Graduate Spotlight: Jim Haisler, MRE
REALTOR® University Class of 2016
Concentration: Real Estate Association Management
How do you think the Master’s program impacts the real estate industry as a whole?
By offering several concentrations REALTOR U’s Master’s program provides top level educational opportunities across the industry. With disciplines in association management, brokerage, commercial, valuation and more the program increases the knowledge base of real estate professionals throughout the industry; from agents on the street to those running local associations ancillary service providers as well.
Why did you pick your concentration?
Having been in association management for over 15 years the decision to concentrate there was obvious. I thoroughly enjoy being an Association Executive and wanted to deepen my knowledge within the discipline.
Tell me how you feel the Master’s program will impact your future in a positive way.
Beyond the course materials which were excellent, the discussions with other students were equally gratifying. A student might post a comment about a situation they were having or had experienced and the other students would comment or offer suggestions. These real life case studies are proving invaluable as I encounter situations running my local REALTOR® association.
Tell me a bit about yourself in general.
Celebrating 20 years in the real estate industry in 2016 I sold real estate for 5 years before coming over to the association side in 2001. With ownership interests in many residential and commercial properties, I’ve got real estate in my blood. Of course my day job is running the local Heartland REALTOR® Organization serving nearly 1000 real estate professionals directly and another 1000+ through service partnerships with other local REALTOR® associations. I love being able to assist agents in their business.
What or who encouraged you to enroll in the program?
I have always had a goal to get a Master’s Degree and started with my MBA a few years ago. Things changed and I had to stop that program. When this program spouted I was immediately interested and signed up to receive information. However, it seemed that I missed the sign up notifications and it wasn’t until a fellow classmate and Texas AE, Amy Dubose, told me that she was in the program that I engaged the program – RU’s third semester offered.
What did you find the most challenging about the program?
The program is challenging and I want it to be. It was often very difficult to get assignments completed with a hectic family and work schedule. Nonetheless, I learned to carve out time for reading – usually at night – and more time for completing assignments (weekends). Commenting in the chat rooms had to be done daily. Simply it became a force of habit. Actually after I completed the program in December I felt like I was forgetting to do something because I was not online with RU daily.
Earning a Master’s degree and working full time is demanding. What helped you survive those moments?
The program is very demanding and overwhelming at times. Mostly, I counted on other students to rally me through. Knowing that friends of mine completed the program gave me the courage to keep going. It seemed that around week 3 of each course I’d ask myself why I was doing this but then by week 5 there were only 2.5 weeks left in the course. When the semester got too long, I’d break it down into weeks. When a week got too long, I’d break it down into days. I had the minimum 12 courses to complete and as I climbed into the 4th or 5th course it felt daunting. As I finished the 6th course I knew I was over the hump. By about the 8th course I could see the light. After the 10th course I knew the light wasn’t a train.
What would you tell prospective students about the program?
The program is so well worth it. Completing it gives you a true feeling of accomplishment. I’d tell other students to persevere. It’s not easy. It took me 3.5 years to get through it as I took a year off at one point and then another 2 semesters elsewhere. Sure, I wanted to give up. Sure, it is hard. But that is also what pushed me through – this isn’t easy! Each time I stopped I felt like I had unfinished business – and I did. You will make great friends through this program. You’ll develop a special bond with people from across the country. It’s a special relationship that only those who have completed this can understand. And to think I haven’t even mentioned the great value the actual information is! And as incredible as it is, and it is an incredible program, it’s really almost secondary to the people (students and professors) and the bonds you will create.
Congratulations Jim Haisler!
A graduation ceremony will take place on May 13 at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.