SMU Cox Undergrads Take High Honors at the Villanova University Real Estate Case Competition

by Anna Martinez|

Contact: Anna Martinez 

Dallas (SMU) April 23, 2020 — The persistence of four Cox School of Business undergraduates paid off in a strong finish this month, despite the unexpected challenge of COVID-19 forcing them to do an online presentation at Villanova University’s coveted real estate-focused 2020 Mulroy Challenge. Once the judges’ votes were tallied, the team—representing the SMU Cox Folsom Institute for Real Estate—garnered a second place finish out of a field of 28 teams from across the country. Cal Poly University took first place, while Indiana University rounded out the top three.

In January, teams from the top real estate programs across the country entered the competition and were tasked with producing recommendations and their presentation in only four days. The SMU Cox team consisted of four students from the Honors Real Estate Practicum undergraduate course: Cassidy Dines (BBA ’20), a real estate finance major, Colton England (BBA ’20), a real estate finance major, Andrew Stelling (BBA ’20), a finance major, and Mason Logan (BBA ’20), a finance major.

Sixteen teams were selected to participate in the April 3 semifinals in Pittsburg, PA. The case centered around a 7-acre development opportunity in the heart of Coral Gables, FL. Teams were asked to make the case for the highest and best use for the site, given existing market conditions and zoning restrictions. In addition, teams were asked to provide an estimate of the land value for the site. They were judged on recommendation support, proposal accuracies, creativity, and presentation style.

COVID-19 restrictions and concerns forced the competition to move to a virtual format, which complicated the SMU Cox team’s presentation strategy. After regrouping, and countless hours of preparation, the team brought home a win, taking second place and a prize of $2,000.

“I was already impressed with the analysis and presentation that our team had developed in response to the case,” said Joseph Cahoon, Director of Folsom Institute for Real Estate at SMU Cox School of Business. “The fact that they were able to pivot and present their presentation so smoothly in the world of Zoom meetings speaks volumes about of the quality of this team.”

This was SMU Cox’s second appearance at the Mulroy Challenge, having competed for the first time last year, and making it to the 2019 top 16 semi-finals.

About SMU Cox
In 2020, the Cox School of Business celebrates 100 years of business education at SMU. The Cox School of Business is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change and global thought leadership. SMU Cox offers a full-range of business education programs including BBA, Two-Year and One-Year Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), Executive MBA, Online MBA, and Master’s degree programs, as well as Executive Education. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active alumni network in more than 80 countries. SMU Cox is accredited by AACSB.

(L to R): SMU Cox BBA students Cassidy Dines, Andrew Stelling, Colton England, Jacob Becker (classmate), and Mason Logan