New finance course provides students with hands-on training using ARGUS Enterprise

The Real Estate Modeling course trains students in how to model leases and properties using ARGUS Enterprise, better preparing them for careers in commercial real estate and to achieve their software certification.

Thanks to a gift from Altus Group and support from Kari Mayfield, education coordinator, Client Enablement Group at Altus Group, and her team, nearly 20 Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students gained practical experience and proficiency using ARGUS Enterprise, the leading lease commercial property valuation and asset management software in the real estate industry.

Professor standing in front of students sitting at computers.
Assistant Professor Margarita Kaprielyan teaches the course Real Estate Modeling with ARGUS Enterprise.

In the Real Estate Modeling with ARGUS Enterprise course, students learn how to use the software to manage property information, model leases, perform valuations and scenario analyses, create financing structures to forecast investment returns, and prepare reports.

Assistant Professor of Finance Margarita Kaprielyan teaches the two-credit course, which was offered by the Department of Finance for the first time in spring 2021.

The software access, valued at more than $330,000, helped create the opportunity for students to learn how to use the software and prepare to achieve ARGUS Enterprise certified status. Several students who completed the course took the certification exam to better prepare for a career in commercial real estate (CRE).

“Certification signals to the employers that students completed rigorous training to pass the exam and have the ability to understand and model complex lease structures for different property types, such as office and retail,” Kaprielyan said. “Certification also demonstrates to the employers that the candidate has understanding of common valuation metrics, such as NPV, unleveraged and leveraged IRR. It also indicates that students are willing to take initiative and learn new technology.”

“Every employer and CRE connection I have spoken to thus far has been very excited that I had the opportunity to learn the software through this class,” J.W. Simmons ’21 said.

“The ARGUS course has provided me with practical applications and the opportunity to gain an industry-standard recognition,” Taylor Pani ’21 shared. “ARGUS is an invaluable tool that I am excited to use as I pursue a career in real estate after graduation.”

Madeline Dolaway ’21, who will join Altus Group as a real estate valuation analyst after graduation, said Kaprielyan provided her “with extraordinary guidance” throughout the course.

“I attempted to get my certification last summer. However, I was not prepared enough when I took the exam, and unfortunately, did not pass,” she explained. “Dr. Kaprielyan’s course has given me the structure and resources that I was missing my first time around.”

Student using a computer.ARGUS Enterprise is used by CRE firms, as well as insurance companies, investment companies, and banks with real estate divisions. “Even if students ultimately work for a smaller firm that doesn’t subscribe to the software, the certification demonstrates that candidates are familiar with common commercial real estate concepts, lease structures and valuation,” Kaprielyan said.

“It has been really interesting to learn about property valuation through modeling with the ARGUS software,” Maddie Cooper ’22 shared. “While this is my first real estate class, I have been able to understand the material because Professor K is an amazing teacher, and she makes the material interesting and clear to understand.”

“I’d strongly encourage anyone trying to enter CRE to take this class,” William Murphy ’21 added.

Students who achieved ARGUS Enterprise certification this spring:

  • Madeline Cooper
  • Madeline Dolaway
  • William Murphy
  • Taylor Pani
  • J.W. Simmons