|The University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business marked the graduation of the first student with a real estate concentration when Mobile native Nicholas Costarides was awarded his bachelor’s degree.
In fall of 2005, Costarides was a marketing major in need of a study concentration that would allow him to complete his business degree. Costarides first learned of the then-new real estate program after his father, William Costarides, saw an advertisement for it. Nicholas Costarides later decided to join the program after speaking with Dr. Don Epley, Distinguished Professor of Real Estate at the Mitchell College of Business.
“The program had a strong focus on commercial real estate and was designed to help individuals wanting to enter commercial real estate,” said Costarides.
He earned his residential real estate license in the summer of 2006 and plans to enter the commercial real estate business soon.
Costarides said, “I recommend getting your real estate license early-on to help your sales and communication skills. Also, this will help you create a network of contacts in the community—something that is very important for a successful real estate career.”
Since completing his degree, Costarides has received many jobs offers and opportunities in the Mobile area. He currently works for American South Realty in Mobile.
“Nick contributed his own real-world knowledge in class and often had questions from his own real estate experiences,” said Epley.
The Mitchell College of Business received state approval for the new real estate concentration in June 2006. Currently, more than 50 students participate in the real estate classes offered at USA. The concentration consists of four required courses and four real estate electives. Upon graduation, students from the real estate program earn a bachelor’s degree with a major in marketing and a real estate concentration.
“We have a very unique opportunity here with the Center for Real Estate Studies,” Epley said. “Students can participate in local real estate research to gain experience and knowledge in the field.”
Also, he said the Mobile area benefits from the information gathered on real estate in the area.
Through the Center for Real Estate Studies, Epley and his students release a quarterly analysis of the local economy based on employment and wages, as well as reports on property values and an economic index report.
Epley said that a real estate degree opens opportunities in many fields, including financing, property management, construction and development. He also suggests the real estate concentration is great preparation for graduate and law school.
Before joining USA, Epley held the position of Lyon Distinguished Professor of Finance and Real Estate at Washington State University. He previously held the Warren Chair of Real Estate at Mississippi State University and the Bennett Chair of Real Estate at the University of Arkansas. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Alabama.
Epley is the author and coauthor of eight textbooks and more than 80 referenced journal articles. Textbook topics include real estate decisions, real estate finance and investments, income property appraisal, and brokerage. He has served as president of the American Real Estate Society, president of the American Real Estate Foundation, and as an elected trustee of the Appraisal Foundation.
Epley received bachelor and master’s degrees from Wichita State University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri. He holds CCIM, MAI, and SRA professional designations and is a licensed real estate broker and certified general real estate appraiser.
For more information visit: http://www.southalabama.edu/mcob/mktprograms.shtml