Mihaylo’s Real Estate Association is a student club that offers networking, advice and professional extracurricular events for aspiring real estate professionals. Jonathan Russo ’17, the club’s president, discusses the association’s missions and activities.
“Our mission is to expose our members to the different parts of the real estate industry,” says Jonathan Russo ’17, student president of the Real Estate Association, a club for aspiring real estate professionals. “We provide our members with opportunities to network, host relevant speakers and undertake applicable activities involving the current market.”
The real estate industry is one of the key drivers of the Southern California economy. Hard-hit by the Great Recession of the late 2000s, the industry is now growing again as the housing market expands. The industry includes salespeople, as well as appraisers, property managers, real estate portfolio managers, real estate economists, analysts, commercial brokers, residential brokers, escrow officers and lenders.
Russo hopes that his club raises the profile of real estate studies on the CSU Fullerton campus and encourages the university to add more related classes. The club invites students to consider whether this industry is a good personal career path.
“My advice for someone interested in real estate as a career is to see if you like it first, which you can do by joining our club,” says Russo. “You must be motivated and have an entrepreneurial mindset. If you do decide to pursue real estate, do whatever you can to get experience as soon as possible.”
Russo has held a California real estate license since he was 18. He notes that most people can obtain a sales license; however, they are required to pass several courses, including Real Estate Principles, Real Estate Practice and at least one other real estate course, before taking their licensure test. All of these courses, with the exception of Real Estate Practice, are offered at CSU Fullerton. Those desiring a broker’s license must complete additional coursework. However, students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in real estate forgo the required coursework and are eligible for a sales or broker’s license without any prerequisite education. Mihaylo students majoring in finance with an emphasis in real estate are in this category as are graduate students completing real estate graduate studies.
Russo reminds students that scholarships are available for those studying real estate. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) Scholarship Foundation offers awards three times each year in the winter, spring and fall. These awards are as much as $4,000 for those in a four-year degree program. Other scholarship programs are designed specifically for students hoping to enter the retail and commercial real estate fields or minority students. For more on these programs, visit the Real Estate and Land Use Institute scholarships page.
“I went into real estate because of the opportunity I saw to make good money, even though I am young,”Russo says. While financial reward should not be the sole factor in deciding on career choices, Russo notes, “in my opinion, real estate is the fastest and easiest way to make money for a person of my age and experience.”
Most members of Russo’s club either want to earn a real estate license or wish to invest in real estate. While the club has a close relationship with Mihaylo’s Real Estate and Land Use Institute, part of the Cal State system’s official research and professional education system for real estate, students of any major are welcome as club members. CSU Fullerton alumni are invited to join as well.
The club meets on Mondays at 4 p.m. at the Bradford Room of the Titan Student Union (TSU) during the academic semesters. There are also property tours every other Friday at various Orange County locations and the group attends special events, such as the recent Commercial Real Estate Forum in Costa Mesa, which brought together industry executives to discuss market performance and outlook. Among the activities at club meetings are real estate practice activities, including exercises in finding properties online via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and using affordability worksheets to match mock buyers with properties.
For more information on the club, visit their website or call Russo at 714-624-8776. If you would like to buy or sell real estate with Russo, please contact him directly. For more information on the industry generally, contact Mihaylo’s Real Estate and Land Use Institute at 657-278-4125 or visit their office at SGMH 5163.