Real estate is an information-rich industry, and being a real estate agent requires you to continue to learn and grow throughout your career. While there’s a lot to be said for getting out there and putting boots on the ground to learn about your local market, you’ll probably find that you need more instruction than your licensure classes provided. When that happens, you may find that your brokerage doesn’t place much of an emphasis on providing you with training opportunities. The good news? There are plenty of ways to develop your skills and knowledge base outside of your brokerage’s conference room.
Why your brokerage may not be the answer for continuing your real estate education.
Contrary to popular belief, not all brokerages are set up to support new agents or those who are looking for additional training. Many experienced agents are focused on getting the best possible commission split, so some brokerages offer higher commissions in exchange for less service. One of the first things to go in these brokerages is training, which can be expensive to provide and may be poorly attended by busier agents.
For other brokerages, training is just not a focus, either because there has been little demand for it historically or because there is a robust local association or corporate training platform that picks up the slack. If you are just starting out as an agent, one of your first questions should be about training opportunities offered at the brokerage level so that you can get an idea of what will be available to support you in your first days and weeks.
Fortunately, there are many ways to take advantage of training opportunities, both in-person and online, outside of your brokerage. Whether you are looking to improve your overall everyday performance, supercharge your marketing capabilities, or focus on a narrow niche in your real estate practice, you will find plenty of avenues for learning beyond those provided in the office. Here are some of the best resources.
For many real estate agents, the local association is the go-to when it comes to training and continuing education. This is where you’ll go for much of your post-licensure and renewal training, but they generally offer a variety of other training opportunities year-round. In addition, many local associations bring in vendors to conduct specialized training, so you may find them hosting nationally recognized experts for your CRM, transaction management, and MLS platforms.
You’ll often find a YPN chapter within your local association. This group is geared toward helping younger real estate professionals, and it may be led by one of your peers or by a more experienced, older real estate agent or broker. YPN chapters offer you an opportunity to take advantage of additional training and the chance to network with colleagues who are learning and building their business alongside you.
Certifications and Designations
If you are thinking about specializing in a particular type of real estate practice or simply want to get more familiar with sub-specialties within the industry, take advantage of training for certifications and designations. Some of these classes are available in person at your local association or online, and all of them offer you the opportunity to expand your knowledge while getting to know leaders in the field. Many offer post-training networking opportunities so that you can build your professional reach with other agents and brokers across the country and around the world.
Of course, there are a host of online webinars and courses to fit all interests and budgets. Some of these will be offered through NAR or your local or state association, while others may be part of membership in a professional or coaching organization. You can also find courses created by your favorite content creators in the real estate space for almost any topic you can imagine.
Mentoring and Coaching
Even if your brokerage doesn’t do much formal training, they may have a mentoring program that will pair you with a more experienced agent for your first few transactions. Alternatively, you may be able to request a mentor to help you get started or you may find one as you grow your professional network. There are also real estate coaches who can help you at any point in your career, providing you with one-on-one strategy sessions in exchange for a monthly fee. Be sure to visit the ReminderMedia resource library for a host of free training materials, including webinars, ebooks, success guides, and more.
Networking and Meetups
Real estate professionals tend to be an outgoing group, so there are often networking events, meetups, masterminds, and other opportunities to get together, socialize, and talk about the market. You’ll find both general-interest events and more specialized groups, like real estate investor meetups where you can connect with potential clients and colleagues in your area who specialize in investment properties.
As you learn more about real estate, you’ll no doubt find bloggers, video creators, and podcast hosts with whom you identify and whose work you enjoy. Many of these individuals and organizations create content on a regular basis that can be both entertaining and informative. In addition, many also organize events or appear on panels at conferences, so you may be able to connect with them in real life as well. And for weekly Golden Nuggets of sales and marketing wisdom, be sure to listen and subscribe to the Stay Paid podcast.
Social Media Communities
There are social media communities for everyone in the real estate industry. From women in real estate to investors to those who specialize in a specific niche, you’re sure to find like-minded individuals who can help you grow your business and point you to valuable resources for additional training and professional development.