ADA Compliant real estate websites

We received word recently about a new type of ADA lawsuit that is going after the real estate industry. The Legal Justice Advocates is sending demand letters to real estate website owners informing them that their website is not compliant for persons with disabilities and as a result, may be a violation of the FHA. The website owner is then invited to negotiate a settlement to cover attorney fees or face a potential lawsuit.

While filing multiple ADA suits in this way is a pretty controversial application of the law, we can all agree that the intent of providing equal access opportunities to disabled persons is an important thing.

If you receive a notice like this, and ideally before that happens, we absolutely recommend that you have a website expert in disability accessibility issues take a look at your website to identify the problems.

Ninebricks is here to help you to navigate the issue of ADA compliance. We can help you to identify potential issues on your real estate website and correct them before you get notified by an attorney.

Find a Real Estate School near you

If you’re a student looking for a real estate school to take your prelicensing class from, look no further than onlinereschool.com. While you are there, take a look to find a school that offers an online review course. The pass rate for students taking the real estate prelicensing exam is less than 50%. Don’t be caught unprepared. Go to a school that offers good review tools.

How to keep up with classroom changes in 2018

Everything is going digital. We know that people are constantly on their smartphones, tablets, iPads, and laptops digitally connected. People are gravitating towards online options for most everyday things which also includes learning.

Studies have shown that the younger generation of students seeking their real estate pre-license certification average ages has dropped from mid-30s to mid to late 20s. And it is now important to keep up with the trend. If students are used to learning through digital platforms like video courses online, it is important that real estate instructors keep up with this changing demand for digitally ready content.

Additionally, it has been found that approximately 55% of real estate continuing education courses that are taken nationally was done online. And we expect this percentage to continue to grow. Therefore in order to keep up with the changing market, instructors must adjust to the way students prefer to learn.

How can this be done?

Teachers tend to teach the way they learn. Now the market is demanding for teachers to teach the way students want to learn.

Below are some changes real estate instructors can make to keep up with the classroom changes in 2018:

  1. Offer exam prep courses online to accompany your in-class course. The digital movement does not mean that the in-classroom experience is extinct. What instructors can do to enhance the classroom is to offer a digital class companion that helps emphasize key concepts and theories through a pre-recorded and offered online. That way students are able to access at any time.
  2. Offer your pre-licensing courses online. With several sources available including Ninebricks, you can more easily scale your business offering by expanding your reach. Not everyone is able to make it to a class or specific location. So why not give students who are interested in obtaining their real estate license an extra option of taking your course online.
  3. Offer continuing education courses online for credit. As a busy real estate agent, being able to take the necessary courses to maintain an active license in an easy and convenient way is always helpful solution. Taking the courses at the agent’s own schedule and pace also helps as they juggle between house showings and meetings. So why not bring the course to the them.
  4. Stay open-minded. Offering your courses on a digital platform can help you scale your teaching business. As an in-classroom instructor, you only have capacity to teach so many students at one time. Why not amplify your reach by offering various courses digitally and reach those students who otherwise would have never been able to travel to your classroom.

Change is not always easy but being left behind is even worse. Make sure you keep your real estate education business on the forefront of the curve by meeting your students needs. If the trending demand is offering your courses via digitally, make sure you capture this opportunity and set yourself and business up for this.

So what is next? If you are looking for a technology platform to help you provide these digital options in your teaching business, you can explore what Ninebricks can do for you.

How online learning helps the classroom

Learning in a classroom environment has both its advantages and disadvantages. Being able to ask questions live and learn from other students’ can help open the students’ mind and accelerate the learning process. However, being able to absorb everything taught in the timespan of the class can be quite a challenge. Everybody learns differently and at their own pace.

On the other hand, learning completely online presents its own challenges. Being able to comprehend and manipulate the concepts by yourself means the responsibility to prepare yourself lies completely with you. Some students need an extra push to help keep them on track.

In preparing for the real estate licensing exams, leveraging the benefits of both can significantly increase success rate by as much as 5x.  As a real estate instructor, you can stack the odds in your students’ favor by not only teaching and sharing your insight in the classroom, but providing online tools like what Ninebricks offers that can help support the learning experience outside the classroom. Students should be able to openly ask questions and discuss concepts in class and have the same information be reiterated with review videos and materials you customize and supply online.

The digital review materials can be referenced at the students’ own time and follow at their own pace. If there is a concept that the student just could not grasp during class, having digital review to accompany the course can help reinforce and clarify the concept. The best is being able to learn at your own pace. Not all people learn the same way so digital tools such as Ninebricks online review is customized by the real estate instructor to review all the relevant and important concepts.

Also, all the review concepts are on-demand to review what you need when you need it. In fact, students can even rewatch and reread all the chapters that you need more time to study as many times and as frequently as students need.

Additionally, having extra online review courses are much more cost effective than hiring a private tutor. Having video reviews that are created by the real estate instructor can be seen as the student’s own personal tutor. A much more cost effective way to reinforce important concepts.

Finally, students can avoid the extra commute time when they can watch from the convenience of your home. No more time wasted stuck in traffic going cross-town just to meet private tutors or study groups. Everything can be accessed online, including group discussion boards with other students. The convenience of having extra support in the learning process in addition to the time savings of having to travel to a specific location means more time left for students to spend studying.

So why not leverage online review tools to help accelerate your students’ learning and increase exam pass rates? The convenience and cost benefits outweigh the possibility of not passing the real estate exam. Motivated students truly value having additional study materials to support their learning efforts to increase their chances of being successful. Overall, online can help reinforce and accelerate student learning outside the classroom.

5 ways instructors can help students outside the classroom

Student success is the number one motivation most instructors have. It reflects on the teacher’s ability to clearly communicate concepts and show how to apply principles, theories, and ideas. However, the learning experience is a two-way street. The success of a student is also equally dependent upon the student’s effort in putting into the learning process.

We know instructors always strive to do whatever they can to ensure their student success. But we also know instructors are not always there to provide the guidance or answer questions as needed. Hence, we share 5 ways instructors can help their students outside the classroom:

  1. Set small goals. Having a big goal can be daunting. From the student’s point of view, it can be such an impossible task that they do not even know where to start. This is where instructors can help by starting to set milestones. Start off with small achievable goals. We know taking on a big challenge like starting a career in real estate is intimidating, so it is important for anyone to gain confidence with small wins. More small wins can lead to an increasingly bigger win. Instructors can help be the guiding post for students as they try to navigate their way to becoming a real estate agent. Instructors have been there before. Why not share the lay of the land, what to watch out for, what to focus on, and what not to waste time worrying about. This will help students avoid any pitfalls that could cost them time and money.
  2. Provide useful tools. Going on a journey to conquer a goal like passing a real estate exam requires resources and tools. Instructors can add more value by providing the most effective ways to help achieve their small wins. For example, real estate instructors can leverage the Ninebricks platform where students can access additional review material that enhances what they already learned in class.. Oftentimes there isn’t enough time to go into every concept in detail and other times students want to review specific concepts again in more detail. Ninebricks allows instructors to customize review materials with their unique video recordings.
  3. Communicate openly. Being able to build trust and openly communicate with students are highly valued. People appreciate honesty and will more likely be honest back when they feel they can trust the information and guidance instructors are providing. Students want to know where they should focus and what is a waste of time. Open communication is one of the key pillars to a successful instructor-student relationship and is valued by everyone.
  4. Make yourself available. We are in the days of smartphones so instant access is what students are used to. Students really appreciate the ability to openly communicate with their instructors to ask questions and clarify concepts they may be reviewing. Being available is highly recommended and a big value-add to students. Something simple as having a group chat or Facebook messaging availability not only is helpful for students but is very impactful to their learning experience.
  5. Provide examples of success. Not everyone has the same definition of success but it does help to have an idea of what this could look like. As an instructor, helping students understand the various ways they can be successful can provide further clarity on defining goals. Once students achieve their goal of passing their real estate licensing exam, what can they do with it. They may want to go into real estate investment, become a broker, or be the best agent in their area. The possibilities are great and having somebody with the insight to provide those possibilities can help influence and shape their real estate future.

Even though instructors cannot be with the students throughout their learning journey, they can employ several best practices to ensure the success of their students. Ninebricks aims to provide teachers the tools to help their students achieve success in their learning journey and career.

Online education for Real Estate Schools

Announcing the Ninebricks Course Builder

Looking for the easiest way to create video based course review material for your students? We can help. Sign up for our newly released online course builder, and you will be able to easily record review materials in short segments. Your students can use these recorded sessions to study for the exam. All you need is your computer’s webcam and microphone.

To get started, go to the builder from your Google Chrome browser and fill out the registration page. Note that we are currently in a testing period and only support the Google Chrome browser at this time.

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You should then be taken to the dashboard.

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Choose a section from the menu on the left and then you can give your video a name and start Recording

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Once you finish, click on Stop Recording, and your video will automatically be loaded to our system for so that it can be used in your online review. All done, move on to the next section.

Go ahead and get started building your online review class. We’ll help you with any questions you have along the way. https://build.ninebricks.com/register

Is a 100% pass rate possible?

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What would it take to get a 100% pass rate?

We say it here, day in and day out, the best way to pass the Florida Real Estate Licensing exam is to understand the material. Why don’t all students understand the material?

How about if you offered unlimited 1-on-1 private tutoring to every one of your students? That should do it right?

I know, this is impossible. Nobody has unlimited resources of time or money to make that happen. You don’t have enough hours in the day. You already offer private tutoring and not a lot of students take it. Even if you offered it for free, which makes no sense, there would still be students who wouldn’t take it. They were simply unmotivated to learn the material so that they could pass the exam. But is every student who doesn’t pass the state exam the first time they take it an unmotivated student?

Students have to invest time or money if they are going to understand the material. They need to have the desire to learn the material. Private tutoring is an option, but it’s expensive, as it should be. It costs a lot of your time, and that needs to be paid for.

The creator of the Khan Academy website has an interesting idea. He made a website full of videos covering topics that students need to learn from Kindergarten – University level. You can hear him talk about his ideas regarding how to teach for mastery here.

He talks about a lot of things, but what I find interesting is the idea of using technology to allow students to master the topic. Technology costs money, but, it does a great job of freeing up your time.

What if we used technology like it was a private tutor. Who would be the best person to tutor your students?

How many more of your students would pass if Khan Academy could use their technology to be like a private tutor for your students?

How many more of your students would pass if you could use our technology to be a private tutor to each of your students?

We’d love to help you. Give us a call today at 407-982-7940

True or False?

credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306">albertogp123</a>

image credit: albertogp123

I just was looking at a seller’s closing package today. The seller was asked to certify the answers to the following questions, under the penalty of perjury.

  1. True or False: I owned and used the residence as my principal residence for periods aggregating two (2) years or more during the 5-year period ending on the date of the sale or exchange of the residence.
  2. True or False: I have not sold or exchanged another principal residence during the 2-year period ending on the date of the sale or exchange of the residence.
  3. True or False: I (or my spouse or former spouse, if I was married at any time during the period beginning after May 6, 1997, and ending today) have not used any portion of the residence for business or rental purposes after May 6, 1997
  4. True or False: At least one of the following three statements applies:
    1. The sale or exchange is of the entire residence for $250,000 or less.
    2. I am married, the sale or exchange is of the entire residence for $500,000 or less, and the gain of the sale or exchange of the entire residence is $250,000 or less
    3. I am married, the sale or exchange is of the entire residence for $500,000 or less, and
      1. I intend to file a joint return for the year of the sale or exchange,
      2. my spouse also used the residence as his or her principal residence for periods aggregating 2 years or more during the 5-year period ending on the date of the sale or exchange of the residence, and
      3. my spouse also has not sold or exchanged another principal residence during the 2-year period ending on the date of the sale or exchange of the principal residence.
  5. True or False: If my basis in the residence is determined by reference to the basis in the hands of a person who acquired the residence is an exchange to which section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code applied, the exchange to which section 1031 applied occurred more than 5 (five) years prior to the date I sold or exchanged the residence.

Wow, just 5 True or False questions that an untrained, non-expert seller relies on his real estate agent to help him to answer correctly – under the penalty of perjury. I don’t think I’ve seen as many run-on sentences, double-negatives, ifs, ands, or buts in just 5 true or false questions in my life.

A real estate agent is not expected to be an expert on the law, taxes, whether the roof needs to be replaced, or any number of other topics. Yet, they need to know something, and they need to be able to read, because buyers and sellers rely on agents throughout the process of buying or selling their homes. Just another day in the life of a licensed real estate agent. Kind of makes those questions on the state exam look like a cake walk, doesn’t it?

Are your students understanding the material thoroughly and reading the questions carefully? Make sure they are, they’ll need it. Online classes can help. We can help you with putting together effective online classes. Give us a call at 407-982-7940. Your students will thank you.

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