A Successful Model
The typical student holds a bachelor's or advanced degree and has at least one year of professional experience, coming from various industries.
The REAP model was developed on the premise that lack of minorities in the commercial real estate industry is neither an accident nor the result of discrimination. A better explanation is that access is not by formal schooling like law or accounting. Instead, people gain access through networks of personal connections—family, friends, and colleagues. Without such connections, entry into the field is difficult. REAP extends these networks to its fellows with a multi-layer approach that includes both education and networking.
REAP is both a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a business proposition—through a highly competitive and selective process, REAP finds and trains elite, dedicated professionals for firms that want to change the face of the industry. The model is applicable to the banking, construction, and insurance industries, where entrance and success are also heavily based on personal connections.
Industry leaders recognize REAP as a win-win. Not only can the industry hire talented professionals for jobs that add value, but their companies can better match the fabric of their customers, clients, and communities.