Here is the latest in a series of occasional “Best Practices” articles by NSDCAR members on upcoming educational classes. Tom Stamos is one of the instructors for the 2018 NSDCAR New Agent Series, a series of nine classes which begins Tuesday, July 24. Dates for the classes are July 24, 30 and August 6, 13. Classes will be held at NSDCAR’s Vista Service Center, 906 Sycamore Ave., Vista.
By Tom Stamos
I’m looking forward to my participation in the 2018 NSDCAR New Agent Series, which can be helpful to any REALTOR® of any experience level. Any of the nine classes will be filled with the foundational basics for success in real estate. I will be sharing ideas and my experience about residential listing presentations and listing agreements. The intention for my class will be to provide valuable information to help our members succeed as REALTORS®.
Of first importance, it’s critical to start with professionalism. Commit yourself to integrity, full disclosure and constant and clear communication. Also, have the mindset that you are the best agent for the job. A good way to get get rid of the fear of failure is to never compare yourself to anybody else. Practice will instill confidence.
While there are many avenues to be successful in a real estate career, listings are the life blood of a REALTOR® and the most effective way to a successful, sustainable real estate career. Listings attract other listings, as well as buyers and referrals when you do your job right.
Even before you get a listing, have a system in place. A typical listing system includes background information, an optional pre-listing package and a listing presentation. Don’t forget to follow-up.
Your background info should include a realist search. Find out who’s on the title, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, when did they buy, mortgage info, etc. Also drive by the property the get to know the neighborhood. Find out if the property is located near a school or whether it’s on a cul-de-sac and does it have a view. As part of your research, perform a preliminary market analysis to get an idea of possible value of the home.
A pre-listing package should include anything that highlights your strengthens and positions you as a real estate expert. Contents can include a cover letter, personal bio, copies of news stories about you to reinforce credibility, information about awards you’ve won, company information and testimonials from satisfied clients. You might also include a detailed CMA, marketing plan and info about preparing the house for sale.
At your initial contact, be relaxed, upbeat, confident and curious. Dress for success. Park across the street, not in the driveway. Find out as much as you can prior to the in-person meeting. Find out their motivation, reasonableness, expectations, knowledge of the market and level of cooperation. A listing interview form may be helpful, but don’t interrogate them.
At your listing presentation, the key is to listen, learn and take control. When greeted and enter the home, go to the kitchen or dining room table and ask if you can place your materials there. There’s where you ideally want to work. Ask for a home tour. Ask them to mention any upgrades and point out things they really like about their home. Also ask them to point out any issues with the home. Acknowledge the good with praise and withhold any judgment for the bad.
When done with the home tour and you’re sitting at the kitchen table, ask if they have any questions before you write up the listing agreement. Don’t talk too much or you’ll lose their interest and risk losing the listing. Many agents spend too much time talking and giving prospects reasons NOT to do business with them. If you talk too much, agents can bring up more questions about themselves than answers.
A prospect’s reaction to a trial close will give you an indication of how much in depth you need to go and if they’re ready to sign on the dotted line. Engage them with open-ended questions, such as “What do you think of that?” Ask more questions to dig deeper for true motivations. Be prepared for anything, but only cover what you really need to. This is when knowing your prospect’s motivation, market conditions and your selling system comes in handy. Present only what you need to present.
Most sellers are looking for the highest possible price and closing at the right time with fewest possible problems. They want to know why you are the best agent to accomplish their objectives while meeting their goals. If you can show the sellers that you can handle every aspect of the transaction, then they’ll hire you on the spot.
REALTORS® should keep in mind that while clients might be interviewing you, you should also be interviewing them. We are real estate experts on behalf of our clients. There are many pitfalls in the marathon race of life, so we should enjoy our work and live an abundant life. Your work and your worth are two different things. So, it’s important to realize that we have the choice to pick and choose our clients, as well. If you see red flags and hazard signs, then you should probably take a detour.
It’s also important to continually learn from your experiences. Improve and tweak your systems after every listing appointment if necessary. More will be shared at the class. Join us. I hope to see you then.
Tom Stamos, is in his 18th year as a member of NSDCAR, was the 2013 NSDCAR REALTOR® of the Year. He currently serves as a member of the NSDCAR Professional Standards Committee and holds a Risk Mitigation Specialist professional designation. A former owner and operator of a local brokerage, Stamos is currently the local managing broker of a national brokerage.
"The key is to listen, learn and take control"
NSDCAR REALTOR® member Jovani Ruiz, an Escondido resident, grew up in Valley Center and graduated from Valley Center High School (class of 2004). The 32-year-old serves as a co-chair with Jackie Camacho of NSDCAR’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) group. The NSDCAR YPN group focuses on connecting and engaging the next generation of REALTORS® with the tools and encouragement they need to succeed. Jovani began his career in real estate sales after graduating from San Diego State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing. He is currently with Windermere Homes & Estates in Escondido. Jovani serves a wide variety of clients and many of them are millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000. Many of his clients are first-time homebuyers. Jovani recently shared his thoughts about serving millennial clients in his real estate practice.
-- Myths about millennial clients:
Some people think homeownership is not a big deal to many millennials, but nothing could be further from the truth. Millennials want to share in the American dream of homeownership. Millennials have not turned their backs on homeownership. They know that buying a home is crucial to financial wealth and stability. The American dream is alive in their hearts. They want to make it a reality. But, their vision may be clouded by misinformation. They may need education about the home buying process. They want to dialogue and learn how to make homeownership possible.
-- What’s preventing millennials from homeownership:
Besides low inventory and affordability concerns, some millennial buyers delay or avoid homeownership over debt concerns. They worry about carrying a lot of debt. But, that doesn’t mean all millennials have student debt because many do not. Many of them are not overburdened at all with student debt. Not everyone has gone to a four-year university. Some have attended vocational schools or they work in fields that do not require a master’s degree.
-- What’s important to millennial buyers:
Millennial buyers want transparency and honesty. They want to work with a REALTOR® who is real and authentic. That’s why I post on Facebook about my wife’s hair salon or our son’s school activities in addition to posts about real estate. I also post about my role as assistant soccer coach at Valley Center High School. Because of social media, many of my clients already know something about me before they reach out to contact me in person They have checked me out and they feel like they already know me. Last year, I closed about a dozen deals with millennials who first found me on Facebook. Millennials also want someone who is patient. Some milennials have waited a long time to buy a home so they can be very deliberate and take their time to make up their mind. They don’t want to be rushed. They don’t know how to get started and need help
-- What millennials need from real estate professionals:
Sometimes, they don’t need an agent to help them find a home because they’ve already found their favorite home after searching on the Internet. What they need is a real estate expert who will serve as their advisor and help guide them through the transaction process. They also need an expert to correctly set the timeline and manage their expectations. Being a resource to your millennial clients will grow your relationship and can result in second-time clients and referrals in the future.
-- Why I like to work with millennial clients:
Since many of them are tech savvy, millennials are comfortable with electronic signatures and apps that help with the homebuying process. It helps makes things go faster, simplier and more convenient. They’re used to ordering meals and rides instantly on a smartphone app. Also, they’re excited about experiencing the whole homebuying transaction process. Plus, they already have a good idea of what they’re looking for. Some place a higher priority on whether the backyard is big enough for their dog. Others want their home to be energy efficient. Still, others are concerned about proximity to coffee shops, grocery stores and retailers.
-- What is YPN?
YPN is a dynamic entry point for real estate professionals striving to become more successful in their careers and gain leadership experience. It’s a platform for REALTORS® to volunteer, network and learn more about the real estate industry, as well as fundraise and make a positive difference in our communities. By belonging to a network of peers who face similar issues, we like to bounce ideas off each another and provide support to each other. We share and discover new ideas together. It’s a peer networking opportunity unlike any other because we engage, educate and elevate.
-- Why I like our NSDCAR YPN group:
At YPN, we focus on connecting and engaging the next generation of REALTORS® with the tools and encouragement they need to succeed. We facilitate opportunities for leadership through education, networking, events, technology and social media, and professional development. It’s about collaboration and working together. We are committed to working together to increase business and leadership opportunities and foster relationships for the future. YPN members seize the responsibility for shaping the direction of our Association and the real estate industry as a whole. We are career-minded real estate professionals who want to stay abreast of the latest tools and resources. Our values are leadership, involvement, advocacy and professionalism.
"Millennial buyers want transparency and honesty."
IMPORTANT PARAGON UPDATE!A major milestone in the path to realign the MLS membership in San Diego County is the relocation of the Paragon MLS system to the vendor’s (BK-REG / Black Knight Real Estate Group) own hosting facility. IMPORTANT DAYS/TIMES TO NOTE:
- READ-ONLY MODE: Saturday July 21stat 4:00 pm to Sunday July 22ndat midnight (32 hours). Read-Only mode means that no listings can be added, updated, or modified. In addition, during this period, any changes or additions to your Contacts, Saved Searches, CMAs or Agent Preferences will not transfer to the moved system and will need to be recreated after 8:00 am Monday July 23rd.
- MAINTENANCE MODE: Sunday July 22ndat midnight to 8:00 amMonday morning July 23rd (8 hours). During the Maintenance Mode, there may be intermittent access and interruptions. No listings should be added, updated or modified. In addition, you will not be able to save changes or additions to your contacts, saved searches, CMAs or agent preferences.
NSDCAR REALTORS® have a terrific opportunity to learn more about social media at an upcoming seminar hosted by the NSDCAR Young Professionals Network (YPN) group. Everyone is invited to attend “Creating Your Best Brand with Social Media” from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 12, at Stone Brewing Co., 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido. Cost to attend is $40 per person, which includes appetizers and two drinks. Instructors will include Stacia Kennedy, a consultant and social media coach, and Brian Traichel, a LinkedIn sales trainer. Topics will include how social media platforms can generate leads, referrals and sales. To RSVP, click here, http://ypnsocialmediaevent.eventbrite.com.
Stacia has experience assisting REALTORS® and real estate investors generate more leads and sales through online marketing strategies and relationship building. She operates her own consultancy specializing in social media business and marketing strategies. She also is a fitness coach.
On Thursday, July 12, Stacia will share tips for using Instagram. Stacia says that every REALTOR® can sell more homes using Instagram because new things keep appearing constantly. She recently shared the following three Instagram marketing tips for selling more homes:
-- Tip #1: Increase Web Traffic With Instagram Contest.
Here's a simple tip that everyone needs to understand: Instagram contests let you showcase your home for sale, attract new buyer leads and have your clients sharing your content with their sphere of influence. Who doesn't like a fun contest? The most important thing to understand is if you want to grow your audience and get more leads, you can adopt this tactic for your real estate business by announcing your contest on Instagram by asking them to tag their friends on your post for a chance to win. This is critical to your success because you can network with other businesses that have the same potential audience and ask them to donate an item for your contest or simply purchase a popular item at your local hardware or home store and take a picture of the item on Instagram. You can then say once you hit a certain number of likes or comments on the post you will raffle off the prize on a certain day. So, now the thing for you to do is to find a partner or local business that would love the free publicity and get them to share the post on their page to make the contest go viral locally.
-- Tip #2: Facts Tell, Instagram Stories Sell.
REALTORS® can unlock big doors with this simple key tip: Create an Instagram Story! Grab your prospect attention with an instastory. You have up to 15 seconds long, which is more than enough time to grab your prospects attention (since our attention spans are as long as a goldfish these days, not very long). What’s most important about this tip is that mixing up your photos with videos will help you get more attention. You can record your own short Instagram video to complement the images you post. This is showing off the neighborhood, your personality and your brand. As REALTORS®, you can’t neglect this tip because when you share stories your profile is highlighted in a different way catching the attention of your audience. It shows people that you are an expert and that you will be the go-to expert that will be able to show off their listing when it comes time for them to sell. So, now you should simply tap the middle icon in the row of icons at the bottom of the Instagram app. This opens up your photo and video capabilities. Once open, tap on the Video tab and click the red button to begin recording your clip.
-- Tip #3: Use Instagram Ads To Gain Local Interest.
Use this simple tip to jump way ahead of all those your competitors: Instagram sponsored posts will get your images in front of a local targeted audience. You can create sponsored ads posts using Facebook for a very small budget. What's important for every realtor to understand about this tip is that you can target a demographic beyond just your own friends and family currently following you. When you use Instagram ads, you can show off your listings and photos of happy people who have worked with you to help viewers what it would be like to work with you. This helps you because you can certainly do Instagram ads to any of your posts, but I would suggest doing a 15-second video introducing them to a new hot spot in the neighborhood, or invite them to a barbecue at your next open house. If you did a 15-second insta-story ad, that would totally make you stand out. If you need a longer video you can do a one-minute or less video and post that directly on to your Instagram feed and create a sponsored ad towards that video. Now the thing for you to do is to think about a story or a situation you encountered and how you were able to help the client overcome this obstacle. It could be a tip, a mistake that someone made, or a situation that you came across where you gave them the value they couldn't find elsewhere. Then, give them a call to action to a blog post, invite to an open house event, a gathering you are sponsoring or a landing page where they can send their info for you to contact them. Your efforts with Instagram Marketing will get much easier and faster when you accept and start using the knowledge from these three tips to become a successful realtor and leave your competitors behind.
Brian has 20 years of experience in professional sales. He is a LinkedIn expert who helps sales professionals get more prospects by utilizing their LinkedIn profile. He is a master connector, sales strategist, sales trainer, coach and presenter. Brian has worked in the title insurance business for 14 years and has worked with such well-known authors and speakers as Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins and Michael Gerber. Brian focuses on assisting sales professionals, business owners and senior leadership teams to grow their businesses and bran visibility to create a top-of-mind awareness using the LinkedIn platform with psychographic prospecting techniques. He recently shared the following five LinkedIn tips:
-- Tip #1: Change your privacy settings.
If you have never gone into your Linkedin privacy settings then you have the default settings, which allows others to view your connections list. If you want to look at other profiles, then Linkedin will notify the person that you viewed their profile. If you would like to take a more strategic approach to your prospecting, then try setting your view mode to private. In private mode no one can see that you looked at their profile.
-- Tip #2: Accept all invitations.
LinkedIn measures its connections by 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree. The more people you become connected to the more opportunity you will have to connect to a 2nd degree connection. A 2nd degree connection is someone who has a contact in common. A 3rd degree connection is someone that you don’t have contacts in common. LinkedIn makes it difficult to connect with 3rd degree connections as they assume you will be trying to sell them something.
Everyone will need to set their own criteria for which parameters to choose when accepting invites. It is a good idea to be connected to your competition as well.
-- Tip #3: Searching with filters.
Use the LinkedIn search functions to drill down a more specific target client list. You can filter your data by geographical region, industry, job title, school alumni, companies and past companies.
-- Tip #4: Top-of-mind visibility.
Use the Home Page (5CL Method) (daily) with five comments or five likes. Like and comment on five posts daily (any combination is fine). Personally comment under posted articles to put yourself in 1st position. Engage with people who do comment (like and return comment). Connect with poster explaining you enjoyed their article and want to connect. Follow up with endorsement to posting individual, endorse for one skill. Phone call for people who catch your eye-let them know you liked their article. Tip: Use generic comments the goal is to position yourself first in the comments section so others will see your profile. Comment by saying, “Thanks for sharing!,” or “Great Advice!,” or “Agreed!”
-- Tip #5: Your profile
Add some characters, such as stars, to your headline so that you stand out in the searches. LinkedIn searches for keywords in the very top of your profile. Take advantage of the SEO potential and add words that people will be looking for, such as geographic areas and services. Do the same in your summary section. Remember the more keywords the better. Don be humble, everything you have done in your work experience matters for SEO optimization.
More information will be shared the YPN event on Thursday, July 12. We hope to see you there.
The median price of an existing single-family home in California in May 2018 eclipsed $600,000 for the first time in more than 10 years as statewide prices continue to approach San Diego County's $640,000 figure, according to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
C.A.R. said the statewide median home price surpassed its previous peak of $594,530, which was recorded more than 10 years ago during the last housing boom. The May statewide median price was $600,860, up 2.8 percent from a revised $584,460 in April 2018 and up 9.2 percent from a revised $550,230 in May 2017. The year-over-year price growth pace was the highest rate of growth since May 2014.
In San Diego County, the median sales price of an existing single-family home was $640,000 in May 2018, a slight increase from the $635,000 sales price in April 2018 and $605,000 sales price in May 2017.
The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home remained low at 15 days in May 2018, compared with 15 days in April 2018 and 14 days in May 2017. Meanwhile, in San Diego County, the median number of days a home remained unsold on the market was 13 days in May 2018, compared to 11 days in April 2018 and 11 days in May 2017.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 409,270 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2018 if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. May’s sales figure was down 1.8 percent from the revised 416,750 level in April and down 4.6 percent compared with home sales in May 2017 of 428,870. May marked the first year-over-year sales decline in four months and the lowest sales level in more than a year.
“The softening in May home sales was due in part to the spike in interest rates in mid-April, when the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped 20 basis points in just one week to reach the highest level since 2014,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “Homebuyers may have postponed escrow closings to wait out the effects of the rate surge. Additionally, the specter of rate increases earlier in the year may have pulled sales forward into the first quarter, which resulted in the subpar performance in the last couple of months. Looking ahead, higher mortgage rates and elevated home prices will heighten affordability constraints that will likely temper the housing market in the coming months.”
“As we predicted last month, California’s statewide median home price broke the previous pre-recession peak set in May 2007 and hit another high as tight supply conditions continued to pour fuel on the price appreciation fire,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “With inventory starting to show signs of improvement, however, home price appreciation could decelerate in the second half of the year, especially since further rate increases are expected to hamper homebuyers’ affordability and limit how much they are willing to pay for their new home.”
Other key points from C.A.R.’s May 2018 resale housing report included:
-- The bottom end of the market continued to bear the brunt of the housing shortage as the availability of homes priced under $200,000 declined by 28.7 percent on an annual basis, and those priced between $200,000 and $299,999 dropped 13.1 percent. On the other hand, inventory of properties priced $1 million and above increased by more than 18 percent. In general, supply constraints continue to limit sales in market segments priced below $500,000, but higher-priced properties continue to show modest to strong growth in sales in the recent month.
-- The number of statewide active listings improved for the second consecutive month, increasing 8.3 percent from the previous year. The year-over-year increase was the largest since January 2015, when active listings jumped 11.0 percent. Perhaps more homeowners are listing their homes for sale in an effort to cash out on recent home price surges. The increase in active listings was also partly due to the sales decline, which led to a boost in inventory.
-- As sales declined from a year ago, the unsold inventory index, which is a ratio of inventory over sales, increased on a year-over-year basis as well. The statewide unsold inventory index edged up to 3.0 months in May from 2.9 months in May 2017. The index measures the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
-- Mortgage rates have been on the rise since breaking the 4.0 percent barrier in January. The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.59 percent in May, up from 4.47 percent in April and from 4.01 percent in May 2017, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate also perked higher in May to an average of 3.79 percent from 3.66 percent in April and from 3.12 percent in May 2017.
In other recent real estate and economic news according to news reports:
-- According to CoreLogic, an Orange County-based real estate information service, the median price of a home in San Diego County rose by 7.6 percent in May, compared with the same month a year earlier. The median price of a San Diego County home was $570,000 in May 2018, up from $529,750 in May 2017. A total of 4,004 homes were sold in May in the county, down 3.6 percent from 4,155 during the same month the previous year. The trend in Southern California, says the real estate tracker company, is declining sales as prices reach new records. “With inventory tight and affordability worsening, the number of Southern California homes sold has fallen on a year-over-year basis during three of the last five months,” said Andrew LePage, research analyst with CoreLogic. “Total sales during the first five months of this year fell about 2 percent from the same period last year, reflecting limited inventory particularly in more affordable price ranges.”
-- A recent report by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices said San Diego County home prices in March increased 7.7 percent from a year ago, outpacing most of the country. Nationally, home prices had increased 6.5 percent over 12 months. Seattle had the biggest increase of 13 percent in the 20-city index. Prices were up across California. San Francisco prices went up 11.3 percent in the same time period and Los Angeles prices increased 8.1 percent. For April, the report said that San Diego home prices were 7.8 percent higher over the past year.
-- San Diego County’s unemployment rate is the lowest since January 2000. It was 2.9 percent in May, unchanged from a revised 2.9 percent in April 2018, and below the year-ago estimate of 3.7 percent, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) recently reported. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.7 percent for California and 3.6 percent for the nation during the same period.
-- Americans’ household income is the highest ever. An average American home has never seen better income as the economy continues to break records. The median household income reached $61,483 in April, according to an estimate by Sentier Research based on monthly Census Bureau survey data. It’s the highest estimate by Sentier since it started providing monthly data in 2000, and also higher than any of the yearly Census Bureau estimates that reach back to 1967. American household incomes were decimated following the 2008 recession and continued to sink until 2011. Only then did wages start to recover. In recent months, however, the numbers have started to break new grounds. The economy has broken several records over the past months, such as the most job openings in one month, 6.55 million in March. That means there were almost as many job openings as the number of people unemployed. Unemployment fell to 3.9 percent in April. The only time it has ever dropped so low since the 1969 recession was in April 2000, and only for one month. Black and Hispanic unemployment rates have also fallen to the lowest levels in recorded history, and among women, the unemployment rate has decreased to the lowest since the 1950s.
-- Less than 10 percent of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. More than a decade after the housing market collapsed, the recovery has passed another milestone. The share of homeowners who owe more than the value of their home is 9.1 percent, falling below 10 percent for the first time since the housing market fell, according to Zillow’s 2017 Q4 Negative Equity Report. The typical U.S. home lost more than a quarter of its value when the market crashed, sending millions of homeowners into negative equity, when their homes’ values were lower than the balances on their mortgages. Now, though, national home values are higher than ever.
-- Household wealth topped $100 trillion for first time in the first quarter, according to the Federal Research. Thanks to rising house prices, the net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $100.77 trillion from $99.74 trillion, offsetting the impact of a decline in the stock market. Household debt rose at an annual rate of 3.3 percent staying in the range it’s been for the last few years. Business debt grew by 4.4 percent for the second straight quarter. Corporate cash holdings rose to $2.66 trillion from $2.59 trillion.The gains in the housing market, at a time of an improving jobs market, have put households in a better financial position than they have been for some time. Their net worth to disposable income at 682.6 percent is near the highest level in history, while debt service payments as a percentage of household income are way below bubble-era levels.
-- Employment and payrolls will continue to grow in California over the next three years, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast. The forecast calls for employment growth of 1.7 percent, 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with payrolls growing at about the same rate. Homebuilding is estimated to accelerate to 140,000 units per year by the end of 2020.
-- The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has revised its number to 116,000 for the number of new housing units to be built in San Diego County over the next decade. The revision was due to the state’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment, which regional planning agencies such as SANDAG use to plan transportation and other infrastructure investments. The California Dept. of Housing and Community Development estimate that 171,000 units need to be built locally from 2021 to 2029.
"The median number of days a home remained unsold on the market was 13 days in May 2018"
Every successful REALTOR® shares one common attribute: A commitment to continuing education.
Today, we’re facing disruption from people who say technology will make REALTORS® extinct. There are discounters who say that experience and knowledge are unnecessary.
Our response should not be to argue, be belligerent or fight back, nor to be deceptive or manipulative. Instead, simply resolve to continue to raise your game. Be the most qualified and smartest agent you can be, so you can correctly advise and expertly guide your clients. That will happen only with a commitment and dedication to continuing education.
Too many agents only see continuing education as a necessary evil. Many take the bare minimum of courses to keep their license current. They sit through classes while chomping at the bit to get back to work.
However, continuing education can have a multiplier effect on your career. It can result in greater financial literacy, productivity, and income. It will lead your mind to new ways of thinking. It will enable you to provide incredible value to your clients. Specialty knowledge can help boost your salary and client base. Better educated agents bring heightened professionalism, marketability, ethics and proficiency to the industry.
What might have worked yesterday might not work today. What was relevant in the past might be useless today. That’s because the market is continually changing and evolving. There is so much to keep up with that it can make your head spin.
In today’s fast-paced world, there are new technologies to learn and expertise to be gained so you can stand out from the crush of competition. Agents who embrace technology and integrate it into their daily work will stand a better chance to expand their client base and work with clients from all generations.
In addition to technology, there are new rules and regulations, as well as new forms. I’ve been teaching between 12 and 15 classes annually since 2010. As market conditions and laws change, it is imperative that we remain informed to best position our clients.
If you don’t know the latest, then you cannot serve and protect your clients in the best way. One new sentence can mean a major change. If you make an error due to ignorance, you could find yourself facing a lawsuit and dashing your clients’ dreams. Many feel that the real estate transaction is one of the most painful processes one can endure. Nobody wants to put their clients through pain, especially when it can be so easily avoided through continuing education.
Real estate agents operate in one of the most competitive industries in the U.S. There are few barriers to entry, relatively low startup costs, so thousands of people jump on board every month. What will separate you from the newcomers? It will be your experience, and commitment to continuing education.
The choice is yours. You control your own destiny in our industry. Being the best that you can be by continuing to learn every day is the best choice. We’re never finished learning. As Warren Buffet has said, “Whatever makes you smarter, makes you richer.”
I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and attend upcoming classes offered by NSDCAR. It could be a new topic or a refresher on something you think you’re an expert at (you might be surprised what you don’t know). NSDCAR provides members with outstanding resources and tools to enhance your professional skills and better serve your clients. We want every homebuyer or seller to be confident that they are working with a professional who has exceptional real estate knowledge and proficiency.
Nikki Coppa has previously taught recent classes to NSDCAR members. She has served as a C.A.R. Director as well as a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director. She is a past chair of the C.A.R. Standard Forms Advisory Committee.