Funding a ULI program to make real estate careers more accessible Urban Planning

ULI is now online Real estate basics The curriculum (FoRE) is aimed at students at colleges and universities for liberal arts. FoRE is an integral part of the Institute’s efforts to identify, diversify and expand the pool of young people interested in a real estate career. The curriculum is offered by the ULI learning Program that includes a variety of digital education courses and current webinars for ULI members and prospective members.

FoRE was made possible with a generous gift the ULI Foundation by the foundation’s chairman, Doug Abbey, who is also chairman of Swift Real Estate Partners in San Francisco. Abbey identified three main benefits of the program:

  • To give the major subjects of liberal arts access to real estate as a career option;
  • Enable alumni to connect with students; and
  • Increasing diversity among real estate professionals.

The opportunity to create communities through a real estate career that are more diverse, fairer and more inclusive is a timely message and mission that, according to FoRE, can be communicated through FoRE. ULI’s mission is to maximize the role of philanthropy in influencing profound and significant changes at a time in the history of the institute and the country where issues like equality and inclusiveness are necessary and groundbreaking concerns and considerations have emerged.

FoRE, which debuted at Colgate University in the academic year 2019-2020, is intended to provide students who do not study business administration with real estate fundamentals in an easily “digestible” format that is accessible, convenient and can be defined individually.

The curriculum consists of five modules:

  • Basics of the development process;
  • Basics of pro forma modeling;
  • Fundamentals of commercial real estate (with a special focus on the valuation of multi-family and office companies);
  • Fundamentals of real estate financing and investment; and
  • Introduction to the basics of real estate.

After completing all modules, participants receive a FoRE certificate, which confirms that they have successfully completed the course and have a basic understanding of the industry.

The program will be extended to other colleges and universities in the USA in the academic year 2020–2021. ULI hopes to have the FoRE curriculum available at 100 institutions within five years. One focus will be the offer of the program at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including four in the years 2020-2021. This is part of ULI’s effort to attract more colored people to industry and the institute.

According to W. Edward Walter, ULI Global’s Chief Executive Officer, FoRE was founded to fill a gap in basic property courses at liberal arts institutions. “The aim of compiling this curriculum was to enable interested and committed students to learn enough so that they could compete for an entry-level position rather than starting from scratch when entering the market. This benefits both the students and the companies that hire them, ”he says.

The introduction of real estate for college students, who would otherwise probably not be affected so early, is helping to expand participation beyond the traditional entry of family members to family members, Walter notes. “People come into real estate so often because one of their parents or relatives was in business. FoRE offers us the opportunity to expand the number and diversity of people who may be interested in real estate and to show them that it is much more than just selling real estate, that it involves investment, development or other aspects of the industry can track. “

The online curriculum can be accompanied by personal training from real estate managers, ideally ULI members, who are alumni of FoRE universities and who supplement the program with their own content, knowledge and industry experience, which illustrates the longstanding experience of the institute Exchange of knowledge, says Walter. “Alumni who add context to the courses make the curriculum more interesting for the students and offer a mentoring component. Also from the school’s perspective, to have it [alumni] Participation strengthens the bond between school and alumni. “

Kurt Wright, chairman and managing director of Quadrant Real Estate Advisors in Alpharetta, Georgia, was one of the Colgate alumni who acted as a student mentor during FoRE’s first year. “The program is an extremely efficient mechanism for teaching students critical, fundamental concepts, analytical tools, and the language of real estate that they will use on the first day of their work and throughout their careers,” Wright said. He attributed the success of the program to the commitment of the Career Services team to interest students in real estate as a career choice. an active real estate club (atypical for a liberal arts institution); and a large international group of alumni who are actively involved in offering vocational guidance to students.

“This program is a way for a major in math, a major in economics, or a major in English to complement your studies with an effective work-based program that doesn’t interfere with classroom work or extracurricular activities,” Wright said. “Real estate tracking is not a decision that limits your career. It is a career-expanding decision. For anyone considering changing from a humanities degree to something related to real estate – such as engineering, architecture, urban planning or law – this program offers a better understanding of this particular area. For example, someone who chooses to study law may choose real estate law after completing the FoRE curriculum. FoRE offers students the opportunity to broaden their career choices and expand their knowledge of careers in a very portable way. “

The introduction of FoRE at Colgate University allowed the institution to offer students a much more structured process for learning real estate, said Teresa Olsen, vice vice president of career initiatives at Colgate. “The world of real estate is so big and this was a fantastic opportunity for us to offer the students a guided process to learn everything that goes with it. We were impressed with the quality of the content and the robust, holistic thinking within ULI. FoRE is perfect for students who want to tackle problems in an interdisciplinary or cross-functional manner and are considering how they can use the component of the liberal arts in their education, implement them and have a forward-looking, fulfilling job. “

More than 100 students who complete studies as diverse as economics, sociology, geography, psychology, humanities and political science registered for FoRE in the fall semester 2019. While many initially approached the experience of assuming that real estate was about “building a building and then getting ready,” they learned that it was about “building a community and the ethical and social implications thinking about what you’re going to do, ”says Olsen. “Our students were surprised to learn that real estate can be an arena in which to tackle social problems, sustainability issues or find a ‘green’ career. There will always be students interested in brokerage and investment and these are excellent careers. However, we were also thrilled to help students design a different career path for real estate and see real estate as a way to combine all of their other professional ambitions. ”

The online format for the FoRE curriculum is particularly suitable for the virtual learning environment that is required due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the cancellation of personal courses in the spring semester 2020. Colgate plans to offer the curriculum in the coming academic year.

The FoRE curriculum provides a way to “connect with a generation that recognizes that we should seek a fairer and fairer society with more opportunities for people living in disadvantaged communities,” says Abbey. “An important way to tackle inequalities – and it’s a long game – is to change the planning and construction of communities and expand access to affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure, parks, and all that create a better living environment. We shape our cities and our cities shape us. And through this program, we can take advantage of the desire for young people to create a better, fairer world by helping them understand how land use policies and decisions are made and how they affect our communities in terms of diversity and quality of life . We can help students understand that real estate can help shape society by creating communities that match their values. “

ULI Foundation board member Faron Hill referred to the ULI learning platform and, in particular, FoRE as one of several tools the institute offers to support efforts for diversity and inclusion in education and land use. “There is a lot of work to be done in the industry on issues such as social justice and inclusiveness. We all agree on that. However, this effort will be a marathon, not a sprint, ”said Hill, president of Peregrine Oak LLC, Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

“In the absence of close relationships, newcomers and existing participants may find it difficult to gain valuable experience or access the tools needed to build their careers while having a support system,” said Hill. “This platform offers entry-level and advanced knowledge of the basics and more comprehensive concepts. The trainers are practitioners and thought leaders. The content is well planned and based on real examples. In addition, FoRE provides a foundation for a support system that can be expanded over time.

“The participants have the opportunity to network and build relationships for the future,” says Hill. “Each contact person offers a future source for daily problem solving and new business opportunities. For minority college students, this can lead them to think about the possibility of owning the building rather than trying to find a job in the building, while introducing other professional options. “

The best way to build fairer and fairer communities is to create an industry that is as diverse as the communities themselves. Through FoRE, ULI seeks to make real estate more accessible and remove barriers to entry. To learn more about ULI Learning and the range of courses available, visit

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