We have all experienced this and will likely never forget it. No one becomes successful in real estate on their own. We all owe gratitude to many people for how we were treated, assisted, and for the examples we had. Our inspiration likely came from someone else, and realistically, we all had a person or two who became our backbone and kept us persevering in spite of our apprehensions and frustrations.
Continuing Education: What You Need to Know
Education is about gaining more information. It is important that you become a life-long learner. Our industry changes significantly each year and you must never stop being informed and expanding your knowledge base. This must be a passion and a hobby. Continuing your education can be a huge bonus for your career prospects. If you are a teacher you may want to continue your education to better teach your students, to advance in your job role, or to train for additional teaching areas. There are summer courses for teachers provided online for those who may want to do this for their professional development.
Some brokerages hook you with their extensive intranet libraries of information and streams of information that they bring to you. All of that information is readily available online, in bookstores, through certification courses, by way of endless class offerings by vendors and 3rd party suppliers, and constant conferences and annual conventions. I can set you up to receive regular, informative emails that will weekly overflow your mailbox. At your fingertips is more information than you can ever read, and if you tried, you would never have time for sales. There is no lack of supply, and no one has any secret information; the question for you is at what price does a brokerage’s package of information come? I think it is too expensive since it can be yours for free!
Areas of Knowledge to Pursue
Required Courses: The Real Estate Agency is a State of Oregon Agency that governs the legal compliance of real estate licensees. Your license requires you to maintain a minimum of 30 hours of certified continuing education for each license period. Beginning in 2011, all classes and instructors must be certified according to specific standards. You can find out more at: http://www.rea.state.or.us/REA/EDU/continuing_education.shtml. YCAR (The Yamhill County Association of Realtors®) offers 36 hours of certified continuing education each year. Classes are held in Newberg and McMinnville on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 8:45- Noon. They are free with your membership! For more information: http://yamhillcountyrealtors.org/education/
Forms and Documents: This is a core competency you need to learn quickly. This is a massive assignment you will have to master quickly. This requires systematic reading and then interacting with those who have learned how to communicate this well. Our Principals will help you until you are comfortable. We also have systematic discussions in our workshops and in MP3 format.
Sales Training: If you are a good sales person, then you are adept in psychology. It is not about teaching you how to manipulate people to do what you want, but how to serve every kind of person well and help them to make the best decision and accomplish their needs and desires. It is about communication and connecting with people. It is about seeing through the clutter and understanding the mechanics of the process, and operating efficiently and effectively. It is about creating leads, who become prospects, who become clients for life. This is both a science and an art. While some people intuitively understand this, many of us need to learn from the best in the business through sales training courses like those offered by Impel Dynamic. Whether you use your skills for good or not is an issue of your character, not an inherent weakness of sales training.
Basic Technology: We are in an increasingly sophisticated technological environment. Without adequate knowledge, you limit your potential. When you decide you are done upgrading your skills you are slowly killing your business. You must know how to set up your computer settings for access to sites and peripherals, learn your software, and get onto directories and websites. Electronic faxing, designing informational signatures, network settings, document management, social networking, manipulating pictures, etc. are all very important. For document management, you might be using Sharepoint as this is very popular. If that is the case, then you will want to take a look at these sharepoint web parts as they allow you to tailor Sharepoint to your requirements. If this is all a bit alien to you, then you might want to take some courses to further your knowledge. The ITSM Zone may be a good place to start, as they offer different courses that will allow you to develop your understanding of service management. They will help develop your skills to manage your own technology infrastructures and control your computing elements with ease.
Area Knowledge: Our products are homes and properties. You must become the expert of towns and neighborhoods, of a myriad of local issues, climate distinctives, and issues you need to caution people about (like a bypass). You will be asked about schools and businesses, about shopping and restaurants. You will be selling condos and vast rural properties – each of these have amazing complexity. You need to learn property values and why two statistically identical houses have dramatically different values. Did you know the difference in rainfall between Grand Ronde and Sheridan is over 50″ per year? Might that be important to a buyer?
Risk Management: This is a broad area of knowledge that is right at the top. It incorporates almost every other area, and we must relentlessly pursue this. Your value is in protecting and informing your clients, but your colleagues also depend on you to know what is right and good and profitable. You must know where the pitfalls are and how to appropriately solve problems. We all suffer when someone fails, so we all have motivation to be aware of changing laws & regulations, and issues.
Training: How To Do Something
Workshops: Bella Casa offers practical interactive workshops on Friday mornings for any agents wanting to attend. These revolve around key issues and current questions and concerns. What we do is determined by the immediate need as expressed by our Realtors®. There is a time for questions and discussions about anything, even if it is not related to the topic of the day.
Our affiliated businesses like title companies and mortgage companies offer much training to all Realtors®. Many will offer free software for you and access to the kinds of data they have. Some Title representatives also train on marketing and advertising, social networking, and other practical services.
If you want to learn how to build a business by referral, Brian Buffini offers extensive training online and through seminars and conferences. Others offer specific real estate training on various models, wide ranging issues through books, online, dvds/mp3s, and more. Realtor.com (NAR) has a vast library of information and training to be tapped into. Our State Association and our MLSs also offer training.
Certification Courses: You can advance your knowledge and skills by buying certification courses offered by OAR and NAR (GRI, ABR, CRS, and many more). There are also useful 3rd Party certifications in the business and sales industries.