It is really striking, the increase in the number of registrations for the study real estate & brokerage at Fontys, says Anja Klomps, director of economics and communication. Last year 220 students started in Eindhoven, this year there are 382. “For comparison, in 2015 there were only 128.”
‘By far the fastest grower’
Real estate & brokerage falls under economic education. “It is by far the fastest grower there. The other programs increase or decrease slightly or remain the same on balance.”
The picture is no different for the other three providers of the study. The programs in Rotterdam (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences), Enschede (Saxion), and Groningen (Hanze University of Applied Sciences) are growing at the same rate. “Due to the enormous demand, we have introduced a numerus fixus. We must be able to continue to guarantee quality. Students must be able to find an internship, for example.”
According to Klomps, the study is ‘very broad’, with both technical elements, such as architecture, and economic ones. For example, you will receive an explanation about how investing in real estate works. In addition, attention is paid to social issues during the training. “There are so many aspects together, that attracts many students.”
Fleur, Jan-Willem and Lotte
Yet it remains ‘a bit of a gamble’ as to the motivations of the students, says Klomps. And so we ask – via MS Teams – three students ourselves: Fleur, Jan-Willem and Lotte.
Third-year student Fleur wanted to do ‘something economical’, she says. She liked that and she was good at that in school. “But I found the economics studies boring, I wanted to do something more tangible and I also found the social side interesting.”
First-year student Lotte also likes the fact that you will soon have a lot of contact with people in professional practice. She may want to become a real estate agent, but would like to have a broader education. “Otherwise, I would have been better off following a two-year evening brokerage course.”
First-year student Jan-Willem previously studied tax law and commercial economics. “It really wasn’t. Then I started thinking: later I want a job in which I can show things. This study was a gamble, which seems to work out well.”
Homes are selling like hot cakes at the moment. The industry is doing well and earnings are still high.
Starting salary: 2786 euros
According to the Keuzegids HBO 2021, Real Estate & Brokerage is in the top ten studies with the highest starting salary: 2,786 euros gross per month. The study is also almost at the top of the list of ‘highest chance of a job’.
“I didn’t look at that at all,” says Fleur. Jan-Willem does. “But I didn’t think it was that important. I mainly wanted to do something I liked.”
Why are people suddenly opting for this study now? “Because a lot of people talk about real estate,” says Fleur. “When I watch the news or read the newspaper, it is always about the housing shortage or something about building. I think many more people want to know more about that.”
In the study, the emphasis is mainly on real estate issues and less on brokerage. “We do not train as a broker, but you can become one with it,” says the Fontys spokesperson. By the way, broker is no longer a protected profession since 2001, although most brokers choose to be certified in order to be taken seriously.
‘People say: you just want to make a lot of money’
The three students laugh when asked if they ever get strange comments. For example, that people like her are partly to blame for the housing crisis because they cause high house prices – and have a big wallet themselves.
“Oh, yes,” says Jan-Willem. “I only get that kind of reaction. People say: you just want to earn a lot of money and sit on a Spanish island later. I just don’t respond to that at all. I’m not going to try to defend myself.”
The study is ‘much broader’ than people think, says Fleur. “It’s much more about housing associations than about making money.” And the study is also tough, says Lotte. “It’s not just any training.”
No, they say, it’s really not about getting rich quick. Jan-Willem mainly wants to make a difference in the real estate world. “That you can show something when you’re 80 later. Like: I did this for society.”