Champions real estate school opening new campus

An aerial photograph of New Jersey homes. Home prices in 20 cities rose at a slower pace than projected in April, indicating the market was experiencing uneven gains as it entered the busier selling season. CREDIT: Bloomberg News photo by Craig Warga).

Champions School of Real Estate

6324 Waverly Way

Fort Worth 76116

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Champions School of Real Estate’s new Fort Worth campus comes at a fortuitous time.

With U.S. home sales surging and interest in real estate rising, the school’s Waverly Way location is prepared for more students as industry sales and construction continue rebounding.

“We can always see signs of interest in real estate by enrollment in campuses throughout the state,” said Kimberly Dydalewicz, president of the Fort Worth campus, one of eight in the state.

Home sales surged nationwide in December, closing out the best year for housing since 2007, according to U.S. Commerce Department numbers. Sales rose 10.8 percent that month, the most since August 2014, to a 544,000 annualized pace, the agency reported earlier this month.

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“Texas is situated just great for the real estate industry, especially Dallas and Houston as far as real estate values. That’s very promising,” Dydalewicz said.

Since opening its doors in 2012, Champions’ Fort Worth location has taught students from 2,600 square feet of leased space at The Villages at Camp Bowie. But the school quickly outgrew that space, prompting a newly opened campus — one of eight in the state — near its former facility at 6324 Waverly Way.

The school secured a seven-year lease on space designed by Jacobs and Associates Architects, with Richey Construction Services of Dallas serving as lead contractor. The project is being financed by The Villages at Camp Bowie.

The new location boasts four classrooms, a student break room and five staff offices compared to 2.5 classrooms and two offices at the former location. Between 30 and 60 students attend the pre-licensing courses.

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But a newly launched online offering will allow many more students to take courses from local campuses remotely. Beginning in February, ChampionsLive! will allow students to take courses via computer and allow the school to better meet demand from those seeking state real estate licenses.

But why should prospective students consider Champions rather than a traditional, four-year college or university?

“What sets us apart is we write our own curriculum and have a main curriculum department out of our Houston campus. Students coming to a school that produces its own materials means they’re up-to-date materials,” said Dydalewicz.

The school’s overall exam passing rate stands at 64.86 percent, according to Texas Real Estate Commission statistics for TREC-accredited schools. Only four schools of the 27 accredited institutions listed on the TREC website have a higher store.

“We’re very proud of our passing ratio,” said Dydalewicz, adding that the new campus is opening at an ideal time.

“So, January is one of the best months for interest in the school. People really want to get into real estate now,” said Dydalewicz, estimating that 70 percent of campus enrollment stems from real estate courses and 30 percent from appraisal and loan origination courses.

Aside from real estate education, the school also offers courses in designation and certifications and business etiquette, the latter delivering a two-day course focused on dressing for success and networking skills, among other subjects that Dydalewicz says can be lacking among some job seekers.

Tuition ranges from $945 to $1,589 for real estate education, which includes textbooks.

Construction the new campus began in October 2015 and ended this month, which has school officials busily preparing for heightened interest in its offerings as more people consider pursuing state real estate licenses.

“It’s a thriving industry, and we’re happy to help people gain their license,” Dydalewicz said.