AUSTIN, Texas — With the continued growth expected across Central Texas, more and more people are going to be looking for places to live.
Some local high school students hope they can be the ones to help people find people their new homes in this demanding housing market.
Sophomore Anthony Villegas is one of the students in the real estate program at Akins Early College High School. On Friday, they took a trip to the Austin Board of Realtors headquarters to learn more about the industry and what the board does.
“We're talking to a lot of people trying to understand more about real estate and how ABoR is,” said Villegas.
Students like Villegas will earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree from Austin Community College and can become certified real estate agents all before they graduate from high school.
“We take business courses, we take computing, then we also have our real estate classes,” said Villegas.
“So once they turn 18, if they've met their requirements, they can test, then they will sign up with a real estate brokerage to be sponsored and then they will join the Austin Board of Realtors and become real estate professionals that become Realtors,” explained Kelea Youngblood, with the Austin Board of Realtors.
The ABoR worked with Austin ISD to launch this program back in 2020.
“The beauty of this program is it's not just about the classes that you need to take to get your license,” shared Youngblood. “It's about the real-life education, the hands-on experience. We will provide them with shadowing opportunities and internships. And so, they will be very well equipped once they graduate to enter into the real estate industry.”
Both the ABoR and AECHS teachers say these real-life experiences are extremely valuable.
“We want to make programs and classroom spaces that are for the child's needs and wants in the future because we only had them in high school for four years. What's the next step,” said John Rodriguez, an academy coordinator at AECHS.
In this program, the students get their associate's degree and training at no cost.
“They don't pay a single thing for themselves,” said Rodriguez. “So, the college courses are paid for, the transportation, the textbooks, you name it.”
Now with the experience he is gaining, Villegas will be ready to help find people homes in Austin’s busy housing market when he graduates in just a couple of years.
“I know people from even Chicago that want to move down here,” said Villegas. “So, it seems like it's going pretty fast. And hopefully, when I'm into real estate, it stays like that.”
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