In our recent State of the Real Estate Education Industry Report, it was revealed that online education is on the minds of those who participated in our annual survey. More schools now include online training as one of their options, and fewer of them offer live classroom training only. And, among their top concerns for the year were low-cost online competitors.
Studies show that live classroom training is still the format that inspires students the most and increases their chances of retention. But, online training is gaining in popularity with students who cannot travel to a school, city, or classroom. There is a third option, however, that offers the best of both worlds: virtual classrooms.
A virtual classroom is an online teaching and learning environment where participants can interact, communicate, view and discuss presentations, and engage with learning resources while working in groups…all in the comfort of their homes or at their desks! Virtual classrooms bring online training to life and enable students to reap the benefits of live classroom learning from their home or office. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider adding virtual classroom training as part of your real estate education.
1. You Can Attract More Students
The respondents to our annual state of the industry survey list “recruiting students” as their top business challenge. Adding virtual classrooms to your repertoire can make inroads into solving for this challenge. Students you might not ordinarily reach can now take part in a class with an instructor, even though they don’t live near your school. In fact, prelicensing candidates often want to know whether real estate education classes are offered close to their small town or city—and in most cases, they are not.
But, what if instead of telling them that they would have to drive to a major city, you could inform them they could attend live classes online? Think of how many more students would sign up when you can offer instructor-led study groups that enable them to ask questions and study with their peers from other places.
2. You Can Differentiate Yourself from Competitors
As we mentioned, low-cost online training has impacted traditional real estate education. The number of real estate schools only offering online training increased from 9% in 2017 to 15% in 2018. Real estate schools that offer mainly live classroom training are concerned about that competition.
But, suppose you take that classroom training and offer it virtually. Suddenly, you are differentiating yourself from low-cost competitors by offering live instructors, interaction, and study groups. If you already offer some online modules along with your classroom training, you will be kicking it up a notch over your competition. Your multidimensional training packages will certainly stand out.
3. You Can Increase the Reach of Your Instructors
Imagine being able to share your talented, charismatic teachers with a wider audience. With virtual classroom training, more students from more places can learn from the best—your instructors. Students from halfway across your state can benefit from their teaching and knowledge; they can ask questions live, all without traveling. Another bonus? Students aren’t turned away from a popular classroom instructor because of a seating limit.
4. You Can Cost-Effectively Penetrate New Markets
So, you’re thinking of expanding into a new market. Your school is doing well, and you are considering opening a branch in a new location. But that involves scouting locations and classrooms and possibly finding new instructors. Or, maybe, thanks to the multiple schools in your city, you are experiencing the challenges of market saturation.
In both cases, virtual classroom training can be a cost-effective answer. You can take your real estate school to new areas, regions, or even new states depending on licensing requirements—all without hiring new instructors, leasing buildings, and equipping new classrooms. In some cases, it can even become a new or additional revenue stream.
5. You Can Use It to Improve Your School
At the end of classroom training, you survey students to see what you can improve. Modular online training has online surveys, most of which also pop up after the module or course is completed. The problem with waiting until completion is that students don’t always evaluate their experiences as a whole. Instead, they answer surveys based on their emotions at the time.
Virtual classroom training gives you the added benefit of being able to monitor participation and engagement as the training is occurring. You get a better sense overall of what works for students and what you should do to make the experience even better for them. You can combine what you learn with their paper evaluations. If you record the sessions, your instructors can also study them and see what adjustments they can make to improve their lessons and delivery.
Considering Adding Virtual Classrooms to Your Real Estate Education?
Offering virtual classroom training benefits your school and real estate students alike, because you can reach more people with the same content and instructor resources you use for live classroom training. And, with a virtual classroom package, it’s easy for you to simulate your live classroom with robust tools that support student engagement and enable you to monitor progress.
As you know, providing real estate education comes with a whole host of regulatory requirements. Dearborn understands the environment you operate in and has developed a solution to ensure you can easily move your operations online, and always in compliance.
Now is a great time to consider adding virtual classroom training to your real estate education.