REstart ® is a program of the Bobby Jo Lewis Foundation (“BJLF”), a San Diego-based, not-for-profit organization, in association with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). It is devoted to bringing two of the most basic needs—housing and employment—to situationally disadvantaged individuals. REstart ® offers participants training, mentoring and job placement assistance leading to careers in property management. But more than this, the REstart® program offers its graduates restored faith, renewed confidence, and reclaimed self-respect.

The REstart® program is an intensive classroom study; typically, 4 weeks of instruction built around curriculum developed by IREM specifically for the REstart® program. This curriculum is modeled on IREM’s RES201 credentialing course and prepares participants to step into roles in multi-family real estate management. It is a comprehensive program and covers subjects ranging from Fair Housing law, marketing and leasing, maintenance and risk management, professional ethics all the way to budgeting and accounting. A typical REstart® program serves 10-15 participants and covers useful professional skills such as resume writing and business etiquette.

These courses are taught by industry professionals, many of whom are IREM credentialed practitioners. Each participant must pass a written exam to move forward in the program and qualify for an internship. Internships are designed to allow participants the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom portion of the program. Internships are hosted by companies in your territory that are most often affiliated with the local IREM chapter, although this is not a requirement. A typical 160 hour internship lasts 4 weeks. Participating companies get a first look at and the opportunity to hire qualified entry level talent.

The program does not guarantee job placement but does act as a conduit in aiding each participant in successfully completing the program, with mentoring and with invaluable networking opportunities.


Who are candidates to be REstart® participants? How do you find them? Integral to the REstart® program is identifying and working closely with a social service agency serving disadvantaged individuals in your territory. The program is, at its core, a collaboration of your REstart® affiliate and a community partner. You will start out with a community partner or partners in your initial REstart® offering. Based on the experience of other affiliates, you may work with that community partner for many years or, as their needs change and your organization evolve, you may choose to work with successor community partners.

In order to be a candidate for this program, applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • Be bondable.
  • Have no felonies or embezzlement.
  • If there is a history of substance abuse, must be able to show a minimum of 12 months of sobriety.
  • Have basic “people skills” and common sense.


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