The Impact of Covid-19 on Real Estate Schools
Are you wondering how the pandemic has impacted real estate schools? While COVID-19 is a global public health issue, its spillover effects can be observed in education, stemming largely from schools’ extended closure.
Most countries worldwide have temporarily closed learning institutions in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. According to a UNESCO report, approximately 314 million learners are currently affected due to the school closures in response to the pandemic.
While many learning institutions have made concerted efforts to maintain learning continuity in the wake of COVID-19, a lot has changed, and students have had to adapt to the new normal, crystallized by remote and virtual learning.
For example, in real estate, many schools offer live stream classes in place of the physical brick and mortar classes. The disruptions have also led to exam postponement and cancellation, resulting in delays in the licensing process.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into how the pandemic has affected real estate schools. Choosing a real estate school is important, so let’s take a look at some of the considerations during Covid-19.
1. Smaller Class Sizes
As mentioned earlier, many real estate schools are now offering online classes. However, those that are still offering in-class lessons have reduced classroom sizes to accommodate for social distancing.
For example, key Realty School has modified classroom sizes to half occupancy to create social distancing space. The Nevada-based real estate school has also made it mandatory for students to make classroom reservations due to the limited class sizes.
Real estate schools that don’t have classrooms large enough to accommodate social distancing reduce instruction time to accommodate all students. Also, schools are looking at innovations like antimicrobial desks and chairs to minimize the risks of infections.
2. The Move to Virtual Learning
Virtual learning has become the new norm in real estate.
Many real estate schools have scrapped the brick and mortar classroom lessons in favor of virtual learning, facilitated via tools like Zoom.
The Real Estate Institute (IL), for example, has temporarily suspended all in-class learning from November 24, 2020, with classes anticipated to resume on January 4, 2021. All students who had enrolled in live in-person classes had to transfer to online webinars at no extra charge.
Others, such as the Superior School of Real Estate in North Carolina, have suspended all in-class lessons until Apr 30th, 2021. Instead of the traditional classroom environment, courses are being conducted through real-time virtual classrooms on Zoom.
With the move to the virtual space being the new normal, many real estate schools are experiencing challenges as teachers struggle to adapt to the new pedagogical concepts and teaching delivery modes. The distant learning approach calls for transformations in the educational program, like modifying presentations and restructuring the material.
Meanwhile, students face difficulties adapting to the online environment as well. While some of them enjoy the flexibility that online courses provide, others experience issues with self-discipline.
It goes without saying that there was always a demand for online real estate classes; however, students who purposefully chose to study in-person had their reasons. The possible drawbacks are the inability to network with other students during the class and the instructor’s lack of interaction in an online environment.
Moreover, in-class courses are usually more expensive than online ones, so students who were forced to switch to the virtual environment may feel dissatisfied. The Superior School of Real Estate that was mentioned above, offers students who prefer traditional learning to reschedule their classes after the classrooms are opened again.
Nevertheless, taking into account the current COVID-19 situation and several stages of lockdown, distant learning entered the new development stage. The demand for online courses increases now, and resources like Agent Advice rank the leaders, where Real Estate Express scored the highest number of reviews.
3. New Rules for Employees and Students During In-Person Learning
For those who still teach in-class, new rules and regulations were applied. Real estate schools follow the general CDC recommendations making wearing masks obligatory and disinfecting the classrooms every night or several times per day. As an extra precaution measure, Key Realty School decided to use a professional restroom cleaning service in addition to their in-house personnel.
Staff and classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizers; in many schools, personnel is also wearing gloves and face shields. In most schools across the country, staff members and students should have their temperature checked at least once before they enter the campus building and in some of them – throughout the day as well.
Additional measures have been taken to minimize the exposure by some real estate schools. For example, Champions School of Real Estate requires students to be directed to their class upon arrival without any detours. The campus break rooms are closed now, and according to the new regulations, students have to take their meals outside.
4. Postponed or Cancelled Real Estate Exams
The closure of schools and testing centers coincides with key assessment periods, and as a result, many exams have been canceled or postponed.
Keep in mind that many state exams are still proctored-in-person, and exam providers have been forced to temporarily postpone or cancel the exams to prevent the spread of the virus. However, exam providers are not charging any fees for rescheduling the exam.
The pandemic has also created uncertainty in the real estate licensing process. While the process remains the same, the time it takes to get a license might be considerably longer due to delays in the documents’ receipt and approval.
5. Leniency in Course Extensions
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many states to relax their policies on course extensions. Students who cannot complete their course within the required time due to COVID-19 challenges may apply for exemptions.
However, this is subject to state laws and requirements. Currently, the states of New York and Alabama have relaxed their policies and are allowing students up to one year to complete their course, including the proctored final exam.
What’s your take on the impact of COVID-19 on real estate education and licensing?
Final Thoughts on The Pandemic and Real Estate Schools
Picking a real estate school is important, but so is staying safe. Please make sure you choose your real estate school wisely, as it will impact the early days of your real estate career. You’ll want to be a well-educated agent. The kind that many real estate agencies will find desirable.
Keep in mind there will be real estate companies looking to hire agents right after they are licensed. You’ll want to be one of those real estate agents!
Hopefully, you have found this guide to real estate schools to be useful.
Other Valuable Real Estate Content
- What is flat fee MLS – did you know some real estate agents and agencies do not work on commission? They are referred to as flat fee companies. All they do is list your home in MLS and little else. Most real estate agents strive to be full-service agents rather than someone who just fills out paperwork to entire a home into a computer. Please take a look and see what flat fee MLS is all about and the downsides to a seller having their home marketed in this fashion.
About the author: The above article on how the pandemic has affected real estate schools was written by Erika Rykun. Erika is a content strategist and producer who believes in the power of networking and quality writing. She’s an avid reader, writer, and runner.