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Successful REALTORS® Commit to Continuing Education

posted Jun 22, 2018, 3:16 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jun 22, 2018, 3:17 PM ]
By PSAR 2010 Past President Nikki Coppa.

Every successful REALTOR® shares one common attribute: A commitment to continuing education.

Today, we’re facing disruption from people who say technology will make REALTORS® extinct. There are discounters who say that experience and knowledge are unnecessary.

Our response should not be to argue, be belligerent or fight back, nor to be deceptive or manipulative. Instead, simply resolve to continue to raise your game. Be the most qualified and smartest agent you can be, so you can correctly advise and expertly guide your clients. That will happen only with a commitment and dedication to continuing education.

Too many agents only see continuing education as a necessary evil. Many take the bare minimum of courses to keep their license current. They sit through classes while chomping at the bit to get back to work.

However, continuing education can have a multiplier effect on your career. It can result in greater financial literacy, productivity, and income. It will lead your mind to new ways of thinking. It will enable you to provide incredible value to your clients. Specialty knowledge can help boost your salary and client base. Better educated agents bring heightened professionalism, marketability, ethics, and proficiency to the industry.

What might have worked yesterday might not work today. What was relevant in the past might be useless today. That’s because the market is continually changing and evolving. There is so much to keep up with that it can make your head spin.

In today’s fast-paced world, there are new technologies to learn and expertise to be gained so you can stand out from the crush of competition. Agents who embrace technology and integrate it into their daily work will stand a better chance to expand their client base and work with clients of all generations.

In addition to technology, there are new rules and regulations, as well as new forms. I’ve been teaching between 12 and 15 classes annually since 2010. During these years, numerous changes have occurred to California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) forms.

Recently changes have been made to such forms as Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory (SBSA), Cancellation of Listing (COL), Residential Lease or Month-to-Month Rental Agreement (LR), Application to Rent-Screening Fee (LRA), Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ), Residential Lease After Sale (RLAS), Lease Listing Agreement (LL) and Lease-Rental Commission Agreement (LCA). Also, C.A.R. continues to release new forms, most recently, Buyer Homeowner Association Advisory (BHAA), Disclosure Information Advisory (DIA) and Tenant Flood Hazard Disclosure (TFHD). As market conditions and laws change, it is imperative that we remain informed to best position our clients.

If you don’t know the latest, then you cannot serve and protect your clients in the best way. One new sentence can mean a major change. If you make an error due to ignorance, you could find yourself facing a lawsuit and dashing your clients’ dreams. Many feel that the real estate transaction is one of the most painful processes one can endure. Nobody wants to put their clients through pain, especially when it can be so easily avoided through continuing education.

Real estate agents operate in one of the most competitive industries in the U.S. There are few barriers to entry, relatively low startup costs, so thousands of people jump on board every month. What will separate you from the newcomers? It will be your experience and commitment to continuing education.

The choice is yours. You control your own destiny in our industry. Being the best that you can be by continuing to learn every day is the best choice. We’re never finished learning. As Warren Buffet has said, “Whatever makes you smarter, makes you richer.”

I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and attend upcoming classes offered by your Association. It could be a new topic or a refresher on something you think you’re an expert at (you might be surprised what you don’t know). Our Association provides our members with outstanding resources and tools to enhance your professional skills and better serve your clients. We want every homebuyer or seller to be confident that they are working with a professional who has exceptional real estate knowledge and proficiency.

Nikki Coppa has taught classes attended by PSAR members since 2010. She has served on the PSAR board of directors, including serving as PSAR president in 2011. She has served as a C.A.R. Director as well as a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director. In 2016, she was appointed chair of the C.A.R. Standard Forms Advisory Committee. Nikki will teach two classes on recent changes to C.A.R. forms from 4 to 5 p.m., Monday, July 2 at the PSAR South County Service Center, 880 Canarios Court, Chula Vista, and a second class from 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 3, at the PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. Admission is free for members, $20 per person for nonmembers. For more information, call PSAR at (619) 421-7811, or visit