Our school faculty consists of approved instructors who are practicing attorneys, brokers, appraisers, mortgage bankers and leaders in other real estate-related fields, bringing strong academic backgrounds to their classroom presentations, as well as a wealth of practical knowledge and skill applications. Many of our senior faculty members have been with the school for over 15 years.

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James Kaplan

James Kaplan is a graduate of the University of Illinois/Chicago. He is a licensed real estate broker and currently serves as Managing Principal of James Kaplan Companies, LLC which invests in and manages retail properties. Jim is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He has been involved with the Open Center, CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and has been a member of ICSC’s Continuing Education Institute faculty for over 20 years. Jim is a past Illinois State Director and State Government Affairs Chair, past Central Division Chairperson for Government Affairs, and notably received the Trustee’s Distinguished Service Award. He specializes in teaching Leasing Agent courses at RRES.

Sam Martin, PhD, IFA, CDEI, MOT

Sam is a Certified Uniform Standards of Professional Practice (USPAP) Instructor and has taught appraisal and real estate classes since 1988. His influence extends over a variety of institutions, such as University of Phoenix (online), Triton College, and REALTOR® University (online). He holds Illinois Certified Residential Real Estate Appraisal, Real Estate Managing Broker, Pre-license Educator, and Real Estate Continuing Education licenses and has written an advanced appraisal textbook used in certification courses.

He is the owner of, Inc. and earned his PhD in Education at Walden University. Sam is also currently a member of the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (ICAP), the Real Estate Educators Association (REEA), the Board of Directors of the Illinois Association of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (IAECT), and the national organization, the AECT. He is the recipient of the prestigious Educator of the Year Award for 2014 from the Association of Illinois Real Estate Educators (

Pat Murphy

Pat Murphy has practiced law since 1978 and taught real estate continuing education and pre-licensing classes since 1990. For over 30 years, Pat has practiced law specializing in real estate and acting as legal counsel for several local real estate offices.

In addition to his law practice, Pat has been a real estate educator for over 20 years, teaching a wide variety of real estate licensing, continuing education and informational programs.  Recently he has been a contributing editor of the last two editions of Modern Real Estate Principals and in the compilation of the text for the new 6 Hour Broker Management Course mandated by the State of Illinois real estate licensing agency. He has served on multiple committees to update pre-licensing text books and develop new text books, online pre-licensing programs and managing broker texts.

As an Irish-Native American descendant (Choctaw), Pat brings a unique perspective of his experiences regarding diversity to his classroom presentations.

Leo Schwartz

Leo Schwartz is President of Schwartz & Brannin Real Estate and has been a licensed REALTOR® since 1996. He is also an Illinois Licensed Real Estate Instructor and specializes in residential and commercial properties. His background includes fundraising and marketing for the Performing Arts and a career as a free-lance musician.

Currently he is very active as a composer and conductor. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and a member of ASCAP. His musical Me and Al has been presented both Off-Broadway and as part of the Global Search for New Musicals at the International Festival of Musical Theatre in Cardiff, Wales. His choral and instrumental works have been performed by musical organizations in Boston, New York City, New Jersey, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Palm Beach, and Edmonton, Canada. He is the conductor and artistic director for both the jazz big band SHOUT and the Lakeside Pride Clarinet Ensemble.

Frank J. Williams

Frank J. Williams received his broker’s license in 1969 and went on to become a licensed instructor and appraiser. He has served on a myriad of committees for both the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and other associations, including as C.A.R.’s president from 1989 to 1990. The Illinois Association of REALTORS® chose Frank in 1991 to hold the first Distinguished Member Award for Community Service. The following year, he was named C.A.R.’s REALTOR® of the Year. In addition to receiving prestigious awards, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Williams to serve on the Affordable Housing Task Force and the Real Estate Services Advisory Council.

Williams’ ongoing love for education is apparent in his track-record with the REALTORS® Real Estate School. He has taught pre-licensing courses, multiple continuing education courses, diversity courses, risk management, ethics, finance and more. Williams continues to teach with enthusiasm and love for the real estate industry. He specializes in teaching Managing Broker courses at RRES.


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