Case Study: Real Estate School Saves +50% Migrating to Custom LMS

by | Case Study, Continuing Education, eLearning As A Business

1st Choice Real Estate School


About The Client

1st Choice Real Estate School is a Missouri-approved real estate education provider, offering online and classroom courses to both real estate brokers and real estate sales professionals. Courses are written and audited by both seasoned industry licensee professionals as well as real estate attorneys. Being a broker favorite and an industry leader in real estate education, 1st Choice is committed to delivering an overall great online learning experience by ensuring students can find and order courses easily while still fitting classes into their busy lives. 

We spoke with the manager of 1st Choice Real Estate School, Karen Baynes, to learn more about 1st Choice’s challenges with their prior LMS as well as their experience of migrating to the Academy Of Mine platform.


The Challenge

Following the acquisition of their prior LMS vendor by a larger company, 1st Choice began to feel the effects of having their LMS hosted and managed by a large organization:

  • Their fees were raised. Charging on a per-student-per-year basis, their prior LMS company instituted a pricing system that required 1st Choice to estimate on an annual basis the number of students they expected to enroll in courses.
    • Affecting 1st Choice’s fiscal bottom line, this new pricing caused two challenges:
      • If 1st Choice overestimated student enrollment they lost money
      • If student student enrollment was underestimated, 1st Choice would be charged a higher price point per additional student, costing the company even more money
  • They lost money due to their LMS provider’s system errors. Due to an internal glitch caused by software updates, hundreds of students were given free access to expired courses. This error on the part of their LMS provider caused substantial revenue loss for 1st Choice.
  • Valuable time was wasted on manual tasks due to platform limitations. With their old LMS not meeting the functionality needed to run their courses per their specific requirements, 1st Choice was forced to compensate by spending valuable time completing manual tasks to enable the existing LMS platform to work within the requirements of their course design. 1st Choice was adapting to the constraints of their LMS, instead of their LMS adapting to their specific needs. 

With all of these factors taken into account, 1st Choice Real Estate School made the decision to start searching for a platform that could address these challenges while also providing them with an improved solution tailored to their specific needs.

“Everyone has been great!  Tech support responds to all our requests in a timely manner and is able to customize our LMS to fit our unique and specific needs.”


The Solution

After researching a number of platforms, 1st Choice contacted Academy Of Mine. To determine the exact specs that were needed to deliver the ideal LMS solution for their students, working with their Academy Of Mine product manager 1st Choice identified challenges experienced in their prior LMS as well as mapped out the platform’s specific pains points.

1st Choice identified several important factors relevant to setting up a new, custom built solution:

  • Being a small business, the pricing structure of any LMS they used needed to be predictable and fit within their budget.
  • Their new platform solution needed to be student-focused and have an intuitive, user-friendly interface.
  • They also needed the following customizations available:
    • Custom built student registration page to display their industry credentials
    • Multiple customized course completion certificates
    • Customized, exportable reporting
    • Customized instructor controls for students to advance through courses
    • Ongoing website development and access to as-needed platform customizations

With all this determined, 1st Choice Real Estate School was given a free trial period to test drive the platform to see how it fit their business needs.

“Price was great for small businesses, they fulfilled all our LMS requirements, staff answered all our questions up front!”


The Results

Using the above criteria, Academy of Mine developed a customized platform for 1st Choice Real Estate on their Fully Managed service plan. 1st Choice saw results with their new LMS: 

  • Money saved. Unlike the unpredictable pricing of their prior LMS, 1st Choice was able to cut their LMS costs by over 50% by taking advantage of Academy Of Mine’s convenient, flat fee LMS pricing. This pricing structure helped 1st Choice to incorporate predictable costs into the company budget instead of being hit unexpectedly with frustrating high fees. 
  • Time and energy saved.  With the difficulties of their prior LMS, including multiple bugs encountered by students in the platform’s interface requiring manual fixes to be completed by 1st Choice staff, 1st Choice’s new LMS with Academy Of Mine provided an optimized and seamless LMS experience for both instructors and students.
  • Flexibility: the platform adapts to you, not your business to the platform. Prior to their Academy Of Mine LMS, 1st Choice’s course components and course structure were limited to the predefined capability of their old LMS; this restricted the types of the courses able to be made available to students. After deciding to upgrade platforms, 1st Choice’s new LMS was designed with the company’s specific needs in mind and also is adaptable as course offerings change and the business evolves.
  • Excellent customer support. With their new platform the 1st Choice benefits from Academy Of Mine’s customer-prioritized Service Level Agreement (SLA)., with technical issues addressed same-day within minutes to a few hours by the support team. Ensuring that 1st Choice has only the most knowledgeable customer support, the Academy Of Mine help desk is staffed by the same developers who built and continue to improve the platform.


Following 1st Choice Real Estate School’s completed migration to their new eLearning platform, Karen had this to say about the results:

“I just wanted to send you both a quick note letting you know your development team is awesome! They are responding quickly to all our requests and customizing our LMS to fit our specific needs! We have some very unique requests and they never hesitate to get it done for us! I wish we found you guys years ago! I can’t wait to start transferring our students over to AOM! I think they will love it because it’s so much more user friendly and easier to navigate. I just wanted to say thank you!”

Karen Baynes

Manager, 1st Choice Real Estate School

We are thrilled that Karen is happy with 1st Choice’s platform migration and new custom built LMS. Academy Of Mine is grateful for the opportunity to assist 1st Choice with its eLearning platform needs and looks forward to continuing to provide support well into the future.


Have more questions about customizing your own LMS? We have helped a variety of clients who needed their LMS custom built to their individual needs. If you have any questions or would like to know your LMS customization options please see our Contact Page or email us at

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