Hearty congratulations go out to the 73 real estate professionals who received their Gold Key Certifications March 2. The eight-hour class, which was held virtually, was the first of four Gold Key certification classes to be held this year and represented the largest group of students for a NEFAR-sponsored certification course since COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020.
The purpose of the Gold Key course is to enlighten participants on the “keys” to being successful in the real estate industry, said NEFAR Education Director Ruth Bonfante. “Whenever a person becomes a Realtor® there are so many different things that they have to learn, and there is no central guide pointing to what you have to do. This class provides the starting steps and shows what to do correctly and what not to do. Of course, each REALTOR® needs to follow their brokerage’s policies, but what they receive in this class is a broad general knowledge of how to succeed in the industry,” she said.
The eight-hour virtual course was taught by renowned real estate educator Cynthia DeLuca, an instructor from Florida REALTORS® and a member of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. “The Gold Key class is such a fun class to teach because we really take the full day to connect the dots on how to use professionalism to make more money,” said Deluca. “We are always striving to have higher satisfaction ratings from our customers, but we don't always know what to do about it. This class takes your business to the next level, and so many of the students got great ideas and pages of notes from the class. I can't wait to see their businesses thrive from the new strategies they implement.”
An expert in her course material, DeLuca knows of which she speaks. She is a woman who has been there, done that, walked the talk, and loves to share her experiences with others so they, too, can excel in their careers. A REALTOR®, property manager, educator, and author, DeLuca is a real estate professional who has personally sold thousands of properties, managed more than 135 REALTORS®, taught tens of thousands of real estate agents and brokers, and written three books – “The High Heels Landlord,” “Fill’er Up,” and her newest volume, “The Standout Agent,” which quickly became a top seller on Amazon. Featured in both Florida Realtor® Magazine and National Realtor® Magazine, DeLuca has been honored with the prestigious Florida REALTOR’S® Educator of the Year award as well as the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association’s Educator of the Year award.
DeLuca plans to teach 2021’s remaining NEFAR Gold Key classes that will be offered later this year. The next Gold Key virtual certification class will be held Wednesday, May 26. The final two classes are scheduled for Thursday, September 9 and Wednesday, December 15.
The first “pilot” Gold Key program was held October 15, 2020 with less than 10 students in attendance, and the value of the class quickly spread through NEFAR’s ranks by word of mouth. “Great class. Every member should be required to take this. Forget the CEU credits. It would clean up our industry,” said one NEFAR member who completed the class in March.
Other comments by newly minted Gold Key Realtors® from March were equally complimentary.
“I think the class really helped me understand what is needed to become a true professional. It was interesting to see what things I needed a refresher on as well,” said one. “This should be required for all agents! It’s like a capstone to everything we have experienced but haven’t necessarily been taught in our pre/post-license classes,” said another. And those sentiments were echoed by a third participant. “It’s amazing to learn what you thought you knew and didn’t. All licensees should be required to take this course in depth and pass it.”
For some, the prospect of sitting in front of the computer for eight hours was initially daunting but proved to be inconsequential once the program began. “My expectations for this program were exceeded. I was worried the eight hours for this course were going to be boring. Quite frankly, I was not looking forward to it, however the class flew by. Cynthia DeLuca is a fantastic educator, and the material was so relevant, interesting, and engaging. I’m so happy I took it! This certification is one of the most enjoyable that I have taken and can be immediately implemented,” commented another satisfied NEFAR member.
Receiving Gold Keys in March were:
Fresa Alejo Jones, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Nancy Bartlett, Exit Real Estate Gallery
Charles Bates, Coldwell Banker Ben Bates, Inc.
Lisa Benedict, Engel & Volkers Jacksonville
Sherri Beno, Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners
Marie Brand, RE/MAX Unlimited
Lisa Brannon, eXp Realty LLC
Lynn Brier-De La Cruz, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
Victoria Broadwell, Momentum Realty
Leonard Cook, Watermarke Realty Group, LLC
Florentina Dansky, SVR Realty LLC
Erica Davis, The Legends of Real Estate
Stephanie DellaMorta, Watson Realty Corp
Jeanne Denton-Scheck, Davidson Realty Inc.
Susan Dunham, Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside
Maureen Dunn, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Walter Dunn, non-member
William Glenn East, CEO NEFAR
Ashley Engelgau, The Legends of Real Estate
David Faehnrich, Watson Realty Corp
Amanda Feagle, Watson Realty Corp
Victoria Feist, Watson Realty Corp
Cristina Filippelli, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Theron Glynn, Round Table Realty
James Gonzalez, Navy to Navy Homes LLC
Michael Goode, The Legends of Real Estate
Shannon Gullion, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Florida Network Realty
Jamie Joe Harris, Jamie Joe Harris Broker
Rosanne Hearn, Keller Williams Jacksonville
Samantha Heflin, Watson Realty Corp
Ethel Henry, Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside
Leslie Hodges, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Cathleen Holman, Coldwell Banker Smith & Smith
Antonia Horne, Premier Coast Realty LLC
Amanda Houser, EXIT Real Estate Gallery
Susan Howell, The Legends of Real Estate
Laila Iarossi, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Courtney Immel, The Legends of Real Estate
Melissa Kehres, The Legends of Real Estate
Laura Kerr, The Legends of Real Estate
Kimberly King, Watson Realty Group
Clark LaBlond, The Legends of Real Estate
Gerri Landrum, The Legends of Real Estate
Cherrae Laws, Farrell International Realty LLC
Amber L’Esperance, JP & Associates Realtors City
Tracy Lohse, Round Table Realty
Cryselda Lucombe, James Daniels Realty Inc.
Laura Massinello, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Florida Network Realty
Linda McInnis, McInnis Realty Inc.
Paul Dennis McLaughlin, EXIT Real Estate Gallery
Tina Minshall, Shoe Realty
Karen Monti-Mather, 1 On Real Estate & Investments
Christian Oliva, Watson Realty Corp.
Margie Olsen, SVR Realty LLC
Donna Overman, Watson Realty Corp.
La Tysha Pace, Keller Williams Jacksonville
Robert Pratt, EXIT Real Estate Gallery
Joyce Roberts, Salus Realty Inc.
Danielle Rodriguez, Round Table Realty
Sandra Scott, Watson Realty Corp.
Dwight Skyers, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Jennifer Snead, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Mindy Starkey, La Rosa Realty North Florida
Karina Steinbach, Watson Realty Corp.
Heather Strazinsky, Round Table Realty
Kari Sullivan, Watermarke Realty Group LLC
India Vance, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
Sergiy Vasylenko, Young Realty LLC
Tiea Vincent, Round Table Realty Property Management
Sandra Wagner, Watson Realty Corp
Cynthia Wallace, eXp Realty LLC
Tarik Yuce, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Carol Zingone, Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Florida Network Realty
Receiving Gold Keys in October were:
Debra M. Boote, North Florida RE Partners
Rory Dubin, EXIT Real Estate Gallery
Denise Gerrard, Fathom Realty
Beth Ann Kicklighter, Fathom Realty
John Robert Levchuk, Better Homes and Gardens R E
Alex Talmadge Randall III, EXIT Real Estate Gallery
Sheyla Rivera Roman, Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC
Bernard Young, EXIT Real Estate Gallery