Continuing Education: A Family Affair

All parents want to prepare their kids to succeed in business. At Dobler Management Co. in Tacoma, WA, that means getting the kids involved in IREM courses. It should be noted, of course, that with no age restrictions placed on students, the Institute makes this practical business exposure very easy.

Barbara D. Tucci, CPM, explains that she has even gotten her 16-year-old-son, Michael, involved. This past summer Michael, his 22-year-old brother, Timothy, and Ashleigh Hunton, Barb’s part-time assistant at Dobler, took IREM’s Managing the Physical Asset (MNT402) held in Portland, grooming all three full-time students for eventual certification.

Property investment and management and the requisite training in the business is a family affair for Dobler and Tucci. “My parents are real estate investors and put six kids through private schools and college through the ’70 and ’80s,” she says. “We all grew up painting and cleaning apartments, but I never fully understood much about the business other than it was hard but rewarding work. When I took my first IREM class in my late 20s, it was like someone turned a light on in the room. I want the same experience for my sons.”

So, she says, they are learning “how to prep a unit for occupancy while working during school holidays.” Likewise, she believes the IREM course—and future courses—will turn that light on for them too.

And while DMCI’s family focus has historically been on real estate (Barb’s husband runs a family-owned construction company and their sons are already passive investors), Tucci is confident that the courses they take through IREM will help prepare them for whatever careers they choose. “Absolutely. It’s practical learning. Ideally, they’ll all decide to pursue careers in real estate. If not, they’ll have a firm understanding of what to expect of those in charge of managing their assets.”

Until they decide, they’ll keep working during school holidays and taking more courses. In fact, reports Tucci, “Tim Sr., Tim Jr., Mike, Ashleigh and I plan to take the ARM course for certification next summer.” Learning, like the business itself, is clearly a family affair.

About the Author
John Salustri is one of the nation’s most respected writers in the field of Commercial Real Estate. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, John is the founding editor of, the nation’s premier news and information site for the commercial real estate industry. Today John is a freelance writer and editor, focusing on helping companies boost their industry presence through enhanced web and print content. 

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