Setup for the First Stabilized Year of Operations (RE103)


Setup for the First Year of Real Estate Operations course teaches the basic set-up for analyzing income property. It is the starting point for all income property analysis and covers all of the topics that one must understand in order to develop a sophisticated pro forma financial analysis. The course begins with a diagram of the pro forma framework. Detailed explanations are provided for income and expenses, debt service computation, and taxable income including depreciation and interest computations. We develop the simple return measures for overall capitalization rates and cash-on-cash returns. We then use the basic set-up to explain highest and best use analysis and the nine relationships for leverage.
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Setup for the First Year of Real Estate Operations Course Structure

1. Real Estate Pro Forma Architecture
2. Operating Cash Flows
3. Operating Cash Flows Income
4. Operating Cash Flows Expenses
5. Operating Cash Flows Debt
6. Operating Cash Flows Taxes
7. Off-Sheet Calculations
8. Off-Sheet Calculations Interest Amortization
9. Off-Sheet Calculations Taxable Income
10. Operating Cash Flows Taxes
11. Simple Return Measures
12. The Setup Applications Highest Best Use Analysis
13. The Setup Applications The Nine Relationships
14. Key Points
15. Final Course Assignment
16. Discussion

Learning Objectives

– To understand the basic framework and components for income property pro forma financial analysis;
– To understand the computations for income and expense, debt service and taxable income;
– To learn the simple return measures and how to interpret them;
– To learn how to use the basic setup to determine highest and best use;
– To understand the concept of positive and negative leverage.


The course will require 3-4 hours of work to be completed.


The course will includes quizzes after each video, excel tutorials, and a written essay.

Setup for the First Year of Real Estate Operations Course Prerequisites

The course is for real estate professionals who would like to further advance into their career and also for the general public who want to learn the basics of real estate.


Build Academy will issue course certificates with credits to anyone who successfully completes 80% of the course assessments. Course participants will receive a diploma for completing the eight courses in the Real Estate Finance and Investment program. The two certificates available for the course are: basic, CEU-CPD. You can include the certificate in your CV and LinkedIn profile. We can also provide you with reference letters for job or school applications and promotions.

Setup for the First Year of Real Estate Operations Course Readings

Recommended readings:

– Kristen Hunter, The Brookside Square Case Study, 2016
– Richard B. Peiser and David Hamilton, Professional Real Estate Development: The ULI Guide to the Business, 3rd Edition (The Urban Land Institute: Washington, D.C., 2012)
– William Brueggeman and Jeffrey Fisher, Real Estate Finance & Investments, 15th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2015)
– William J. Poorvu with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank, The Real Estate Game (Free Press, 1999).


Richard Peiser PhD, Michael D. Spear Professor at Harvard GSD

Richard Peiser

Richard Peiser has been the Michael D. Spear Professor of Real Estate Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design since 1998. He is also Director of the university-wide Real Estate Academic Initiative created in 2003. He was previously on the faculty at the University of Southern California (1986-1998) as associate professor of urban planning and development, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate Development, and Academic Director of the Master of Real Estate Development Program that he founded in 1986. His courses: Real Estate Finance and Development, Field Studies in Real Estate, Planning and Urban Design, and Advanced Real Estate Development and Finance offer basic and advanced-level study of real estate at the GSD. He also taught the studios: Alternative Urban Pattern Prototypes: Looking at Pomona/Los Angeles, Newry, Northern Ireland—Revealing History in Urban Reconstruction, and Alternative Futures for the West Lake, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China, as well as field studies in Texas, California, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Shanghai. He is directing the school’s activities in advanced education for senior real estate executives, notably the six-week Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate. Linkedin.

Kristen Hunter, DDes Candidate at Harvard GSD

Kristen Hunter

Kristen Hunter is a doctoral candidate in Real Estate Finance and Urban Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), where she has taught Real Estate Finance, as well as Public and Private Development, since 2010. She received a Master in Design Studies with distinction in Real Estate and Project Management from the GSD, earning the Gerald M. McCue Medal for highest overall academic record and the Ferdinand Colleredo Mansfeld Prize for superior achievement in real estate studies. She also holds an M.A. in Medieval Chinese History from Cornell University and an A.B. cum laude in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. An experienced real estate development manager and LEED AP, Kristen has delivered a variety of infill projects in Boston’s inner city neighborhoods, and currently provides strategic advisory for complex urban redevelopment projects in domestic and overseas. Linkedin.

Additional information


Basic Certificate, CPD-CEU Certificate