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The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).

We get this question a lot. Ultimately, it’s up to you (the learner)! To help decide, ask yourself the following questions:

  • In what way do I learn best?
  • What is my timeframe for obtaining this education?
  • How available is this course in the format I prefer?
  • What kind of learning experience do I want to have?

Recently, we had the opportunity to talk to students face-to-face and get some more insight into their feelings and preferences. Some indicated that they preferred classroom courses—that they simply learned better that way and gained incredible value from the discussion and colleague interaction in instructor-led settings. Other individuals preferred the online format so they could absorb the content at their own pace and work around family and career commitments. Still others employed a hybrid mix-and-match approach in which they took some of the courses in the classroom and others online.

One individual, for example, mentioned that he likes the immersive classroom experience for the two-day designation courses, but prefers to take electives or shorter courses online. Others enroll in online courses that they can finish up quickly to fulfill approaching CE deadlines. It just depends on your personal education “strategy” and your needs at the moment.

We at the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the Center for REALTOR® Development are committed to supporting students in whatever education format works best for them. If a course is available in the classroom and also online, you can be assured that the subject matter expertise and base content used to develop each is the same. There is no information or learning content advantage either way.

In both formats, you will be provided a print or downloadable student manual that you can keep and refer back to. Beyond that, there are some specific considerations to keep in mind when choosing between online and classroom formats for the NAR “official” designation and certification courses, and we offer them for you here below.

  • You may have noticed that the prices of classroom courses may differ. This is because according to the licensing agreement for classroom course content, classroom course providers have flexibility to set their own prices. Our online courses at the Center for REALTOR® Development have fixed pricing.
  • A classroom course happens in a specific time and place, so there will be no need to remember to finish it. Conversely, to conform to most state CE rules, our online courses are accessible by the learner for a full year before they expire. (We no longer automatically allow for paid extensions beyond one year.)
  • For classroom courses, the provider—whoever is putting on the course—is in most cases responsible for obtaining the CE credit from the particular state(s) where it is held or can be applied. If you have CE-related question about a classroom course, contact the classroom course provider first.
  • For online courses at the Center for REALTOR® Development, we already do the background work of obtaining CE credit on your behalf in as many states as possible before you even purchase the course. The number of CE hours associated for each course at time of order is listed on its product page and also on your purchase receipt. Please note that the CE credits associated with an online course may change from time to time, so be sure to check your purchase receipt to be sure about the CE credits associated with your particular purchase order.
  • If you have additional or more detailed questions about classroom course policies and procedures, contact the provider of the classroom course. For more detailed information about online course policies at out site, please refer to our comprehensive FAQ.

To celebrate NAR’s Designation Awareness Month, during the month of November, all online designation and certification courses offered in the online format through the Center for REALTOR® Development at its onlinelearning.REALTOR site are 20% off their regular price. For more information about Designation Awareness Month, click here.

For more information, please visit RISMedia’s new online learning portal from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD) and the Learning Library. Here, real estate professionals can sign up for online professional development courses, industry designations, certifications, CE credits, Code of Ethics programs and more. NAR’s CRD also offers monthly specials and important education updates. New users will need to register for an account.

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