The 12% Solution
THE GROWING DISTANCE LEARNING OPTION
ALISO VIEJO, CA., Aug. 24, 2005 - In a special interview with Stefan Swanepoel, CEO of RealtyU® – the largest network of real estate schools in the U.S. – he noted that “the majority of real estate professionals still choose a classroom setting for their continuing education courses; the exception to that finding are the Generation X agents. They are considerably more comfortable in the online environment and are increasingly using the Internet to further their professional development.”
Of the over 300,000 agents trained by RealtyU® Schools and Colleges last year, 12% chose the online option for their licensing, continuing education and designation courses. The 88% majority continued to indicate a preference for classroom training and interacting with their colleagues and their real estate instructor. Classroom real estate education affords agents the one-on-one opportunity for instruction and instant answers to burning questions. While e-learning does not yet provide that kind of interaction distance learning providers are beginning to create an online environment that mimics and reproduce these environments in a virtual setting.
Online real estate training does however have its benefits says Swanepoel. In today’s mad rush toward maximizing and leveraging the shortage of time, real estate professionals must set aside time to meet their state's regulatory requirements for continuing education (CE). Depending upon the state those mandatory requirements surface every two or three years. According to Swanepoel, “at RealtyU® we recognize the obvious trap that many agents find themselves falling into. It is extremely difficult to set aside time for study during a hot real estate market. In the midst of dealing with pressing business issues, before they notice it, they are right up against deadline for their CE education cycle. They may need 40-50 hours of education and only have a couple of weeks or even just a few days left before their deadline … at that point the online option becomes a number one priority." For both the Generation X agent and the agent who is simply too busy to take the time to sit in a classroom, the online medium is a very handy and useful tool.
According to a Senior RealtyU® company representative, online education gives a student an anytime-anyplace training option. It affords them the opportunity to place a class on hold in mid session and deal with that all important business issue. RealtyU® Schools and Colleges are providing their students with this option via their online portal, www.RealtyUonline.com. RealtyUonline recently passed the 2,000 mark in total course offerings across the country in the areas of licensing, continuing education, designations, home inspection, appraisal and skill based training. "This is still a very small percentage of overall students, but every year the number grows and we will not be surprised to see it grow to 25%-35% over the next three to five years,” said Swanepoel. "This could mean that 1 out of every 3 students will eventually be receiving their education online."
According to RealtyU®, there is no indication that online education will replace classroom training; it will simply continue to fill a growing need. There is a place in the market for both forms of education; especially considering different learning styles, different temperaments and the time constraints facing the individual agent … today it’s a 12% solution … tomorrow?