DNG flooded by applicants for virtual Transition Year course

The usual course is open to just 25 students annually but next week 300 will attend virtually

They say every cloud has a silver lining, and one upside at least of the current pandemic has been the widening of access to learning via online platforms. For third-level students of course, it will never quite match the college experience, but in some areas it has opened up courses and experiences that in normal times accommodate only limited numbers.

Estate agent DNG took the decision to run a virtual Transition Year programme this year when it had to cancel its annual spring course for second-level students at its Leeson Street headquarters. What it didn't expect was the huge response from all corners of Ireland to the callout for applicants. Instead of the usual course, which is open to just 25 applicants annually, next week 300 transition year students from around the country will attend its virtual programme.

The maximum quota of 300 applications for the Zoom-hosted platform was oversubscribed and 50 more students are currently on a waiting list. According to Niamh Comber, director of DNG Nationwide: “We’re delighted with the response and are now thinking of running another course this year. There’s no way we would have been able to achieve this reach before, and inspire so many students to look at a career in property.”

The three-day event will include online presentations from lecturers on the Ballsbridge College apprentice programme and DIT third level estate agency courses. The always colourful Brian Dempsey from DNG’s Stillorgan office will offer insights to a Day in the Life of an Estate Agent. There will be virtual viewings as agents walk through a property for sale and point out the do’s and don’ts of preparing a property for sale (blinds up, toilet seats down) culminating on the last day in an online auction in which students will bid in real time to see how an online auction is executed. If nothing else Covid-19 might just deliver a surge in estate agent numbers. All they need then is the housing stock to sell.