In an effort to engage more millennials in the real estate business, Wagner Realty announced a new scholarship with the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.
Two spring USFSM graduates, Coy Carter and Hannah Veitkus, are the first recipients. They began working for Wagner right after graduation on May 9. The scholarship is supposed to help with anything from training costs to living expenses. Officials are not revealing the total amount of the scholarship.
“Normally it takes up to a year to earn an income where you feel comfortable, and for a lot of young graduates this can be discouraging. They don’t have the staying power with having to pay student loans, rent and other expenses,” Wagner Realty owner David Eckel said in a statement. “What we’ve done is develop a plan to address those entry obstacles.”
The program is necessary, Eckel said, because many new agents need a number of months of training, must sit for licensing exams and build a portfolio of clients before they’re able to notch their first sales. A dry period of no commissions can dissuade people from joining the business.
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Eckel, whose company employs more than 200 agents in Sarasota and Manatee counties, said he’s hoping to bring more young people into the real estate industry and capitalize on millennials’ social media expertise to reach younger buyers.
Eckel advises the College of Business and serves on the campus’ board and Community Leadership Council at USFSM.
Eckel, who also brought on USFSM accounting student Roger Walser as an intern, said the scholarship is part of a larger effort that includes in-house training, job shadowing and mentoring to prepare new agents for when they finally venture out on their own.
Officials said they hope to award more scholarships in future years, depending on how the pilot program works out.