The Value of Pursuing Real Estate Education
For REALTORS®, as for any profession regulated and licensed by governing bodies, education is, of course, a requirement both to earn and to maintain licensure. As we know, in Tennessee that means completing pre-licensing and then 16 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years—including six hours of core courses—along with fulfilling the REALTOR® Code of Ethics requirements set forth by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
For a certain percentage of real estate professionals, that is where the learning starts and stops. We’re all so, so busy, right? Who has the time, money, and energy left over to sign up for classes beyond what the law and NAR require?
Yet for those who have discovered the value of education, the questions they ask when looking back are more often: How could I have afforded not to invest my time, money, and energy into education? What would I have done without it?
For others who aren’t convinced, there are many reasons why it is wise to make ongoing, robust education a part of your scheduling and budgeting throughout the year. In this blog we are focusing on just three of those reasons: client interactions, peer connections, and technological shifts.
It’s no secret that today’s consumers have access to more information, research, and comparative data than ever before, and those consumers include savvy home buyers and sellers who are looking to maximize their money as they navigate these complex transactions.
But remember what Abraham Lincoln once said: “Not every quote you read on the internet is correctly attributed.” Your clients and prospective clients might well end up reading real estate “news” and “facts” that are inaccurate. That’s where your rock-solid knowledge base especially comes into play.
Your REALTOR® associations such as EMTAR, along with third parties including The CE Shop, Realtracs, and others, offer a full menu of courses designed to equip you to stay up-to-date with factual insights that will help your clients avoid the minefields of misinformation lurking online.
An Inman News article titled “4 subjects all real estate agents should master” included the subtitle: “Next time someone asks you about relationship between oil prices and interest rates, wow them.” It’s true. Education provides you with opportunities to wow your clients with what you have learned as you apply it to your interactions with them.
REALTORS® who take part in local courses, statewide classes and conferences, national conventions, yearlong leadership programs, and other educational opportunities almost unanimously emerge having established or deepened relationships with fellow real estate professionals.
Such relationships forged in classrooms, Zoom meet-ups, and conference hallways provide a wealth of benefits to you as a REALTOR®, from the encouragement that comes from knowing you’re not alone as you face challenges, to the ability to lean into more seasoned agents or brokers as you build your own career, to friendships that not only enrich our lives but often lead to referrals.
Pursuing educational growth is never just about learning new facts and sharpening your skill set; it’s also about getting to know other REALTORS® who often turn out to be lifelong cohorts, colleagues, and friends.
From artificial intelligence (AI) and sales apps to mapping tools and drone advancements, the pace of technology in real estate (along with every other industry) continues to be blazing fast.
Timely topics such as how to leverage the latest social media platforms, streamlining your office operations through smart technology, and implementing online marketing strategies using leading-edge tech tools are all a challenge for REALTORS® to keep up with.
The good news is that the same sources of education already noted above do a great job of offering not only required courses but also a breadth of elective and non-CE classes that range from baseline introductions (What is AI?) to in-depth explorations (A step-by-step guide for using ChatGPT). Tech and its many applications continues to be one of the top subjects within real estate education.
In closing, that same Inman article mentioned earlier also included this simple but important reminder: “In real estate, we are always learning. Some of that education is mandated, but you won’t learn everything necessary to grow your business through continuing education requirements.”
Right on. REALTORS® are always learning—at least those who are serious about growth and success.
Not even Abraham Lincoln could have said it better.