When Catherine Klostranec tells acquaintances that she will be taking real estate courses at Ryerson University in Toronto this fall, they assume she is planning to become a residential real estate agent.
Lacombe, AB -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/11/2014 -- “Everyone thinks of real estate brokers when they think about real estate,” said Ms. Klostranec, a fourth-year student at the university and president of the student organization Real Estate Ryerson. “I get questions about it all the time and I’m trying to break that barrier.”
It is a barrier that Ryerson, too, is attempting to break by introducing an undergraduate real estate program at its Ted Rogers School of Business Management, making it only the third university in Canada — along with the University of Guelph in Ontario and the University of British Columbia — to offer a formal real estate program for undergraduates. By comparison, approximately 70 universities in the United States offer undergraduate real estate programs.
“Even accounting for the difference in size between the two countries, that is a big disparity,” said Prof. Cynthia Holmes, a real estate economist who designed the Ryerson program. “It’s hard to understand why it doesn’t get more academic attention.”
Dr. Holmes said the Ryerson program resulted from consultations between administrators at the management school and industry executives in the area, who identified real estate education as a gap in the undergraduate program. Ryerson followed through, and the response has been positive.
The Introduction to Real Estate class has 135 students and “filled right up within a few days after registration began,” Dr. Holmes said.
Like their counterparts at Guelph and the University of British Columbia, Ryerson real estate students will get a background in business along with specialized knowledge in real estate. Course offerings will include such subjects as real estate law, real estate development, valuation and real estate economics and finance. Students will also have the option of taking planning courses or online mapping courses. Upon graduation, they will receive a bachelor of commerce degree in real estate.
“They’ll get a broad business background and broad real estate industry knowledge,” Dr. Holmes said, which will make them better equipped to compete in the real estate job market. “It’s a degree that is more for people who want to work in real estate management.”
Prof. Avis Devine teaches an appraisal course and an investment course in the undergraduate real estate program at Guelph. Before joining the faculty, she was employed by a large bank as the assistant vice president in charge of real estate underwriting and valuation.
“I was working in a market without an undergraduate real estate program, so potential employees had no training in real estate,” Professor Devine said. “I had to train people on the different nuances, even if they had a business background. If you can hire someone who has real estate training it makes a major difference, and if students come out of university with those skills in hand, it elevates the whole profession.”
“The resale market will (become) more competitive, drawing some sales away from the new home market in 2015,” says Cho. In Alberta this year, 69,900 homes are expected to change hands on the resale market. Next year, it’s slated for a three per cent uptick to 71,900 sales.
Behind Alberta’s two biggest cities, Red Deer is forecast to see 865 starts on a variety of homes in 2014, 10 per cent more than the 784 homes a year earlier.
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