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Educated vs. Uneducated: Attending Industry Conventions Is Critical to Improving Business

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By James A. Crumbaugh, III

RISMEDIA, July 18, 2009-I have always been amazed over the years at how many Realtors have simply chosen not to attend the National Association of Realtors Convention or even a convention within their own state.

The insight into the real estate industry that a professional Realtor walks away with when they have the opportunity to network with their peers from around the country is phenomenal. This access to current information and contacts contributes to our expertise and competence.

I understand in these times that many Realtors are struggling financially and a trip to a national convention just may not be in the budget. But I can’t help believing that any Realtor who cares enough about his or her career to attend the national convention could, more than likely, close one or two more sales during the year, which would more than pay for the convention.

Just the classes at the national convention are worth thousands of dollars. Where else can a Realtor attend four or five classes a day and walk away with all the latest knowledge that they can acquire in the four days of a national convention?

I know I certainly wouldn’t go to a surgeon who never bothered to update his or her skills by attending as much continuing education as they possibly could. That’s just what you do when you are a professional.

Some Realtors get by on the bare minimum of continuing education. Usually they wait until the very last minute to acquire whatever continuing education that the state law requires for them to renew their license. If the public knew which Realtors got by with the minimum legal requirement for continuing education vs. the professional Realtors who attended the national convention and their state conventions and acquired hours upon hours of additional knowledge and skills, which Realtor do you think the customer would choose when they decide to sell their home or buy another home? Which Realtor would provide the best service?

I challenge every Realtor who reads this article to go to the National Association of Realtors Convention 2009 and look at all the classes and opportunities that attending the national convention affords them and tell me that they don’t think it would contribute to more sales during the next year.

This has always been one of my pet peeves about our industry (in case you couldn’t tell). I have a very difficult time with Realtors who pass the state test and never again in their career try to improve their knowledge or skills. I personally read 12 to 20 real estate articles a day. I always have and I always will. Yet when I send these articles on to other Realtors and then ask them what they thought of the article, more often than not they didn’t even bother to read the article.

I have been fortunate in life to get to know personally through conventions some of the best minds in the industry. These are the leaders, the movers and shakers, the individuals who are here to stay and will be through the good times and bad times.

I encourage every Realtor in the country and every Realtor whom I have ever met, to sacrifice if that is what is needed, and make it to this year’s convention. I guarantee that you will create enough new business with the knowledge that you will gain at the national convention to make enough additional sales to more than pay for the convention.

James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes and may be reached at jcrumbaugh@allisonjames.net or by calling 1-866-463-5780.

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