As interest in real estate careers has surged over the past couple of years, a Houston-based real estate school has outgrown its longtime Plano location.
The Champions School of Real Estate, which offers courses for real estate agents and loan officers, inspectors and appraisers, plans to build an 18,500- to 19,000-square-foot office building near the intersection of Coit and Frankford roads in Dallas along the Bush Turnpike — just south of its existing location along Mapleshade Lane in Plano. It’s been in Plano since 2007.
“We just saw this piece of land, and it was the perfect thumbprint for what our needs are,” said Kimberly Dydalewicz, co-owner and president of the Champions School of Real Estate.
The facility will still be a one-story office building but around twice the size of its current location, with larger classrooms and a seminar room that can hold up to 170 students. The seminar room will also be available for real estate companies wanting to book team meetings and classes. The new location also provides more parking spaces for students, which Dydalewicz said have been in short supply at its Plano building.
The new building will have an inspector’s lab to show students what to look for in electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems in homes.
The school expects to break ground later this year and is targeting a fall 2023 opening.
The pandemic’s hot housing market and its effect on how people want to work fueled an influx of new real estate agents nationwide, even with a tight supply of homes to sell. Nationally, more than 100,000 people became real estate agents between 2020 and 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Dydalewicz said the Champions School doesn’t share its enrollment figures but noted that the number of students has increased 37% from 2020 to this year.
“I think that when the pandemic hit, a lot of people wanted to look at a different career and wanted to be their own boss,” Dydalewicz said.
While the school still offers online courses, Dydalewicz said it’s back to pre-COVID operations and that its campuses have been packed with students this year.
“Everyone really wanted to get back into the classroom and have that actual face-to-face instruction,” Dydalewicz said.
Dydalewicz’s mother, Rita Santamaria, founded the first Champions School location in Houston 1983. In 1999, the school began a streak of expansions with additional locations in Houston along with campuses in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Champions School offers licenses for real estate professionals. The school only provides the courses needed to obtain the licenses, not the licenses themselves.