? What’s involved with challenging and/or changing zoning? Considering that all cities are chartered by their provinces, what happens when local bylaws contradict provincial policies?



2nd Block: Nov 26 – 28, 2019


Legal Dimensions in Real Estate Development

Following an overview of property ownership, the course will cover basics in Corporate Law, Contracts. Municipal Law & Remedies, Real Property Fundamentals and Real Estate Transactions.  The latter will include information on negotiating the deal (LOIs, due diligence, etc.), mortgage financing (collateral vs. conventional), construction loans, leasehold financing, dealing with tenants, etc.


Finance Fundamentals

The goals of this course are a basic introduction of financial statements and project evaluation tools to allow for rational decisions on projects, and an understanding of concepts that will facilitate intelligent discussions with financial people. Included will be: analysis and interpretation of financial statements, including income statements (revenue, cost of sales, gross and net profit, capital and operating expenditures), balance sheets (assets, liabilities, equity, current and fixed assets, short / long term liabilities, depreciation and retained earnings), and real estate specific ratios and metrics (capitalization rates, ROI, payback period, discounted cash flow, etc.).


3rd Block: Jan 21 – 23, 2020


Real Estate Finance

Building on the first principles learned in the Finance Fundamental Course (TVM, NPV, IRR, Capital Structure), the Real Estate Finance course examines the essential concepts, metrics, and calculations employed in real estate investment analysis for development projects. This course focuses on key topics such as income and cash flow analysis, valuation, return metrics and sources and uses of capital in real estate.


Marketing and Transactions

This course examines the market research, marketing and sales process and will answer the following questions; What is the feasibility of the development? Who is the target market? What is the product offering? What is the brand positioning for the development? How will the development be sold? How will the success of the development be measured?


4th Block:  Feb 25 – 27, 2020


City Building by Design

Returning to the theme of city building, this course explores development initiatives in a broader urban context. Topics include infrastructure, community consultation, indigenous consultation and reconciliation, public-private synergies, the interface between government and private sector interests, development fees, density bonussing and other mechanisms of financing improvements to the public realm. The course examines the role of design in achieving the “quadruple bottom line” of profit, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and purposeful improvement to the built environment. As a bridge back to the March courses, “City Building by Design” reexamines the limitations and possibilities of planning and policies.


Capstone Project: The Pro Forma

A pro forma analysis is a unique tool in assessing the viability of real estate projects, a set of calculations that projects financial return of a proposed development. It describes the project costs in quantifiable terms like land acquisition, consultants, and cost of construction, and then estimates revenues that the project will generate. These calculations yield a net financial return that the developer can expect to achieve, and is the analysis that developers use to decide whether to move forward with a project. As a final part of this Certificate program, instructors will guide candidates in the writing of a pro forma for a hypothetical project.