No more classes, no more books...
Completing those pre-licensing real estate courses is a BIG accomplishment, no matter what the level of prior education or career success a person has had. A close second (in Texas at least) is completing the 2nd round of courses (98 hours) that are required for an agent's first renewal.
Ramping up a real estate practice can be a surprisingly daunting task. It's more than picking a logo and hanging out a shingle. What agents learn in pre-licensing courses is important, but the actual day-to-day work activities -- and the skills required for establishing a professional practice -- are not the focus or purpose of the foundational curriculum.
Many new agents equate start up to "drinking through a fire hose". Learning the words and the tools of a new trade can be daunting. Finally finding rhythm, for many agents, means time to grind and focus on the groove of production, while everything else in career-life becomes a diminished priority.
Who Has Time For That?
Continuing education is a common requirement for most professional licenses. Most governing bodies require a minimum number of hours that each licensee must complete over a defined periodic cycle in order to maintain an active license. Texas is no exception.
Salespeople are driven to produce, and becoming consumed by production is an easy trap to fall in to. It's completely natural and logical... we eat what we kill, and if we must STOP for anything, it had better be something really important, right?
Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) is unfortunately deemed by many agents a nuisance. It is only important, because it is required for license renewal, but it is commonly embraced as a necessary evil and an interruption to the activity agents feel that they need and want to be doing instead.
"Education is a funny thing: it is a product that people will pay to have... less of."
-- David-Ross Gerling, Ph.D. (Sam Houston State University)
The default mode for the average salesperson is to procrastinate, and then look for the cheapest, quickest, easiest way to slam courses into the schedule and fulfill the minimum CE requirements before the deadline. They manage to the lowest common denominator.
Professional (career) salespeople think and behave differently.
Across industries, the most successful salespeople are students of their profession. They are committed to lifelong learning.
- They continually seek opportunities for personal improvement, mentorship, life coaching, and specialized knowledge (certifications / designations) that will advance their practice.
- They have ravenous appetites for learning, and make training a priority. They reserve time on their calendars for practicing trade skills -- investing in mastery (preparing ahead) rather than scrambling to perform under duress.
- They focus on maximizing time by doubling up... listening to talk radio, webinars / conference calls or audio books while driving, and by reading instead of watching TV.
- They attend seminars & workshops -- not because they have to, but because they want to. They realize that in the high-tech world we live in, business changes daily, and they understand that they have to stay ahead of the learning curve to provide quality service and remain valuable in the marketplace.
- They plug in to mastermind groups to absorb & share business strategies, and hold themselves accountable for personal growth.
- They find mentors who can help inspire, challenge and coach them to new heights.
- They look for clues, trends, and insights across other industries.
- They stay current on local news events and developments that affect their business.
- They connect in contributory ways (volunteering / service) with their local and state Associations to immerse themselves in their profession. They get involved at a level that supersedes personal gain.
What Picture Does Your CE Transcript Paint?
Consumers are becoming more savvy about researching agents prior to engaging their representation services. Most states offer public online license verification, complete with disciplinary and CE history for consumers to review.
Tip: Brokers also tend to review CE history as part of their evaluation process for hiring candidates.
CE isn't a comprehensive snapshot of someone's learning personality, but it is indicative of what value an individual agent places on education in general. A track record of slamming in the minimally required 9- 12 hours on the same day every 2 years through "FreebieCErUs.online" is revealing. Agent attitudes toward lifelong learning are the difference between surviving and thriving in the real estate industry.