Students launch first real estate conference

Students thank the AMS and Queen’s for supporting and legitimizing the inaugural initiative

Sean Pitcher, Sam Morse and Evan Burns aim to educate students on real estate opportunities.
Sean Pitcher, Sam Morse and Evan Burns aim to educate students on real estate opportunities.
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With only one real estate class available to “cultivate their curiosity”, three economics students decided to take matters into their own hands. This year, Sam Morse, Evan Burns and Sean Pitcher launched the first Queen’s Real Estate Investment Conference (QRIC). The inaugural conference will take place on Friday, March 27.

This conference aims to engage Queen’s students in the opportunities the field of real estate has to offer, which is a scarce opportunity due to the lack of available classes. There will be simulation games in order to familiarize the delegates with the stock market and networking opportunities.

In order to help others learn about investing in real estate and explore the career options available in the field, the executive team is bringing some of Canada’s top real estate professionals to the conference. Keynote speakers Philip Gillin, head manager at Sun Life Investment Management, and Aaron Blatt, a manager at Oxford Properties Development Group, will be educating the delegates on the various facets of real estate. They’ll also discuss options for real estate careers and offer advice for breaking into the industry.

“It’s a great opportunity for people who don’t know very much about real estate to become exposed to the industry,” said Burns, ArtSci ’15.

Many students are interested in the field, but have yet to encounter an outlet to invigorate them.

“I’d been working in commercial real estate throughout my summers and everything I know about the business is throughout that time,” said Morse, ArtSci ’15.

“For eight months a year, I have no exposure to [the real estate industry].” Queen’s only real estate course is restricted to Commerce students, leaving students in other faculties bereft.

“[Our] exposure to the industry is so limited ... it’s such a big industry and such a big career path that people take,” Morse said.

“So we started this conference to bring about that change.”

What began as a smaller project became a conference, thanks to the support of the AMS and the University.

“They let us build this thing on our own, laissez-faire,” Morse said.

“The school was very supportive in allowing us to follow our dreams, which was key, because without them we wouldn’t have the legitimacy that we needed to get the speakers to come down that we have right now,” . Originally, the QRIC co-founders wanted to create a campus real estate club, but the idea morphed into something they said is bigger and could benefit Queen’s for years to come. “There was an overwhelming demand for this education at Queen’s that needed to be filled and it’s cool that we get to be the ones to fill that demand,” said Pitcher, ArtSci ’15.

“We have a blank page to build this conference from the ground up, and hopefully have it last for years to come.”

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