One and the same property simultaneously serves four distinguishable purposes: It supplies companies with a broad field of profit-generating business opportunities, provides space for its users, generates income as an asset, and shapes our environment. In a globalized, and increasingly regulated and complex world, more and more specialists are needed to ensure that real estate fulfills each of these purposes. Those specialists, including urban planners and architects, civil engineers, business economists, sociologists and lawyers, are experts in their disciplines, which they studied in respective Bachelor’s and Master’s programs. Yet, as it is this one piece of property that is supposed to fulfill all of the named purposes, there also need to be people or companies that develop an appropriate holistic concept, mediate between conflicting objectives, communicate the vision, coordinate the specialists, and ensure cooperation for overall success.

This paper seeks to identify the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to address real estate issues in a holistic and systemic way. The ultimate goal is to develop a new type of Master’s program curriculum that effectively provides the market with real estate managers and leaders who are able to professionally and sustainably deal with the complexity of today’s real estate issues.

Using a mixed-methods approach, three groups of stakeholders are asked about their expectations/requirements of competences necessary to work in interface-related jobs. This includes employers in real estate sectors with many interfaces (e.g. project development, asset management, or CREM) as well as professors and students of the built environment. Based on these explorations, a curriculum concept is developed that is member-checked by those stakeholders in a second round.

Finding: In interface-related jobs, very broad knowledge and an understanding of the respective relationships are the base for effective and efficient action. Even more important are professional skills and abilities such as analytical and problem solving competency, creative thinking, communication, change and social competencies. To acquire or deepen those competencies during a two-year Master’s program, the student body needs to be heterogeneous, covering fields of real estated backgrounds. The didactical concept should be based on problem-based and project-oriented learning. To master those issues, entering requirements for the program need to be restrictive.