Meet the Faculty & Staff

Charles H. "Chip" Browne III, BIC/Owner

Chip Browne is the President and Owner of the Real Estate School of South Carolina. No one has successfully prepared more real estate students in South Carolina than Chip Browne. Period. Licensed since 1978, he began teaching real estate sales and broker courses in 1982 with his father, the late Charles H. “Charlie” Browne. Chip has earned the reputation s an extremely thorough educator who possesses the rare ability to communicate effectively with beginning students as well as seasoned professionals. He has taught real estate courses throughout South Carolina, Florida and abroad. In fact, recently Chip was honored to be asked by a major international developer to instruct many Florida real estate agents at the $150,000,000 Club at Hammock Beach resort in St. Augustine, Florida. Additionally, he is the Broker In Charge of South Carolina Realty, a real estate brokerage, development, and property management company.

Chip is the author of the textbook, South Carolina Real Estate Principles, a reviewer of Dearborn Real Estate Education’s Ethics in Today’s Real Estate World, and is a founding member of the American Association of Real Estate Schools and Colleges. In 2011, he contributed his time and assistance as an invited member of the South Carolina Real Estate Commission's License Law Task Force. A Clemson University graduate, his post-graduate work includes Constitutional Law and Political Science. In his spare time, Chip enjoys scuba diving in exotic locales, tropical gardening, and actively participating as a member of the South Carolina Chapter of the Ferrari Club of North America.

Melissa Sprouse Browne, Vice President

Melissa Sprouse Browne holds the roles of Vice President and Co-Owner of the Real Estate School of South Carolina, President of The Marketing Division , a full service advertising agency, co-owner of South Carolina Realty, LLC and owner of Seniors First Home Care. Melissa has extensive experience in the marketing, advertising and public relations field. She has served as creative director of a multi-million dollar advertising agency, the regional marketing director for Trane Comfort Solutions, publications manager for the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and was the marketing director for one of the larger real estate firms on the East Coast.

Congratulations to Melissa for being chosen as one of the "20 Under 40" Honorees by The State Newspaper for 2009. This honor is given to the top 20 business leaders in the greater Columbia, SC area who are under 40 years of age and meet the criteria of excellence in business and are active in their communities.

Melissa has always had a special place in her heart for seniors. Her involvement in the field of senior issues gives her a unique perspective on the challenges we all face when dealing with aging parents who need care. Her book, The Caregiver's Training Program: What You Need to Know to Take Care of Your Parents in Their Golden Years, is a comprehensive resource for anyone caring for an aging parent. This book provides the step by step instruction you need to understand what to do, who to call and how to find help when you need it.

The Caregiver's Training Program is available on and in your e-reader's bookstore through the Kindle, the Nook, the Sony e-Reader and in the Apple iBookstore. For more information about this valuable resource, please visit

Her devotion to the elderly led her to open a separate company in 2011 called Seniors First Home Care, a non-medical companion care and wheelchair transportation firm.

She has also authored, "Unit History: The 755th Field Artillery Battalion," a day by day account of the Battalion's movements during World War II from December 1944 to May 1945. She compiled this small bit of history as a gift for her father. Her latest book, "My Best Friend is a Liar: The Real Life Story of a World Class Con Artist," is also available on amazon. It is a true crime expose and the first in the Liar series.

A firm believer in community service, she has volunteered with Children's Hospital of Palmetto Health and received the Governor's Year of the Child Hero Award in 2002. In February 2009, she and her husband Chip were honored by the SC Purple Heart Society for their contribution to the mission of that organization. She's currently the chairman of the West Columbia Beautification Foundation and the president of the Three Rivers Region of the Porsche Club of America. Her previous community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for Trustus Theatre, performing in The Singing Christmas Tree at Shandon Baptist Church, and as secretary and chairman of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Midlands.

In her duties to the Real Estate School of South Carolina, Melissa is responsible for the overall marketing of school courses, as well as the daily operations of the Columbia headquarters. She has created several courses that are now approved by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission and the South Carolina Appraisers Board. A reviewer of Dearborn Real Estate Education’s textbook, “Ethics in Today’s Real Estate World,” she is always happy to contribute to the advance of real estate education.

As the leader of The Marketing Division, Melissa and her team provide focused advertising solutions for individuals and companies in the real estate industry. Her lengthy experience in real estate marketing gives her the unique advantage of knowing the difference between effective advertising and wasteful spending on useless marketing gimmicks. She is a strong communicator and her work is always highly professional – you can be sure that a brochure designed by her team will use proper grammar and spelling, unlike some of her competitors!!

A licensed real estate broker and real estate course instructor, Melissa is the co-owner of South Carolina Realty, LLC with her husband, Chip Browne. She has been licensed as a real estate professional since 1999. She attended the University of South Carolina and majored in Criminal Justice and is currently working towards a degree in the field of health care administration. Her passions include traveling to Caribbean islands, her four cats, writing, and her husband, Chip!

Steve Grooms, Instructor

Steve Grooms is a licensed broker with over 20 years of real estate experience. After growing up in, and working in real estate construction, Steve began selling real estate in 1984 while pursuing a masters degree in business at the University of South Carolina. As a practitioner, he has experience in both residential and commercial real estate. Steve's working experience includes a background in public relations, training, supervision, and administration.

Steve has an extensive teaching background, in addition to being certified by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission to teach pre-licensing, post-licensing, broker classes, and property management; he is a certified instructor for numerous continuing education courses. Steve has taught public speaking, human relations, and business law at the college level and has been a real estate trainer.

Steve has been a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes and has received community service awards from both governmental agencies and private business including the "Outstanding Public Service" award of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

James Hufham, Managing Partner and Instructor for Charleston, SC


As a managing partner of the Real Estate School of Charleston, Jim Hufham has been a practicing real estate attorney for more than 25 years. He has a strong background in teaching real estate, paralegal and business courses. His easy-going manner makes students feel comfortable and immediately at ease in the classroom. Our Charleston location enjoys an incredibly high pass rate for students!


Sumter, SC ……….. (Ret) Lt. Col. Joseph (Joe) Frederick Kuhlmann, Jr, age 84, beloved husband of 57 years to Janet Kuhlmann, died on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at his residence. Born in Ellenville, New York on October 20, 1934 to the late Joseph Frederick Kuhlmann and Margaret Ward Kuhlmann and raised in Manchester, CT. Joe retired from the United States Air Force as a Lt. Col. after 20 years of loyal service. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses while serving as a pilot in Cuba and Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star and eleven Air Medals for his service in Vietnam. He also served as an Instructor pilot. Joe was the owner of Kuhlmann and Associates Real Estate and Appraisals. He loved teaching appraisal courses. Joe was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a Deacon. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

George Wise, Instructor

George is a Certified General appraiser, AQB certified USPAP instructor and an IAAO certified in state instructor. With over 20 years of experience in both Fee and Mass appraisal, George likes to use real life applications combined with interactive discussion to help students to not only learn the material, but to understand it. George has been certified as an appraisal instructor in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and has enjoyed teaching both pre-licensing and continuing education for the past eight years.

Cain Denny, Instructor

Cain has been a licensed broker since 1999. In addition to being a real estate broker with Intercoast Properties, he is also a practicing attorney. He is also certified as an arbitrator and a mediator. Cain received his law degree from the University of South Carolina. Cain teaches at our Charleston location.