Real estate club builds momentum in meeting

The abandoned shack on the corner that has become the breeding ground for Southern flying roaches may not be your dream house, but with the right steps, it may bring you that much closer to your dream. The real estate investment club seeks to teach students how to turn these desolate properties into assets worth appreciating.Chris Davis, 20, and Scott Chapman, 19, established the club about one month ago. The two students said that with the nation’s economic turbulence, it is important that people know how to use money to make money, especially at a young age.”We want students to learn about the basics,” said Chapman, a sophomore business administration student from Chicago and president of the club. “The (real estate) market is wide open and students should know how to make their own deals.”But self-reliance is only one of the objectives that the real estate investment club intends to focus on. The club also plans to have more forums.”We felt the need to promote awareness for younger African Americans,” said Davis, the vice president of the club. “We want to broaden students’ networking base.”The sophomore business administration student from Milwaukee said he also wants to educate students about the risk factor involved with acquiring properties and renting them to tenants. “I want to let students know how easy [real estate] is, but also inform them on the potential pitfalls,” Davis said.Last Tuesday, students filed into the School of Business and Industry’s board room with briefcases and questions for the first real estate investment club meeting. The meeting opened with an overview about real estate and was followed with an open discussion.Herbert Chapman, a 2003 FAMU alumnus from Chicago, said after reading investment books, he decided to go to real estate school to equip himself with the necessary tools for evading potential failure.”Assessing risk is the most challenging part,” said Chapman, Scott’s older brother. “But failure and success is an inverse relationship, so I decided to hedge the risk with education.”Herbert Chapman said school helped him to learn the terminology and the techniques of real estate and then he got his license.”I invested first in my education to learn the terms so I would be able to make my own deals,” he said.Booker Warren, the real estate investment club’s faculty adviser, said he was pleased to see students putting forth the effort to establish the club. Warren, who worked as a lending officer for Institutional Investors, has experience in the field and said college students should be aware of the benefits.”In college, I didn’t know what a real estate developer was,” Warren said. “I learned more about it and became interested.” Warren said the club is taking the necessary steps toward promoting awareness.