In this post, Marte makes so many great points! As a newbie, I graduated from the old Shannon & Luchs Academy of Real Estate before hitting the streets. While the licensing course I took did little to prepare me, the second bit of manditory training helped a lot. Still, it left out "Balancing Career and Life" - something that would have been very useful.
If you'd like to leave any comments, please drop by and leave them with Marte.
What most people don't know is that real estate school doesn't prepare you for the real world any more than high school prepares you for "life as a grown up."
The courses should be longer, more intensive, and include segments on such things as psychology, bookkeeping for real estate agents, dealing with different cultures, negotiating, and even self-protection.
Psychology: Just think of how many different kinds of people in various situations you need to deal with - especially with listings. Some are happy about selling, but others are in distress. It might be death, divorce, illness, insolvency - or a job move that they just don't want to make.
Bookkeeping: I've lost count of how many agents I've seen get in trouble because they spend their entire commission checks - without regard for lean months, or for self employment taxes.
Cultural Differences: Those who work in diverse areas need to know that different cultures have different attitudes and beliefs. For instance: It's best to know that reaching out to shake hands with someone could make you lose that client forever!
Negotiating: This is a subject that is afforded a degree when taught in colleges - but agents are supposed to "wing it."
Self-protection: Agents need to realize that going off to meet someone alone might not be the safest thing in the world. They should be schooled on taking appropriate precautions.
Oh - and agents should be warned that for most agents real estate is NOT a 9 to 5 job. Clients need you on the week-ends and in the evening. But... making yourself available 24/7/365 can severely harm your family life.
"Balancing career and life" should be another course title.
Marketing should be another requirement, because most new agents don't have the foggiest idea where to start. Many believe their broker will just hand them leads - and in most cases that isn't true.
Here again, psychology comes into play. Agents should be taught early on that "I'm here, hire me" ads do more harm than good - that they need to appeal to the client's self-interest instead of their own.
Then they need to learn that marketing today is about integrating several methods of getting in front of potential clients. Agents need a website and a blog. Then they need to find ways to reach out, both in person and in the mail.
There's too much to learn about that to put in one post - but a real estate course should give new agents the fundamentals - and warn them that marketing has to be an every day activity.
And of course, those who need to learn grammar and word usage should have the opportunity to at least learn the proper use of words that are common in real estate. Things like here/hear; your/you're; there/their; etc.
Perhaps there should be a test to determine who needs extra assistance in this area.
Too many people enter the real estate field with no clue about what they need to know to become successful - isn't it time that they got a real education before being turned loose on the public?
Priest River, Idaho