Image courtesy The Condo Store (TCS)

Canadian real estate is a fast-growing and evolving industry, one that continues to attract new graduates from Ontario’s most esteemed business universities.

Earlier this year, The Condo Store (TCS), one of Canada’s leading new construction industry experts, created scholarships with three Ontario post-secondary schools that are known for their renowned business and real estate programs: York University, University of Guelph and Ryerson University.

“It’s not just real estate — we want to support the next generation of leaders in whatever field they end up in. It’s about improving innovation, skill sets, and overall motivation to create and succeed,” said Simon S. Mass, CEO of The Condo Store.

“We believe in encouraging the softer skills of business. Charisma, professionalism, smarts and thinking on your feet are all traits of industry leaders and game changers,” he added. “We also want to hear from the students and be an active partner to these schools, not simply provide the funding and walk away. If we can help in any meaningful way, then we will.”

Livabl spoke with university representatives Dr. Dogan Tirtiroglu, Chair of the Real Estate Management program at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, and Rogier Holtermans, Assistant Professor of Real Estate Finance at the University of Guelph’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, to learn more about their scholarship collaboration with TCS.

The TCS scholarship is also available for Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure (MREI) students and MBA students with a specialization in real estate at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Livabl: Tell us more about your specific real estate and business program. What is unique about your school and what does it provide to the next generation of business leaders?

Dr. Dogan Tirtiroglu: Ryerson’s Real Estate Management Department (REMD) is the largest undergraduate discipline in Canada that offers a comprehensive four-year undergraduate degree in real estate to full-time and part-time students. REMD students are also eligible to participate in Ted Rogers School of Management’s (TRSM) co-op program. In addition, the REMD offers a Master of Science in Management and PhD in Real Estate Studies degrees. The faculty members of the REMD are highly active in research, well-known internationally and collaborate strongly with local, national, and international institutions and businesses.

The REMD aims to be home to the next generation of leaders who have entrepreneurial spirit; are visionary and value-creating employees; are productive, fair-minded and kind-hearted citizens of Canadian society; are individuals for whom diversity, equity and inclusion values are top priority; remain active in learning and adapting to an ever- and fast-changing world around us.

Rogier Holtermans: The Lang School’s vision is “to be recognized locally and globally for our commitment to developing future leaders for a more sustainable world.” We are committed to developing leaders through high-quality education with a social conscience, an environmental sensibility and a commitment to our communities. We believe that ethical and collaborative business leaders are unquestionably the future.

Lang recently was ranked by Corporate Knights as the number one MBA program and number two BComm for sustainability. The Lang School of Business and Economics is one of only a few select business schools in Canada that are global Champions of the UN-backed PRME program. Recently, Lang earned the AACSB International Accreditation, which only five percent of business schools around the world hold.

The real estate program at Lang focuses on all aspects of the real estate industry, with most attention devoted to commercial real estate. Students do go on to be residential real estate agents. The majority work in various roles within the industry, such as development, appraisal, asset management and property management.

Our real estate program is coming up on its 30th anniversary in 2022. This is an exciting milestone and there will be celebrations with industry, alumni and students to recognize how far the program has come.

Photo: University of Guelph / Flickr

L: You’ve just rolled out this new scholarship program with The Condo Store (TCS). Tell us more about the initial ideas and conversations you had about starting these scholarships together.

DT: TSC wanted to create an award to give back to the Toronto community in which they operate. They’ve met with our advancement colleagues and developed specific award criteria that align with both the Ted Rogers School of Management and The Condo Store values.

The Condo Store Community Builder Award recognizes a Ted Rogers School student majoring in Real Estate Management who demonstrates academic excellence and leadership through involvement in the community.

RH: Our initial discussions were around what type of scholarship TCS could offer. This brought about a broader conversation around how their gift could be leveraged to encourage and motivate students to fully apply themselves. This led to the idea of creating a scholarship based on a specific cumulative project in a faculty’s third-year course in real estate appraisal, which focuses on an investment analysis for an existing commercial asset.

Photo: York University / Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / Flickr

L: What about TCS made them a good match as a scholarship partner? What vision or values do you and TCS share that makes this scholarship a success?

RH: It all started with Rich Kuypers, an alumnus of the Lang Business School and a member of the International Institute for Sport and Business Leadership (IISBL) within Lang. This created a conversation around how and what TCS could do to give back. Our real estate program is a good fit due to the industry alignment.

L: What kind of accomplishments or attributes are you searching for in a recipient for this scholarship?

RH: The scholarship will be awarded to the student group that receives the highest grade on the cumulative group project. In order to receive the best evaluation in the project, the student group will have had to demonstrate a strong market and financial analysis in combination with thoughtful presentation and communication, catering their analysis and recommendation to a specific investor type.

Photo: Alex Guibord / Flickr

L: The past year has been difficult for many students who are learning remotely and without the normal experiences of university life. How is this scholarship especially helpful in these uncertain and unfamiliar times?

DT: Like many of us, students continue to grapple with the challenges posed by the pandemic. We are looking forward to presenting the first student with this award in Fall 2021. The student award winner will be given funds for which they can use towards their tuition fees.

The Condo Store Community Builder Award is a wonderful way to recognize a student who demonstrates academic excellence and helps their community.

We are thrilled this award will not only contribute to our tremendous students, but it will also boost our spirits in a year that will be remembered for all of its challenges. I am sure that this award will add further energy to the competitive and community-minded spirit of our Real Estate Management students.

RH: The University of Guelph is working hard on a back-to-school plan for the fall. This involves getting as many students safely back on campus as possible. Courses like Real Estate Appraisal, which combines hands-on learning with immediate applicability to and commitment by the industry through this scholarship, creates excitement for the students.

The scholarship was just created this year, and so the first offering will be in the Winter semester 2022.

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