Graduate Spotlight: Deborah (Debbie) T. Carter, MRE, ABR, Princeton, NJ
REALTOR® University Class of 2017
Concentration: Residential Real Estate Sales, Marketing & Management
How do you think the Master’s program impacts the real estate industry as a whole?
The Master’s program at REALTOR U provides an opportunity for progressive thinking agents and Brokers to expand their career possibilities. The program provides a well-rounded foundation that enables an agent or broker to develop an understanding of alternative areas of the field of real estate. A broad overview of various disciplines such as commercial, residential, appraising and office management are delivered to students, so they develop a full complement of knowledge regarding general real estate. This benefits the industry as a whole by raising the bar for the level of expertise agents need to require in order to service their clients in the best manner possible. Should a meaningful percentage of real estate professionals obtain this advanced degree, it will equate to higher quality and an overall better reputation for the industry in general.
Why did you pick your concentration?
I chose a concentration in residential real estate. I am a broker/owner for a small agency in Princeton, NJ. My office caters to homeowners and buyers and I felt that this would be the most beneficial area of study, not only for me, but for my office.
Tell me how you feel the Master’s program will impact your future in a positive way.
I am certain that once my clients and customers are aware of my education, they will feel that their interests are being served by a real estate professional who is competent. This should increase my referral business and the ability to raise the gross commissions for the office. I also feel very strongly that my career options are more diverse as a result of this degree.
Tell me a bit about yourself in general.
I believe I was destined to own a real estate brokerage one day. My father was a broker with his own agency, and I remember hearing about real estate every night at the dinner table. My sister is a highly successful agent and my husband is a broker. I have lived in New Jersey all of my life. Many people like to poke fun at the state because there is a lot of industry, but those people do not really know what NJ is like. I feel like those of us who live here know the best kept secrets of the beauty in this state. I started my career out working for AT&T, where I learned two great skills: negotiating and computers. Those skills can be applied to many industries, but I chose to follow the family legacy and go into real estate. I have been the broker and owner of my own firm for close to 17 years.
What or who encouraged you to enroll in the program?
I have been thinking about pursuing the Master’s degree for quite some time. I looked at NYU, and I realized that it was just too difficult to get into Manhattan several times per week while trying to sell real estate and run the office. It was also very expensive. When I saw the potential for the scholarship money from the NJAR, and the fact that this program was online, I felt it was right for me. I completed my entire undergrad degree going part time while I worked at AT&T. It took me close to ten years, but I am pretty disciplined in managing my time. I do believe that I first found out about the program from e-mails.
What did you find the most challenging about the program?
Some of the classes were highly challenging. First was learning again how to write a paper, and how to put it into the format that was required for the school and the university. The library has some amazing people who really helped me tremendously. There were a few classes that had just tons of work. I was putting in over 30 hours a week for one class and that was challenging. I never even thought about taking more than one class at a time. I believe it is very important to set priorities and stick to them.
Earning a Master’s degree and working full time is demanding. What helped you survive those moments?
There were a few times I just wanted to take a semester off. It was hard to keep it going. I had a goal to do this, and quite frankly, education has always been very important to me. Again – setting priorities and sticking to that.
What would you tell prospective students about the program?
I would tell anyone who wants to take the program that they need to be disciplined and they need to really try to get the most out of it for their career in real estate. I was amazed at how much I learned after being in this business for over 15 years. It is essential to read and question the other students in the classes because they have so much to offer and add to the information.
Congratulations Deborah Carter!
A graduation ceremony will take place on May 19 at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.