How were you involved in the recent State of Housing in Charlotte research?
Participation in the MSRE program has afforded me numerous opportunities to personally grow and professionally develop. Most recently, I was granted the opportunity to participate in the State of Housing Research Project as one of three graduate assistants.
Our task was to aggregate, organize and analyze vast troves of housing market data to better understand Charlotte’s worsening housing affordability crisis. Drawing on research skills obtained as an MSRE student as well new skills developed through close connection with faculty and our PhD student, Sean Brunson, we were able to use analytic software to formulate a data driven perspective into the changing housing market environment.
In-field observation and in-person interviews were also used to better understand the practical nuances of the data-described housing trends. Shifting neighborhoods, displaced residents and ballooning valuations contextualized the affordability crisis and made its impact personal. With the severity and community effects witnessed firsthand, our research was better informed and given new meaning.
Combining the theoretic research component with practical real world connection was the true development and value that participation in the Housing Market Research Project afforded. While this study is far from complete, our work has hopefully made strides in providing a foundational analysis for business leaders and policy makers to build upon. I am grateful for the University and Professor Buttimer for providing me as a student with the skillset, and as graduate research assistant, the avenue to apply those skills in a real-world, impactful manner.
What is your professional background?
Prior to beginning the MSRE program at UNC Charlotte, I was a Workplace Planning and Guidance Consultant at Fidelity Investments. In this position, I was responsible for helping clients set up their 401K plans. Success in the role required extensive research to uncover clients' complete financial situations so that appropriate tax, saving, and investment strategies could be implemented.
What are your motivations for pursuing a graduate degree?
From my perspective, a graduate degree provides the knowledge and expertise necessary to turn the general liberal arts worldview of an undergraduate education into the actionable skill set required for success at a professional level. The MSRE program's strong focus on Real Estate, its location in the heart of the Charlotte real estate market and its close connection to expert faculty and leading industry professionals made it a natural choice for a graduate degree.
What drew you to the MSRE program at UNC Charlotte?
I was immediately drawn to the MSRE program at UNC Charlotte because of its central location in the city of Charlotte, the rigorous real estate-centered curriculum, and its close association with distinguished faculty and industry professionals.