America's Real Estate Academy, Inc. EDUCATION-AREA-GA.COM
When you're serious about Real Estate Education
VOLUME I, ISSUE 3 June, 2007

Code Courses How To Build a House Appraisers - Time Is Running Out
USPAP Cruise? FREE State Exam Prep Practice Tests FMLS Lock Box Access Update
Real Estate Market Activity Trouble Collecting Your Fees Do You WIKI?
State Licensing - Home Inspectors Do You Use Your Credit Card? Link Exchange with AREA
Free Listing in Real Estate Careers
Back to Front Page

Code Courses – Finally!
$50 off for Early Registration
You have been asking for them and AREA is finally delivering ALL NEW ICC CODE COURSES. The Residential Building Inspector Code will be the first course rolling out in early August 2007. The course will cover in detail the first 10 chapters of the 2006 International Residential Code. There will be lots of review questions to help you prepare for the ICC exam. Each month a new course will be offered until all four courses are in regular rotation.

Subsequent courses shall include the Residential Plumber Inspector, Residential Mechanical Inspector, and Residential Electrical Inspector. Inspectors will be encouraged to take the ICC examinations shortly after completing the courses. You will be able to receive separate ICC certifications in each area of concentration. Once you have been certified in each area you will be able to apply for the designation of Certified Residential Combination Inspector with no further course work and no additional testing required.

These courses will also be approved by the Georgia Real Estate Commission and Appraisers Board for real estate salesperson and appraisal continuing education credit.

To reward you for your patience, AREA will offer early registration discounts of up to $50 per code course that you register for by the end of June. For more information and schedules, please send an email to

June 2007 Back to Top

Agents! Appraisers! Home Inspectors! Don’t Miss Out
Residential Construction - How to Build a House, One-Day Workshop

AREA is introducing what may be one of the most fascinating CE courses EVER! Atlanta Homebuilder Steve King will take you through the entire process of building a house – from site and plans review to obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy. What a great way to gain an advantage over your competition.

Everyone can benefit from this residential construction course. This course will review construction financing and delve into the details of selecting sub-contractors (subs), communication with subs, job pricing with subs, working with county inspectors, the construction sequence, planning and managing a construction job, and “dos and don’ts” from a builder’s perspective.

This is a terrific opportunity to get familiar with construction terminology and obtain a complete understanding of the entire construction process. If you are a real estate agent, appraiser, home inspector, potential house builder, or simply a homeowner, you NEED this course to help your clients and yourself.

Have you ever been confused about what makes up the trim and cornice, or which walls are load bearing, or how decks should be fastened to houses, or any other facet of residential construction? This is your opportunity to gain that knowledge so you can provide even more complete and more competent services to your clients.

Did we mention the course is ON-SITE! That’s correct. The course will be held in a new subdivision development where you have as “training aids” a million dollars worth of partially constructed houses. You will be able to see and touch components and systems discussed during this one-day workshop. Become familiar with common code requirements and get your questions answered about construction.

Don’t miss out; the first course is July 2, 2007. The workshop provides 6 hours of real estate CE and 7 hours of appraisal CE. By the way, you will be learning from one of the best in the business. Steve King has over 30 years of real estate experience as a loan officer, appraiser, closing attorney, and builder of hundreds of homes in North Atlanta. The cost of the workshop is just $195 – it would be an educational bargain to spend a day with Steve at 10 times that amount. Check out the class schedules; for more information send an email to

June 2007 Back to Top

Appraisers – Time is Running Out

Appraisers who can and want to benefit from the old GREAB rules have less than 6 months left to obtain your higher license classification. On January 1, 2008 all appraisers will fall under the revised AQB requirements. Unsure of what you need? Let AREA help.

Many appraisers only need 30 educational hours to elevate to Certified; that is just 2 classes. This refers to anyone who became an appraiser prior to July 1 2005. Appraisers after this point need specific courses totaling 60 hours of credit to obtain the License level. You should take these classes as soon as possible because your experience log must also be submitted for approval. Waiting for a class may not allow you enough time for the approval cycle and to schedule the state exam before the end of 2007.

If you are interested in elevating your license, AREA can assist with new appraisal advancement classification courses. You can gain 14 CE hours and if you take the exam at the end of class you get the 15 classification hours. Take the classes that will assist you to elevate now AND will satisfy the new 2008 curriculum.

Courses are practical, relevant and designed to take appraisers deeper into appraisal practice for a better understanding of the appraisal process, bolster your confidence and sharpen your appraisal skills.

Ready for the State Test - The Appraisal Exam Prep course will also help ease that test anxiety. There is a high failure for appraisers taking the state exams. AREA can help you mess with that statistic (see related FREE Exam Prep article in this issue).

Check out the AREA website at for more information and schedules or contact an administrator for course options and schedules at or via phone 770-591-5552.

June 2007 Back to Top

USPAP Cruise?
Can Someone Say – Lemon into Lemonade?
USPAP Cruise
Let’s face it – USPAP is important, but a USPAP class can be boring. AREA has always tried to make USPAP more interesting for appraisers and we may have found the best solution to the boredom. AREA presents USPAP at Sea!

Just imagine how excited you would be to take your next required National USPAP 7-hr Update course aboard a cruise ship headed for the Western Caribbean - Cozumel, Mexico; Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas. Why not take a relaxing 7 day cruise from Port Canaveral on one of Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest cruise ships - the Carnival Glory. While you are enjoying the pampered onboard life (beautiful cabins, delicious food, outstanding entertainment) and en route to your next port of call, AREA will slip in the USPAP course and it will be painless!

Treat yourself, and your family, to a USPAP cruise May 3, 2008 – your family will be much more interested in what you do for a living – I promise you that. The USPAP course will be presented during the at-sea portion of the cruise so you won’t miss out on any port visits.

You can take the 7-day cruise for as little as $370, Ocean View for as little as $470, and Balcony only $600 (rates are per person, double occupancy, plus port charges). The cost of the USPAP course, is still $115. Remember you are coming to learn - bring your own USPAP book or one will be available at an additional charge. Let the kids come - 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin start at just $170 each. These are special group rates and must be arranged through AREA. Limited availablilty. View the cruise itinerary.

If you are interested, send an email to Check with your accountant or tax advisor as to the deductibility of any of the cost associated with this educational opportunity. This is the National USPAP Course but to be safe Licensees outside of GA may want to verify credit process in your state.

June 2007 Back to Top

FREE State Exam Prep Practice Tests
AREA will be launching a series of low cost exam prep online practice tests designed to help you pass the state sales and appraisal exams. To celebrate, we are offering a FREE 50-question appraisal exam prep practice test and study guide and a FREE 50-question real estate exam practice test and study guide.

Just click on the link for the test you want and send the email - you will receive a link right away to the exam of your choice.

The online exam prep tests allow you to take the entire exam and when you grade the exam, you will see your grade, the questions, the correct answers to each question and a detailed explanation for the answer. These exam prep practice tests will be an excellent and convenient way to prepare for the appraiser license exam, certified residential appraiser exam, certified general appraiser exam, and the real estate sales and broker exams. Not only will the exams assist you in honing your test taking skills, they will reinforce your knowledge and understanding of the complicated terms and concepts you will be tested on by the state.

Try one out and let us know what you think. Want more, have feedback; please send us an email and let us know your comments –

June 2007 Back to Top

FMLS Lock Box Access Update
This month all non-agents, appraisers, home inspectors, and other professionals involved in the typical real estate deal, will be finding it a little harder to use their Supra Key for property access. FMLS issued a new policy and these professionals must now obtain a CBS code (Call Before Showing code) from the listing agent before accessing the property or they will not be able to use their lockbox Supra key.

FMLS has increased fees to non-agents and are requiring you to physically come into an office for updating your Supra Key within very tight timelines. One Inspector was going to be out of town during the three day window of opportunity he had and was basically told that he will have to work it out.

AREA has always encouraged real estate professionals to gain proficiency in, and obtain licenses for related services. This extra inconvenience to appraisers and home inspectors reinforces why becoming a salesperson may not only add to your marketability but also can eliminate hurdles in your regular operations. AREA’s next real estate sales class begins June 5. Ask about our FMLS Nuisance Discount!

Non-Agents: Be prepared and aware of your cut-off this month. You do not want to be on assignment and find out you do not have access. Gas is too expensive.

Agents: Know Your CBS Code - Agents will not need a special code to access properties but you will need to provide it to the professionals who assist you with your real estate deals. Information to obtain the CBS code differs depending upon how you obtained the lockbox and is on the FMLS website. For your convenience some quick tips follow:

If you received the lockbox from your Broker:
Your Broker has a list of lockbox CBS codes and can give you a code.

If you obtained your lockbox yourself you have 4 alternatives:

  1. KIMvoice (888-968-4032), Option 2 - You’ll need the serial number of the Keybox and the shackle code.
  2. KIMweb: Log on to KIMweb and click on View Existing Keyboxes.
  3. Supra Paperwork: Upon purchase you received paperwork with a white label on it, which has the CBS code.
  4. eKey: If you use an eKey (Palm device) as your key, you can view your CBS code for the Keybox online under Manage Keyboxes.

For additional questions regarding Supra technical support, KIMvoice and/or KIMweb, please call Supra Technical Support at 1-877-699-6787.

June 2007 Back to Top

Real Estate Market Activity
FREE Statistical Reports

Ever wonder how agents get all their data about recent sales in your neighborhood? It is prepared for them and it is FREE.

Any FMLS member can obtain free, comprehensive market activity Statistical Reports. Various reports available include area summaries, market absorption rates, sales activity summaries, or property type summaries. These reports and details can be utilized in marketing efforts to educate your potential buyers and sellers.

A new agent utilizing this resource will seem like an experienced pro to potential clients. Appraisers who are FMLS members will benefit as well with access to an excellent justifiable source for market analysis for their appraisal reports.

To access these Reports, you must visit and log on. Click on Member Services, and then click on Statistical Reports.

June 2007 Back to Top

Trouble Collecting your Fees

No one likes to do a job and not get paid for it. There are some things you can do to prevent that from happening.

First and foremost you should take credit cards as a form of payment and publish your “no refund” policy. Taking credit cards is easy and fees are reasonable. The link provided will take you to the processing company that AREA uses – we think they have the best service and lowest fees. Check them out and solve a good bit of your collection issues.

A large number of appraisal assignments are “collect at the door” appraisals. So, if you don’t take credit cards, you will probably receive a check. The problem with a check is that if deposited, it may be 10-14 days before you know if the check was good. By that time you will have completed the appraisal and submitted your report to the client. If you take the check immediately to the drawer bank to have the check certified or have certified funds issued, you will know immediately if the check is good. If the check is good, you will leave the bank with certified funds. If the drawer bank happens to be your bank too, there may not be a fee for the service. In any event, the fee is small and worth it for the peace of mind.

Many appraisers invoice their larger clients and expect payment for accumulated invoices every two weeks or monthly. If you are billing your clients, it is important for you to be aggressive at collecting debts. Most appraisers are good at appraising, but bad at debt collecting. As soon as the payment has passed, a gentle reminder should be sent to the client. If not paid after two more weeks, a more determined letter should go be sent. Two weeks after that a certified letter should be sent demanding payment and specifying consequences if not paid by a certain date and in a certain manner.

AREA has published additional information and sample letters on a new wiki for real estate professionals. Check it out to review all of the debt collection resources posted to help you get your money.

June 2007 Back to Top

Do You WIKI?

Real Estate Professionals contact AREA on a daily basis about questions they have regarding client issues, real estate contracts, appraisal regulations, license renewals, education needs, and more. Many times the same questions are asked from multiple individuals. AREA will be posting this information on a brand new WIKI for the benefit of all real estate professionals. What’s a Wiki you ask?

A wiki is a website that permits users to collaborate in their effort to compile information that will be helpful to the members and users of the wiki site. The wiki will also have a forum which will allow all users to contribute ideas, experiences, and suggestions to solve the day to day issues confronting real estate practitioners.

To use the wiki it will - for the time being - be necessary to create a user account with the is a new free wiki service that allows you to create as many as 10 wikis with unlimited pages. Then visit the AREA wiki!

There may be a little learning curve to get to the point where you can edit the wiki and take advantage of all of its features, but please try it out and let us know what you think, which you can do right on the wiki. Once you create your user account, you can apply to join the wiki. Just a formality - nothing more than typing your name or email address or simply "want to join" in the application form. Give it a try and let's see if we can build together a good source of useful information that all of use can use.

June 2007 Back to Top

FREE Listing in Real Estate Careers!
Brokers, sales agents, appraisers, and home inspectors - list your contact information for FREE on AREA's new Real Estate Directory.

If you have a website, your listing can include a direct live link. If you just have an email address, we can list that. Check out the Real Estate Directory. To obtain your FREE listing simply provide this information and we will provide your FREE listing.
June 2007 Back to Top

State Licensing of Home Inspectors – SB334
A recent bill was submitted to the Georgia Legislature during the 2007 session which was to address the creation of a state Licensing Board of Home Inspectors. This bill was read and referred out on April 19. What does that mean to inspectors – that Georgia is not licensing Inspectors, Yet!

This bill included conditions for the set up of a Licensing Board which would oversee home inspector qualifications, reciprocity if applicable, renewals and continuing education, report standards, insurance requirements and more regulations directly pertaining to the home inspection industry.

AREA shall continue to monitor any legislative action which could affect the home inspection industry and post information in future newsletters and on the AREA website. You may view SB334 online or can download SB334 in pdf format for your reference.

June 2007 Back to Top
Do You Use Your Credit Card?
Well, So Do Your Clients and Customers!

If you are not taking credit cards – you may be taking unnecessary risk with payments and even worse – you may be losing business. Real estate appraisers and home inspectors can expect sales to increase by taking payments by credit cards. Your competition is taking credit cards and you need to take them too.

If you think that establishing an account is a lot of trouble or that the costs are high, let AREA introduce you to the service we use. This is the simplest, easiest, and least costly service we were able to find and they are located right here in Alpharetta. We have been so pleased with the service the last five years that we have partnered with them to offer our students this low cost merchant account.

With a merchant account you will be able to receive payments through your website or process electronically all payments you receive over the phone or in person. The service includes all credit cards, debit cards, and on-line checks. This company caters to small business and offers AREA students:

  • Free Setup
  • Free Application
  • Free Technical Support
  • Free Shopping Cart Software
  • Free Internet Check Software
  • Free Search Engine Submission
You can complete the application online in about five minutes – no paperwork. You can start accepting credit cards in less than 24 hours. Be sure to use this link to to expand your business by adding convenience to your list of services for your customers.
June 2007 Back to Top

Link Exchange with AREA
If you have a website, and if you don’t we can help you, a good way to increase search engine recognition is to have other websites link back to yours. AREA is actively promoting link exchanges with students. We can offer over 20 links to your website if you agree to display links to AREA's sites.
To utilize this important tool for promoting your website, here is what you need to do.

  • First, create a links page for your website where you can promote agents, real estate schools, lenders, home inspectors, professional organizations, or anything else related to your real estate business. To view a sample links page, check out one of AREA's.
  • After you have your links page created, send an email to to indicate you are ready to link to AREA websites.
  • You will receive AREA links along with a brief description of each site to include on your links page. When you have the AREA links posted on your website, email your link(s) and site description(s) to so your links can be posted on the AREA's websites.

Help your clients find your website on top!

June 2007 Back to Top

America's Real Estate Academy, Inc.
6199 Hwy 92, Ste. 108, Acworth, GA 30102
770-591-5552 * 888-883-9720