A real estate instructor typically teaches at a junior college or pre-licensing school which offers classes for students who want to become real estate agents. He or she usually teaches courses pertaining to real estate such as principals of real estate, real estate practices, and some elective courses, as well. Courses may vary from among states and countries, but generally they include topics like appraisal, property management, finance, economics, legal aspects, office administration, and general accounting. Other topics might include business law, escrow, mortgage loan brokering and lending, computer applications and common interest developments.
Certified real estate instructors (CREIs) typically offer courses on real estate principals. This type of course focuses on the many aspects of real estate including how to write contracts, the difference in agency and dual agency, how to close a deal, financing basics, taxation, and leasing of property. Most real estate instructors will also offer courses on real estate practices such as real estate law, agency issues, land use regulations, ownership, and finance basics.
In addition to the core classes, typical coursework includes elective subjects which real estate instructors also may teach. Instructors usually have personal experience in real estate and therefore can use that knowledge to help students better understand what their first few years in the field will involve. In the US, junior colleges and pre-licensing schools usually aim to have a high pass rate among their students, which is good for the students, but also for the school as it helps attract future students. After the coursework is completed, an instructor will typically issue a completion certificate so students may go on to take the relevant licensing exam or exams.
Most real estate instructors are CREIs. There are other professions who use the same acronym of CREI, such as commercial real estate investing, and cost reduction and effectiveness improvement. In order to become the real estate type of CREI, however, one must usually have prior teaching experience. CREIs also typically have real estate experience, and most US states require that instructors to have served as a real estate broker for more than two years or have legal experience.
When certifying instructors, US states usually follow the same guidelines for all licensees, taking into account such things as honesty, integrity, ethics, truthfulness, and a clean criminal background. Fingerprints are usually required for verification by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). After approval for certification has been granted, a license is typically issued for two years. An instructor who has excelled above most other CREIs typically is given the designation of distinguished real estate instructor (DREI). This honor is given by the Real Estate Educators Association.