An educated agent is an empowered agent. So imagine what over 41,000 empowered agents would do for a market?
That’s what Chief Marketing Officer John Ryan wondered when he explored options to enrich the offerings of Georgia MLS (GAMLS).
Ryan was keenly aware that education will parlay into a greater level of service and expertise for the consumers — the buyers and sellers who hire the agents. “Anything that an agent can do to educate themselves, whether it’s through professional development or the regulatory courses that are required by the state of Georgia, is just going to make a more viable agent out in today’s marketplace,” he said.
Georgia MLS picks OnCourse Learning Real Estate to be the school of record
Ryan had particular requirements of the provider the organization would partner with. His intention was not something “tacked” on or haphazardly launched. The plan had to be mindful and user-friendly with high levels of participation as the metrics of success.
“We wanted a robust catalog of courses with both regulatory and professional development,” he said. “We also wanted the technical ability where we could work with a company that could provide things like single sign-on integration.”
GAMLS and OnCourse Learning Real Estate formed a power-partnership to bring unlimited online real estate continuing education at no additional cost to members of the Georgia MLS.
“We were particularly excited about this partnership with GAMLS. It said to us that they are an organization with a true commitment to their members’ careers,” said Erin Shephard, Vice President of Sales at OnCourse Learning Real Estate.
Education as a tool to attract and keep members
Real estate agents in Georgia need to be part of an MLS and GAMLS is only one of many. So having this education component is a strategic advantage in attracting and keeping members.
“We think it’s an anchor product,” explained Ryan. “The education component enables our members to stay in Georgia MLS because they have to have that education, and it also allows us to go into other areas of the state and different brokerages and say, ‘we’re going to supply you all the continuing education you want at no cost.’ And the eyebrows raised. That’s an immediate cost saving. All through OnCourse Learning Real Estate.”
One of the challenges in any education program is participation. How can any organization ensure their members take time away from their busy days to advance their education?
The first is by offering courses that the State of Georgia requires all real estate agents to have in order to maintain their licenses. That way, members associate their Georgia MLS account with their ongoing education.
The second is by making the experience seamless.
“When agents log in, they have a quick access link to continuing education that is highlighted in red,” said Ryan. “So we wanted to draw the eyes directly to that single sign-on function.”
And because OnCourse Learning Real Estate is the school of record, the company can submit activities directly to the Georgia Real Estate commission. In addition, they can provide statistical details on how the courses are being used.
“Our goal was to add incredible value to members, and provide a seamless integration process for GAMLS,” said Erin Shephard. “I believe we achieved both.”
“We look at OnCourse Learning Real Estate as a partner now,” Ryan shared. “And I can definitely say our membership has gone up. It is a big point of what we offer, and the value that we can bring — not just on MLS products and services, but also on the education side. We couldn’t be more pleased.”