Michael Russer, a.k.a. Mr. Internet®, is CEO of Russer Communications. He is a leading speaker and author in the real estate industry and has been writing about Internet marketing and virtual outsourcing since the dawn of the commercial Internet.
Be an e-PRO® at Online Real Estate
NAR certification will teach you how to work professionally, profitably online.
January 1, 2000
Dear Mr. Internet:
Is there an official NAR designation such as CRS®or GRIthat I can earn to show I know how to do business online? —Judy McCutchin, REMAX Preston Road North, Dallas
Not exactly, but there’ll soon be something similar—a REALTOR® technology certification program. The National Association of REALTORS® has taken the initiative to create a comprehensive program designed specifically for REALTORS® who want to advance their online skills. Although many real estate professionals use the Internet in their business, most aren’t sure how to use it effectively.
The coming certification, e-PRO®, sets a rigorous national standard for the requisite skills and appropriate behavior necessary to conduct business profitably and professionally online.
It’s not about machines
NAR’s program is not about the hardware and software that enable and support the Internet. Instead, e-PRO® focuses on four areascritical to online real estate sales mastery:
- Skill sets. Students will be schooled in fundamental through advanced uses of E-mail and the Web so that you’ll be knowledgeable about and comfortable using E-mail and the Web in marketing your business.
- Online protocol. You’ll learn the art and science of creating relationships online, which can be quite different from doing so in traditional real estate. Some of the interpersonal techniques that serve us well off-line, such as quickly establishing control in a new relationship, may actually impede our ability to work effectively with the Internet-empowered consumer.
- Standards and behavior. The program explores the ethical, legal, and regulatory issues (including Web advertising guidelines) you’ll need to understand to do business online at minimum risk to you, your broker, and the consumer.
- Positioning for the future. The certification also prepares you to evaluate and adapt to emerging, sometimes radical new ways of doing business online, such as online auctions and fee-for-service programs. Learning how to do business on the Net today will ensure that you’ll be doing business tomorrow.
Not easy but an adventure
The $299 course, which rolls out in spring 2000, will be offered entirely online through REALTOR® University at One Realtor Place®. SeaTac, Wash.-based WebSuite will administer the self-paced program and provide the curriculum.
Once enrolled, students will be tested in real-world Internet situations. For example, students may receive E-mails designed to test how--and how quickly--they respond to prospective buyer and seller inquiries. Innovative use of the Internet will allow the program to test students’ abilities, ensuring that the learning is real and not a cram session to pass the test.
e-PRO® ensures your readiness to compete and thrive in an increasingly technology-based real estate market yet attentively serve the human side of every real estate transaction.
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