On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on educating Houston’s future real estate leaders with Andrew Schneider, business reporter for KUHF 88.7 FM.
Houston is one of the most dynamic real estate markets in the state, but without a program with hands-on training, many students must learn by trial and error and are deterred from this field — until now.
John Walsh, director of the Graduate Real Estate Program at the C. T. Bauer College of Business, stopped by Bauer Business Focus recently to discuss the goals of the new program, launched recently to give students the opportunity to supplement their graduate education with real estate coursework.
Walsh has an extensive background in the real estate industry, working from the 70s to the 90s with Exxon’s real estate subsidiary, Friendswood Development Co., before switching his career focus to community-based projects, serving as president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce; a special projects director for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, developing their expanding medical campus; Deputy Chief of Staff for Neighborhoods and Housing in Mayor White’s Administration; and director of real estate and campus planning for the UH System.
“Most people in real estate in my generation, the older generation, we learned through the school of hard knocks and that’s changing dramatically now,” Walsh said. “In Houston we do it, and we do it in a manner that gives us tremendous influence, and therefore training is essential.”
Throughout the country, he added, 63 universities offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs geared towards real estate, with Bauer’s program taking real estate education a step further, giving students real world experience before they even leave the classroom.
“Many of the 63 university real estate programs are theoretically based, meaning that they emphasize the credit markets,” Walsh said. “It is not exactly what I think is fun about the real estate business. It’s an important aspect, but ours is about getting things built.”
“It’s a very exciting business because you’re in the business of place making, and so you’re leaving this lasting legacy that impacts the city’s character, its social structure and building it with a sensitivity to what the culture and the values of the neighborhood are extremely important, and you can feel proud that you did it.”
Click here to hear the full interview.