REIAC Southwest program volunteers (left to right) Chad Mantei, Mark Singerman, and Don Becka with members of the Basis Chandler winning team.

PHOENIX, ARIZ. (Oct. 11, 2023) – In collaboration with Junior Achievement of Arizona, several volunteers presented the REIAC Southwest classes on the built environment to 32 high school seniors at Basis Chandler.

The classes introduce the students to the real estate development process and how the built environment is created by real estate developers.

Before the classes began, REIAC volunteers asked the teacher to have the students break up into teams of four to five students each. There were five classes followed by a team competition. The program had seven teams this session.

The first class was an introduction. The second class explained how developers identify a need for a particular type of building by doing market research to confirm supply and demand.

The third class concentrated on finance, debt, and equity. It examined the positive impact that using a mix of debt and equity as opposed to 100 percent equity has on a project’s returns.

The fourth class was on assembling the consultant team – architect, civil engineer, soils engineer, and general contractor – to build the project.

The last class involved finding tenants, managing the building after it is completed, and selling it after it is leased.

“The REIAC volunteers and the teachers who help introduce the built environment to young people are an inspiration for the industry,” said Mark Singerman, Vice President, Regional Director Rocky Mountain Development for The Rockefeller Group. “The goal is to one day see these young ladies in the field of commercial real estate.”

The students are given the choice of developing one of the following types of buildings: office, retail, or industrial. The student workbook provided by Junior Achievement gives the students budgets for each type of building, land sites from which to choose in and around Tempe, demographic information about the City of Tempe for their market research, a pro forma to complete depending on which type of building they select to develop and resumes of consultants and general contractors to select for their team.

For the competition, all the teams were required to present a PowerPoint of the building they chose to develop and the choices they made. Some of the teams added 3D models of their project in their presentations. Two of the teams did cardboard models of their buildings and parking lots.

The REIAC volunteers sat as the panel that judged and scored each presentation on a point system using score sheets provided by Junior Achievement. The winning team was awarded $750 to split between each team member and the teacher was given $250 to use in purchasing supplies in the classroom that many teachers normally take out of their own pocket during the school year.


The Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC) was established as a nonprofit trade association to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, concerns and experiences among senior executives who conduct real estate transactions. The invitation-only group limits its membership to senior-level executives at companies, who act as principals, and whose function is to develop, acquire, manage and/or finance real estate. Institutional quality programs and peer-to-peer relationship-building opportunities have established REAIC’s reputation throughout the national real estate investment community as one of its premier associations.  The Power of REIAC