The Sauder School of Business’s real estate licensing course has risen in enrolment this academic year by 34 per cent. The dramatic increase is of no surprise to the department.
UBC is the only institution in British Columbia that administers the course work and testing necessary to become a registered real estate professional. The real estate trading service course is administered online with optional classroom work for students. The program has no prerequisites and is open to anyone with an interest in learning more about the British Columbia real estate market and the industry as a whole.
“A lot of our students actually take the course to gain information on the real estate market for their own use and not necessarily to go into licensed activity,” said Dave Moore, director of Licensing Education at the Sauder School of Business. “They may be investors, they may be buying and selling their own houses…. Forty per cent of the people who respond to our questionnaires tell us that they didn’t actually take the exam for the purpose of becoming licensed.”
Partly why the course is seeing such high numbers of enrolment is because it can be taken by students across British Columbia, not just in the Lower Mainland where the real estate market is doing well in comparison to previous years.
This year, it is expected that 2,000 new licensees will take and pass the licensing exam and will then go into the workforce. According to Moore, the industry sees a lot of turnover as the number of licensees in the province has been going up, but only minimally.
“When the sales volume is up, people see their friends or acquaintances who are in real estate being [successful], so that generates interest in our programs,” said Moore.
Essentially, the real estate industry has benefited from word of mouth. Many people do not know whether the market is at a high point at any given time until they see a friend successfully working within the industry. “[Enrolments] fluctuate fairly significantly…. The reality is that it is not actually as high as it was prior to the economic crisis in 2008,” said Moore.
However, the industry is seeing a record high of licensees with a total number of 22,000 across British Columbia since the economic crisis. “[The] student enrolment in our programs follows the market fairly closely, as you would expect,” explained Moore.