Jun. 11, 2018 by By Marian Williams, SouthFair Community Development Corporation board chair

Success Story: TREC Community Fund Real Estate Bootcamp

I’ve told a couple of people that The Real Estate Council Community Fund’s Real Estate Bootcamp course was like a church revival, so inspiring and informative, uplifting. It wasn’t intimidating. I thought it was going to be intimidating, that it would make me feel like I didn’t really know a whole lot about real estate because my professional background isn’t in real estate, it’s in biology and education.

But instead, the course empowered me.

At first, it felt like I was at the beginning of a forest with a lot of trees, like I wasn’t going to understand this journey, but the more we walked that path, the more it became clear. The program was designed to make you feel comfortable, not isolate you. The panelists and speakers were so engaging and staff made sure we had different activities that made everyone open up and connect with each other. It helped us become stronger for our communities.

TREC has been instrumental in helping us develop projects and lending us staff to help with our development. Maggie Parker, the Community Fund’s (former) director, was an integral part of empowering this community. She does a lot of training and has many, many connections in the community.

A few years ago – it was either 2015 or 2016 – I took the other Real Estate 101 (For Nonprofits course) and that’s really when it all started. As I attended more events, I learned more about TREC and the Community Fund and this year I registered for the Bootcamp initially because I wanted to participate in Shark Tank and we were required to attend the course.

It seems to me that whatever TREC says they’re going to do, it’s going to happen and more. It’s never that TREC will tell you they’re going to cover something or they’re going to do something and they don’t. They outline everything they say they’re going to do, plus more things added to it.

We had a lot of reading, a lot of case studies. The way the course was laid out, you’d read all these case studies and it would back up what we were learning in the course. The panels and speakers were so engaging, they made you understand exactly what they were saying, and then you wanted more, more resources and more things to read. They really opened themselves up and offered to meet privately with them. They’re so down to earth, like I could just walk up and talk to you and have coffee with you? I would email those people and they would email me back asking if I needed anything. They’re amazing.

I would definitely recommend that people take this course next year. Run as fast as you can and register. I think when people think about real estate, the first thing you tend to think about is buying a home. But being engaged with real estate, you see it’s more. You start to see why some communities get the resources they get or don’t get the resources they need. There’s more to it than a normal person would understand. There’s so much that goes into it that you might think about when you’re buying a home in a neighborhood.

I hope The Real Estate Council continues to grow this program. The more people they pull into this, the stronger our communities and our city will be.

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