Surrender 71: Laws and Codes and Comfort Animals…What?

The State of Missouri requires realtors to take 12 hours of continuing education every two years. I accept that. As one who seeks to continually grow and learn, I appreciate that I’m in an industry that sets high standards for the same. 


I completed my 12 hours today. And here’s the thing about continuing ed…we have to be present for every moment of those hours to receive credit. What makes the difference between long, boring days and interesting, fun days is the instructor. I’m going to get the credit, whether I’m fighting to stay awake or laughing and engaged. I much prefer doing the latter! 

I’m grateful that Keller Williams Realty in Joplin prefers that we enjoy the process of gaining knowledge while meeting our requirements. The office provided free continuing ed for all KW agents. And four of our affiliates…First American Title, Gateway Mortgage, Nook-N-Kranny and Flatbranch Mortgage…supplied amazing breakfasts and lunches for both days. AND, Keller brought in an amazing instructor. 

Paul Dizmang, of Dizmang Properties and School of Real Estate, Springfield, MO, spent two days covering such topics as Federal Fair Housing, The Code of Ethics, and Agency Laws. Those are important subjects for realtors to understand. And they can be very dry and dull as well. What I appreciated about Paul was how presented the material. 


Paul combines his vast knowledge of real estate with humor and stories to create a lively, engaging teaching style. His classes are interactive. The 100 agents present worked in groups to fill out quizzes, figure out the answers to actual case studies and do a fill in the blank sheet using a word list. Paul encouraged us to shout out the answers as we checked our work and to ask questions if we needed clarity. The result of this fun instructor’s efforts was that we learned. And the time flew by. 


A hot topic the last two days was comfort animals. I am familiar with service animals. But comfort animals, used to improve the physical, social, emotional and cognitive condition of patients, are a new concept to me. Most comfort animals are dogs and cats, however they can be other animals as well. 

This is important information because it affects landlords and housing. Comfort animals are allowed to be with their owners, regardless of whether pets are allowed in the properties, or not. This is huge, with many implications. I’m grateful Paul made us aware of these changes that are taking place in the industry. I have new information to share with my investor and property management clients. 


I’m glad to have my continuing education completed so early in the year. I am deeply grateful that I work for a company that brings us such high quality instruction. And I am thankful that I spent 12 hours during the last two days with Paul Dizmang, learning, laughing, and growing. 

Near the end of the afternoon, he shared that his intention as a teacher was that we leave the classes differently than we arrived, changed in big or small ways by what we had learned. His intention was realized. 

Such a noble desire is the sign of an excellent teacher. And that’s Paul. 


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