In my last post, I mentioned that it is illegal for a Florida real estate school or instructor to promote their state exam pass rate. They don’t even know what their pass rate is. So how do you know where to go to school? This might seem counterintuitive, but don’t worry so much about the quality of the school. It seems odd for me, as a school owner, to say that. But think back to your days of high school or college. Even the worst high school in the city has some amazing teachers. Ivy League Universities have some terrible professors. Don’t worry about the school; worry about the instructor.
If you can’t ask about the success rate, how do you evaluate a Florida real estate instructor?
The best way is to watch a video. I’ve got 25 videos on YouTube of me teaching material you need to know to pass the Florida real estate exam. Most other real estate instructors I know have at least one or two videos. Many have several.
When you are watching, keep in mind that most people come across better in real life than in video, but the video is a good starting point. If the instructions are clear and organized on video, chances are that’s how they teach in the classroom. If they are arrogant and pompous on video, expect that to be multiplied in real life. Conversely, if they seem warm and patient on the video, that is probably true in real life.
Videos aren’t perfect because they are edited. Plus, they are short snippets without the interaction of a class environment. But they are a very good starting point.
If someone recommends a school to you, ask for the name of the instructor they recommend. When you call the school, be sure you are registering for a class with the specific instructor that was recommended. I have talked to many people (two very recently) who went to schools that they thought had good reputations, but it was the instructor’s very first class. We don’t let public school teachers handle a class unsupervised until they have months of classroom experience. But real estate instructors can be given their own class with no teaching experience. Do you want to be their guinea pig? If you are attending a school based on a personal recommendation, be sure you get the instructor that your friend or colleague recommended.
If someone recommends a specific instructor, ask them why. Ask specific questions like:
- Does she let people ask questions? Does she insult people who ask questions?
- How did he handle the student who was trying to derail him?
- Was she warm and friendly or cold and unapproachable?
- Did she have any good stories or examples?
Come up with a few specific things that matter to you and ask those, but get specifics about why the person like that instructor. If someone say, “John was an awesome teacher” and you find out that awesome means he lets everyone sit around and throw spitballs for four hours, you might not be happy. Get specifics because what matters to you might not be what mattered to your friend.
Talk To The Instructor
If you want to talk to the instructor personally, ask the instructor questions. You can get a good feel for the person from a five-minute phone conversation. If the school won’t tell you the name of the instructor for the class, hmmm … That sounds fishy to me.
If the school won’t let you talk to the instructor and you want to ask them a question, call the instructor on your own. Get their first and last name from the school and google them to find their phone number. If they work in real estate, you can find them.
My dad, Ron Climer, tells me that he used to have potential students call him at home to find out where he was teaching. This was back in the days when they had to look him up in the phone book and call him on a landline!
Remember, the most important aspect of your real estate pre-licensing class is not the school reputation, not the location, not the price of the class. The factor that will contribute more to your success than everything else combined is the quality of your instructor. Don’t choose a school; choose an instructor.
If I can help you find a good instructor, or with anything in starting your career, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help you.
Please note that neither I, nor anyone in the Climer family, have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate. My father, Ron Climer, sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014. You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.