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ANN ARBOR, MI-While the real estate market continues to experience downturn in nearly every property type and major geographic market, students aren’t necessarily shying away from the field. In fact, Joseph Tan, a student at the University of Michigan, tells GlobeSt.com what the students are really looking for now is direction. To help educate undergraduates interested in both commercial and residential real estate careers Tan launched the Real Estate Society in April.

According to the group’s mission statement, RES is a “not-for-profit organization founded to link the premier undergraduate real estate clubs in the United States under one cohesive umbrella. The organization aims to strengthen the young generations of real estate professionals and develop and expand undergraduate real estate education.”

The idea must have struck a cord because in the three months the organization has been around 32 clubs have opened across the country, with 10 more in the finalizing steps. To get the ball rolling, Tan tells GlobeSt.com he contacted all the major real estate organizations to begin linking students to the established professionals. In the past months he has reached out to the Urban Land Institute, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, NAIOP and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Before the summer is out Tan plans to begin contacting real estate companies directly. While serving as the president of the group, Tan plans to take on the role of senior board member when he graduates next spring. In the meantime he is attempting to build up regional advisory boards of experts interested in sharing with students and expanding the program.

Undergraduates who join RES will be able to network in the industry, listen to area experts, receive a discounted student rate for some educational opportunities like LEED certification and possibly land scholarships and internships. RES will have an annual conference in New York City as well as smaller regional conferences to allow students and professionals to mix and mingle.

Tan is all for dreaming big, “Ultimately, the program intends to expand to cater the entire body of undergraduate real estate students on a global scale in order to unite the youngest and brightest minds entering the industry.”

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