Welcome back to Rockwell's Instructor of the Month series. This month, we’re talking with Jay Mumford, who teaches Principles of California Real Estate and California Real Estate Practice at Chabot College in Hayward, California.
Rockwell: How long have you been teaching?
Jay: I’ve been teaching at Chabot College since 2002.
Rockwell: What do you like best about teaching?
Jay: I really like the fact that I am positively affecting my student’s lives and the lives of their family. The success in life that's possible after completing an education in real estate can be immediate and very significant. A number of my students report back to me on their successes after leaving Chabot College. That feedback—and knowing that you have changed the direction of a person’s life—makes teaching very fulfilling.
Rockwell: What is the biggest change that you’ve seen recently in the real estate industry?
Jay: The most dramatic change that I've experienced in the past 10 years has been the shift to distance-based education. This, of course, has been driven by the evolution of the Internet, which is being embraced by education in a widespread fashion.
Rockwell: Do you feel that real estate students, as a group, have changed over the years?
Jay: I’ve noticed an increase in the diversity of students. This includes a greater range in age, ethnicity, religion, and country of origin. We have ESL foreign students taking a course over long distances, and many younger students pursuing real estate studies. This may be in part due to the prominence of real estate in the news over the past few years. These reports haven’t always been positive, but they’ve made students aware of opportunities in the industry.
Rockwell: What are the biggest challenges facing your students?
Jay: The biggest challenge I see is becoming established and persevering through the first 12-24 months. The business climate in real estate during this difficult economy means that opportunities are not always presented early on.
Rockwell: What advice would you give your students?
Jay: I tell my students to select a product type and a geographic market area in which they truly have an interest, and then become the "go to" person for that specialty. This will take some time, but it will pay off. I know this to be true.
Rockwell: How did you get into real estate in the first place?
Jay: I became involved in real estate as a college freshman, when I was unsure of what major to choose. A professor suggested I take a real estate course to see if I liked it, since real estate was likely to be the largest single financial investment I would make in my entire life! I took the course and realized that real estate is everywhere. To me, that was very interesting.
Rockwell: What do you love most about this industry?
Jay: I love that the real estate industry is important to everyone in a different way. While working in corporate real estate in Denver, Chicago, and San Francisco, I discovered that CEOs of corporations are very interested in their companies’ real estate holdings. And the real estate that houses their offices speaks to the image and identity of the corporations. On the other hand, my neighbors in a residential area are also deeply interested in real estate values and the changes that could impact quality of life issues for them. It is an industry that is never irrelevant. That's exciting!
Rockwell: Tell us one thing about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.
Jay: I am a big fan of rock and roll music! (But not a good singer…ha!)
Rockwell: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t teaching?
Jay: I really like to spend time outdoors and travel. I have a list of places to visit in North America from Quebec, Canada to Key West, Florida. I like to combine family, travel, and fun!
Jay Mumford is a Senior Real Estate Instructor at Chabot College. He teaches Real Estate Principles, Practice, Property Management, Exam Preparation, Finance, and Office Administration.