I’ve been intimately involved in real estate education for 17 years. It’s work that never grows old, in part because I’m constantly reminded that the phrase “knowledge is power” is an indisputable truth.
Education’s importance may seem obvious. Too often, however, lives get busy and education falls through the cracks. As a broker, there are many excellent reasons to recommit to the pursuit of knowledge, including:
- Attract and retain agents – When agents are deciding what office to affiliate with, a big consideration is the amount of support they’ll receive from their broker. Every broker wants their agents to succeed—but how do you achieve that result? Brokers who provide education send a strong signal that they’re genuinely interested in their agents’ success—and have a plan to make it happen.
- Risk management – In addition to attracting agents, education also plays a key role in your risk management. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—but only if your agents know what the risks are, and how to prevent them. For example, data security and privacy is a constantly evolving and growing concern. NAR has developed numerous resources to help tackle this challenge, including a new course, Data Privacy: Protecting Your Clients & Your Business.
- Win with consumers – Agents who pursue knowledge are also superior advocates for buyers and sellers. Education informs opinions, builds confidence, cultivates new skills, and much more. Agents aren’t the only beneficiaries. With each incremental gain in agent knowledge, consumers are better served, resulting in positive word-of-mouth and new referral business. Talk about a win/win.
- Specialized teams/agents – If your brokerage includes one or more teams, each team member likely plays a specialized role. Whether it’s bringing in new listings, working with buyers, transaction management or advertising and marketing, each of these skill sets, and others, can be strengthened through education. Likewise, individual agents who are concentrating on a particular niche market can use education as a powerful tool to rise to the top of their specialty.
Countless Education Options
Learning options have proliferated, with exciting developments in both classroom and online formats. NAR’s online learning, in particular, has improved by leaps and bounds, and is an excellent option for self-paced education. Our classroom courses have also benefited from new technologies, while offering agents opportunities to share tips and network with other real estate professionals.
You can learn more about NAR’s professional education offerings at nar.realtor/courses, including top-rated courses such as the Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation course, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Designation course and Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA course. But don’t limit yourself to NAR resources. There are many other excellent providers of online education on business planning, negotiating, marketing and other topics, such as lynda.com (now part of LinkedIn) or coursera.org.
Beyond Your Brokerage
Education makes sense for individual brokerages, but it also makes sense for all REALTORS®. It’s one of the best ways REALTORS® can further separate themselves, in the minds of consumers, from a real estate licensee, and support one of NAR’s top strategic priorities—increasing industry professionalism.
Marc D. Gould is senior vice president, Member Development, for NAR and executive director of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). A wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR, REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the designation requirements. To learn more, visit REBAC.net.
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