Why an educated agent is better than a licensed agent...

Real Estate Agent with Benchmark Realty

It amazes me how agents will get their license and then do the minimal requirements for ongoing education. A great example is a guy that I work with in the office. He has never once taken ANY classes over the past 8 months. BTW, he has been in RE for 8 months. 

Here are his stats;

1) Fudged his way to several closings

2) Lost 3 clients due to the fact that he did not get a "buyers rep agreement". One of them was a family friend. 

3) Lost a total of $33,000 in commissions due to mistakes. One of which was simple contract writing. In my opinion, a Real Estate 101 mistake. 

4) An average of 20hrs a week of "wasted time"

5) Angry clients (this equals no repeat business)

6) Other agents taking time to help recover and clean up mistakesalbert einstein

The sad thing is, you can walk into our office almost any time of any day and there are training classes going on. Heck, I even learned how to blog on Active Rain because of a training class. The fact of the matter is that you cannot succeed in this game unless you are educated. Before I even wrote my first offer I forced myself to;

1) Take the SAME contract class 4 times

2) Take the basic MLS class

3) Take the "advanced" MLS class (twice)

This doesn't include all the classes I have taken over the past few years.

Small Disclaimer:) "I am by no means am the Tennessee RE authority and there are many agents in my office in which I look up to and even call for advice."

Where am I going with this? Well, I took another class this morning  (a refresher on using our Nashville MLS search). It reminded me how an educated agent is ALWAYS better than those with just a license. Some of the basic techniques learned in the class;

1) Knowing how to use the "archive" feature. This will let an agent know whether or not the house for sale has appraisal issues, inspections issues, etc. Our teacher asked if anyone in the class uses this feature. NO ONE raised their hands! This simple feature would save a buyer from a lot of potential time, money, and HEADACHE.

2) Advanced REO search features which will show an agent ANY foreclosure, short-sale, repo, etc on the market. This is crucial for investors. 

3) Email notices. This allows the agent to be the FIRST to know that a property has hit the market. This is also crucial for investors and those simply looking for a "good deal"

Those are just 3 of the important features that some agents simply do not use. 

Does it really matter whether or not an agent is educated? YES. Sure, some agents can fudge their way to closing. Those agents get lucky. Not everyone has the perfect deal and that is when you need an "educated" Realtor...

Stephen Strickhausen



Nashville Homes for sale


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Lisa Orme
The Master's Key Realty LLC -Windsor, CT - HARTFORD COUNTY - Windsor, CT
Broker/Realtor, ABR, CRS,GRI, PSCS, SFR, Notary Pu

First, I agree with you that being an EDUCATED agent will save lots of time and trouble--for EVERYONE.  And it's the agent's job first to take responsibility for getting educated.  The problem is, a lot of new agents think they just GOT educated by getting their license.  And so my second point is: where is the manager/trainer or mentor that should be closely overseeing this newbie for at least his first 5-10 transactions??

Aug 11, 2010 10:50 AM
The 1410 Group of Benchmark Realty, LLC
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN


It used to be mandatory in the office. I think they are about to implement it being mandatory again...soon. Yeah, I realized how little I knew VERY soon after I got my license. 

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Aug 11, 2010 10:59 AM
John Thomas
E3 Green HOMES - Boulder, CO
EcoBroker, MSEE, MBA

On-going education is important in almost any profession. Those who do not stay current will soon be out of business.

Aug 11, 2010 11:06 AM
The 1410 Group of Benchmark Realty, LLC
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN

Plus the fact that this (like most businesses) is an ongoing, living, breathing, monster. It changes with the weather.... So must my knowledge. 

Aug 11, 2010 11:10 AM
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I wish I could find more classes with people who were really interested in learning something new. Seems like most of the time it's just a matter of clocking in to get the CE credits. If you get some new info that's just gravy. I want some meat & potatoes!

Aug 11, 2010 11:13 AM
The 1410 Group of Benchmark Realty, LLC
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN

The sad thing is that there were people in the class who needed the hours by TOMORROW or their license was going to expire!! They were there JUST for the credit. WOW

Aug 11, 2010 11:16 AM
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Above & Beyond - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Stephen, It sounds like you are in this business to stay and the minute you stop learning or wanting to learn you will probably be out of the business. Good for you for realizing from the beginning that you have to know your stuff! And just thank your lucky stars you don't have to cold call or go door to door :)

Aug 11, 2010 01:54 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Back when I was licensed I always felt jealous of agents in big cities - not because I want to live in one, but because they had SO many opportunities for more classes.

What we had here was the opportunity to drive 70 miles for the continuing ed classes - and occasionally a class at the local MLS office given by some agent who stood at the front of the room and mumbled.

Meanwhile, I wish I could agree with John about the incompetents being quickly out of business. Unfortunately, other people always seem to push and pull them along so they can continue to take up space in offices.

I once worked in an office with a woman who had been an agent for 15 years. One day I used the phrase (is this a phrase?) PITI. She looked up from her crocheting (yes, really...that's what she did on floor time) and she asked me what that meant.

Your clients are fortunate that you are one of the ones who continues to learn...

Aug 12, 2010 06:40 PM