During the Winter 2021 semester, Schoolcraft College became the first area community college to offer a program in Real Estate Property Management, which involves the management of revenue-producing residential or commercial properties. This can include single-family homes, apartment complexes, office buildings, retail centers, medical facilities and industrial warehouses.
Students also learn about the management of safety and environmental issues related to residential and commercial properties and how to recognize and address maintenance problems. Considered a service industry, property managers work closely with both the property owners and the residents of the property.
A total of 12 students have started their journey, which can lead to a Skills Certificate, Certificate or Associate of Applied Science Degree.
One of the key core classes is RE 101, taught remotely by Dr. Redona Hall, a real estate broker and property manager. She earned her real estate license and property management certificate in 2009 and has experience managing residential and commercial properties. Dr. Hall’s credentials include GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource) and PTC (Property Tax Consultant).
In RE 101, students learn the benefits of hiring a property manager, landlord and tenant rights and obligations, tenant relations, marketing, federal and state laws, understanding leases and lease applications, managing the office and reports, and careers in property management.
The students are from a variety of backgrounds.
“Two of my students are under age 19 – the 18-year-old wants to learn about property management because her dad owns residential properties,” she said. “One is a retired dentist who owns a store. There is a mother and son who are considering property management for extra income.
“One student and her husband bought properties in Livonia, fixed them up, and sold them. Now they’re trying to decide if they want to buy again and manage the properties themselves or hire a property manager. Another student works in facilities management and is considering purchasing properties one day. Another student currently works for a residential property management company. The other student works for an architect firm.”
The RE 101 course provides a solid foundation from which to build.
“Although there are many facets to real estate property management, this introductory course provides an overview of property management and the role of the property manager,” Dr. Hall said. “In addition, to the chapter readings and homework discussion questions, we discuss textbook case studies and share real-world experiences.”
Enrollment also has brought an important networking opportunity. Susan Knowles, Executive Director of the Michigan Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM, of which Dr. Hall is a member), has graciously offered student memberships with the organization to all students.
Jim Evans, CPM(r), President/CEO, Bruce G. Pollock & Associates, The Condominium Group, Inc., Grand Blanc, Michigan, served as IREM president in 2012. He said it was a proud moment in a distinguished and ongoing career of more than 35 years and encourages students to take advantage of the IREM membership.
“IREM can really help bridge the ‘what you know’ to the ‘who you know,’” he said. “IREM puts you in front of the ‘who.’ You get all the resources we get as professionals as well as the ability to go to industry events and start interacting with people who one day will be your employers and colleagues.”
Evans added that the Real Estate Property Management program answers a true need in the industry.
“Property management has traditionally been something people fall into,” he said. “We’re trying to change that narrative because it really is a fantastic way to get a career started in real estate. When you’re in the property management industry, you truly learn the nuts and bolts from the ground up.”
And that’s exactly what Dr. Hall is teaching with this first group of students.
“Anyone with a goal to invest in residential or commercial properties should consider contracting with a property manager,” she said. “A property manager will be a vital part of their team as well as an important resource. The property manager plays a key role in keeping the property leased and enhancing the profitability of the owner.”
Learn more about Schoolcraft College’s Real Estate Property Management program.