Article by: Alyssa Mitchell
The real estate industry can be extremely intimidating, especially to young students who have little or no knowledge or experience with renting, buying or investing. Real estate can be particularly difficult for students who are moving away from home for the first time and are unable to secure a dorm, or for upper-level students who are looking to make investments or pursue possible careers in real estate. Suffolk University now has a student-friendly resource that will help with all of these issues, and more.
Future Investors in Real Estate (FIRE), is a student-run club at Suffolk, launched last semester that is hoping to reach out to students and help them in every facet of real estate, and to help create awareness that real estate can appeal to students with different majors and interests.
“This is something that students are forced to deal with,” said FIRE President, Odie Fakhouri. “We are trying to fill a void within Suffolk.”
Though FIRE was just established, they have already seen a lot of interest and involvement with the group. With the help of Dean William O’Neill of the business school, and Vice President of External Affairs Marguerite Dennis, Fakhouri has high expectations for future endeavors.
“This is a wonderful group,” said Director of Student Leadership and Involvement, Dave DeAngelis. “They really hit the ground running with wonderful programs and I am very impressed with the organization.”
Currently, FIRE is working to create a real estate section within the Suffolk Journal. According to Fakhouri, the section will include apartment listings that are specifically of interest to Suffolk students. They will be in areas that Suffolk students normally live in and will compare prices, and include current market information to help educate students into making intelligent real estate decisions. The section will also include helpful hints about topics that aren’t always considered when moving, such as where you can find parking for a UHAUL or what it means to have a cosigner.
Also readily available to students, will be the club’s new website that they are launching which will allow students to interact and blog with one another about their good or bad experiences, as well as, events, calendars, real estate news and articles, and market information.
Though one main priority is to help students who are in search for apartments, FIRE also aspires to create interest in real estate as a career or real estate as a “tool to build wealth.”
“One can get a 9-5 job and sell their time for a salary,” said Fakhouri. “But once you begin to invest, you build wealth at an exponential rate. You begin to build wealth not based on your time. That limits wealth because there is only so much time.”
Next Tuesday, Feb. 2, FIRE will be holding an event with Jason Weissman, founder of Boston Realty Advisors, who will be speaking to students and answering questions about how to apply their specific majors to the real estate industry.
“Real estate is an industry that extends across many fields,” said Fakhouri. “It is a very lucrative industry if you play your cards right and expose the opportunities.”
Future plans for the club include their continued work with advisor Professor Richard Taylor to bring real estate courses to Suffolk and possibly create a real estate minor, or one day major. Fakhouri also wants to continue their work with state officials in hopes of obtaining real estate licenses, and potentially offer courses or proctor the state exam so students can work towards their own real estate license through FIRE.