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In a market where clients are more informed than ever before, today’s agents are expected to have the answers to any questions their buyer or seller may have—and quick. And while brokers are traditionally tasked with educating agents to meet the needs of clients, some are looking for additional resources when it comes to offering advanced training in a challenging market. Fortunately, programs like the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) are available to give agents the additional knowledge and confidence to navigate the current market.

In this month’s column, we talk about the value of advanced training with Lynn Madison, owner of Lynn Madison Seminars. As an instructor, national speaker and member of the REBAC Hall of Fame, Madison has trained thousands of agents on the topic of buyer representation and is well-versed in the value it can provide to brokers.

How valuable is continuing education in today’s market?

Today’s buyers and sellers expect their real estate agents to know the answers to any questions they may have throughout the transaction. The market is not the same everywhere, but in many places, distressed property sales have become the norm. And knowing how to properly represent clients in these situations is critical.

What trends are you seeing in education this year?

With so much education out there, agents are not sure what to choose. Agents are starting to come back to skill-building and not just lead generation. Social media is wonderful, but it can only take you so far. In the ABR® course, we focus on topics like writing solid contracts. It sounds basic but it’s important.

What does the ABR® course offer agents and brokers?

The nice thing about working with brokerages is that we are able to teach the agents how to specifically work on buyer agency and offer them the best tools for those who want their agents to use the exclusive agreements. Agents coming out of the course tend to be less afraid of using exclusive buyer’s agency agreements and negotiating contracts. We offer focused, intensive concentration on helping the buyer get the best deal possible on the best property possible.

What benefit do brokers receive by encouraging their agents to earn the ABR® designation?

Brokers get more transactions and less liability. In this marketplace, I don’t know how agents are surviving if they aren’t educated as to what they are supposed to do. The broker has the commitment to getting them educated, but times are tough.

What steps can brokers take to offer the ABR® course to their agents?

If your brokerage is looking for additional educational opportunities to give your team a powerful edge and empower your agents, consider the ABR® designation program. Associations and large brokerages can deliver educational opportunities to their members and earn non-dues revenue by becoming a REBAC course provider, while smaller associations or brokerages usually co-sponsor with a licensed provider to bring courses like the ABR® to their area.

Marc Gould is the executive director of The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC).

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