I never thought we would be using terms such as pandemic, social distancing and flattening the curve on a regular basis in our business. While we may have developed the ability to adapt to the everchanging conditions caused by COVID-19 in a relatively short period of time, the need to develop this skill further has only increased. This is especially true as our new realities continue to change the entire real estate industry.
The skills that Realtors today are required to hone are far greater than ever before. Sales representatives are expected to stay up to date on new tools, technology advancements, industry regulations, and to add to the equation, now more than ever on politics and health regulations, both consistently and actively. Those who choose to be stagnant in their professional development can expect only one outcome: struggle to remain relevant in today’s market and to meet customer expectations.
Real estate professionals are their own boss. This means they must be the driving force for change and actively look for options to develop and improve, and with that, be their own advocate in most cases. It is critical that they are self-starters and all-times enthusiasts who prioritize learning and growth. Knowledge on personal branding, learning how to sell themselves and their expertise, and knowing how to position themselves as transaction advisors and real estate experts within the field requires consistent effort.
One of the ways they can ensure success is by aligning with an organization that offers a solid foundation and a team that supports and teaches them what it takes to build a business. This includes offering training in business planning, marketing, change adaptability and how to create value for clients. This is especially relevant to newly licensed professionals who are wondering what to do next to build upon their careers.
With change happening rapidly, having up-to-date information to access 24/7 is no longer a nice to have, but a crucial entry point to success.
Some of the key skills that all agents, both new and more experienced, need to integrate and constantly develop include effective organization and time management, strengthening confidence in themselves and their brand, having the foresight to be proactive in their education and business plan and communicating effectively and consistently with clients, among others. Partnering with an organization that keeps itself at the forefront of technology and has the willingness to adapt to ever changing circumstances is also pivotal in helping real estate professionals leap forward and differentiate themselves from others in the market.
Development is not only a game for novices. In the current market, seasoned real estate professionals also have an opportunity to take their business to the next level, enhancing their leadership and communications skills to form teams, or to mentor other colleagues who are new to the business or are faced with challenges to get their business off the ground.
Learning has never been a static activity. It is a process that continues throughout our careers that involves educating ourselves and our clients about what we do as Realtors and the value we bring to them as consumers. It is not only holistic and on-going, but critical in ensuring that we remain competitive and informed. Experience within the field is no longer an excuse to sit on the sidelines when opportunities for growth present themselves.
Responsibilities to clients will only continue to grow in the post-COVID world. Clients are rightfully demanding greater value for service, and gaining their trust is the most critical part of our interactions with them. Their expectations have grown beyond hiring someone to post on an MLS system and put a sign on their lawn. The age of “salespeople” is far behind us; clients are now looking to us as thought leaders and true advisors.
One of our most important roles as experts within our field is to provide relevant information and advice to assist our clients in making the right decisions, and we need to do a better job in communicating and educating our clients about our roles.
It is core for success that agents choose a brokerage partner that supports their business and does not simply measure them by the number of transactions they are able to close.
If you are committed to working hard for your own business, this is an excellent time to get into real estate. If you are a new or seasoned professional, take this opportunity to evaluate where you are in your skills and knowledge, how you can improve and whether your organization supports the growth you are looking for.