A Spin in the Learning Seat


I was interested in learning about Instanet and Zip Forms and how the signature programs of Authentisign and Docusign worked.

I was writing a class for the MN Realty School and thought these would be good topics to write about so real estate agents could perform their jobs easier, more efficiently and with more confidence. In order to present the material, I would need to become proficient in the topic. Have you ever attended a class where the instructor/ trainer didn’t have mastery of the content? It is painfully obvious when they don’t know more that the audience and it worse that watching paint dry to sit there for four hours.

There are many ways to learn how to perform a task or job. Some adults learn one way while others learn another way. So, I did what many people do today. I decided to read the instruction manual! I downloaded the User Manual to my laptop and started reading. As I started reading page 1, I remembered that I had to return an email to a Course 1 student. So, I stopped what I was doing and opened an Internet browser and dashed off a quick email. OK. That’s done. Let me get back to reading. I returned to the manual. I got the second paragraph on page 1 when I realized that I needed a warm-up for my coffee.

These types of distractions made it impossible for me to read the entire manual. I needed to find another way.

I asked a real estate agent to show me how to use these electronic form completion programs. We set a time aside. We met at the MN Realty School and she opened her laptop and proceeded to demonstrate the usage of the programs. After logging into MLS, she opened Zip Forms and opened a ‘packet’ of Wisconsin Offer to Purchase. She moved filed back and forth showing me how she has shortcuts to make her life easier when using Zip Forms where she takes the flibbity gibbit file over to whatchamacallit application and downloaded – I was LOST the moment I became a spectator.

Not wanting to be rude, I followed the best I could. My mind wandered about working on Pulse Portal, getting a car wash, etcetera.

Seeing that reading the manual didn’t work so well and being a spectator was not in my wheelhouse, I went to an online video website to watch the video on how to set up my account. Like many people today, Youtube has become a wonderful tool to do things. It was magical. I opened a couple of browser tabs while the video played, paused the video so I could perform the task, returned to video for more instruction—I was delighted. It was so wonderful that I watched a video on how to get the Maytag dryer to stop squealing during the dry cycle! I replaced the belt with ease in 15 minutes.

The moral of the story: Learning is different for everyone. To apply a cookie cutter approach is not fair to the learner. Telling a new agent that the state-required exam should be taken as quickly as possible after Course 1 is not fair to a kinesthetic learner who learns by ‘doing’. Our courses 2 and 3 are designed to help the kinesthetic students learn to ‘do’ the things we read as ‘theory’ in Course 1.

That’s why we adopted the slogan to ‘Enter as a Student, Leave as an Agent.’ Mike Brennan

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