School News

The Path to Real Estate Distance Learning

- Mar 10, 2017      Archive

As the owner of Cooke Real Estate School, and being involved in the real estate school business since 1978, I look back and view in amazement the changes that have taken place in real estate education and wonder where the future of real estate education is going. When I got my real estate license in 1971 it was a classroom only environment, distance learning was not in the picture at all. The correspondence course was approved for the 14 hour continuing education requirement at the time I got my real estate license as it continues to be today, but at that time distance learning was not defined by the Florida Real Estate Commission.

Our school was the first school in Florida to offer the pre-license course by the distance learning format in 1998, but at time live interactive video conferencing instruction was approved as an in-class course. Around 2001 distance learning was given a definition by FREC rule, so our live interactive video conferencing changed to comply with the requirements of the new rule. This change allowed us to provide the course by on-demand video presentations, which made a big change in real estate education and our ability to provide a better course to all our students.

Today many states allow pre-license courses taught by distance learning. There are about ten states that do not allow distance learning. Even when some states allow distance learning a few states still require a portion of the course to be taught in a classroom. There are some states that throw hurdles to real estate schools wanting to offer students a distance learning course for licensure in the their state, such as the school must have brick and mortar building in the state; or the instructor must live in the state; or the school must not have a real estate office in the same building.

The good news here is that online learning has important advantages for students in learning and preparing for the course exam and the state exam.
1) Students have access to the course material 24/7 rather than just the time student was in-class
2)Students have to work through the required assessments to successfully complete the course.
3)With video presentations and synchronized PowerPoint over the total course it gives the visual and auditory learner a much better chance to pass the required exams.

Distance learning has grown expediently in acceptance over the last 15 years in the real estate industry and with regulatory acceptance. I expect it will continue, not only because of the students' successes but also because of the cost factors for both students and real estate schools.

Frank L. Cooke, Jr