David Larson, 26, sits at his desk, peering through his glasses as he takes care of the tedious accounting his brother Brad Larson, 29, so fervently avoids. Their aunt Wanda sits at the reception desk answering calls for the office– which takes up a whole 340 square feet—and, as she so poignantly puts it, “entering data”. To enter numbers into a system with heartfelt sincerity is a bit of a contradiction, but then again this whole office is a standing contradiction.
This is the office of up-and-coming real estate school Larson Educational Services at Royal Palm Square in Fort Myers. Larson Ed offers real estate classes, mortgage broker classes, community association manager classes, and continuing education in Naples, Port Charlotte, and Fort Myers. Don’t tell them they’re an up-and-comer or that the Southwest Florida market is one of the most struggling home markets in the country. Since opening in November of 2008 with a 10 student Sales Associate Licensing class, they have seen more than 1100 students in their classrooms.
How have they done it? The Larsons–led by manager and father Rick, 59, who has 30 years of experience with a similar school he founded in Minnesota–chalk it up to their superior customer service, their state of the art classrooms, interactive instruction, and their family feel. While students at other schools complain of instructors reading out of a textbook, Larson Educational features instruction that students have coined “outstanding”, “fabulous”, “professional” and “fun.”
On the wall outside their office space in the break room, which doubles as the lobby, is a cork board featuring glowing remarks from dozens of Larson Ed alumni. “You were the best, hands down!! Thank you all so much. I am so thankful I picked your school. I was very impressed that I called after hours and you called me back even when you were closed,” acclaimed Andrew Darda who took his Sales Associate Licensing course at their Fort Myers classrooms.
The clean, comfortable facilities have a homey feel, which makes sense because they were decorated and furnished by Brad and Dave’s mother Rose. Since students may spend up to eight hours per day in the classrooms, Rose made sure the chairs are very comfortable with extra padding and arm rests. “These chairs are made for sitting, not stacking,” says Rose.
As the winds of the home economic climate swirled downward, Larson Ed served as a beacon in the dark. Why enter the real estate business and take classes at such a low point? Brad says because “people want to be prepared for when the market turns around. They have an eye for the future.” Which would make now the prime time to enter the business.
Larson Ed’s most popular course is their 63-hour Sales Associate Licensing course with a tuition of only $299. “Not only is our tuition reasonable,” says Director of Operations David, “but our classes are interactive and motivating. We work with the customer and do what’s most flexible for them.” General Manager Brad says, “We have created an environment here that makes our students feel comfortable. All the way from our clean facilities to our free coffee, everything is catered to the student.”
I’ll say. One of their first students, Stan Poole, felt so comfortable at Larson Ed that he became one of eight instructors, and a good one at that. Not only can I vouch from personal experience (I was a student at Larson Ed) but his student satisfaction numbers are great (based on ratings from 1 to 5 on instructor effectiveness, he and his instructor team average a stunning 4.87).
Here in Southwest Florida it has become clear that the number one choice is Larson Educational Services for real estate, mortgage broker, and CAM education. Their family feel goes a long way toward making the students welcome and comfortable. The prices are tough to beat and the instruction is outstanding. The Larsons have put together an incredible family-oriented company that will be serving students in Southwest Florida for years to come.
If you have any questions about obtaining a license or would like to inquire about upcoming course dates and times, you can contact a friendly Larson representative at (239) 344-7510 or visit www.LarsonEd.com