Within a few years after the dust settled from the Great Recession (late 2007 to mid-2010), real estate — especially the housing market — regained its status as an asset class.

The recovery stoked demand for skilled, knowledgeable and formally educated real-estate business professionals, which stimulated growth in Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in real estate. As a result, many universities enhanced their real estate MBA programs and others added the concentration to their offerings.

Along with traditional on-campus full-time and part-time MBAs, many convenient online programs have been established as well. For instance, Longwood University’s fully online MBA in Real Estate offers working professionals the opportunity to earn the degree in as few as 10 months.

Emphasis on Core Business Knowledge in a Real Estate Context


MBA programs focused on real estate include core courses in subjects you would expect in a general MBA program, such as accounting, finance and economics, as well as more relational subjects like leadership, management and marketing.

The core courses in Longwood University’s MBA – Real Estate provide a foundation upon which students build fundamental business knowledge and skills explored through the lens of the real estate industry. Delving into industry-specific skills are the Real Estate track’s elective courses:

  • Real Estate Economics and Development
  • Negotiation

Upon completion of the 10-course, 31-credit-hour program, graduates should expect to have developed:

  • A foundation in real estate development and economics, including:
    • Market demand
    • Financing
    • Planning and construction of development projects
  • An understanding of the real estate market at every geographic level, including:
    • Local
    • Regional
    • National
    • Global

Real estate holds appeal for those with strong relational and soft skills, as well as the necessary quantitative business skills, and desire to work in an industry where they can use both.

Property sales agents and brokers form a large percentage of professionals within the real estate industry. They are drawn to the activities involved in buying and selling assets such as land and natural resources and developed property as well.

Careers and Pay With an MBA in Real Estate


Because real estate is a major investment asset class, career paths also include positions that involve finance and accounting such as property and housing portfolio management, investment banking and mortgage-backed securities.

Earning a real estate-focused MBA equips graduates to pursue a number of high-paying roles in the industry. Here are some examples:

  • Real Estate Development Manager
  • Vice President, Real Estate Acquisitions
  • Vice President, Real Estate Operations
  • Real Estate Financial Controller
  • Real Estate Developer (Commercial)
  • Real Estate Asset Manager

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics placed the 2019 median salary for real estate brokers and sales agents at $50,730 per year. The pay-boosting potential of a graduate degree becomes evident when you consider the average MBA salary of $87,910 per year, with a real-estate MBA paying $101,603 on average, roughly $14K more. These MBA salaries were sourced from PayScale (June 2020).

With a specialized MBA, those who are committed to a career in the real estate domain can expect to have an advantage over others with a general MBA. Some employers would consider the real-estate MBA a plus, especially when candidate attributes are otherwise equal.

Learn more about Longwood University’s online MBA – Real Estate program.


PayScale: Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree

PayScale: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Real Estate Degree

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents