Real Estate is already racing ahead in the Digital Age
- The real estate industry has been at the forefront of technology, where real estate agents and brokers already use all sorts of modern software and application in their daily operations
- Most real estate industry tools are already solely online
- The entire Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which provides the inventory of available properties in Guam is completely online
Useful Statistics & Facts
With the given statistics and facts, it is well understood that the real estate industry has embraced technology for years now, and online courses serve as a gateway to the digital age in which real estate agents must work everyday. Virtual Classes are modernizing the way adults enter the real estate industry.
From National Association of Realtors® (NAR)
- REALTORS® most often prefer to communicate with their clients through email, at 93%. Ninety-two % prefer to communicate through text messaging, and 37% through instant messaging.
- REALTORS® who were 49 years and younger were the most likely to have a real estate blog, at 11%.
- 76% of female REALTORS® and 73% of male REALTORS® use social media for professional use.
- Members found that the three most valuable technology tools used in their business, excluding email and cell phones were local MLS websites/apps (64%), lockbox/smart key devices (39%), and social media platforms (28%).
- The top 3 tech tools that have given the highest quality of leads: social media at 47%, MLS site at 32%, brokerage's website and listing aggregator site, both at 29%.
- Where buyers found the home they purchased: Internet: 52%
- The typical buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online. S/he looked at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the home buying process. S/he then contacted an agent and visited a median of 10 homes over 10 weeks again in 2019 before purchasing a home.
- 81% of Older Millennials, 80% of Younger Millennials and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 68% of Younger Boomers.
- The most common feature on firms’ websites were property listings at 92 percent.
- Social media was the tool cited as the best source for generating high-quality leads among REALTORS®, followed by Multiple Listing Service (MLS) websites.
Overall Benefits of Virtual Classes
- Ideal for Adult Learners who otherwise have to balance work, family, and social life.
Convenience and Flexibility:
- Evening classes offer flexibility and are convenient for most adult learners to attend without having to take time off their usual work.
University and College Students:
- Higher education students can also participate without having to miss classes at UOG and GCC.
- Virtual Classes offer increased opportunities for those who cannot attend tradition in-room classes.
Save Time and Money:
- Students won’t need to spend on commuting. Plus, most students need to miss hours of work, which means they won’t need to miss paid working hours. In addition, those with children won’t need to look for caregivers, since they can attend classes from their convenience of their homes.
No additional resources needed
- Students won’t need to spend hundreds on written material, including books, since resources would be made available in digital format. Most students would be able to use resources to which they already have access, such as computers, mobile devices (phones or tablets), and internet connectivity (WiFi or data plan).
- Virtual Classes are cleverly designed to be mobile friendly, offering accessibility to most adults who would opt to use their tablets or smartphones to participate in online class sessions. Recent reports indicate that 81% of adults own a smartphone, as of Feb 2019.
- Because organizations offering online courses have less real-time overhead, the classes can be offered at lowered costs. This is a substantial benefit for students who otherwise felt traditional real estate courses were costly. Now, Virtual Classes cost less for a wider segment of adult learners.
Availability of Resources
- Access to all class materials and resources is instant for online courses. Students do not need to commute to any facility to access a knowledge-base or library. Instead, for Virtual Classes, instructors make materials available in digital format, through learning platforms, email, and online web portals.
- Guam’s Virtual Classes would provide instruction customized for Guam, offering Guam-relevant material and education.
Countering Potential Pitfalls
Sure, there are possible pitfalls as there are in any education model. However, by addressing these concerns upfront, such concerns can be resolved ahead of time and not as an after-thought. Plus, organizations managing online courses would need to continuously evolve with various needs and emerging technology. Active organizations managing Virtual Classes would be able to easily handle such concerns.
- In Virtual Classes, quality is never compromised. Classes are of appropriate length with adequate volume and well-planned curriculum.
- Instructors will keep the class environment interactive and engaging. Students would not be restricted from communicating with each other. Professional instructors would use tried-and-tested methods to avoid boredom.
- Online line courses would help students train and build their self-discipline in learning. Much of being a real estate agent requires the ability to work independently and planning one’s own schedule. In this case, students would need to practice the same to successfully complete the course.
Lack of Interaction
- With current virtual technology, students can still interact with each other during class. And of course, as adults, they may choose to interact outside of class on their own discretion.
- If a student procrastinates, he/she will do so either way, whether the classes are online or not. In fact, online courses can help reduce procrastination because students can study from anywhere using their laptop or mobile devices. Hence, the usual excuse that “I could not get to it”, is debunked. Plus, a clear schedule, constant reminders, and guidance from instructors would encourage students to promptly complete their assignments.
- There are no issues related to students’ retention of material for online courses. There are no solid studies that indicate any failure of retaining course material through online environments. Students can study and utilize the materials from instructors just as they would if they were in an actual classroom.
- Instructors are accessible and available to assist students to provide further guidance and answer questions. They may be contacted through various digital channels, email being the most effective.
Compatibility with operating system, device, and browser
- Online learning software is only a problem if it is not universally compatible with common operations systems (iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android), devices (Desktops, Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones), or browsers (Chrome, IE, FireFox, Safari, etc.). Thanks to modern technology, most virtual classroom programs are broadly compatible and usable. Remote classroom technology like Zoom or Google Meet do not pose any problems related to compatibility.
Virtual Classes are modernizing the way in which adults can enter the real estate industry to enrich their lives with a meaning career in real estate. Virtual Classes offer numerous benefits for students and for the growth of Guam’s real estate market. Well managed organizations such as the Guam Association of Realtors® can address and resolve any negative myths about online courses, while providing valuable education opportunities to Guam’s adult learners. Virtual Classes work and they are GREAT for Guam.