School may be out but that doesn't mean the learning stops.
If you're not learning something new, you're growing stagnant.
Thay may or not have been what my mother meant when I was 11 years old and wanted to do nothing all summer. But her words are as true today as they were back then.
If you haven't learned anything new today, you're no better off than you were yesterday. As you accumulate years of experience in real estate, are you accumulating experience or just years?
In New Jersey, a real estate licensee is required to have 12 hours of continuing education per year with at least 6 of those hours being in what are deemed core classes including 3 hours of ethics training. Many courses are taught by interesting people and we've learned a great deal from them.
But is 12 hours of education enough?Are there any other sources of continuing education that can help you become a better real estate professional? Here are our favorite ways to improve our skills:
1. Active Rain. There is a absolute wealth of information available on Active Rain. I hesitate to list all of those Rainers from whom we've learned so much because I know I'll leave off someone important, but, believe me, the list would be long. We've learned how to write blogs that are compelling and we've learned how to write blogs that increase our SEO and we've learned how to write blogs that help inform our clients. We've gotten great ideas for mailing campaigns and prospecting and market reports.
2. Podcasts. I listen to these while I'm doing housework or puttering the garden and I keep a running list of the great ideas I learn - things like scripts for difficult situations and prospecting ideas and ways to improve conversion rates. Some of my favorite real estate podcasts are:
- Active Rain podcasts - Terrific interviews at an easy pace. Looking forward to the next episode!
- Water Cooler - A good mix of interviews and marketing ideas.
- Real Estate Coaching Radio - There's so much content on here that I don't think I'll ever run out.
- The Boom Real Estate Podcast - This is a brand new podcast with only 9 episodes so far, but they are entertaining and have lots of great ideas.
3. Professional Reading - We have a small collection of real estate books and I might read a chapter or two or I might read the whole book, depending on my needs. Often, favorites are read and re-read many times over. Some of the books in our library are:
- Life 101 - Not a real estate book but nonetheless filled with great ideas for general life strategies.
- How to Make $100,000 - Darryl Davis is always a favorite!
- Networking Like a Pro - Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, has a ton of great ideas here.
- 21 Things I wish My Broker Had Told Me - This is a great book for a quick pick-me-up.
- The Millionaire Real Estate Agent - Gary Keller of Keller Williams provides lots of advice.
- Sell with Soul - By Active Rain's own Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn.
- The One Minute Sales Person - We've read this book by Spencer Johnson aloud to each other on car rides.
So what about you? What are your favorite ways to regenerate your enthusiasm and learn new things?