At our annual team retreat two years ago we had a discussion to identify a set of values that was important to us; values that we could identify with both in our personal lives and in our workplace. Following the creation of numerous lists and lively discussion we settled on 6 values that were both important to us and that we could naturally identify with. We decided to write about each one so this is the first article in a series about what we value and what makes us tick.
It is incumbent upon full-time, professional Realtors to stay on top of it all and there’s an entire industry to sell us “stuff” to do just that. Anyone would agree to the importance of being educated in their field of practice and you would think the public wants to know their Realtor is keeping up with new things, just as you would want your Doctor, Lawyer, Stock Broker to be staying current. The truth is it’s rarely discussed in the course of practice and is hardly a criteria for hiring an Agent, though maybe it should be. In our experience of attending trade shows, coaching seminars and conventions etc. the top earners, and those that are striving to be, are the ones we repeatedly see at these events. But there are literally thousands of others you never see.
Real Estate is an incredibly diverse industry. So when you look at “what is there to learn” there are many topics. Here are a few areas where “knowledge” will benefit the Professional Agent: Economics, Statistics, Demographics, Immigration Policy, Communication, Finances, Real Estate Investment, Matrimonial Law, Psychology, Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, Housing Policy, Senior’s Issues, Mortgage Finance, House Structures, Municipal By-Laws, Social Media, Social Trends, Privacy Issues, Professional Standards, Business Structures, Taxes, Business Management, Time Management, Tenant Issues and the Residential Tenancies Act, Cash Flow Management, Advertising, Lead Generation, Profit & Loss and Cash Flow Statements, Investment Analysis, Environmental Site Analysis, Business Planning, Fintrac Legislation, Condominiums, Strategic Planning, Rural & Waterfront Issues, Wells, Septic Systems, Land Issues & Development to name a few and there are many other areas that a Realtor, who is growing their business, will need to have some knowledge about.
Here’s where the trick comes in. How does an Agent find the time to cram the learning part into their busy schedules, especially when the industry operates on a 7 days a week principal at all hours of the day and night?
This is where “teams” can help in developing the ability to leverage one’s time, so we can continue to build a solid knowledge base that will benefit our clients. When we talked about this issue at our retreat we committed to supporting each other’s learning journey and when we consider new people for our team, we look for life-long learners. We work in an industry that is extremely diverse in the knowledge you need to acquire. And knowledge is power. It is the power to not make a mistake, to know when to consult other professionals and to have the ability to protect your client against unseen or unknown circumstances.
There are many avenues that lead to continued learning. RECO, who manages the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act requires courses every two years for relicensing. Our team coaches with an organization who also provides a personal coach to us. We goal set. We meet consistently to discuss issues. We read & share books, podcasts, news articles, government releases, financial industry updates.
We are also extremely grateful to live in a country where information is abundant and not censored. It would be a dereliction of our responsibilities to ourselves, our industry and our clients to not take advantage of all there is to know. That is what life-long learning is all about and is the reason that “Knowledge” is at the centre of being one of our Core Values.