Spring 2024

A Real-World Perspective on Real Estate 

Erin Degnan Escobedo poses for a portrait

Associate Professor of Practice Erin Degnan Escobedo, the George E. Slye ’53 Term Chair in Real Estate Management, has used her expertise as a real estate attorney and licensed broker to create new learning opportunities for Babson students.  

A practicing attorney since 2004, Escobedo began her career in Florida, where she held a series of roles representing developers, lenders, and home builders. This period gave her a front-row seat to both the real estate boom and the 2007 collapse of the housing market. “When the real estate tides began turning, Florida was among the first,” Escobedo says.  

BABSON MAGAZINE: Read the complete Spring 2024 issue.

In time, she began teaching law and business students at the college level and joined the Finance Division at Babson in 2017, charged with expanding the real estate course offerings. She and Associate Professor of Practice Paul Griesmer began by talking with real estate professionals, including Babson graduates, about the knowledge students need to succeed in the field. Since then, Escobedo has created and launched four new courses and completely redesigned a fifth. Two new real estate transactions courses are modeled on a course she took as a law student at Georgetown, taught by two working real estate attorneys who inspired Escobedo to enter the field.

As both an attorney and licensed broker, Escobedo aims “to infuse the real estate curriculum with a real-world perspective, a practitioner approach.” In addition to sharing her experiences and published case studies, she also invites real estate professionals, including many Babson graduates, such as Babson Trustee Amanda Strong ’87, to speak to her classes. “Babson alumni who work in real estate have been really instrumental to our success and growth as a program,” Escobedo says.

For example, guest lecturers in the real estate transactions courses regularly discuss their current projects, sharing financial statements and details about investment returns, allowing students to experience and learn from real-world scenarios.  

“It’s really this eye-opening experience for students,” she says. “I hope to inspire the next set of people to say, ‘I’d love to go into real estate.’ ” Even if they do not choose that path, courses such as the residential real estate class prepare students to make savvy decisions when they purchase their own homes, she adds.

The curriculum continues to grow; Escobedo is currently developing a real estate capstone course built around hands-on learning opportunities such as internships. Her ultimate goal is to establish a real estate institute on campus, which she says would strategically align well with Babson’s existing centers and institutes.   

Students are enthusiastic about these new offerings. This spring, Escobedo is teaching approximately 160 students in four real estate classes, and almost all of the real estate courses had a waiting list. She points to a “robust” and engaged network of alumni in real estate and active student real estate clubs, “which have really exploded and reinvigorated.” Escobedo says, “There’s a momentum happening right now.”

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