Thursday, October 18, 2012

Filling the Void in Real Estate Education

The educational requirements for becoming a licensed real estate salesperson is low, very low. In the state of Florida, the minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma. Then again, this is well known by everyone due to the fact when there's an uptick in the housing sector, many attempt to sit for their respective state licensing exams to hopefully becoming residential agents. But, the problem is the licensing exam only covers the bare minimum for actual real estate knowledge and relative business concepts.

To thwart this void, I began researching missing areas not covered by the residential salesperson exam. The goal is provide additional education to those salespeople who need continuing education credits and to those who just want to increase their general knowledge. The courses will be online and use e-learning type methodologies.

For the first course, I am developing CRM1000 Introduction to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in Real Estate. This course will explore theoretical concepts pertaining to the CRM value chain, the customer portfolio and retaining customers just to name a few areas. The key to the course is that the course material will remain theoretical in nature rather than a how-to with specificity. The benefit of this approach is relevancy and the ability to apply learning concepts to a variety of business activities using a vendor's CRM software solution since the course content abstracts proprietary solutions. Having said this, in the future I may develop a CRM course covering a specific solution such as Oracle CRM, Salesforce or SugarCRM.

Besides content modules, a syllabus will accompany the course for students to read and understand the course direction along with a required textbook, Customer Relationship Management by Francis Buttle. The current plan is offer multiple, two credit courses with a bundled version of eight or ten credits which offers students a choice of learning paths and tuition expenses. CRM1000 will be the first of many "missing" courses to improve the body of knowledge known as real estate as well as students' learning requirements within real estate.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Continuing Education Course Development

From my research and and recent REEA conference trip, I realized a lack of technical and business type courses exist for real estate salespeople needing continuing education (CE) credits. The usual real estate CE courses cover ethics, law or other selling topics, however, my research shows other possible topics could be just as popular and important. But, the key to new course development is to remain theoretical in nature rather than developing a how to be successful salesperson course which would not be approved by any real estate state commission.

So this past month I began reading and researching a new topic for eventual CE course development. Customer Relationship Management is currently under development with associated course textbooks to accompany the online course. Using Moodle, I intend to publish this course and future courses online using e-learning methods and features. My goal is to have a beta version of the CRM course published online by the end of the month while submitting a course application to the Florida DBPR for CE approval. More CE courses will eventually be developed using this theoretical model along with applying real world use cases using specific software applications such as SalesForce and Google Apps.