Online course aims to prep buyer agents for real estate wild west



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Kaplan’s new Buyer Agency Professional course aims to help buyer agents negotiate the ways they are compensated.

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A new course offered by the education company Kaplan aims to help buyer agents navigate the post-commission lawsuits and settlement landscape.

The company announced today that its new course, the Buyer Agency Professional course, will help buyer agents negotiate the ways they are compensated, in anticipation of a major upheaval in the ways real estate agents are paid following the landmark federal court ruling in Sitzer | Burnett in October and the ensuing $418 million settlement from the National Association of Realtors, which was announced last week and saw the NAR agree not to create rules that allow listing agents to set compensation for buyer brokers.

Kaplan’s Buyer Agency Professional designation, which opens for enrollment today, is billed as equipping agents with the tools they’ll need to navigate their changing profession. The NAR settlement means buyer agents will now have to negotiate with their clients to determine how they are paid,

“On a scale of 1-10, the National Association of Realtors’ decision to change how commissions are secured is a 10,” said Toby Schifsky, vice president of real estate education at Kaplan. “This is by far the biggest change to hit the real estate industry in more than 30 years and has added a new dimension of uncertainty among agents on how they are going to secure their fees when representing buyers. That’s not good for them, their clients or the market.”

The eight-hour online course includes information on the responsibilities of a buyer agent, how to create a compelling value proposition as a buyer agent, the steps involved in securing professional fees, how to create a menu of services included in the agent offer, and how to utilize a professional service agreement — all of which are skills Kaplan says will become more important for buyer agents in the fallout of the NAR settlement.

“The Buyer Agency Professional designation not only educates agents on the best processes and tactics to use when securing their fees but also teaches them how to compete and market their services to get ahead on this significantly different landscape,” Schifsky said. “We also believe that potential buyers are going to look to hire agents who have this designation, as it demonstrates both their command of the new buyer representative/agency model and commitment to excellence.”

Agents who complete the course will receive a digital badge to use in their marketing efforts and a BAP designation.

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