At the most recent "Buyer Beware" seminar I was facilitating in Coquitlam, someone referred to me as an "expert"; they told me this because they thought I'm someone others look to when they want more information on homeowner issues.
Do I really possess superior knowledge when this is not a topic I studied at school?
Today I serve on the advisory council of Canadians for Properly Built Homes, and it's been 11 years since I co-founded the Coalition of Leaky Condo Owners (with Dr. James Balderson and others) but I'm still called almost weekly by someone wanting to find out something about the topic.
Last year I served as the President of Consumer Advocacy and Support for Homeowners Society, and was the "go-to" person for the various media on many housing related issues affecting homeowners. Again I continue to receive public calls and emails on every topic from the various Acts, to warranty providers, to building codes, to home inspections, to other REALTORS® (scary stuff). Why this happens is a whole other matter.
Without having any formal credentials to back it up I'm still uncomfortable assuming the "expert" moniker.
I believe the reason I'm chosen as a real estate representative and get referred often is from providing clients specialized professional advice with a high degree of integrity and discretion.
Gary Keller, the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty is reported to have said, "A professional is someone who knows what they know, knows what they don't know, and knows the difference between the two. When I know I'll tell you. When I don't know, I'll go find out. My top priority is that you always get the right answer...I'm A professional."
In addition to our obligations as REALTORS® I strive for an expanded professionalism through:
- challenging the status quo by questioning everything, looking for new ways and sources,
- continuously learning, way beyond the industry requirements, to increase my knowledge base,
- walking the walk, and being involved, to gain practical experience,
- applying my knowledge, to problem solve and especially for others,
- developing relationships, to establish a powerful support and referral network, and,
all in the hope of continually improving; these are pursued in perpetuity as a way of life.
If in the future I'm referred to as an expert by others as a result of this modus operandi I've decided to respectfully accept this; although I'm unlikely to ever refer to myself as an expert.
How about you?