If real estate licenses expire June 30th and I test NOW, when do I need continuing education?

WV Real Estate License Continuing Education and When a New Licensee Needs it.

It’s that time of the year again when anyone who holds a WV Real Estate License needs their 7-hour continuing education. So when is the first 7-hour continuing ed needed?  Let’s look at how that relates to YOU completing the 90-hour pre-sales WV licensing class. We’ll also see when you test with PSI and how that affects this requirement… To make this easier I thought I’d make a video to help explain away the confusion.

 The Fiscal Year and What That is.

Ok, everyone who takes the course KNOWS that the year that licensing goes by is NOT like a calendar year, RIGHT!? RIGHT!!!  So we ALL know that the WV real estate licensing year starts July 1 and ENDS June 30th.

We also KNOW that every FISCAL year (July 1- June 30th)  you need to do 7 hours of continuing education to maintain an active license… BUT you also know that there is ONE MAGICAL FISCAL YEAR (key word here is “fiscal”, and why this gets confusing sometimes) that you do NOT have to do 7 hours of continuing education to keep an active WV Real Estate License.

One Magical Year Continuing Education is Not Needed
One Magical Year Continuing Education is Not Needed

Now, when is this wonderful, magical time? Well, this happens ONLY ONE TIME and is the FIRST FISCAL YEAR based on when you get licensed…

So when do you get licensed? Well, ask yourself that 🙂

This means that if you pass PSI’s real estate licensing exam BEFORE June 30th, 2018, you will need to get 7 hours of continuing education anytime between   July 1, 2018, and June 30th of 2019.

When did you pass?

IF you pass PSI’s licensing exam  AFTER July 1st, 2018 then you will need to get 7 hours of continuing education by June 30th of 2020.

So let me say it another way. IF you test before June 30th your deadline for completing your continuing education is ALL THE WAY IN 2019!

IF you test  AFTER July 1st your deadline for continuing education is  ALL THE WAY IN 2020

Those are the ONLY TWO SCENARIOS!!!  Kind of simple when you think of it that way, right!?

RIGHT!!!!

To enroll in Spruce School of Real Estates 90 Pre Licensing Online Sales Course make sure to visit https://sprucerealestateschool.com or check in at the WV Licensing authority you can always visit the WV Real Estate Commissions website here https://rec.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

You have your WV Real Estate License, so now what!!!???

Being a teacher at Spruce School of Real Estate I like to stay in touch with the techniques being used by others. Setting yourself apart from the rest of the real estate agents out there is ideal. Don’t fall prey to thinking once you get your West Virginia Real Estate License that all your learning is over. I don’t think there’s any field of work that you can be stagnant in and expect any sort of gain. Unless you enjoy cashier register work. So let’s look a little further than the things covered in WV Real Estate License exam prep.  Let’s surf the net for the bizarre!

Look for creative ways to shine

Looking over some pretty out of the box real estate news I see some pretty creative ideas for showcasing that listing by an agent who dressed as a giant

Dressing like a panda bear sold a house for one agent.
Dressing like a panda bear sold a house for one agent.

panda bear. Now, let the laughter wear off and take a breath.  I must admit, it’s NOT a terrible idea. When you think of how many tiring pics of living rooms and kitchens are out there I guess it COULD grab a few extra eyes if you dig through your old Halloween costumes. Reportedly it had 12 showings in the first two days (after very little attention in the previous 3 weeks) and did result in a sale. Makes you think about those old listings getting no attention. How far are you willing to go? Suit of armor? Dinosaur? Part of being an active real estate licensee is using your creativity. It’s going to be what separates you from the rest.

Is dressing up like a Disney character not your cup of tea for being a real estate agent in West Virginia? Ok. I can live with that and I understand but let’s not keep that from thinking outside of the box on what’s going to bring eyes and potential shares via social media. You worked hard for that WV real estate license so let’s make it work out for you.

What tools do you have?

Do you have a video camera? How about your iPhone? Did you realize that the iPhone can shoot 4k video? That’s pretty impressive when you think most of us have some video creation tools at our fingertips these days. There’s also a lot of free video software for basic editing that is available with a simple google search. Ok running with that idea. Creating a short video for YouTube or Vimeo and sharing that is going to bring eyes to your listing. People like video. Its easy eye candy and if a friend on Facebook knows someone looking for real estate in West Virginia

You have a lot of creative tools right at your fingertips
You have a lot of creative tools right at your fingertips

they’re likely to share that video. Even better, give your hand at something funny that might be the focal point of WHY it gets shared and you’re gaining that many more eyes on your listing.

So what’s your plan for the New Year?

Is real estate in your future? Did you already get your WV Real Estate License and it’s just sat there unused because of some missing sparks that fueled the creativity to make those sales boom? If so make sure to check back here at our blog and we will try to help with the flint and steal. Spruce School of Real Estate is the highest rated and reviewed real estate school in WV, with 25 years of proven success!

What is the MLS

Let’s examine what the MLS is…

I was asked to clarify what the Multi Listing Service is when dealing with real estate professionals. In our online real estate class I don’t want any real world concepts to slip by. I thought I’d write this article to help.  The MLS isn’t as simple as saying, “it’s a website”, nor is it complicated once you get some hands on with it.

What is the MLS?
What is the Multi Listing Service? Is it a website?

It can be a clause

The MLS “clause” mentioned in your book that you learn in your online real estate class is contained in a contract.  It is what allows a home to be advertised and shared around the brokerages in your area. Yes, when you see a public MLS # on a printed advertisement, or on a web page, it shows up there because the client agreed to have their property listed that way. They most likely agreed on this when they signed the original listing agreement. The clause is only a few sentences and could be easily overlooked within the listing agreement.

It basically states that the owner permits the agent to post it in the MLS. This is more or less standard procedure. If a client did NOT want it posted on the MLS it would be self defeating if you ask me. The seller wants exposure, right? Of course! Not including your property in the MLS would be like selling your property with VERY limited advertising.

Online Real Estate School MLS search
Web based MLS is just the beginning of the services provided.

Now that covers what the clause is. Now, in regards to thinking of the MLS as a website. That has some truths although the MLS is much bigger than that. The site or websites are all pulling their data from the MLS of your region. Every region has their own MLS.  Many websites can share that info, for example, REALTOR.com gets their data from varying local MLS’s just like in your area.

As an agent you will most likely pay to have access

As an agent you will most likely pay to have access to your local MLS so that you can see all the activity in your area. You should be able to analyze past sales data, etc. They are rather huge databases. The one that services your area is MUCH more in depth than going to a public site like REALTOR.com . You most likely cannot avoid paying to use this specialized online real estate service (nor would you want to. It would be very self defeating as an agent to not have access to this info.)

The MLS can simply be sharing data!

As said earlier, all regions have their own MLS and share the data. The office you will eventually work for will tell you what MLS you will subscribe to and what that MLS website is. They will provide you with a password and username and you will probably pay a monthly fee to use it. These subscription based MLS’s allow a HUGE variety of things an agent can do. From managing clients, to sending emails, to compiling reports for your clients, assisting with listing presentations, etc.

One of the things that might set you apart as being a good agent is learning how to use the MLS services offered to you. (This goes beyond the spectrum of something I can teach at the WV real estate school online as every regions are different, BUT in today’s computer world you can jump in, push some buttons and figure it out probably very well.) When you start working at your brokerage it will be one of the first things you get set up and will become a huge part of your toolbox as an agent. This is something to look forward to after you get out of your online real estate class!

An Online Real Estate Class History Lesson

Also noteworthy, BEFORE many MLS went online with all of its conveniences the listings would be kept in books, carried around and printed at regular intervals. Can you imagine the headache of old listings in between publications? Also agents would have to utilize all kinds of other methods to manage their client base that is now very cleanly managed within the computerized versions.
Another thing your local MLS office will handle is your lockbox key access. Clearly without this you are not getting into any houses to show them.

Hopefully this clears some confusion about what a MLS is and as always, if you’re interested in pursuing a real estate career you know that the best WV online real estate class is right here so ask away!

Five Good Reasons Getting a Real Estate License in West Virginia is a Smart Idea

Business is great. A  real estate business is unique. As a real estate salesperson, you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. You will be independent, but you will also have the support and training provided by your broker and colleagues.

Realtor delivering keys to buyer
5 Great Reasons to Get a Real Estate License

Getting a real estate license in West Virginia says a whole lot about your commitment to your personal and professional advancement – and this can enhance any career path. A real estate license in West Virginia is a credential that will only improve your marketability, even if you don’t plan on listing and selling on a full time basis. West Virginia real estate schools pride themselves on producing students who give themselves and others a snapshot of what it means to be independently successful.

You’ll learn the difference between being a student and being a learner.  All WV real estate schools require you to be a good student. However, Spruce School wants you to also understand how to be a good learner. Getting a real estate license in West Virginia is certainly evidence that you can process new information and use it in context. However, the learning doesn’t stop after you pass your real estate exam. Holding a real estate license in West Virginia also demands a new set of skills – ingenuity, hands-on problem solving, and negotiation. These are the things that make you so much more than a real estate student – they make you a lifelong learner.

You don’t have to check your ambition at the door. Go ahead and dream. No invisible barriers in the way, no waiting for the next perfect opening. The day you are issued your real estate license in West Virginia is the day you can run with your aspirations. You are an entrepreneur – and that’s exciting. The drive that motivated you to pull through real estate school is all you need. You are in charge of your own goal setting.

Real estate is the perfect place to use the skills you have and unearth the ones you didn’t even know about. In my personal experience, I’ve learned that you don’t always know what you can do until you have to. So don’t presuppose your strengths and weaknesses. There are never guarantees, especially when choosing a career path, but you might just learn a whole lot about yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. If you have the wherewithal to take chances, open yourself to opportunity, and learn all about breaking through limitations, then getting your real estate license in West Virginia is for you.

Are you a team player? Or do you prefer to work independently? Are you an extrovert or introvert? No matter how you replied, the answer is: Great! A one-size-fits-all personality type is not a prerequisite for getting a real estate license in West Virginia. Real estate is so flexible, you can work in whatever capacity that works best for you.. And you decide your process and systems, just as long as they fit within your broker’s organizational culture.

You can show ‘em how it’s done. Passing the exam and getting a real estate license in West Virginia isn’t easy. But it sure does fill up your confidence bucket when you do. This last point is just to remind you not to minimize the accomplishment or the pride you deserve to have in yourself.  Sure, good things come to those who wait, but even better things come to those who make them happen. And if you are reading this blog post, then you are one of those people.

Values-Based Selling: Image and Integrity in Real Estate

I know, I know. I get those funny looks when I open up conversations about the softer side of business development (i.e. values, ethics, principles, and mission) and how this can build and enhance the hard science of selling – including your profit margin.

Image of real estate agents
How will you represent yourself? Integrity in the workplace can become second place

But honestly, a real estate salesperson’s business is all about his or her professional image. It’s about projecting integrity, trustworthiness, and dependability. This is important to clients, and it’s been documented that it only takes seven seconds to make a first impression. The easiest way, then, to be sure your first impression as a real estate salesperson is one of high integrity is to make sure you are abiding by your own set of guiding principles.

I recently re-read the book, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, and I was reminded of how the four ideologies represented in the book are paradoxical in their depth and simplicity. But perhaps more importantly, they are the perfect place to start when considering the essential task of developing your own mission statement and how you will represent yourself – both in your own life and to your clients. While this certainly isn’t a course in ethics, this is a good way to begin thinking about what kind of professional image you would like to project out there in the real estate world. Because while real estate school prepares you for the book smarts you need to succeed, developing your own sense of professionalism as a real estate salesperson is all on you.

The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth, and take responsibility for yourself.

As a real estate agent, blame-shifting and finger-pointing is something you may have to deal with when closings get delayed, inspections don’t turn out perfectly, and offers get rejected. It helps when you affirm to yourself and others that you mean what you say, and promise only what you can deliver. Be as good as your word.

The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own perceptions, whether they are right or faulty. Be immune to the opinions of others, and pay attention only to what is true and what you can change.

Real estate salespeople must understand themselves well enough to temper their own emotions during a difficult transaction or when dealing with a high-maintenance client. It seems obvious that getting angry or creating conflict isn’t going to benefit anyone in the long run, but it is easy to slip up and let our emotions run awry.

WV Real Estate School
How does integrity fit here?

By understanding that even if someone yells, blames, or gossips, it’s really not about you. It’s about their own beliefs and points of view, which they feel they must defend. Even criticisms that seem directed at you really say more about the other person’s state of mind than it reflects who you are. So when it’s all said and done, what other people think about you is really none of your business, right? So don’t take it personally.

The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions

Ask questions. Communicate as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.

As a real estate salesperson, you will often find yourself under pressure to have answers or get them quickly. It’s okay to be uncertain or admit to not having the right response – what’s not okay is making up answers or misguiding anyone, even unintentionally. Never, ever make assumptions when you aren’t absolutely sure. Admit when you don’t know something, and say you’ll find out and report back. Be proactive, not reactive. It’ll save you a lot of headache later.

The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best.

At the risk of seeming too simplistic, or something like a trite aphorism, this agreement is arguably the most important. Doing your best as a real estate salesperson means taking action because you love it. Because you are driven by integrity and the desire to serve your clients – not necessarily because you are expecting something in return.

As Ruiz says, you are alive, so take your life and enjoy it. You hold (or are in the process of attaining) a real estate license because you said yes to opportunity. Take that opportunity and show the world what you can do with it – using the highest form of integrity you can muster. Being a whole person means to define and abide by your own set of personal principles, which ultimately become business principles. Your clients and colleagues will recognize this in you, and will choose you above the others. Remember, actions become habits, and habits become character. Let your character sell who you are, and your sales report will follow.