Nobody in real estate cares where you went to college

4 Replies

Depends on your relationship with real estate.  If you are just looking to make a deal, being able to do proper due diligence, analyze the deal, remodel a house, etc.  No, where you went to college has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to succeed.  That's the beauty of real estate.  You can get in with a diverse skillset (blue collars have a ton of synergy with real estate) that doesn't necessitate a degree.

But with that said, let's be clear.  What I referred to above is good enough for an individual or even their whole family to get rich, but it is ultimately a small-stakes game.  The big players and the largest real estate funds and acquirers are large organizations that absolutely care about what the pedigree of its employees looks like.  It's like working at an investment bank (some of the biggest real estate players are investment banks). They look for young and driven ivy league graduates.

@Jim K. I agree with @Frank Jiang , and saw what type of RE are we talking? 

If it is local RE, SFRs, owner manager type situation where you uses a combination of savings from W2, sweat equity, and local knowledge 100% it doesn't matter where or if you went to college. On the job training is way more important. 

If you want to raise some $ and do joint ventures, track record and experience mean way more, but a degree adds, but doesn't subtract. 

If you want to work for an institutional investor or have any desire to play in the middle market or above [which the best way to do the latter is to have worked at for an institutional shop] then a degree is a requirement and if you want to work at the shops that do the most interesting deals [family offices, pension funds, REITS ect] you will have had to work at some of the larger firms to cut your teeth and they do care where you went to school. For sure not Ivy league mandatory, but also they aren't hiring from the local community college. 

That's my 2 cents anyway

Anyway that's what I've seen. 

@Jim K. I graduated from a nice expensive university. I started at my home town university. The classes I enjoyed and remember most of all are the real estate classes I took at the first school. They had two tracks for a real estate degree. I wish I hadn’t felt personal pressure to move far away from home and had continued the real estate degree track. One was for real estate agents/professionals and one was for developers.

However, no one has once cared about my degree as an investor. In the line of work I have chosen you only have to have a GED for entry level and most employees have only graduated high school so my degree has turned a few heads for upper management who know the school.

With the internet and sites that give you access to the MLS I don't think everyone needs a real estate license but sitting through the licensure classes and other real estate classes and listening to stories from professionals in the trenches really gave me a handle and insight and strategy into the art, game, and business of real estate and I think even if people don't sit for the test if there's a good anecdotal instructor that doesn't just read hours of material in the licensing course everyone could benefit from it.

I see absolutely no credential hounds making it in real estate. As @Frank Jiang said, maybe a few employees working for the institutional players, working a hundred hours a week so they can have a nice salary and upper-middle-class lifestyle funded largely by debt and overspending, but actual people who actually salt away the wealth? Nope.

@Alecia Loveless I graduated from a cheap state university. I went to grad school in the Ivy League. Nobody in real estate cares at all about either of those two things, and I frankly love it. For what I do as a local investor, the research skills I developed during all those years of college are incredibly important. Every major wholesaler in my area is either an ex-teacher or an ex-detective, both relying on their ability to ferret out information, sift through misleading lies, and piece things together. People say you can teach yourself anything through YouTube -- people are wrong. You need to do better to teach yourself a whole lot of things, you need used books, articles, videos, and an ability to synthesize a process out of many different things you're analyzing. So I'm not knocking school AT ALL.

I don't have a real estate license. I think it would probably be a waste of time for a guy who buys in my market segment. But I too have spent hours on hours learning from people who know more than me, as well as spent hours listening to people who just thought they knew something. There's enormous value in listening to failures lie about why they failed. They tend to fall into patterns. It's like watching Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. You know the food always sucks, the walk-in is always poorly organized, the boss always has blind spots. It plays out like a formula.