Chris Dietz LeadingRE landscape (2) Chris Dietz LeadingRE landscape (2)

Real estate education offers a crucial step towards financial literacy

By Chris Dietz, President, Global Operations, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

In an era where financial stability is paramount, there is little emphasis on practical financial education in the schools. While students learn advanced mathematics and literature, essential life skills such as understanding real estate markets, mortgages, and the property industry are often neglected. Introducing a real estate basics class to students would be highly beneficial for their future success.

Real estate is a cornerstone of financial security. Government leaders use home ownership as a benchmark for economic success. Understanding how property markets work, the process of buying and renting, and the fundamentals of real estate can equip young people with the knowledge to make informed decisions later in life. These skills are vital for navigating adulthood, from renting their first flat to buying a home or even investing in properties for additional income. Moreover, real estate education promotes financial literacy skills. It helps students grasp the broader economic forces at play and how these affect property values and personal wealth. By studying interest rates, equity, and dynamics of mortgages and bank loans, students can build a strong foundation for their future.

Introducing a real estate class in schools is not without its challenges. Firstly, there is the issue of curriculum development. Creating an engaging, comprehensive curriculum that is age-appropriate and accessible to students of varying backgrounds and financial resources requires significant effort and resources. Another issue is training educators. Teachers must be adequately trained to deliver this content effectively, which means professional development and possibly hiring experts from the real estate industry. There’s also the potential pushback from stakeholders who may argue that the curriculum is already overloaded. Convincing policymakers, school boards and parents of the value of real estate education will be essential for its implementation. There are also key differences in global real estate markets, so any curriculum would also need to be tailored depending on the country and local laws.

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Despite these challenges, the benefits of real estate education are many. It will empower students with the knowledge to make sound financial decisions, potentially reducing the likelihood of falling into debt or making poor investment choices. This education can lead to greater financial independence and stability. Real estate knowledge also fosters entrepreneurial thinking. Students may be inspired to explore careers in real estate, from becoming agents to eventually investing in property portfolios. This can contribute to economic growth and innovation in the sector. Furthermore, understanding real estate can have a broader societal impact. It can promote more informed citizens who understand housing policies and market dynamics, leading to more engaged and responsible communities and opening the benefits of homeownership to new generations. Knowledgeable individuals are better equipped to advocate for fair housing policies and sustainable urban development.

Our member real estate firms see great value in our training programmes and learning from the established network of professionals from around the world. Incorporating a real estate basics into the school curriculum is a forward-thinking idea that addresses a significant gap in education on financial literacy. While there are hurdles to implementation, the long-term benefits for students and society at large outweighs these obstacles. By feeding property into education, young people will be better equipped with key knowledge to support future financial health and stability. It could be time for educational ministers to recognise the importance of this subject and take action to ensure that the next generation is prepared for the realities of the financial world.

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