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Education: 'the key to the future.' (real estate professionals need to increase and supplement education to remain current with industry trends) (Career Development) (Column)

I understand that in Mandarin the symbol for crisis is comprised of the symbols for change and opportunity.

Downturns in business fortunes have always produced unanticipated changes in direction and resultant shakeouts. The past four nasty, brutish years will prove no different. But while the future of the real estate industry is still uncertain, one thing is clear: we are entering an era when human capital, as it is fashionably, some would say pretentiously, called, will become increasingly important. Our individual and collective success will be a result of what we know and how well we use what we know.

The business of real estate has taken a precipitous, irreversible step in the direction of sophistication. We are regulated as never before and what you see today is only the beginning. Environmental regulations, for example, can sink a project or ruin the cash flow. A mastery of these laws and regulations is now essential for survival. The valuation business came under considerable criticism through this downturn. As a result, the appraisal process, under a heightened scrutiny, requires increased certification and a new degree of sophistication. Traditional sources of finance for real estate will never be quite the same. Wall Street's increased involvement in real estate finance has changed the face of real estate forever. As Wall Street continues to turn real estate into a homogenous asset similar to its other products, the rate of real estate globalization will increase. In time, both the developer and the investor is likely to come from anywhere in the world.

While we are only at the threshold of many changes, the results of which are still unfocused, there are emerging trends. The common denominator is the need for greater education and periodic re-education. To enter real estate, stay current with its many revisions and requirements, or simply to advance in the field, all require continuous education. New York University Real Estate Institute, the largest most specialized professional real estate training facility in the world, provides education for more than 12,000 students a year. Professional courses are taught by successful practitioners in the industry. Classes as a result are always consistent with the needs of the industry. Professionals and neophytes study with and under the tutelage of leaders in the field. The result is more directed and dynamic classroom discussion and lifetime professional ftiendships and networks.

Good advice to those considering entering the industry or already within our field is to use the downturn to advantage. Reflect on the future of the industry. Use the period to reposition yourself for the changes in the industry and the inevitable recovery. While the recession we are mired in is profoundly disturbing, we will come out of it and return to the massive task of building and maintaining our built environment.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Zabarkes, Arthur
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Column
Date:Aug 18, 1993
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