OREA Real Estate College

The Cloudy Future of Real Estate Education

There are scores of pundits preaching about the biggest trends reshaping our institutions and society. We are being “Apple-ized” or “Android-ified.” Social networking is the place to be. Virtual realities are said to be supplanting bricks and mortar. Texts and tweets echo through the airways. Tablets. Wi-Fi. Mobile platforms. The list of technological innovations is seemingly endless. Consequently, the future, particularly for us, the future of real estate education, appears veiled with uncertainties.

Worse yet, the rate of change is accelerating. My household has a bounty of what I call “genuine fakes” – recent original, authentic gadgetry that have become today’s obsolescent trash. I have smartphones that have been outperformed by newer models, tablets that are too big or too heavy or lack HD screen performance, CD-ROMS that might as well be Frisbees, storage hard drives that run slow and look like portable safes, and cables that misalign or have no receptive outlet. I even possess books that have dropped to the bottom of the growing thought pyramid.

What is a poor aging professional or profession to do?

Thankfully, my educational background and my real estate professional experience provide the answer – adapt. Is it not the strongest of the species that survive? Anyone remember Primo Carnera? He was the “Ambling Alp” of the boxing world. It is the one person, company, institution, or society that is most adaptable to change that “will live long and prosper.” Darwin was right and real estate education is no exception.

For real estate education to survive, adaptation is a must. Tablets, social media, Google searches, blogs, and other technological functionalities need to be channelled into the real estate education curriculum and become inherent competencies exercised by the real estate professional.

Traditional tools, paper directories, lecturing as the dominant delivery methodology, and other outdated and outmoded programs and trappings must be pushed aside. Interactive learning, gaming, and ‘cloud’ educational services must take precedence. To persist otherwise would create a “genuine fake” sickly education organism.

Marxism may have been close to the truth in sensationalizing ‘property’ as commodities. Education is a commodity. For it to retain its value, indeed increase in value, we need to monitor societal trends and develop cost effective ways of integrating best products and practices into the real estate education knowledge database. To ‘wait and see’ is risky. We must become ‘experimental’ within reason and we must be proactive.

As we continue to define what skills and services are required by our graduates to be successful in the field, we must apply the learning of those competencies in the classrooms – mortar and virtual – quickly with tools and practices of engagement that students will appreciate and awe.

Real estate education must be mobile, social, and technological. Students will then encounter an environment for learning that is fundamentally motivating. Learning will be participatory and fun, so much so that younger folks will be attracted to our profession. I would have preferred to be more definitive and descriptive in my prognostication but:

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all

(Joni Mitchell)

Leave a Reply