Constant learning and a drive for more knowledge within an industry can make or break a career, and real estate is no different. Michael McAllister, president of the Real Estate Educators Association, says, “Real estate professionals have to be always learning.”
Finding the right tools
So what are the right tools an agent should take with them when embarking into this field? Well, they aren’t necessarily only confined to literal tools.
“There are technological tools and all sorts of logistical tools that they need to execute their business,” McAllister says. “But none of those take the place of foundational knowledge and skills.” This includes understanding sales and marketing and having a knack for customer service. McAllister says, “For those that are good with people and are savvy and are willing to work really hard, there are huge rewards.”
And while the world continues to digitize, there are technological advances that have helped the real estate industry. For example, now there are options for agents to log classroom hours remotely, which simplifies a process that previously forced many to take time off work or spend evenings and weekends in a classroom. In addition to that, the entire transaction management procedure can be done electronically as well, which really simplifies and expedites the process.
“A word of caution I would put out there, though, is that not all pre-licensed education is created equal,” McAllister notes. “Students should really look for schools that are able to substantiate their student pass rates.”
Education within real estate
Aside from working in the field, there are many teaching opportunities for those that are subject matter experts within a specific area of real estate. “For example, if you’ve got someone who’s really good at negotiation, their course offerings that they would take to an association or a brokerage firm or school would be just on that topic,” McAllister says.
But one important accompaniment to teaching is understanding how to teach real estate specifically. McAllister notes, “We’ve all had good teachers and bad teachers, and regardless of the topic, it was the good teacher that made the content interesting.”