Business Builder Program
WHAT IS BUSINESS BUILDER?
Business Builder™is a highly effective program that enables title attorneys, lenders, home inspectors and others to reach out to real estate agents by teaching an approved continuing education class for the Professional Development Institute (PDI). Agents pay a discounted price for the class, which encourages a large turnout. You may enhance attendance by subsidizing part or all of the course fee or sponsoring it in numerous other ways. All sponsorship activities will be prominently acknowledged, thereby furthering your brand and name recognition.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
You decide the date, time and place of the class, the maximum class size, if desired, and make the arrangements for the facility. Agents sign up and pay for the class themselves on our web site. The price the agent pays depends on whether you chose to subsidize part or all of the cost. In the absence of a subsidy, the price to the agent for a 3 hour class is $32.00, and $17.00 for a 1.5 hour class. We will advertise the class, make arrangements for monitors, provide completion certificates, answer questions from the agents, report attendance and keep records, as required.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHICH CLASSES I CAN TEACH?
We offer dozens of classes for continuing education credit and continually add new ones to our offerings. Please contact us for the current list.
MAY I TEACH A CLASS THAT'S NOT ON THE LIST?
Yes. Give us the outline in the appropriate format (we will provide a sample) and we will submit it for approval to the various authorities.
MUST INSTRUCTORS BE APPROVED?
Yes. Generally, instructors must have at least two years of experience teaching the topic, or other experience which clearly demonstrates a high level of expertise in the field. There may be administrative and instructor approval fees, depending on the licensing jurisdiction.
HOW MUCH DOES BUSINESSBUILDER COST? MUST I GUARANTEE ENROLLMENT OR PAY A FLAT FEE? IS THERE A CANCELLATION FEE?
You are not required to guarantee enrollment or pay a flat fee to PDI. There is no fee for submitting a course for Maryland approval, although Commission application fees and modest PDI administrative fees may apply for submissions to other jurisdictions. There are no other costs to you unless you choose to sponsor or subsidize a class, or request that we send marketing emails in excess of our generous allowance. While we do not charge a cancellation or rescheduling fee, we ask that you notify us of schedule changes at least two business days in advance so we can give enrollees sufficient notice.
WHERE MAY CLASSES BE TAUGHT?
You may teach the class in any facility conducive to training which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and meets applicable fire, safety and zoning codes. Examples of acceptable venues are, a conference or training room in your office or that of a broker, a hotel conference room, an entire restaurant or one of its private rooms, an auditorium or a theater. To make the class especially ttractive you could teach it in a resort hotel or on a cruise ship (which PDI has done).
WILL PDI PROMOTE THE CLASS?
We will advertise the class on our website and promote it to our email database of agents whose license is coming due for renewal, typically 1,500 per month. We usually promote twice to these agents. There is no charge for this advertising. If you wish to advertise more broadly we will promote to part or our entire data base of approximately 50,000 Maryland, DC and Virginia agents, brokers and associate brokers for a small fee.
MAY I ADVERTISE TO MY OWN EMAIL OR POSTAL LISTS? ON MY WEB SITE?
Subject to our approval of the copy, you may advertise by any means for DC or Virginia credit classes. The Maryland Real Estate Commission does not permit entities other than approved schools to advertise individual classes for continuing education credit. For Maryland classes, with your input, we will handle the advertising and give you prominent credit as a sponsor. If you wish, we will promote classes for Maryland credit to your own email list. There is no charge for the first 2,000 emails.
HOW MUCH LEAD TIME IS REQUIRED TO OFFER A COURSE?
Maryland - In order to allow sufficient time for advertising and administrative processing at PDI, we recommend at least two weeks for currently-approved courses. For new courses, a minimum of five weeks should be allowed because the Commission is allowed 30 days to review an application. Often classes are approved in considerably less than 30 days, but if it raises questions or requests an outline, it could take longer.
DC and Virginia - lead times vary considerably, depending on when the application is submitted and the meeting schedules of the licensing authorities. Please contact us for additional information.
MAY I SPONSOR AN EVENT OR INDIVIDUAL CLASS?
Yes. Sponsorship may take many forms such as, subsidizing the price the agent pays for the class and providing food and refreshments. Agent fee subsidies for individual classes may be any amount and may vary from class to class, enabling you to tailor the subsidy specifically to the audience you are reaching out to. Sponsorship activities must conform to applicable law and regulation. Please contact us for more information on sponsorship in general and recently enacted Maryland continuing education regulations which allow sponsorship of individual classes.
IS THERE A WAY TO PROMOTE MY SERVICES TO AGENTS WITHOUT PERSONALLY TEACHING A CLASS?
Yes. Simply sponsor a class offered in one of our own classrooms or other facility we arrange, such as a broker’s office or hotel. You may also sponsor one in a location you arrange, such as a broker’s office or restaurant. We will gladly work with you to fashion promotional opportunities which meet Commission regulations and guidelines.
WHY SHOULD I USE THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE?
PDI enjoys considerable name recognition and is known for the excellence of its courses, instructors and administrative staff. Since our founding in 1998, we have educated thousands of real estate agents, appraisers and mortgage originators in broker and settlement attorney offices, hotels and in our own classrooms. We have offered hundreds of classes under Business Builder™ and established ourselves as preeminent in the field of education-based promotional programs. Some of the largest settlement companies in the Maryland-Virginia-DC area participate in the program. PDI is a leader in offering Maryland classroom salesperson and broker pre-licensing training, the number one seller of REcampus distance learning continuing education courses and other products in the Maryland-DC-Virginia region and one of just a handful of schools approved to offer Maryland salesperson pre-licensing training on line.
THE PDI DIFFERENCE.
PDI's Business Builder™ program is the best program of its kind because of numerous features not usually available at other schools. Here’s what sets us apart.
You Won't Have Any Trouble Finding a Course to Teach.
PDI has received approval for dozens of mandatory and elective continuing education courses for Maryland and DC real estate agents. Most of our courses will also be accepted by reciprocity by the Virginia Real Estate Board. By contrast, most other schools have approval only for a few courses. After a while these limited offerings can become repetitive and of diminished interest to agents. Being able to work with a school having approval for numerous courses is especially important if you would like to teach classes frequently in your own office or in a particular broker’s location.
Virtually No Demand on Your Time.
All enrollments are done directly by the agents on our web site. You may schedule a class with just a phone call and do the same in the event a cancellation or postponement should be necessary. If you specify a maximum class enrollment, it will automatically be closed when the limit is reached. If you should decide to increase or decrease the limit, simply call us, and we will promptly make the change to our web site. We handle all questions, refund requests, transfers, record keeping and reporting. We will coordinate with you and inform agents of any changes in scheduling due to inclement weather or other reasons. Once put in place, the program practically runs on autopilot.
No Financial Risk.
Unlike other schools, we do not require a minimum enrollment guarantee or charge a flat fee or class cancellation fee.
We will promote the class on our web site and by email to some 1,500 agents whose license is coming up for renewal in the near future. If you wish, we will also send an announcement to your own email data base. There is no charge for the first 2,000 emails per send-out.
No Add-on Fees That Can Discourage Enrollments.
Some schools give the appearance of having lower class prices, but impose high cancellation charges and extra fees for charge card payments and additional completion certificates. In some cases, these fees can actually exceed the cost of the course. PDI’s fees are all-inclusive. This means there are no add-ons which may discourage enrollment by effectively increasing the price to the agent.
We Will Seek Approval for Classes You Presently Teach, or Wish to Develop.
If you are presently teaching a class elsewhere and want to do so through PDI, or wish to develop a new class, we will be happy to submit it for approval.
Approval for Additional Instructors May be Requested, As Necessary.
As your promotional program expands you may wish to have additional instructors teach the classes. Simply provide the instructor’s bio to us and we will promptly seek instructor approval.
You Can Easily Check Class Enrollments Any Time.
Up-to-the-minute information on enrollments will be available to you 24/7 through a special, protected account we will set up for you on our site. This will allow you to accurately determine how many handouts you need or make the decision to cancel or reschedule a class if enrollments do not meet your expectations.
We're Helpful and Easy to Work With.
Our staff is extremely professional, capable and responsive. Arrangements are usually made by a simple phone call. If we think an outline you submit for approval needs changes to meet Commission requirements, we will work with you to get it approved.
WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP?
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON RESPA DUE DILIGENCE
PDI makes no representation that settlement attorneys, lenders and others subject to RESPA who participate in its BUSINESSBUILDER™ program will be in compliance with RESPA. Please make your own determination.