NAR’s e-Pro Course – Education For Real Estate in the Age of the Internet
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) created an online e-Pro course to train Realtors from the ground up on the best and most efficient use of the Internet. The e-Pro course also covers how the Internet continues to change the traditional world of buying and selling real estate.
Why did the NAR feel the course was necessary? The NAR has consistently surveyed Realtors and home owners to keep a close pulse on the real estate industry. From their studies they found:
- Communications with clients has shifted from the telephone to e-mail;
- 80% of home buyers turn to the Internet for their information;
- Information that was once the domain of real estate brokerages is now available on the Internet;
The e-Pro course comes in 4 modules. The first module takes a beginner from dim awareness of the Internet and computers to full knowledge of what the Internet, domain names and hosting services are all about. The way the education is done familiarizes Realtors with communicating with email, autoresponders and through online forums. Online forum communications skills are necessary to utilize that avenue to get your website’s address and your expertise out in front of a larger real estate focused audience.
The second module comprehensively covers all aspects of using email in a real estate marketing campaign. From email, Module 3 moves to understanding the world wide web and real estate websites in particular – what to look for in website design and content to the basics of search engine optimization.
The fourth module finishes the course off with an in-depth study and planning for your own real estate website. The course also educates Realtors on the auxiliary technologies used by real estate websites, such as digital cameras and virtual tours, which add the attention grabbing highlights to a website.
Many real estate agents are, of course, familiar with computers and the Internet (hopefully since e-Pro is an online course), but most learned by hands-on training. This comprehensive course can help fill in the missing pieces that will help real estate agents get the most out of their ability to email and understand their real estate website in more detail.
IMCD Web Design has found that Realtors who have the e-Pro training are quickly able to understand and work with their real estate websites. This translates into a real estate website whose owner understands the “why” and “how” to keep the website updated with current information and helpful web links.
Best of all, each modules have reviews and exams, so when a Realtor is finished the course, they have really integrated the course and are able to put it into action. After the course is over, e-Pro Realtors can still access the listserv discussion forums. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.”
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