CE is an acronym for Continuing Education. You choose the term you want to use for it but don’t forget about it. To a Realtor® CE is of most importance. In Alabama, every licensee that has an active license is required to take a minimum of 15-hour CE during a two year period prior to renewing their real estate license. I’ll explain it for it. In Alabama, real estate agents renew their license every even year; 2010, 2012, 2014, etc. The deadline for license renewal is September 30 every even year. For example; all agents must renew their license by midnight September 30, 2012. If they aren’t renewed, license will automatically be placed inactive by the Alabama Real Estate Commission. Therefore, every active licensee has to complete 15-hours of CE beginning October 1, 2010 and ending midnight September 30, 2012. If this deadline is not met, their license will automatically be placed inactive and can no longer participate in normal real estate practices until certain requirements are met. Do you now see how important CE is?
To confuse the issue just a little more, Alabama real estate agents can begin renewing their license around July 15 of the renewal (even) year and must renew by August 30. But you say, “You just gave me two different dates that I have to renew by.” Yes but……look at it like a grace period. Every year there are agents that procrastinate. They wait until the last minute. Some totally disregard the deadline until they realize they can no longer work in real estate. Then before they can renew their license, they have to complete the CE and complete the Commission requirements and pay the necessary penalties.
If you have read earlier posts you remember that I always strongly encourage people to take online prelicense courses as opposed to a classroom style course. When I’m talking to agents about taking the required CE classes, the opposite occurs. I always strongly suggest they take CE classes in a classroom setting, if at all possible. There are very good reasons for making this suggestion. CE classes are specific to one topic; i.e. “Risk Management,” Alabama License Law,” “Contract Law,” and so forth. Let’s examine why classroom CE is better than online CE.
Classroom courses are approved through the same methods as online courses. Schools must renew all the courses they offer every “odd” year; 2009, 2011, 2013, etc. Therefore, the material being taught may be two years old by the time it is presented. A lot of changes can take place in two years, especially in state and federal laws. This is the reason I stopped offering “Short Sale & Foreclosure” CE classes. Those markets change monthly and sometimes weekly. Online class material can’t be updated as changes occur because of the course approval process. The approval process can month because it must be submitted for approval with the Alabama Real Estate Commission and with ARELLO to be certified. In classroom classes, the instructor is allowed to provide the most current information. In other words, classroom material is up to date and online material, though still factual, is at least one year old and could be older.
Another advantage for taking CE in a classroom comes from years of knowledge and experience that’s represented by sales and brokers attending the class. There are always situational scenario’s brought up by participants in the class that are very helpful and enlightening to other attendee’s. Some people don’t live near an area that provides quality classroom classes. They are forced to take online classes or travel some distance to attend a classroom class. For those people who elect not to travel, they can meet their CE requirements by taking online classes.
Rarely do I have a classroom CE class that there aren’t agents from multiple Counties across the state. Many times I have people attending class that are from other states. In 2010 I had an agent fly down from Pleasantville, NJ just to attend our two day CE classes. She has already enrolled again in our April 25-26, 2012 classes. With attendee’s from various parts of the county, it provides a great opportunity to build a relationship for future referral business. It is also helpful to local agents to improve their knowledge of fellow agents through classroom participation programs.
I think you can see some advantages to taking your continuing educational requirements in a classroom. Some people prefer the advantages of taking online CE. Thus the reason we strive to provide quality CE classes in both forms of delivery. I hope to see you in one of our many classes.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.