Touro hopes new programs will entice residential brokers

TRD New York /
Jan.January 27, 2009 03:11 PM

With the market in the toilet, residential real estate professionals will have new opportunities to brush up their skills — or simply learn new ones — at three Touro College programs set to launch this year, the first one starting tomorrow.

Michael Williams, dean of Touro’s Graduate School of Business, said he thinks the recession will help the Touro programs get off the ground. 

“As people understand that the work [we] are doing is professional development…I believe that people will be interested.”

The Real Deal
found in May that interest in real estate education remained strong even as the economy dipped.

The college — which has its main center at 27-33 West 23rd Street near Fifth Avenue — is offering a three-day program of professional seminars, called Urban Retreat, tomorrow, Friday and February 6. The cost for the three days is $199, according to Esther Muller, co-founder of New York City’s Real Estate Academy, and director of the Touro programs.

The real estate certificate program, which consists of four non-credit degree courses, will begin in March. Certificate courses include “Trends and Issues in the 21st Century Global Real Estate Markets” and “Real Estate Finance for Real Estate Professionals.” Muller said she expects the cost to be somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000.

Lastly, the new master’s program, which will be submitted to New York State for accreditation, will likely begin in the second quarter of 2009. The tuition for the master’s program has not been set.

The Touro program’s focus on residential real estate makes it different from other schools’ programs, Muller said.

“I think it’s been treated as a stepchild to a lot of the curriculums, and a lot of the courses are just not applicable to the day-to-day agents,” she said.

Cooper Union — headquartered at 30 Cooper Square Near Lafayette Street and Astor Place — is also increasing its real estate course offerings, adding a preparatory course for the LEED exam, to begin next month, as part of the school’s Green Building Design Certificate program. The course costs $590, according to the college’s Web site. Students in the certificate program take 110 hours of coursework to qualify for a certificate. The program is a registered provider of continuing professional education through the American Institute for Architects, according to David Greenstein, Cooper Union’s director of public programs and continuing education. Other popular programs include those offered by Property Shark University.

The Touro programs will train students to act as real estate advisors for the long-term, rather than advising homebuyers on one-time transactions, said the dean, Williams.

The programs will focus on the financial aspects of real estate, including mortgage payments and business plans, Muller said.

“My intentions were always to raise the bar, to be able to make real estate not a profession that you came into by default,” Muller said. “The distrust out there is because there is so little schooling that you need in order to enter this field.”

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