Elite AgentSELLING + MARKETING PROPERTY

Ongoing Learning: An Investment Worth Making

Continuous learning is an investment in your business and in yourself that will most certainly pay off, and the real estate industry is no exception. Many industry experts and leaders go as far as to say that if you fail to continue to learn and move forward, you will stagnate, and be quickly overtaken by your competition.

Most real estate businesses can confidently answer in the affirmative when asked whether their team members are undergoing constant training. Tuesday mornings are renowned throughout the industry as being blocked out in real estate agents’ calenders for weekly sales training and the obligatory ‘caravan’ (touring the current listings as a group). However, the question to ask is whether this weekly training is, in fact, quality and up-to-date, or if it has been passed (and watered) down by the Principal over years and decades, and is in fact, no longer useful. While sharing challenges and triumphs, as well as strategies that may have worked in particular local circumstances, will continue to remain an important part of the profession, and no doubt ensure those Tuesday weekly sales training events stay firmly in our industry’s heritage, in some instances, external and specialised training is essential.

Tuesday mornings are renowned throughout the industry as being blocked out in real estate agents’ calenders for weekly sales training and the obligatory ‘caravan’ (touring the current listings as a group).

According to Paula Irvine, General Manager (Real Estate) of Kaplan Professional, a leading national provider of professional education and training for the real estate sector in Australia, there are generally three instances that require external and ongoing training.

Firstly, she says that the rapid evolvement of technology in today’s world has not been exclusive of the real estate industry, and therefore constant up skilling in new technology is a given.

Indeed, these days, client communications, marketing campaigns and print management are all handled via specially created online programs, and real estate agents are expected to manage data distribution to portals, and create statistical and KPI reports online. As the capabilities of information technology are constantly improving to meet client demands, more programs are being installed on our computers, and, in order to continue operating efficiently and provide the best service to clients as real estate agents, we need to continue to master their functionality. It is an undeniable fact that once most of these programs are installed there is a certain degree of training that needs to be undertaken in order for us to remain capable of continuing to service clients at the same, or greater, level as before.

It is an undeniable fact that once most of these (computer) programs are installed there is a certain degree of training that needs to be undertaken in order for us to remain capable of continuing to service clients at the same, or greater, level as before.

“Companies such as RP Data and Rockend constantly run specialised training on technology and the use of programs and materials,” she said.

The next important factor, according to Ms Irvine, is that of changing legislation, and in many states it is mandatory to retain training in this, as well as continuing professional development (CPD) as a requirement to renew your Real Estate license.

Failing to keep up with changing legislation can have disastrous consequences for both your client and your own professional situation, resulting in lost contracts, fines, your real estate license being revoked and worse- she said.

Ms Irvine said that state member associations run seminars on changes to legislation and information can be obtained by contacting the head office or simply by checking their website.

Lastly, Ms Irvine said that specialised and regular sales training can assist real estate agents succeed in any market and with a variety of property types.

The Payoff.

Agents who are properly trained and continuously up skill find they are aptly able to relate to all types of different buyers. For example, they learn that first home buyers usually require a lot more information on finance and the sales process than an investor or luxury property buyer.

She explains that specialised sales training helps agents to profile buyers and enable themselves to adapt an individualised approach that may prove more successful with particular personality types on the part of both the client and the agent.

She stresses that it is important agents keep up to date with local, national and international market conditions and the economy, so that they are also better equipped to advise their clients.

“If an agent is continually training, then they are prepared for any market,” she says.

Therefore, it becomes even more apparent that your outer world of results will always correspond to your inner world of preparation and learning. Make that investment in your personal and professional development, to ensure that you continue to remain at the forefront of your industry and provide your clients with the service they deserve.

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Kerry McDuling

Kerry McDuling has over ten years experience in the PR sector and as a freelance journalist. Formerly the Communications Manager for an international real estate franchise, Kerry is currently the Director of McDuling PR, specialising in public relations for the real estate industry.