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SToday’s “Ask the Expert” column features Ginni Field, Vice President of Leadership Development with Engel & Völkers.

Q: Why are training and education so important to a real estate professional’s career?
I have a t-shirt that says, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.” As a trainer for over 20 years who has stood in front of more than 10,000 real estate professionals nationwide, this is one of my favorite lines. For me, it’s the difference between successful agents and not so successful agents.

The agents who are willing to do what it takes to succeed, which includes actively seeking out opportunities for training and education, understand why they have chosen this career in the first place. Not only does the “why” have to be tangible and powerful, it has to be bigger than the reasons that make you say, “I don’t want to.” For some, the “why” is to pay for a child’s college tuition. For others, it’s to take more vacations, or to invest in a retirement property. The “why” is the driver behind investing in the training and education to move your career ahead.

Those who get the most value out of the training they attend are the ones who understand that being a real estate agent means running a successful business. They’re the ones who know that a great real estate training program focuses on the numbers and teaches effective ways to create the foundation to manage and grow the business. It’s a foundation that begins with a financial goal and a detailed business plan that shows what it takes to achieve that goal. To create that plan, the agent must know the market, the average sales price of the homes in the market and how many transactions it will take to achieve the goal.

As the head of Academy in North America for an international real estate brand where its agent network represents markets spread out across 39 countries and six continents, our training goes into that level of detail, from the business cards to the design of the brokerages and all the systems and tools in between. In Europe and other parts of the world, unlike the U.S., there are no real estate associations, certifications, Multiple Listing Systems or other offerings available to help agents do business successfully in a real estate agency. For those who want to pursue a career in real estate, the real estate companies they join provide the education. As one of the most well-known and respected companies in the world, Engel & Völkers is a highly desirable brand to be a part of as a real estate professional. This is why we have Engel & Völkers Academy offering comprehensive training that is consistent and thorough. We maintain that education through our North American Academy. For agents, it’s a lesson in looking at real estate as a business. For brokerage owners, it’s teaching leadership. For the homeowners and homebuyers who work with us, it means premium level service that is consistent throughout our network, which is at the heart of our brand promise.

Real estate, no matter where you make it a career, will always be challenging and fulfilling because nothing is ever the same. Every deal has its own life. Every buyer is different, as is every seller. You never get bored. It’s a people business, and people are different, which makes it even more challenging to succeed—unless you manage your career as you would a business. Training will help you get there. Training will help you restart the things you should have been doing all along and keep you at it. It’s easy to explain why training and education are important. It’s up to you to understand why.

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