Want to learn real estate in a more sustainable and thoughtful way? Talk to Johnny Kuscera.
Johnny is an adult educator who actively practices real estate. He taught at Cumbie and Trull in Asheville and at various universities: UCLA, UT of Austin, and the University of Oklahoma. With a background in educational psychology, urban planning, social equity, and real estate, he told us about his new project. At AVL WNC School of Real Estate, a fully virtual school, he intends to make real estate education meaningful.
After earning a doctorate at UCLA and working with The Civil Rights Project, he moved to Asheville five years ago to work with a policy project company. Originally from Austin, Texas, Johnny loves the hospitality and friendliness of people here and disparate populations and issues certainly keep him busy.
While Johnny was working in urban planning, he examined inequality (among many other things). Through this, he discovered that housing is everything. Where you live dictates a lot about your quality of life, and he wanted to help people. He also worked in policy, doing research about indicators of well-being in different populations. Again, the theme of inequality through housing arose.
When moving to Asheville, he wanted to really take action. Although he was helping others via policy changes, he finds the reward of teaching and working directly with people more fulfilling. “You can see the immediate impact,” he says. There will always be what ifs, but he’s happy with his path. He’ll probably work in policy in the future as well, nothing is permanent.
Johnny’s life is about balance, ultimately. He still does real estate and renovations on the side, pre-sale renovation so people can earn more money on the sale. Mostly, he now focuses on work with the school.
Helping Others Learn Real Estate
AVL WNC School of Real Estate is a continuing education school for realtors. For agents, the path is already carved out. Johnny and his team want to make that journey easier and more affordable. With a low overhead and all virtual lessons, they provide not just lectures but mentorship and real-world examples.Unlike some of the continuing education options for realtors, Johnny wants the lessons to be meaningful and helpful beyond memorizing facts and stats. Instead, you’ll be examining the practicality and how to put your new knowledge into practice.
In addition to real estate, the school has a focus on social responsibility. Johnny urges his students to look at how their real estate and marketing help or hurt others in the community. Sometimes philanthropy and simple giving can promote a person better than an ad. Achieving your goals can align with helping others get to theirs, small or large.
Affordability in Asheville
Johnny questions lots of aspects of the market, like zoning and development. He begins with research, then action. How can we influence developers and investors to help people in the community and reduce gentrification? Everyone has an agenda, which isn’t a bad thing, but again it comes back to balance and all aspects of societal structure supporting each other.
For a spirited conversation about the market and who can control prices or not, listen to this episode of the podcast! At the end of the day, Johnny wants everyone to be able to afford a place to live without being priced out of their town.