Continuous Improvement

In any career field, there are those who strive and those who thrive. For some people, their work product appears easy, comfortable and flows to them like an unending river. Other people seem to struggle, flounder and get lost. A question then begs: What is the difference between these two situations? Is it nature or nurture? Is it good luck versus bad luck?

A person who seeks continuous improvement is one who seeks advancement and sees issues as opportunities. Growth or decline are the choices a person will always be presented, and the choice is theirs.

One of attributes of those who seek improvement is education. By bettering an understanding of a trade, a person enhances their life by providing more value to the client/customer and greater job satisfaction for themselves. As a real estate professional, the trade is always changing so continuous improvement is almost mandatory. Remember when the Great Recession of 2008 hit, and housing was taking a bumpy ride, values were dropping, mortgages were higher than the value of the property? Some people took this as an opportunity to learn how to perform short sales, manage foreclosed properties and learned other skill sets to ‘bob and weave’ as the market shifted. These associates made an income while those who sat on the sidelines waiting for the tide of Recession to recede struggled. By education, these associates improved. The market is always changing, and now new business models, new companies and new concepts are introduced at the speed of light and associates who do not adapt and adopt will struggle and fail.

How does education assist in the growth of the real estate professional? By learning new skills, the agent value statement improves greatly in the minds eye of the consumer. Imagine taking a course on staging a property and developing your eye for interior design: Your value to the consumer becomes greater in that you can demonstrate a service other people may not be able to provide or must pay another professional to perform. You save money by not hiring the stager and the listing may sell more quickly than it would have otherwise not staged.

As we age, the need to improve becomes greater. I ponder frequently about the sensibility of my returning to college for one more degree at my age (Know that I received my AARP membership a few years ago!). I wonder if taking my evenings and pursuing a Juris Doctorate in Law would mean anything to my clients, colleagues and family. The obvious answer is that it would! Yet, the hard part is looking forward and projecting feelings into the future. And the future is unknown. It would take 3 years of my life and I wonder what it would be like, the benefit of the choice and the outcome it may present. Regardless of my decision, I will be three years older in three years with or without the education. How does a person reconcile obtaining education? I believe that the goal of any activity is not for the simple achievement or bragging rights. It should be intrinsic and noble.

Recently in a Course 1 license course, a student sincerely asked the following question about continuing education: can I take more than the required 15 hours a year?

My smile was from ear to ear.

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