How Do You Designate Education?

It has been said that the only constant in the universe is ‘change’. And as a great poet wrote, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’.

As the Minnesota legislature considers new forms of representation for real estate professionals, a key well thought-out ingredient is educating the licensees about the changes. Many people are petitioning each side of the discussion-pro and con. Both sides have been careful to contemplate the time required for the licensees to learn about the new ways we may possibly be representing buyers and sellers. Concerns are raised for each argument. The question sometimes begs ‘Is it really that complicated?’

As we teach classes and introduce the topic and its potential impact, many, many questions are raised. Designated agency is a form of representation acknowledged in states like Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota. In 1992, when agency disclosure became a ‘thing’ (or more appropriately a ‘law), there was confusion and resistance. The disclosure form has changed a little since 1992 but the basic tenet remains the same. Disclosure whom you represent (if anyone) and what choices a consumer has in a being represented in a real estate transaction. This has been the norm for 27 years.

Yet in 2019, licensees are expressing concerns about reluctance of the consumer to acknowledge receipt of the disclosure, confusion about the form and a misunderstanding of its’ purpose. While the removal of the ‘sub-agency’ relationship did not ruffle feathers or cause a slight distress, the addition of designated representations may be a different story.

Education works well when adults come to the continuing education class with a desire to learn something. In our Courses 1, 2 and 3, our students are like sponges absorbing as much as they can. Unlike how children learn, adults come to these classes with an expectation of career change, enhancement or improvement. Hopefully, real estate professionals will embrace the learning environment as a method of better taking care of consumers and professional improvement.

As the House of Representatives and the Department of Commerce weigh the changes with the new forms of representation, we will have to wait and see what the decision and outcome will be. If the status quo prevails, it would be prudent for a real estate professional to identify the skills lacking and pursue the classes necessary to improve competencies.

If the laws pass and Senator Draheim’s bill passes, many forms will change, relationships will be redefined, and things will change forcing competencies to be learned. It would be better to approach the event as one of ‘how will I gain stronger skill sets to better serve my client?’ and not simply fulfilling a seat-time requirement.

With the change potentially coming, there will be opportunities to learn. Mike Brennan

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