The DREI, known the Distinguished Real Estate Instructor designation is one of the highest credentials a real estate educator can earn.  It isn’t something you just apply for and can earn.  You have to have at least 500 hours of classroom experience, have taken a number of courses, take a test, and then pass the rigid video evaluation.

Right now I don’t have the DREI.  I’m hoping to finish it within the next year but taking the courses and fulfilling the requirements.

There are many designations right?

What do they really mean?

In my opinion they only mean something to those who knows what it takes to earn them.  I have earned 12 real estate designations but many people ask in humor what they mean instead of understanding how hard it took to receive them.

ASTD, the American Society of Training development released a statistic that says:

10% of learning is received from instructor led training (live CE or pre-license).

20% of learning is received from self-directed training (online CE or pre-license).

70% of learning is received from social learning (YouTube, SlideShare, Facebook, etc.).

The problem is that the DREI testing and education curriculum focuses on instructor led training the 10% of how students learn.

For the DREIs out there I’m not saying the designation has no value.  What I am suggesting is that the curriculum and application may need some tweaking to adjust some key principles on how others receive education and learn from their peers.

None of the testing material covers social learning applications.

Does this mean that the DREI is teaching irrelevant methods of delivery?

Let’s focus on the 70%, social learning, and what it means to the real estate instructor.

Social learning is simply learning from your peers in an exchange of open ideas, created by the learners for the learners.  Anyone can create a piece of content (video, audio, blog post, PowerPoint) and share it quickly with others without spending any money.  The assimilation of this content and how it relates to the learner is up to the individual, not just one instructor.

Is there a chance someone may post something incorrect?  Sure.

Is there a chance a live instructor may say something incorrect during a class?  Absolutely.

Then how do you choose live instructors for your class?

In my opinion they are chosen for having a good reputation for teaching.

Learners consistently need verification from several sources, people, and groups to acknowledge a piece of information as relevant or fact.  This happens in everyday life in conversations like what is the best place in town, where can I go to get my car fixed, etc.

So what can the DREI to do improve its program?

Here are my 3 ideas…

  1. Act as a facilitator, not an instructor.
  2. Focus on content creation, not content delivery.
  3. Allow cell phones and laptops in the classroom

Act as a facilitator, not an instructor.

Change the name to DREF (Distinguished Real Estate Facilitator)?  No.  Change the idea that the material that the instructor has to give is correct.  Each individual real estate agent has their own way of doing business that works from them.  It comes from personal experiences, failing, and past success.

I know instructors can facilitate a great in the classroom but the problem is once the class is over then the learning stops.  I would encourage the DREI program to think about helping instructors create online communities of sharing information.  It could be as simple as creating a Facebook page or as advance as its own social network.  The instructor can still field questions, encourage others to give their perspective, and step in when someone poses incorrect or unclear statements.

Focus on content creation, not content delivery.

Social learning involves continuously creating content in multiple formats.  Today’s teacher must be equipped with new skills sets that depend on the latest technology to get results.  I know so many great instructors that have turned off their need to embrace new ideas because what has worked for them in the past still works for them and they don’t feel the need to take the time to learn new things.

When was the last time you created a…

Video tutorial?

Blog post?

Multimedia PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi presentation?


You may not need to know how to do it all but I know you can find someone to help you that fits within your budget.  If you create the content and share online your students will help share the  information for you.

Allow cell phones and laptops in the classroom

I wrote a lengthy blog post back in January which covers this case in point.

I encourage anyone who is serious about real estate education to go through the DREI program, attend a REEA conference, and talk to other DREIs to learn from their experiences.

Here are some links to learn more about the DREI.

  • Candidacy Application
  • Candidate Deadlines & Schedule
  • Examination Reservation
  • IAP Examination Content Outline
  • Renewal Criteria (Effective June 1, 2011)
  • Renewal Application (Effective June 1, 2011)
  • Generally Accepted Principles of Education
  • Guidelines for a Successful Videotape


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre from St. Louis, Missouri USA when they want to dramatically increase operational performance, create breakthrough value propositions, and serve customers beyond geographical constraints on a minimal budget. For more than a decade he has been setting trends with how organizations engage customers with social media, video marketing, and custom-built software applications. Doug’s book Screen to Screen Selling published by McGraw Hill pioneered the way sales professionals sold homes without being physically present before the COVID-19 pandemic. He is one of a select few who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speakers Association and has experience as a REALTOR.

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