Are you in the process of getting your real estate license, or are you new to the world of continuing education and just getting started in real estate? Getting a schedule down and taking it one step at a time can be the difference between maintaining focus and doing well or feeling overwhelmed and performing poorly.
This is especially true with online programs, which often feel more relaxed because you're taking classes in your home office or in a coffee shop-type setting, giving you the false sense that you don't have to try as hard or take it as seriously as an in-person class.
Online classes, however, can often be more demanding. So, here are some strategies for staying focused and succeeding in your online education:
Put it in your calendar. The first step is to block off time for these classes, as well as any days and times you plan on studying. Once these are written down or are entered into your mobile calendar, there's no escaping it—you're committed to the class.
Another thing to schedule? Your breaks. If you know your attention span won't let you sit through an entire course, then think about taking a break every now and then (if the class isn't timed and you have the ability to play/pause). Stretch your muscles, walk around, clear your head and return with renewed energy. You can also schedule some breaks during your study time.
Set up a distraction-free zone. If you're easily distracted by talking, the coffee shop may not be the best place to study or take an online class. A home office or other similar space that is quiet and away from people is the perfect environment for staying attentive and really taking in the information you're learning. If you don't have a home office, check out your local library and see if they have an isolated space in which you can study.
As a real estate agent, you'll want to make sure your home office, or whatever environment your brokerage provides you with, works with your business persona. Set up your study space the way you're most likely to be efficient, and you'll want to find that same type of setting when it comes time to start building your business.
Ensure you have a good internet connection, no matter where you're working from. Test your computer and confirm you have a strong connection before starting your online classes—especially if you're going to be using Wi-Fi—and double-check that whatever programs you'll need for accessing the course are ready to go and work on your system. This will give you some peace of mind day-of.
Read slowly and engage with the text. You might be eager to get studying over with, but speed reading isn't going to help you achieve your end goal. Take your time reading so that you're actually comprehending the text. If you still have trouble taking it all in, read out loud so it's more easily retained, since you'll be reading as well as hearing it out loud.
Of course, for most people, just reading isn't sufficient. To study more effectively, you'll need to engage with the text. Write out questions and create your own study guide or quiz. Use diagrams to explain the material to yourself and verbalize complex topics in your own words so you know that you understand the material. Reading about appraisals and real estate law can get complex, so make sure you're comfortable with the concepts by taking your studying a step further.
Online courses can be very rewarding, and by following these tips, you're that much closer to obtaining your real estate license (or using continuing education to start building your business)!