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We are your "everything real estate" educational place for real estate licensees, loan officers, and all professionals who assist the consumer in the real estate transaction.


Our Staff and Instructors


Founding and managing partner Steve Hammond is a 40 year veteran of the real estate business. He has been co-owner and president of the largest real estate organization in Maine with over 50 offices. In his career, he helped a company grow over 350% in 20 months to be the largest office in its state. Steve is known for his calm, thoughtful approach to problem solving and business building and is sought out as a consultant, instructor and coach by companies and agents alike.


Geoff Maclean

Geoff MacLean

Founding partner Geoff MacLean brings 35 years of practical brokerage and company leadership experience to all of his teaching and consulting. He successfully mediates disputes for the REALTOR® organization, licensees and consumers. Geoff serves as a consultant for many real estate companies and is experienced as an expert witness in real estate brokerage matters. Geoff has been a chair of the Maine Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee since 1996 and he was twice named REALTOR® of the Year for his local Board of REALTORS®. His continuing education and pre-license courses receive rave reviews. 

Ed Getty

Ed Getty

His knowledge, unique candor, and sense of humor make founding partner Ed Getty a well-respected and highly rated instructor and consultant. With 35 years experience in sales and management, Ed has achieved total sales production of over $100 million. He has served as president of his state’s REALTOR® organization and was twice named REALTOR® of the Year for his local Board of REALTORS®. Ed teaches the Maine Associate Broker prelicense course as well as a wide range of continuing education courses in the classroom as well as online via video.


Jane Greer

Founding partner Jane Greer has over 20 years of experience designing and delivering both classroom and online training in the real estate, insurance and financial services industries. She holds a Master's Degree in Education with a focus on adult education and an undergraduate degree in engineering from Dartmouth College. Jane is adjunct faculty at St. Joseph's College in the MSEd program and has taught real estate at Husson University. Speak to any of her students and they will confirm that her classes are engaging, thought provoking and fun! Jane is an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), and has presented at the Real Estate Educators Association national convention.

Christy Arnett

Christy Arnett is the Operations Manager for The Real Estate Learning Group.  Christy has a strong background in office administration and customer support.  She currently holds an Associate Broker license in Maine and is a REALTOR®.  She is ready to assist you with all things related to Real Estate education - from scheduling a CE class at your office to helping students enroll in our continuing education and pre-license courses. 

Linda Gifford

Linda Gifford has been involved in the real estate industry for almost 35 years, having been a REALTOR® before going to law school and becoming a real estate attorney.  Linda owns Linda Gifford Law Office and is legal counsel to the Maine Association of REALTORS®, handling teaching assignments for them as well as contract and form preparation, lobbying, and answering Hotline questions from members.  Linda also owns Central Maine Title Company, a full service title company serving all of Maine. 

Matthew Ferrara

For two decades, Matthew Ferrara has been a driving force for evolution in the real estate industry.  His mission has been to revolutionize the business by empowering brokers to create consumer-centric companies that meet the needs of modern buyers and sellers.  As a teacher, Matthew has delivered more than 2000 seminars internationally.  He is author of syndicated columns, interviews and videos.


Walter Boomsma

Walter Boomsma teaches pre-license and continuing education classes for The Real Estate Learning Group. He owned a human resource consulting business and developed and delivered training programs and speeches for numerous companies, civic and educational groups. Walter serves as a substitute school teacher for Kindergarten through Sixth Grade, as Communications Director for the Maine State Grange, and is President of the Executive Committee of the UMaine Piscataquis County Extension.

Julie Williams 

Julie Williams

Julie Dawson Williams, who was named 2017 REALTOR® of the Year by the Greater Bangor Association of REALTORS®, is the principal owner of the Bangor-based real estate firm ERA Dawson Bradford Co. Her experience includes listing and selling properties for her own clients, as well as recruiting and training new licensees. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Julie teaches pre-license courses for The Real Estate Learning Group.

Matthew McDonald

Matthew J. McDonald graduated from Maine Law and the University of Southern Maine. After a few years in private practice in many areas he settled into real estate law. He began working at Cumberland Title in 2004 and bought the company in 2008. Since then Cumberland Title has grown to five offices around the state of Maine. His courses are known for their entertaining stories and information that surprises even the most experienced brokers.

Kim Fowler

Kim Fowler is a licensed agent/broker in Maine and has several years of experience in the customer service and banking industry having worked for both LL Bean and Casco Northern Bank, NA.  Kim owned her own agency in the past and has worked as an Assistant Team Leader in the real estate industry.  Kim is currently licensed as a Broker at her own company, North Star Realty, in Scarborough, Maine.  She is an approved instructor for delivering education on short sales to Maine and New Hampshire real estate licensees. Kim holds a Certified Distressed Property Expert designation from the Distressed Property Institute and has closed over 200 short sales.



Eric Flynn

Eric Flynn is a Broker/Owner and founder of The Morgan Group and specializes in foreclosure properties and flips. Eric regularly consults to the top foreclosure industry publication REO Magazine.  Eric has 15 years of experience teaching adults in areas including computer education in a local adult education program and real estate.  As owner/broker of his own real estate companies, he develops and delivers training sessions and has acted as mentor to many licensees.

Bud Solari

Bud Solari, a Certified General Appraiser, has been in the banking and appraisal professions for over 40 years.  He has completed literally thousands of appraisals for residential, investment and commercial property.  What our students value most about Bud is his unique ability to tell colorful and crazy stories that lend insight into how he forms his opinions of value!

Jean-Marie Caterina

Jean-Marie Caterina

Jean-Marie Caterina specializes in coaching and consulting.  She is a multi-million dollar producer in a large real estate franchise, earned an advanced degree in social work (MSW) and completed a certification program in coaching – all factors allowing her to bring advanced skills and techniques to her coaching practice. Jean-Marie teaches the Sales Agent Course to those studying real estate for the first time as well as the Associate Broker Course.


Jim Nadeau

Jim Nadeau, a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force, lives in Portland with his wife and two sons. In 1993, he became a State of Maine Professional Land Surveyor and co-founded Nadeau & Lodge. Jim holds three National Flood Insurance Program designations: Certified Floodplain Manager, Certified Floodplain Surveyor, and Associate in National Flood Insurance, has been a Realtor since 2004, and is an active State of Maine Associate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group.

Robert Staab

Bob Staab has been a mortgage lender for 36 years.  During that time he has been an owner and Vice President of a large New England Mortgage Company and two large local banks.  He has originated and closed over 9500 loans as a loan officer.  He has also managed two different processing and underwriting centers. 



Julia Basset Schwerin


Julia Bassett Schwerin is a Broker licensee affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  She serves waterfront communities from Kittery to Yarmouth and all southern Maine, and she loves advising both buyers and sellers.  Julia particularly likes helping clients use market data, building science, and land use information to make informed choices. She earned the Green designation from the National Association of REALTORS® in 2012.

Donald Cohen

Don Cohen has been in the finance and education world for over 35 years.  His college degree is in Secondary Education, History and Political Science.  Don has worked with Real Estate Professionals for most of his career as a mortgage lending expert.  He has taught continuing education credit courses since the 1990s as well as first time home buyer classes.  He has lived in Portland for almost 40 years. 


James A. Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson is a founding partner of Hopkinson & Abbondanza.  He received his B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston and his J.D. from the University of Maine-School of Law in Portland.  Jim is a member of Maine State and Cumberland Bar Associations and is admitted to practice in all Maine Courts including the U.S. District Court.  He is co-author on a treatise on real estate law in Maine and also provides expert witness testimony on real estate matters.  Jim has lectured at the University of Southern Maine, Institute for Real Estate Education, American Institute of Banking and the National Business Institute. 

Richard J. Abbondanza


Richard Abbondanza is a founding partner in the Portland law firm of Hopkinson & Abbondanza.  He received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, cum laude, and his law degree from Catholic University of America.  He is a member of the Maine Estate Planning Council, WealthCounsel, a national association of estate planning attorneys and advisors, and a graduate of the two-year Laureate Program of the Southern California Institute and is admitted to practice in all Maine courts.  Richard regularly speaks on the subjects of estate planning, retirement planning and real estate and business succession planning.   


Susan Russell

Susan Russell loves the challenge of pairing her clients with their perfect homes. In her two decades in the real estate business, she has developed a reliable network of resources and has closed multi-millions in volume each year. She greatly enjoys teaching as it gives her great pleasure to assist and support those around her. Susan is currently the President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® in Portland and sits on her neighborhood board in Pine Point, Maine. She enjoys everything the beautiful State of Maine has to offer from the sandy shores to the ski slopes, and loves to be outside.

Randee McDonald

Randee McDonald is a National Rifle Association Certified Instructor and a member of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) at Scarborough Fish & Game, where she is an instructor and competitor, introducing shooters to this fast-growing, competitive sport. She formerly worked at Windham Indoor Shooting Range and now owns and operates her own business, Focus Firearms Instruction & Safety Training. Randee aspires to create a comfortable and supportive environment for women to learn safety training and shooting sports.

Michael Wilford headshot

Michael Wilford

Michael Wilford has been working in the IT industry for 13 years, ten of which were spent as a Network Analyst servicing over 100 clients in Maine and New Hampshire. He holds six industry certifications: Cisco Certified Network Administrator, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, A+, Network+, Security+, and Criminal Justice Information Systems. Now working for Red Door Title, he developed a class to help real estate licensees and others in the industry better refine their awareness of digital threats that exist in their day-to-day professional lives. He’s now taught more than fifty classes throughout Maine and New Hampshire.