You spent the majority of the first 20 years of your life in some form of a classroom, trying to cram as much knowledge as possible to get prepared for the real world. And then suddenly, as if to signal the end of your potential, it stops. You’ve learned all you can learn. Now, go try to make something of yourself.
When you stop to think about it, the concept seems a little bizarre.
The world is constantly evolving, things are changing each day and there is always some new discovery or trend emerging. What you learned in the classroom 15, 10 or even 5 years ago, won’t necessarily apply today.
The solution? Keep learning.
As a real estate professional, you are part of a highly competitive industry. Brokers and agents aren’t in short supply. And that agent down the street? He completed that same entrance exam and sat through The Fundamentals of Running Your Real Estate Business with you last Saturday morning.
Yes, the fundamentals are important; they are what help to build the foundation of your business. The lessons you learn in those classes provide you with the knowledge needed to build trust with your clients. But how do you start those conversations? How do you overcome their objections? How do you stand out among the competition? Keep learning and go beyond what is expected.
Take Tom Brady, for example. The NFL quarterback has earned six trips to the Super Bowl (more than any other quarterback) and won four. The keyword here is earned; an accomplishment like this isn’t achieved by just doing what is expected. Brady has gone above and beyond in order to perform better and reach his full potential. In a recent article by NESN, Brady even goes as far as attempting to get into stadiums in the middle of the night to get in some extra practice or watching game tape at 3:00AM to analyze what he could do to be better.
Sure, you’re not a football player but the principles still apply. Becoming great at anything requires putting in lots of effort; putting in more effort than those around you is what allows you to win. Remember, all of your competition has completed the same entrance exam and the additional hours of education that your Licensing body requires every few years. It is up to you to ensure you stand out from your competition.
Leveraging new education opportunities is a great way to expand your knowledge and learn new skills that go beyond the basics of what was required to become a real estate professional. And pursuing continued education doesn’t have to mean getting back into a physical classroom. There are plenty of options; here are three to get you started:
Instead of starting off your morning catching up on emails, dedicate time to some light reading – the Internet is filled with a ton of great tips, tricks and stories on the latest trends. I suggest picking a few favorite blogs or publications to read regularly and setting up Google Alerts for topics you don’t want to miss. The key here is being aware. Reading may not necessarily make you an expert on a particular subject but it will set you in the right direction.
Find a Virtual Classroom
Webinars! Webinars are great for a number of reasons but number one on my list is convenience. By attending a webinar you are able to gain great value without the high cost of travel or even leaving your desk. Stepping into a virtual classroom also provides the opportunity to re-watch the session and become a master of the skill that was discussed. There are plenty of companies that offer webinars covering a variety of topics, all you have to do is pick which one to attend.
Bring the Classroom to You
In my opinion, this is where you will get the most value and ROI. Bringing an industry expert into your brokerage or attending a speaking session allows you to feed off the energy of the room and engage at a level that can’t be matched by other education opportunities. And since, in my opinion, this is the most important channel, I have a couple of extra tips when it comes to selecting an expert to come to your brokerage or when choosing a speaking session to attend.
First, ensure your experts are truly experts. Anyone can Google, 10 Up and Coming Real Estate Trends and relay the information. The value comes in the lessons learned from professionals who have experienced client objections first-hand and learned from their own personal wins and losses. Don’t be afraid to look outside of the real estate industry. A professional with a background in tech or marketing will still have great lessons to share and if they are truly an expert, they will be able to relate their learnings to the real estate industry.
Second, and more important than the first, is to ensure that your speakers not only tell you what to do but how to do it. We all know you need to get leads and market yourself, the question is: how do you do it?
Even better than giving you the how, look for professionals who can suggest tools and technology that will allow you to execute on all of your new knowledge. Technology has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and so has its role in business. Today, a brokerage cannot reach its full potential without the proper tools and technology in place. An expert with a solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t, will ensure your new education comes full circle and that you are able to streamline processes and easily implement what you have learned.
These are just three ways that you can continue to educate yourself and grow your business; the truth is, there are many more. How you choose to continue to develop professionally and learn continuously, is up to you. What is most important, is that you do it. [easy-tweet tweet="In the real estate industry, what you know is what will set you apart." user="@GetLWolf"] Take a step back into the classroom and towards a more successful real estate career.
*This post originally appeared on the Real Trends July Newsletter.