The real estate profession has always been in a state of constant change. It is an evolving profession that has always seen new business models, new technology, new approaches, and different markets.
So there is nothing new about change. What is different about the change occurring today is the velocity of that change. The speed at which the industry is being altered by technology and new business models has reached an accelerated pace that is astounding. Today it is harder than ever to stay abreast of that change and constantly reinvent ourselves in the adaptation to it.
So how do you keep up with it all? Have a plan. Develop a strategy. Here are some things to incorporate into your business to allow you to adapt, grow and prosper in today’s real estate practice.
Don’t fight change.
Recognize you are not in control of the changes. They are driven by market forces, new attitudes, and technology far bigger than any of us. Rather than opposing things that are new and different, try to understand first of all why they are changing and then figure out how to adapt and alter your business to take advantage of them.
Read everything you can get your hands on.
Today, it’s easier than ever to get information. Set a specific amount of time aside each week to learn and grow. Setting aside just one or two hours a week to learn more about the profession and how it is changing will totally alter your business, your perspective and your profit over the course of a year.
Use social media forums the right way.
It’s easy to argue with others and jump into discussions opposing new business models or technology. How about instead identifying a few industry leaders and discussion groups, not for the purpose of winning an argument, but for the purpose of learning other viewpoints and trends and issues that are evolving. Inman News is a good source, so are the forums developed by industry leaders such as Saul Klein and John Reilly with RealTown’s RealTalk and Real Closers. They are full of practical real-world issues and solutions of people dealing with the same changes you are facing.
Get more education than conventional wisdom dictates.
Most real estate professionals take only the amount of continued education that is legally required to renew their licenses. I have heard many agents say, “I am done with my continuing education for the year.” Really? You are not planning on learning anything more because you met the requirements of a statute or rule. Let me define what those requirements really mean. They are the absolute minimum amount of education that is required by a government-industry for minimal competence in the profession. That doesn’t sound to me like the aspirations I had for myself or my business. There are hundreds of classes from which to choose. Many are topics in which you have some interest or topics that you need to understand for your business.
Check out our sister site’s highly-rated continuing education and professional development courses to help you achieve your real estate career goals.
Build a feedback loop.
I can think of two that you need at least. You need a constant feedback loop with consumers. One that can tell you what tools they are using and why. Ask them questions. Identify what is important to them and then adapt, change and alter your practices to provide you. You also need a feedback loop or support group within the industry and your peers. It’s why you really need to participate in conferences, associations, and industry trade groups. Putting yourself constantly in touch with other professionals who are leading the way, finding new approaches and adopting new practices will help you do so as well.
Constantly reinvent yourself and your business.
A number of the most successful agents I know always take time each year or each quarter to evaluate what they are doing, measure its success and then redefine the way they approach the business. What worked yesterday in all likelihood will not work tomorrow. The phrase “That’s the way we have always done it,” was never a good approach. Today that approach is downright dangerous to you and your business. If you are not constantly reexamining, reassessing and questioning your approaches, your skills and your techniques it will be easy to get left behind.
Change does not destroy opportunities or futures. Change creates them. Failure to recognize and understand that can destroy you, your business and your profitability. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Grow and prosper.
Len Elder leads instructor development workshops across the country and has earned one of the top certifications in the industry, Distinguished Real Estate Instructor (DREI) with the Real Estate Educators Association. He is currently the Senior Instructor at Superior School of Real Estate and is nationally recognized for conducting instructor development workshops for 20 different states. Learn more about Len in this Instructor Spotlight.