The real estate industry has seen a surge in demand for online courses, as more people are looking to enter this exciting and lucrative field. If you have a passion for real estate and are thinking of starting an online academy for real estate courses, this blog post will guide you through the process.
Step 1: Define your niche
Before you start creating your academy, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your niche and target audience. This will help you create the appropriate content and determine who you will market your courses too, and how to target them. There are two main niche markets in the real estate course industry seeing the most traction and opportunity for generating income from your online courses.
- Real Estate License Courses: Gone are the days of people wanting to sit in a brick and mortar classroom on their precious weekends to take live courses to get their real estate license. Instead, most states allow for companies to offer these same courses at their own online course academy. You can offer first-time real estate licenses, and/or renewal licenses for the continuing education courses.
- Online Notary Courses: One of the most popular businesses for individuals to start on their own is to be a notary. Many states require a notary to complete legal transactions, which are a part of every real estate transaction. Creating an online notary academy gives people the opportunity to earn their course credits in the comfort of their own homes at their own convenience. Most notary courses are affordable and easy to complete.
Step 2: Research your competition
Once you have defined your niche, it is time to research your competition. Look at what other online academies are offering, their course formats, pricing, and marketing strategies. This will give you an idea of what is already out there and help you identify opportunities for differentiation. We would even encourage you to invest in signing up for a few online courses so you can get a feel for how other online academies display their courses, the content, tests, surveys, and certificates. You will also see the communication and notifications throughout the online course process. Search for the specific name of the competitor’s online course academy to see if/what online advertisements they’re running, and where you’re seeing them.
Step 3: Develop your course content
The success of your online academy and the likelihood of someone referring your courses to a friend will depend on the quality of your course content. You need to develop courses that are informative, easy to navigate, and have the ability to stop and start so you don’t have to finish it all in one sitting. Many companies already have their own course content from offering live courses. If this is the case, it’s recommended to record videos with you, or another expert in your field, since video content is the most common and preferred method of viewing online courses today. You can also create PDFs or other documents that can be downloaded as complementary course materials.
Step 4: Choose a platform
Choosing the right LMS platform is crucial to the success of your online academy. You need to select a platform that is user-friendly, has features for course creation and management, and offers secure payment processing. One of the most important factors in choosing a platform is the ability to meet the state (or other governing) requirements for your online courses. There are often strict requirements related to items like:
- Ensuring the student watches a certain amount of the course
- Preventing the student from skipping forward in the course
- Having access to reporting (when the student enrolled, took, finished the course)
- Offering certificates with specific information automatically populated on it (such as, completion date, test score, instructor name, special ID, time spent in the course, etc)
Step 5: Create a marketing strategy
Once you have developed your course content and selected a platform, it is time to create a marketing strategy. You need to identify your target audience, determine the best channels for reaching them, and create compelling marketing messages that will attract them to your online academy. You can use social media, email marketing, paid advertising, and content marketing to promote your online academy. This will also depend on whether your target audience is new students (you can target anyone within the age group of being able to obtain a license), or returning/renewing customers (you can target existing real estate agents)
Starting an online academy for real estate courses requires having the right/engaging (and approved) content, a solid platform to meet the required features and settings, and effective marketing.
Click 4 Course specializes in offering the features required for making sure your online course academy stays compliant with all state and real estate requirements. This will give you peace of mind to make sure your online academy not only visually looks great, with your own branded website and customization throughout the platform, but also meets the regulatory requirements to keep it compliant.