Features

Kislak Real Estate Institute is One of a Kind

The University’s School of Real Estate Comes Out of Hiding With Continuing Developments


features-real-estateFew students have heard of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at the University’s Business School, but their accomplishments span from awards to scholarships to developing classes and curriculums.

Dr. Peter Reinhart, Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute, said that the real estate program began in 1994 as a certificate program only and remained that way through 2006. “In 2006 the Kislak company made a big donation to rename the institute from the Monmouth University Real Estate Institute to the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University,” Reinhart said. Within a couple of years, the institute was able to offer an MBA and undergraduate classes, explained Reinhart.

Reinhart was one of the first instructors for the real estate school while still working full time. Last year when Dr. Donald Moliver, former Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute was promoted to Dean of the Leon Hess Business School, Reinhart was offered the Director’s position. He also teaches courses such as Real Estate Development, Lease Negotiations, Business Law I and II and a freshman seminar called “The Law and Your Life.”

The most profound accomplishment for the institute is that it is the only one in the state to offer undergraduate and master degrees. “We’re one of a kind…so if you’re a real estate major you graduate with a bachelor in science and business with a concentration in real estate,” said Reinhart. According to Reinhart, the program currently has about 40 students majoring in real estate.

In addition to being the only real estate school in the state to offer such degrees it excels outside of the classroom as well, some would argue. The University’s real estate students participated in an academic competition at Villanova University with universities from around the country last year.

The real estate teams consisting of four students each prepared presentations based on a case study written by a panel of judges. They worked all week until Friday morning when they gave their presentations. “They could have no assistance from me or any other faculty; nothing except what they’ve learned, their books, whatever they can research online. That’s it, no human assistance,” explained Reinhart. The University’s team placed third out of 16 teams and plan to compete again this year.

A degree in real estate opens a wide variety of opportunities in terms of careers. Reinhart explains that developers can create projects, housing and office buildings. Brokers join buyers and sellers together and assist in the commercial field. The real estate business also needs appraisers to determine the value of property. Many students once finishing their Bachelor’s degree continue their education by working for a Master’s degree or going on to law school.

The progress of the Kislak Institute is ever-increasing. One new workin- progress is a new class to be introduced in the spring. “We’re having a class in international real estate as well as case studies in real estate similar to the Villanova competition,” said Reinhart. “Each week students will take apart a complicated real estate deal and sort of analyze it.”

Another major update happening in the real estate program deals with the curriculum for the MBA degree. “What we realized is that a number of our real estate undergraduates have said ‘gee, we’d like to continue and get our MBA in real estate,’ well they can’t because they’ve taken the same classes already,” said Reinhart. “So we’re developing a new curriculum for the MBA in real estate which we’ll hopefully unveil next year.”

The Kislak Real Estate Institute is not only for college undergraduates and graduates. The institute is currently working on providing real estate professionals who already have degrees with continuing education, Reinhart explained. “New Jersey just adopted in the last year a requirement that all real estate agents have 20 hours of continuing education every two years, so we’re looking into how we can serve them,” said Reinhart.

All of the real estate professors apart from Reinhart and Moliver who work at the University full time are working professionals in the real estate world, according to Reinhart. “Our professors come in at night and teach our classes, so they bring whatever is current in real estate right into the classroom that day,” said Reinhart.

Another benefit for students entering the Real Estate Institute at the University is that the school has a lot of scholarship money to give. The money has been raised through 19 years of fundraiser dinners where a person in the real estate industry is honored and henceforth creates a scholarship fund. “We have several hundred thousand dollars of scholarship money available. That’s available on need or non-need basis, not just merit,” said Reinhart. “Many of our students are able to get scholarship assistance through the scholarship funds that we have.” Reinhart has also received this award and has created a scholarship fund along with an adjunct professor at the University.

With so many accomplishments already under their belt, Reinhart and the Kislak Real Estate Institute strive for attention from current and incoming students. Reinhart believes that this is something they must work harder for. Not only is it a unique program, but it is necessary in all fields. “[Businesses] have to physically put their offices someplace. They may own their office, they may lease it, they may develop it, but in any case they always touch real estate,” Reinhart said.

IMAGE TAKEN from redevelopnj.typepad.com