The Umpqua Small Business Development Center is offering a variety of classes this spring, including real estate broker’s pre-license training and first steps to starting a business.

Sam Gross, owner of Loggers Pizza and Tap House, is instructing the latter of the two courses several times this season, including 1 p.m. March 27 at the Umpqua Small Business Development Center Training Room, 522 SE Washington Ave., Roseburg.

Gross said the class covers a variety of topics around starting a business, including different business structures, aspects of a business plan, marketing and available funding resources. He said the class also goes into which entities to talk to when getting a business started, such as the Douglas County Health Department and the assessor’s office.

David Stribling II, managing principal broker for Berkshire Hathaway in Roseburg, has taught the real estate training course since 2006. This year, the 10-week class will begin at 6 p.m. April 3 and will run Tuesdays through June 5 at Umpqua Community College, 1140 College Road, Roseburg.

Stribling said the class took a two-year hiatus during the housing market crash, when few students were interested in entering the real estate industry. But since the market has picked back up, Stribling said he had more students than ever when he taught the class in the fall.

“The market has expanded and there’s a good opportunity,” Stribling said. He said many people dropped out of the real estate industry during the financial crisis, and the people who stayed tended to be older.

“If you look now, 10 years later, those people are looking to retire so it’s a great opportunity for young people to fill in the niche,” he said.

The course cost is $695 and after 150 hours of course time between online and live lectures, students are able to take the state exam to earn their real estate licenses.

The class about starting a business costs $20 and is meant to help prepare entrepreneurs before they come in for their first advising session at the Umpqua Business Center, where Gross is also an advisor.

“I’ve taught the class about 10 times so far and there has been an average of seven or eight people in a class,” Gross said. “Some of them have already been in business and wanted more information, and some were just at the idea stage and many of them went on to see specific advisors to work on different areas of business they might be struggling with.”

Doug Monie, Subway Restaurants franchise owner in Douglas County, taught the business class for a couple years before Gross took it over in the fall.

In the class, Gross uses examples from his own experiences in starting a business, like when he used Microsoft Excel to project if he would be able to make money by starting Loggers. He also shares his mistakes so his students can learn from them vicariously, as well as his monthly bills from the restaurant and costs he didn’t expect.

Stribling also talks about real-life situations his office has dealt with and how those correspond to topics discussed in the class, including brokerage, finance, law, contracts and property management.

Stribling said to qualify for a real estate license, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent, must be at least 18 and able to pass a background check. Once they pass the real estate broker’s course, they can take the test and affiliate themselves with a principal real estate broker company.

He said many former students have gone on to work in real estate around Douglas County, including his own office at Berkshire Hathaway.

The structure of the course can be helpful to students, Stribling said, as it requires them to complete specific items every week and is condensed enough so the material is still fresh in their minds when they take the test.

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