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The College of Business now offers real estate courses

This summer for the first time in Lamar University’s history, the College of Business offered a real estate course. Six students took the course “Real Estate Investment,” the first step launching a new concentration for business majors.

“Real estate is a demanded course all over the world, and many colleges of business offer courses,” said Gevorg Sargsyan, assistant professor in finance in the College of Business, and one of the faculty members spearheading the real estate initiative. “We developed the course work based on demand and interest of students.”

 The summer course included a “field trip” to the office of Albanese Investment Group, LLC and Albanese Cormier Real EstateHoldings, LLC, headquartered in Edison Plaza. Cormier Holdings is a multi-property real estate company with buildings in 25 states nationwide.

“Principal Tom Cormier shared with students his real-world business experiences and how he started investing in real estate,” said Sargsyan. “We want to provide first-hand experiences, project-based learning methods and case studies. Going forward, students will also be required to make mini presentations and conduct portfolio analysis.”

Also during the summer course, Sheri Arnold, well-known commercial real estate broker in Southeast Texas, was a guest speaker and talked about investing in commercial real estate.

This fall more students are enrolled in the real estate course work and will take the class, “Real Estate Portfolio Analysis” and “Real Estate Investment Trusts” or REITs. The Dean of the College of Business, Dan French, who has a long record of researching and teaching real estate and formally served as director of the Jeffery E. Smith Institute of Real Estate at the University of Missouri, will teach both courses.

Sargsyan said he hopes that in the future LU students in the REITs course can attend REIT Week, an annual real estate investment trust conference held in New York City.

“We want to bring that knowledge and experience from other places and implement it here,” said Sargsyan, who along with Dean French, will also share the real estate instruction load with David Rose, a certified public accountant, real estate agent and adjunct professor in the College of Business. Rose will teach real estate accounting and taxation principles. 

All seniors and junior students who qualify and have permission from their department chairs are invited to take the real estate classes.

“We’re finding that business students in all disciplines –finance, accounting, marketing, etc.  – want to be involved or invest in real estate. These courses will prepare them to work and/or invest in real estate,” said Sargsyan.