Announcing the Applied Real Estate Research Initiative of the UF Bergstrom Real Estate Center

The University of Florida Warrington College of Business is proud to announce the creation of a preeminent resource for the real estate industry, the Applied Real Estate Research Initiative.

Housed in the UF Bergstrom Real Estate Center, the Applied Real Estate Research Initiative will bring together the University of Florida’s immense research capabilities in real estate related fields like urban planning, law, building construction and other areas that will position UF as the state and nation’s authoritative university-based source for actionable real estate information. The research impact from the initiative will develop new insights into best practices and report on new innovations that will shape the future of the residential and commercial real estate industry and create sustainable communities for our citizens.

The Applied Real Estate Research Initiative was made possible thanks to a combined commitment of $16 million from Kelley Bergstrom (MBA ’68) and the University of Florida. With this funding, the Bergstrom Center, through the Applied Real Estate Research Initiative, will be able to dramatically expand its ability to conduct practical research and develop regular publications and other media to communicate this information. This vision aligns with the University’s original land-grant mission to bring the results of University research to the public.

“As a land grant university, the University of Florida has a unique role to facilitate applied research to the real estate industry and consumers of real estate products,” Bergstrom said.

Bill Hughes

Executive Director of Applied Research Bill Hughes

The Applied Real Estate Research Initiative will be led by William “Bill” Hughes, who most recently spent 15 years as the Global Head of Real Estate Research and Strategy at UBS. As Executive Director of Applied Research, Hughes will lead the effort in delivering data-driven reports in a format suitable for the professional real estate community. In addition to his time at UBS, Hughes served as an institutional advisor at Blackrock and with real estate investment trust MIG/AERC. He received his Ph.D. in real estate and MBA from the University of Georgia and his bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech.

“The opportunity to direct impactful insights from the University faculty and staff in a professional format to the state and national real estate industry is vast,” Hughes said. “I am pleased to be a part of this development to expand real estate research across disciplines.”

With the Applied Real Estate Research Initiative’s goal of directing and developing expertise across many disciplines to studies that inform the real estate community in mind, Hughes has connected with those who can help the initiative accomplish what it set out to do.

“There are many groups across campus producing results that can be applied to the real estate industry, and I am incredibly impressed by how many are interested in contributing to our mission,” Hughes said. “We have initiated conversations with the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), the UF environmental engineering department and the College of Design, Construction and Planning. Additionally, we are partnering with Real Capital Analytics, CBRE Econometric Advisors, NCREIF and other industry organizations to provide resources necessary to our mission.”

In the coming months, Hughes plans to create several publications for the Applied Real Estate Research Initiative including briefs, which will inform popular topics of interest in the industry, a quarterly publication, which will provide a look at research being done across campus that impacts real estate, and an annual journal that will provide a deeper dive into research issues being explored at UF.

Watch for these publications in the Warrington Newsroom.

Learn more about Hughes, from his professional accomplishments to his weekend pastimes, in this interview.