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Young woman studying at homeStanding out in today’s market goes way beyond having access to the latest and greatest technology tool.

In fact, for a vast majority of real estate professionals, continuing education has become an integral piece of the puzzle.

Whether it’s earning a designation or certification that provides in-depth training on representing buyers or sellers, technology, pricing properties or serving the real estate needs of clients age 50+, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and its affiliated Institutes, Societies and Councils provide a wide range of programs and services that help members increase their skills, proficiency and knowledge.

With an underlying goal of providing educational tools that’ll help members develop their business and their skills, NAR is committed to continuing education, so much so that they recently rebranded their online designations and certifications platform—complete with a new name.

From REALTOR® University to the Center for REALTOR® Development, the decision behind the name change reflects the need to provide a level of differentiation between the online designations/certifications platform and the Masters Program (also housed under REALTOR® University), while maintaining the notion that each and every course is designed for REALTORS®.

The platform revamp also involved the introduction of a new logo, a new URL and an advertising campaign.

For the team behind the rebrand, incorporating the Code of Ethics course that all REALTORS® must take into the designations/certifications platform is one of the most significant aspects of the entire process. Originally housed at realtor.org, two versions are available—one that counts toward Continuing Education (CE) and a non-CE, free version. An online CE safety course was also recently rolled out. Members can also look forward to the Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification, a brand-new program set to launch by the end of the year.

But it doesn’t end there. As we get ready to wrap up 2015, there are even more changes on the horizon. Not only will the new year bring a refreshed website to the table—a loyalty program where members can earn badges and other incentives upon course completion, in addition to gamification, will be available.

As the numbers continue to grow—attendance in the online courses offered through NAR has increased by about 20 percent each year over the last few years—NAR will continue to look at new courses and topics that will be of interest to members.

And NAR’s members are just as excited about the changes taking place, judging by some of the many comments from a recent evaluation of the online designation and certification courses:

• “Great, relevant content…love all the resources that are available to us.”

• “It will help me become a better REALTOR®.”

• “The system was user-friendly, which made it very easy to use and understand.”

For more information, stop by booth No. 1431 during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, or visit www.onlinelearning.realtor.

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