Academic journal article Journal of Real Estate Literature

Shifting Foundations of the Real Estate Knowledge Structure: Revisiting the Review of Real Estate Principles Texts

Academic journal article Journal of Real Estate Literature

Shifting Foundations of the Real Estate Knowledge Structure: Revisiting the Review of Real Estate Principles Texts

Article excerpt

A review of the real estate principles textbook market written a decade ago (Roulac, 1994) identified that the forces of change, which were transforming and challenging traditional real estate practice, were concurrently challenging real estate education and the teaching tools employed in the real estate principles course.

This article extends and updates the 1994 article, in which the intention was to "provide an objective synthesis of the real estate principles texts targeted for use in the first or introductory real estate course in academic institutions offering a four-year college degree. The goal is to facilitate the assessment process for the instructor seeking to identify real estate texts for course use, as well as to aid the reader wishing to determine which books might provide an overview and introduction to real estate. The context for real estate principles texts are analyzed in terms of the relative quantity of the coverage devoted to different topics, the author's objectives are presented, and the collection of texts is placed within a framework reflecting the organization scheme employed in each text,"(Roulac, 1994)

The 1994 review noted that as of 1993, more than half of the dozen real estate principles books that had been available on the market in 1977 (Lindeman, 1978), were no longer viable competitors-the most recent editions of these were at that time at least ten to fifteen years old (O'Donnell and Maleady, 1976; Parker and Schoenfeld, 1976; Racster, Smith and Tschappet, 1977; Pearson, 1977; Shenkel, 1977; and Bloom, 1982).

The 1994 review identified that the books that had exited the market had been replaced by seven new entrants, so that as of 1994, the professor seeking a textbook for a real estate principles course had at least a dozen offerings from which to choose. The 1994 review considered those books whose publishers identified as serving the college and university introduction to real estate course. Not included in that review was the proliferation of books serving lower level community colleges and proprietary licensing markets (Roulac, 1994).

Interestingly, the majority of books evaluated in the 1994 review of real estate textbooks are no longer in the market: Kau and Sirmans (1985); Epley and Rabianski (1986); Eldred (1987); Ficek, Henderson and Johnson (1990); Karvel and Unger (1991); Nourse (1990); Wofford and Clauretie (1992); and Wurtzebach and Miles (1994). The books that survived were more traditional than the books that are no longer on the market. And, the survivor books have become more non-traditional than they were found in the earlier review, so much more so that they are now comparably less traditional, relative to the overall market.

But the void created by the exit from the market of the more progressive books was filled by more traditional books, and one new book, targeted to the lower level, community college and practitioner market segments. These replacement books are fundamentally more traditional-in their emphasis on law and brokerage-than the collection of real estate principles books were a decade ago.

As of 1994, traditional content overall was 33.1%, while for the four books in the current survey, it was 37%. These four books were a group of the more traditional books at the time, as shown both by that data and by knowledge of the books. These more traditional books survived, while the others in the 1994 group did not. But the surviving four books have become less traditional, as law and brokerage now represent 32% of their contents, which is not only lower than the 37% of contents allocated to those topics by the same books in 1994, but also lower than the average of all of the books in 1994. Thus, the survivors have become more non-traditional, placing relatively greater emphasis on topics other than law and brokerage.

Overall, while both the economy and the real estate discipline have changed profoundly over the last decade, the current crop of real estate principles textbooks do not well reflect that reality. …

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