Education programs/Certifications for short sales. Who do you like best? Who is a waste of time?

While the are a ton of ed sites on short sales and designations are being created out of thin air every day (or so it seems), let's share our insights and experiences.

 

Four of the better known out there (at least to me) are the Distressed Property Institute and it's CDPE, the Harris University short sale course and designation,  Short Sale Genius and it's designation and last playing catch-up (my opinion) is the SFR of the National Association.

 

What do you think of these organizations?  Have you taken more than one training?  Is there one you took but wish you haven't (too elementary for example)?

 

Let's get an exchange going.  And feel free to add other trainers if you feel that they should be mentioned.  For good or bad.

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Hello Steele,

As a CDPE designee I can attest to the fact that I was required to pass an exam prior to acquring my certification with Distressed Property Institute. I was also provided with a field manual, forms, and other useful information which I can go back and review as needed (I am a hands-on person so I prefer hard copy to computer screen reading). My vote is for Distressed Property Institute. Some additional info for you: The website is an additional monthly charge which I canceled because it did not provide me with any leads. I have received more referrals from SSN than my CDPE website.
Realtors who have learned the Short-Sale process through trial and error and have learned to become successful in these transactions will most likely have no use for the certification courses. Realtors who have not had life's lessons or who have not been successful with Short-Sale transactions should definately take a course to learn the basics.
Penny,

I hear that. I got my CDPE last October. Had a fair amount of training and experience in short sales and still found the course well worth it. I actually found myself looking forward to coming back to class the second day. And it's been a while since that's happened :>)

Did the web thing also but dropped out of it after about 5 months. But I will admit that I wasn't really able to market it very effectively. Maybe will give it another shot later this summer.

I, too, have had much better luck with Short Sale Specialist Network when it comes to leads. Relatively inexpensive to become a "Preferred Partner" and now they are even guaranteeing leads to expend their coverage areas.
I took the CDPE 2 day course in person and it was fantastic! It was very well presented and excellent material was handed out.I like their web site for updated handouts, new information regarding loan mods,networking opportunities etc. I know other agents that took the SFR and learned so little, they are now getting their CDPE designation. I also earned Five Star Institute's Short Class certificate online and that was very worthwhile.
I think that there is a lot of good feedback here. There is certainly enough education out there for anyone to learn the fundamentals of doing a short sale. But nothing takes the place of experience. There are so many situations that come up, that you couldn't possibly learn it all in school.

What bothers me, is when I see Realtor's advertising themselves as a "Short Sale Expert", just because they took a course.
Julie,

I hear you. Remember that experience and expert come from same root concept. Education is important but you don't learn how to swim by reading a book. Unfortunately no one is requiring a certain level of experience before passing out the designations.

Years ago when I decided to become a CRS I had to not only have a variety of courses but also time in grade and certain minimum number of transactions. I took me a year to do so. That was a designation that was earned. Now it seems to be more of "give me money and I'll give you some more letters to put behind your name."
I've always heard really good things about the CDPE training program and I've contemplated it, but I'm still on the fence about dishing out money and possibly hearing concepts that I'm already familiar. I started in real estate in 2006 and my very first listings were all short sale transactions that I closed. Now 75% of my transactions this year alone were short sale deals and ALL of my pending are short sales. I definitely think that experience has been the best training of all!

That is hillarious about a CDPE not knowing how to write a Short Sales Contract!  I guess a new agent who didn't want to ask his broker.  I have the CDPE and the HAFA Designations and I have been an HRC for 3 years.  I don't know that the the CDPE taught me anything that I didn't already know, but it was very well organized.  The HAFA taught me a lot - about the forms, the different types of HAFA Short Sales, etc.  But when I actually did my first HAFA Short Sale, the servicer didn't even ask for any of them.  We just had a verbal agreement that it was to be a HAFA deal!  I always aim for HAFA first, then if that doesn't work, I do a traditional.  I hated Equator until I recently did a Short Sale with Chase and had to fax in the entire 2" package!  Now I really can appreciate Equator.  But I do NOT like working with BofA.  I find them to be extremely unorganized. 

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