The Penn State Institute for Real Estate Studies (IRES) in the Smeal College of Business is working to form a new Real Estate Society, an alumni group of Penn Staters across the country who work in the real estate industry.
A number of regional networking groups have already been formed, including ones in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Alumni can also join the Penn State Real Estate group on LinkedIn, which currently has more than 1,000 members.
One of the alumni volunteers leading the charge in forming the society is Lawrence Colorito, a 1988 Penn State graduate who said, “The new Real Estate Society gives Penn State alums who practice in real estate a ‘home’ back in State College. This is an opportunity for me to give back to the school I love and see some direct impact to the students while networking with others in my business.”
The society’s goal is to give real estate professionals a direct link back to the University to facilitate engagement in real estate education and research. Through regional networking groups, society members will be able to network with each other and access professional development such as academic research, newsletters and webinars.
Networking among society members will be a prominent goal: “Being able to develop and maintain relationships with people is critical to the real estate industry,” said Rich Button, assistant director of the IRES, “and it will be especially valuable for these professionals to link to one another through both real estate and Penn State."
The connection between these regional groups back to the University will be especially helpful to Smeal’s newly formed undergraduate real estate degree program; the alumni network will be critical to identifying internship and placement opportunities for students and bringing in speakers and mentors from the profession.
“Essentially, the Real Estate Society will serve as a platform for finding fresh ways to network and support real estate education at Penn State,” said Button.