Expanding Your Realtor Skills
You’ve been studying and working hard and you finally have your real estate license! Do you think you are ready to take on the real estate industry? Well, there is more to real estate than just having a license and selling houses.
While you may know your stuff, learning how to be a better realtor requires additional education, experience and self evaluation. If your only desire is to be a part time realtor with minimal success, then go for it. If you are just starting your career and have goals beyond being a good realtor, there are steps you need to take to move forward in your career.
Improving Real Estate Skills
As with any career, experience is one of our greatest teachers. We can learn from any experience, whether it is good or bad. When you have completed a transaction, sit down and do a debrief. Look over all the documentation, all the correspondence and all the relevant actions you took during the transaction.
Be in the Know
It is important to look for things like miscommunications, marketing wins, social media losses, negotiation tactics (what worked and what did not) and ways to improve your closings. Educating your clients and anything else that affected the effectiveness of your transaction is also important.
Especially if you lose a client, the debrief is important. It is crucial that you find the errors you made so you can avoid them in future and find the opportunities you failed to capitalize on. Here are some questions you can consider if you lose a client:
- Did I fail to advertise their home in every place possible?
- Did I not meet the terms of the contract?
- Did I not have enough open houses or home tours?
- Did I not have the home properly staged?
- Did I lose trust and faith with the clients?
- Did I make an error in their listing or listing price?
After reading this, you can notice the things you can control within the relationship between realtor and client. If you are afraid you may do these things again, make yourself a checklist that you go over every time you meet with or speak to a client. Ensure that they are comfortable with you and know every step you are taking during the process of trying to sell their home.
In addition to becoming a more skilled realtor, you can also take continuing education courses to add certifications to your real estate license. Not only are these courses beneficial to your practice, they are also required by law in most states to keep your real estate license.
Courses and Continuing Education
First off, when you are ready to complete your continuing education requirements, you have options. There are multiple online real estate schools that offer continuing education. You can also research local community colleges and universities to see what they offer in the realm of continuing education.
Some of the courses offered by the National Association of Realtors include the following:
- Accredited Buyers Representative Designation Course
- At Home with Diversity
- Discovering Commercial Real Estate
- Military Relocation Professional Certification
- Generation Buy
- New Home Construction and Buyer Representation
- Pricing Strategies
- Realtor Code of Ethics Training
- Seniors Real Estate Specialist
In addition, to give you a specific example, the State of Virginia requires the following for all its licensed real estate salespersons:
- Three credit hours classroom education in Ethics & Standards of Conduct
- Two credit hours of class time in Fair Housing
- One credit hour of class time in Legal Updates and Emerging Trends
- One credit hour of attendance in Real Estate Agency
- One credit hour of class time in Real Estate Contracts
Also in the State of Virginia, the Virginia Community Colleges group offers courses to help real estate salespersons become real estate brokers:
- Real Estate Brokerage
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Real Estate Finance
- Real Estate Law
- Real Property Management
Each of the offerings listed here will undoubtedly help you become a better realtor and that will open up new career opportunities.
As you become more experienced and educated about real estate, you can begin to expand your horizons and explore other careers within the industry.
Real Estate Managing Broker
A broker is a licensed real estate professional who has completed further education and is certified to manage a real estate office that includes multiple agents.
Commercial Real Estate Agent
Commercial development can be as rewarding as residential and in some cases may suit your style and strengths even better.
Real Estate Investor
Here you will start thinking about ways to invest in homes by flipping or becoming a landlord.
This is a professional who collects necessary information on homes to give an estimated value. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for real estate appraisers in 2016 was about $51,850 annually or about $25 hourly.
These professionals usually work at banks or private lenders and create and process all the documentation for foreclosure proceedings.
You do not have to stop at earning your real estate license. The industry has so many opportunities to expand your role and help you become a better, more productive realtor.