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Last month, I shared several insights from our member survey to give brokers inside perspectives on what matters to their agents—and how to respond to agents’ needs. This month, I’d like to share a few additional revelations.

For background, these results are from the latest annual survey of ABR® designees conducted by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). It asked members about their work with buyers, their marketing efforts and their top learning priorities, among other topics.

Technology Priorities
When asked about the importance of developing five technology-related skills, members were equally split on two top learning priorities related to social media and productivity, with new agent tools holding a close third place. The specific results looked like this:

– Mastering new social media features and platforms – 30 percent
– Improving personal productivity – 30 percent
– Staying on top of new agent tools for leads, transaction management, etc. – 25 percent
– Managing my website – 8 percent
– Enhancing my current data privacy and security systems – 4 percent
– Other – 3 percent

Our survey was fielded on the eve of the pandemic, so it is safe to assume that your agents’ technology-related learning priorities have escalated and expanded since March.

We have been addressing the shift in our monthly newsletter for ABR® designees, helping agents learn new skills for hosting virtual buyer tours, for example, as well as understanding the potential liabilities that arise from serving buyers virtually.

The Role of Social Media
It is always interesting to see how our members’ social media preferences have evolved. While Facebook still dominates (89 percent of our members use it at least monthly), Instagram usage has nearly tripled over the past four years, rising from 15 percent in 2016 to 44 percent in 2020.

There are also noticeable generational differences, with millennial and Gen X agents substantially more likely to use Instagram (57 percent) versus boomers and older agents (34 percent). That said, Instagram marketing is a top priority for all our members, so we frequently share tips and techniques, and I encourage you to offer additional resources.

Why Credentials Matter
Agents’ success often depends on how much they know and how well they distinguish themselves from their competition. Designations and certifications help them gain the edge on both fronts, providing specialized knowledge and specific credentials that speak to different types of clients.

If your agents are working with buyers, encourage them to earn the ABR® designation. It will improve their results and reduce your risks as a broker. Learn more at REBAC.net/ABR.

Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 27,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit REBAC.net.

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