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The True Value of an Education in Real Estate

We spoke with two real estate professionals who got their careers jump-started by participating in an online educational program. They say the crash course gave them years’ worth of experiential knowledge before even working a day.

Justin Courtnall

Director of Business Development, Big Outdoor, Dallas/Ft Worth

What made you want to pursue a career in real estate?

I grew up with a family background in residential real estate development and I was intrigued by the grander scale of commercial real estate. I did a lot of networking with commercial real estate professionals and I felt like it would be a great fit for me. 

How has being in a program prepared you for your future career?

I pride myself in providing clients with the highest level of service and knowledge of their real estate needs. Enrolling in an online commercial real estate program at a major university helped me understand some of the major topics I would use in my commercial real estate career. 

What advice can you give to other students who are considering a career in real estate?

Learn as much as you can from the resources you have available, such as professional certificate programs. When you enter the real estate industry, you have to be a quick learner. Having the ability to understand things that you are expected to know or learn on the job gives you a major advantage. 

Patrick Venne

General Counsel, The Federated Companies, Miami

What made you want to pursue a career in real estate?

I am fascinated by real estate development and construction because of its ability to transform our surroundings into better landscapes to live, work, and play. The dynamic nature of this field fueled my longstanding and deep passion for it.

How has being in a program prepared you for your future career?

I was looking to develop a skill set with a practical, immediate application to my daily professional endeavors. I found it. In short, I was able to bypass the decades of trial and error many professionals require in order to learn from experience by simply following in the footsteps of those who had already built the vast knowledge base I was looking for. 

What advice can you give to other students who are considering a career in real estate?

Success in an industry as transaction-based as commercial real estate is tied to seeing opportunities and taking them. The more people you develop a professional relationship with, the more likely you are to find yourself an opening. That’s the great thing about an online program — I developed professional connections with people all over the world.

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