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As kids, we’re naturally curious about everything around us. As adults, we tend to be more resistant to new ideas or new ways of doing things because we get comfortable with what we know. A favorite quote of mine comes from American social philosopher Eric Hoffer: “In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

If we know one truth about real estate, it’s that everything changes and there’s always something to learn: laws, marketing techniques, lead generation opportunities, changes in the market—I could go on and on. In fact, research shows that the most successful agents make a conscious effort to learn new skills, which is why they go on to make more than double those who don’t.

On the heels of the busy real estate season, I challenge you to take a few minutes to focus on what you learned over the last few months.

Grade Yourself
Take a moment to write down key categories that impact your career most—for example: lead generation, networking, winning the listing, marketing, client satisfaction, and so on. Give yourself a grade in each category.

Identify Your Strengths
In what areas did you rise to the top, and why do you think that is? Do you have more experience in those areas? Did you have a great mentor who taught you those skills? Are you passionate about this area of your business? Identify what contributes to your success in those key categories.

Determine Opportunities
Take a closer look at the areas in which you gave yourself low marks. Why are you challenged in these areas? Are they skills you haven’t learned? Do you lack time to learn these skills? Is this a part of your job that you loathe? Strive to understand where you can improve.

The Next Six Months
As you look toward the next six months, think about what you can do to capitalize on your strengths and continue to grow. Then, pinpoint one or two areas of opportunity where you can impact your business the most, and make a plan for how to address them. Are there courses you can take to learn the skill? Definitely. Are there mentors you can go to for advice? Of course. This type of unstructured feedback is pertinent to real estate pros. Are there blogs you can read or podcasts you can listen to? Yes. Thousands of them.

Most of us are so busy with our daily checklist that we sometimes forget the importance of learning new skills. You’re not alone. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available specifically for our profession. Regardless of your status, irrespective of awards and achievements, a successful future in real estate depends on the courage to keep learning.

Davidson_Tom_60x60Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field. To learn more, visit

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