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Real estate schools with default courses for agents

Due to recent developments in the default real estate industry, we (as default professionals) have seen an explosion of real estate schools offering default courses in specific niches like, Short Sale, REO and Loan Modification.

Of course, I am sure we all can agree, a quality education can be expensive but, well worth it however, why would someone pay a premium for a quality education? For many of us, this question is mute simply because know the benefits of such an education.

The problem I see in the default industry with these real estate schools is that many of them are over promising, under delivering or plain negligent and in some cases, possibly even fraudulent with their claims. We know this to be the case due to the increased number of professionals adding their voice to the chorus of complaints, negative blogs and outright hostility towards many of these real estate schools.

So, if I was in the market looking for an education, what would I look for to make sure, I am getting a quality education. Below is my list of requirements any school would have to offer to get me to write them a check.

  1. Books: If I am going to pay for a class, I want more than just a handout or screen shots of the slide presentation, I want a book. I want a book because, this lets me know that someone within in the school’s organization sat down and committed his knowledge and experience to paper. This is important to me because it commits the writer and instructor to a process of improvement and refinement. To be more specific, when students have a book, they are likely to go through, read it, question it and pose those question to their instructors and get answers. This Q & A process allows the instructor to refine the material, make changes to improve the material and becomes the single authority the class is built around. A book is very important.
  2. Experienced Instructors: An experienced instructor is invaluable and very well worth their weight in gold. The experience of the instructor, coupled with the knowledgebase of an actual training manual / book, creates an environment where learning is maximized. Experienced instructors give the book and class a level of integrity that can’t be and shouldn’t be discounted. As a student, I expect that if I were to ask a question about a particular subject matter being taught in class, my instructor should be able to answer my question or, at the very least, have a resource from his experience to get that answer with no difficulty.
  3. Uncompromised Integrity: The days of testing a students’ knowledgebase with an open book test are gone! If I am going to pay good money for a course, I expect that when I am done and it’s time to test my retained knowledge that I can’t just go and grab my book, open it up and look up the answer. I have never understood the purpose of these types of test. As a student, I took the course not to just get the “certification or designation” but, to actually better myself and increase my knowledgebase and likewise, I expect to be tested in such a way that evaluates my level of retention honestly so I may strive for success. Too many times I have seen agents walk into a training class with computers, IPads, mobile devices and the such because, the class was secondary to whatever else was going on. The class expectation was lowered because they knew the test was open book and all they had to do was be a warm body in a seat for a couple of days. This isn’t a class I want to be a part of.
  4. Certification / Designation: If I spend the time, money and energy to truly learn and become a subject matter expert in my niche, I better get a designation or at least a certification. For many of you, this may not be important because, many of you carry certification and designations that came from open book test. I am looking for a certification or designation that isn’t achieved by just paying my $499.99 onetime fee and my annual $99.99. Give us a certification, designation that means something, that was something I worked hard for and people know I worked hard for.
  5. Open Doors: People go to Harvard or Stanford not simply because they are good schools but, because they also know that those names on a resume will open a door. In other words, students know that paying $100,000.00(+) for a education will pay off as a long term investment, 10 (+) fold. Too many real estate schools are charging premiums for education yet, not a single door is ever opened with that education. Granted, I am sure that the majority of the time, the student can hold a good portion of the blame, when it comes to not making their education work for themselves but, I have never met a poor Harvard graduate. My point is, students expect that if they are going to pay a premium, it better be returned in business. I don’t think this is too much to ask, hell….I would expect it myself if I were looking for a default course to take. The reason many of these real estate courses out there today don’t open doors is because, they aren’t built around traditional education philosophies and instead are nothing more than money grabbers who make empty promises but, what is worse, the industry knows it and therefore, they do not open doors.
  6. Mentoring: After I pay my premium, take my test, graduate the program, I want to know that I have a forum, a site, somewhere to go to find advice or provide advice to others who follow. Mentoring is key to a quality education because it’s a part of the process to open doors. People who have made it and can contribute a portion of their success to their education can then turn around and bring others up behind them through a quality mentoring program. Granted, I don’t necessarily need a one on one mentor but, at the very least, I need a library of sorts that I can go to, look things up, chat with other members and further my learning by staying on the cutting edge of what is happening real time in the real world.
  7. No Annual Fees: I shouldn’t have to continually pay for my education, certification or designation. A education isn’t a service, it’s a product and therefore, should be priced around the idea that I will only pay once. I don’t got to the grocery store, buy a box of Macaroni and Cheese and then pay for it every week so, why would I do that with an education, I wouldn’t! Annual fees are nothing more than a education provider to milk his current students out of their hard earned cash because that provider knows it’s harder to obtain new students than it is to simply get current students to agree to give you annual fees when they sign up for your course in the first place. Annual fees allows education providers to become stagnate and lazy and I don’t want to pay them.

My point is, these 7 bullets are my concerns about what is happening in the real estate education industry. If I can’t get a majority of these 7 items filled, I don’t buy the class. Sad to say, really because, why can’t we have a choice where we aren’t looking to purchase based on these 7 points so much we are looking at the actual quality of education.

REOPro is launching our certification, designation for short sales this year and let me assure you, every single one of these points will be met. Granted, it won’t be cheap and many people may see the REOPro Short Sale Designation as cost prohibitive however, I promise I won’t ever offer a educational course unless we can meet every single one of the points I mentioned above.

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Comment by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on February 11, 2011 at 8:33am

Hey Monica,

 

I think the annual payment is a scam. Just because you paid 300.00 a year has no reflection on your performance or knowledge base. 

 

Personally, I would feel better if they said, "send us three client references you helped this year, along with a 300.00 processing fee" At least then I knew my Certification, if you can call it that, was partially based on performance. 

Comment by Monica Dehnert on February 11, 2011 at 6:54am
You're right, I have to pay $300. per year to keep my CDPE designation. I think the education is great, however; if you lapse in annual payment, you no longer are allowed to call yourself a CDPE.  This is the same with several other designations.
Comment by Jesus (Jesse) Gonzalez on February 3, 2011 at 12:05pm

Hey William,

 

I don't really know if we can get NAR certification however, if one company was able to, I don't know why another couldn't but, either way, we are working with a particular AMC (Asset Management Company) now that may be willing to give our agent priority who complete our training.

 

Also keep in mind, we (REOPro) will be distributing leads this year due to our relationship with Owlio.com so, we will also prioritize agents and those who have completed our training will get priority.

 

I truly do stand by my point that education should open doors and provide a positive return on the investment an agent makes so, either we will do that through our own network or we will do that with the partnership we have developed with other networks.

Comment by William Boyle on February 3, 2011 at 9:29am
Do you think you can get NAR recognition and credit for the course and certification similar to what CDPE did?
Comment by Bubba Mills on February 2, 2011 at 1:57pm

Jesus,

Your statements above are a breath of fresh air. Being in this business for 22 years, I have seen everything (and I mean everything). Being a retired REO Operations Manager at an AMC and viewing our industry from the other side of the desk, it has opened my eyes even more. Certifications can not be taken for granted and once a Certification is received, you need not only market your accomplishments, but also implement the tools that are being taught.

 

When I retired out of the Outsourcing world, I was approached by several companies wanting me to teach their certification classes. I chose Five Star REO Certification because of the material. I personally feel (others might not) that when I teach the class, I bring a higher value to the agents because I come from the Outsourcing environment and I teach more than the written materials. Truly at the end of the day, 70% of the material that is taught is the same, no matter which class you attend. But the instructors have to bring that higher value to the agents and not lead them down the wrong path.

 

When you do your Short Sale Certification Class, I would love to attend.

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