Welcome back to our Instructor of the Month series. This month, we’re talking with Theda Redwine, an instructor and the real estate program coordinator at North Lake College in Irving, Texas.
Rockwell: How long have you been teaching?
Theda: I have taught real estate courses at the college level for eight years, and taught in the public school district for nine years. I also conducted large account commercial insurance training during my 15 years in the corporate environment.
Rockwell: What do you like best about teaching?
Theda: I enjoy witnessing students apply both the abstract and concrete materials they’ve learned.
Rockwell: What is the biggest change that you’ve seen recently in the field of education?
Theda: The biggest change has been the need for instructors to break down and explain how the mortgage debacle occurred (so that history is not repeated). It’s also become very important to provide examples of legal ways to create a successful real estate investment portfolio.
Rockwell: Have real estate students changed over the years?
Theda: My students today are significantly more cognizant of the seriousness of this career path—and of the importance of continuing education.
Rockwell: What are the biggest challenges facing your students?
Theda: The biggest challenge is staying on top of changing legislation and lender strategies, and coupling this information with viable lending sources.
Rockwell: What advice would you give your students?
Theda: I’d tell them to focus on aligning themselves with entities and organizations that are involved in current real estate activities, and to commit to continuing education.
Rockwell: How did you get into real estate in the first place?
Theda: I entered real estate after witnessing poor professionalism on the part of my first real estate agent. I was convinced I could better serve the public! The sales agent on my first home purchase—this was 1981, and "caveat emptor" was in place—flirted with my fiancee throughout the process. She only phoned my fiancee, and never provided us with any updated information. She prepared us for an interest rate of 7%; however, the closing interest rate four months later was 13%. When moving-in day arrived, we found that the seller had removed all window treatments and light fixtures. The seller had also lied about plumbing problems and the criminal activity next door.
Rockwell: What do you love most about this industry?
Theda: I love that there is no ceiling!
Rockwell: Any especially memorable clients or transactions?
Theda: I am especially proud of finding and negotiating a wonderful first home for a family of six. It included a repair allowance of $5500, which was very special in the early 80's. Unfortunately, the buyer’s wife insisted on using an acquaintance to do the repairs, and he only worked one day before absconding with the money.
Rockwell: Tell us one thing about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.
Theda: I teach religion to inner city middle school and high school students. Also, I have a "Little Brother" in the BIG program.
Rockwell: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t teaching?
Theda: Watching movies!
Theda has been active in the real estate profession since the early 1980s. She is a licensed Texas real estate broker, certified Texas educator and certified instructor by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). She is a member of the National Association of Realtors and serves on the education and contracts committees of MetroTex. She serves as educational coordinator for the Dallas chapter of NAREB as well as NAHREP, and she serves on the Professional Development committee for the Dallas branch of the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association.