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Technology Tidbits

MIT and Wisconsin Students Win ULI Hines Urban Design Contest

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning, with one member from the University of Wisconsin School of Business, has won the seventh annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition.

The winning design outlines a plan for transit-oriented development and public space at Alameda Station in Denver. It takes into account automobile-free transportation and a water-conserving landscape, among other attributes. The team earned the top prize of $50,000.

The competition, funded through a $3 million endowment from Gerald Hines, chairman of Hines, a Houston-based commercial real estate firm, is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate-related studies at a North American university.

Hines, who attended the presentations in Denver, said he was impressed by the students’ proposals. “They are thinking innovatively and their collaborative effort represents the future of the land use industry.”

Members of the winning team for the 2009 competition include Blair Humphreys, Jesse Hunting, Duncan McIlvaine, and Sarah Snider of MIT and Eric Komppa of the University of Wisconsin.

Colliers Ties Sales Training Program to Increased Revenue

Colliers International, the Boston-based real estate services firm, says a new analysis shows that sales training classes conducted globally using virtual meeting technology and held in Colliers offices are increasing some participants’ revenue by more than 50% year on year.

The classes are part of the Colliers University program, which covers Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) designation preparatory courses as well as financial underwriting and analysis and interviewing techniques, among other subjects.

Colliers International says it analyzed the financial performance of 423 brokers in North America for the return on investment study of those who attended the training courses, and included in its analysis four consecutive years of revenue for brokers in the years 2005 to 2008.

Salespeople who took five or more core courses increased their revenue by an average of 54 percent per year, the company says. That was more than double the average annual increase for salespeople who took no core courses.

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