One development from the real estate market slowdown centers on the growth in education and training for those of us who work in the industry. Professional REALTORS – agents and brokers who are committed to the industry, their clients and REALTOR values – have made a conscious decision to commit to a higher level of learning. The knowledge gained allows them to keep up to date on developments in real estate and the business worlds, and even creatively modify their business model.
Education can be the inspiration that can change your future. When you’re not learning, you’re not growing. Although it may be challenging to constantly learn new things and adapt, it allows you to better serve today’s client most effectively.
Here’s an example. I recently taught a one-day course through NAR called “Generation Buy,” which examines the buying habits of people from different demographic groups, from the Generation X and Millennials to the Boomers and the Matures. Most homebuyers today are very well educated, and there’s a totally different methodology regarding how you should effectively communicate with each group. They all want to receive your message in a different way.
As an instructor, I know I can serve my clients best by becoming better educated myself. I prefer to opt for the so-called “masters” level of education that transcends the general required continuing education courses needed for broker/sales license renewal. It might be a class offered through the Council of Residential Specialists, REBAC or the Masters Certified Negotiation Expert course, which I also teach. I systematically choose which skill set will best enhance my business today and in the future.
As REALTOR leaders, we have to inspire other REALTORS, including younger professionals, identify those who have a true passion for this industry and encourage them to participate in their local and state association leadership communities. We need to lead by example and encourage these young REALTORS to get involved with the development process on their local association education committees. And, we need to serve as mentors, but we also have to learn how and when to get out of the way!
In addition to constantly honing our own skills as REALTORS, we need to know what’s happening in our own marketplace and our business. REALTORS should be shining examples of what’s happening in the marketplace. If you don’t know what’s happening in the marketplace, you’re not “in the business.”
Looking to local business networks is a great way to build leadership skills and stay on top of what’s happening in your market. Many organizations – like the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce in my market — have awesome leadership academy programs that are not REALTOR-centric, but focused on local business and business professionals.
These programs provide the knowledge, but let you step outside the box to build your business by growing your network. I may have lunch several days a week, but not always with fellow REALTORS; I try to make appointments with other business people. These relationships help me sharpen and develop my leadership traits, learn new skills and build my business.
Deb Greene, ABR, CIPS, CNE, CRS, GREEN, GRI, SFR class of 2011 from Minneapolis, Minnesota