Learning at OREA Real Estate College means learning from a practising and successful subject-matter expert. In this blog, we present Michael Abrams.
Bringing real-world examples into the classroom is important to Michael Abrams, an Ottawa-based lawyer and instructor of the Real Property Law course for the College. One example he uses involves the case of the disappearing sellers.
“I had a situation where I was representing the buyers, and the sellers literally disappeared the week before closing. No one could find them, which makes closing very difficult, and they had a rather sizable deposit from the buyers,” says Michael.
“The only two ways that you can release a deposit is through a court order or a mutual release. In this circumstance, we couldn’t get a mutual release because no one knew where the sellers were, so my clients had to make use of the court order to get their deposit released to them. It is one of those things where truth is stranger than fiction.”
Michael’s real world experiences ensures that learning is vibrant and current. In fact, his “war stories” is one way Michael engages students. Vibrancy in Michael’s classroom is generated through searching for new scenarios, changing techniques used to deliver the information, and role plays.
“Changing the techniques means reviewing (textbook) material to find new ways to present it,” says Michael. “I look for new case studies for group work. I can always find a couple of interesting peccadillos in our personal practice that I can then relate to students but there are limitations because of confidentiality.”
Vibrancy is also generated through class discussion. Michael wants his students to think about the issues and not just absorb the information.
Currency means being aware of issues affecting the profession. One of the most significant change in real property law, according to Michael, is the immediacy with which everything is expected to be done, including the shortened closings of real estate transactions.
“Closing used to take up to two months. Now, you see closing periods of two to three weeks. Everything is compressed. What I tell clients and students is, it’s not that it can’t happen. It’s that when you try to get things done that quickly, that’s when mistakes happen,” says Michael.
He does acknowledge that there are circumstances where short closing periods are necessary. Yet, he advises students against them because doing so “eliminates potential stressors for clients.”
Whether it’s ensuring the classroom is vibrant or staying current with the latest issues, Michael says he is enjoying his role as instructor for the College, which he’s now done for nearly three years.
“I heard about the opportunity from my colleague, Lawrence Silber, who’s been teaching for the College for quite a bit longer. He suggested it was a good way to keep up-to-date, give back and help out in the community.”
It also, he says, “gets him out of the office.”
If you are interested in becoming an instructor, please complete and submit the Registration Education Instructor Application. Once your application is received, the College will have you complete a 10-step instructor application process.