Real Estate Webinar Series Kicks Off

PROVO, Utah – Oct 01, 2020 – As in-person events that typically would have taken place in a lecture hall move online and to video conferences, students and alumni from the BYU Marriott School of Business are finding a silver lining to online events. The Department of Finance at BYU Marriott recently began hosting its Fall 2020 Real Estate Webinar Series with the first event held on 17 September.  

For the first event in the series, virtual attendees gathered to listen to Michael Acton, director of research for AEW Capital Management, a real estate asset management company. Acton spoke about his thoughts on the current state of the real estate market, providing insights on how recent changes in the economy impacted the real estate market, as well as the market’s predicted outlook after the global pandemic is over. 

Acton began his lecture by addressing information regarding some of the more concerning trends that real estate experts have seen develop. Though the COVID-19 pandemic started months ago, Acton says the negative economic impact on the real estate market has just started. However, he also talked about how changes caused by the pandemic are not completely fatal for the real estate market.  

Acton shared that although the pandemic has potentially increased the rate at which the millennials are moving to the suburbs, he has seen evidence of Generation Z filling apartment vacancies in the cities. This would keep the urban real estate market from plummeting. “There was no hesitation from my daughter—a recent college grad—about moving to Boston. That’s where her friends are going as well,” says Acton.  

At the end of his lecture, Acton expressed faith in this generation of students and graduates. “Ten years from now, you’ll look back on this time period as the class that matriculated through a pandemic,” he told his listeners. “Nobody else has ever done that before. If that doesn’t hold you back, nothing can.” 

Spencer Vickers, a junior finance student from Argyle, Texas, used what he learned from the first webinar to help him better connect with internship recruiters. “The recruiters I was able to talk with were excited about the information I shared,” Vickers says. “They were impressed that as an undergrad I was able to share some meaningful insights and perspectives—Information I wouldn’t have been able to share and understand without having attended the webinar.” 

Experiences such as Vickers’ are the kind of opportunities Barrett Slade, the James M. Passey Professor of Finance and organizer and host for the BYU Marriott Real Estate webinar series, hopes students will continue to have as they participate in the webinar. “The main purposes of these webinars are to first provide another educational forum for students and alumni interested in the real estate industry, and second to increase the global visibility of BYU Marriott in the real estate industry, leading to better student placement,” he says. 

Although BYU Marriott provides students with the essential education they need to succeed in their desired fields, Slade believes the webinar series can offer opportunities to learn more about contemporary issues in the world of real estate.  

The BYU Marriott Real Estate Webinar Series will continue throughout the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. The next scheduled speaker is Rob Trevor, senior director and sector specialist of industrial and logistics for CBRE Global Investors in London. Andrew C. Angeli, head of European real estate assets research at the same corporation will also speak. Those interested can add their names to the webinar’s email distribution list by contacting Troy Carpenter at 

Overhead view of suburban homes
This BYU Marriott real estate webinar series helps students better understand the modern real estate market and connect with professionals. Photo courtesy of David McBee.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Rebecca Nissen