The Memphis Area Association of REALTORS[R] Education Foundation and the Center for Real Estate Research at the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Article excerpt

In an ever-changing and dynamic field such as real estate, keeping abreast of the latest trends and newest innovations can be challenging. For real estate professionals today, success in meeting the evolving needs of consumers requires a commitment to continuous learning. Through its partnership with the University of Memphis, the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS[R] Education Foundation is committed to ensuring high-quality research and educational opportunities are available to real estate professionals in our area.

Established in 1985 as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, the MAAR Education Foundation strives:

* To encourage and promote research and studies in the field of real estate and allied areas, the expansion and broadening of courses in the field of real estate or allied fields, and the improvement of communication and exchange of information regarding the real estate industry;

* To encourage and promote advanced courses in the field of real estate or allied fields;

* To provide scholarship awards of financial assistance to qualified students specializing in the field of real estate or allied subjects at the university level;

* To promote suitable standards of education in all phases of the field of real estate; and

* To encourage and conduct educational programs and seminars for the purpose of advancing the profession of real estate for those already engaged in the real estate industry.

In 2005 the Foundation expanded and formalized its relationship with the University through a $300,000 grant over four years to establish the Center for Real Estate Research within the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research. In making this grant, the Foundation sought to leverage the expertise at the University to perform research and studies in the field of real estate, improve communication and the exchange of information regarding the real estate industry, and encourage and promote advanced study in the field of real estate--all with an emphasis on the Memphis area. The cooperative agreement between the Foundation and the University includes the sharing of MAAR's property records data for GIS mapping and other academic research to provide insight into local real estate changes and trends.

Understanding the need for quality higher education to help better prepare future professionals for careers in real estate, the Foundation played an integral role in establishing the Morris Fogelman Chair of Excellence in Real Estate at the University--one of only a handful of such chairs in the United States. Similarly, since 1987 the Foundation has funded the Mark Sowards Memorial Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students pursuing degrees in real estate or a related field. …