Legislation in the real estate industry evolves continuously, as governments attempt to keep up with technological changes and protect consumers against existing and emerging risks.
Real estate CPD training is a mandated opportunity for agents to improve their service and their careers — but are you taking full advantage of the benefits this training can provide or are you just settling for the cheapest, fastest or most obvious solution?
CHALLENGE: Real estate agents are busy and spare time is rare, but upskilling can help you strategically build a stronger career, faster.
SOLUTION: Using mandated CPD training time to complete courses that really build your skills and knowledge, rather than just ticking boxes, can give you an edge.
Why is real estate CPD training important?
How long ago was it you completed your certificate or licence? Last year? Two years ago? Ten years ago?
Do you remember everything you learned? Do you think everything you learned is still valid and accurate, or has legislation and practice changed over time?
Being a real estate agent is a very important and challenging profession. All tasks you are responsible for are highly-regulated, agents often wear multiple hats and every single day, you are dealing with the most financially and emotionally significant asset of your clients.
Should someone who qualified as an agent ten years ago, who has never trained since — despite multiple regulatory, technological and practice changes occurring — really be trusted with tasks of such importance?
Of course not!
CPD training is in place to protect you and to protect consumers. It helps ensure you are up-to-date with the latest legislative changes, industry practices and emerging trends. But if a mandatory tick box is all you think it is, you aren’t doing it right!
Few professionals are given the opportunity to regularly upskill; to learn about and train in the newest practices in their industry, to better themselves and to create future career opportunities. In fact, it is one of the biggest complaints of employees in other industries — not enough ongoing training!
As agents, your managers are required by law, to help you develop and become better at what you do… So if you aren’t making the most of this opportunity — if you’re completing a quick online course just to get it out of the way — all you’re doing is limiting your career growth in the future.
What training is available?
Location is not a limitation when it comes to real estate CPD training, regardless of your preference for face-to-face or online delivery.
CPD training in real estate is big business, with pages of educational providers offered from just a simple Google search.
But all training isn’t created equally, and not all training will help you develop yourself and build your career.
CPD training is primarily available online and face-to-face through roadshows, seminars and workshops. Both options can offer great opportunities for growth, if the right courses and the right provider are selected.
Some courses are very specific, covering only one topic, while others take a broader approach, covering a number of topics of interest that combine to create a more comprehensive and well-rounded learning experience.
When reviewing the options — niche topic or multiple topics, online or face-to-face — forget the points (most offer all 12 anyway!). Instead, sit down, think about where you are in your career, where you want to go and the milestones required to get there.
Consider what new skills or knowledge you will need to achieve your next milestone or two, and then search for courses that address those areas and provide you with a solid foundation you can build on post-training, throughout the rest of the year.
Make sure your mandated education isn’t a tick box, it’s step in the right direction.
What should you look for in real estate CPD training if you want to grow your career?
Many of our own team members have been in real estate sales or property management, and of course we work closely with various training providers.
What we’ve learned is there are two types of agents: those who see CPD training as an opportunity, and as such, strategically select an option that will help them grow. Second, are those agents who simply get it done, so they can move on, forgetting it can also be helpful in moving up!
Here are some tips for how to be the first kind of agent:
1. Don’t select a real estate CPD training option based on price. There are a lot of options for training, some are almost out of reach due to price, some are cheap as chips, but most are clustered in a middle range.
Beware the ‘lowest price guaranteed’ option. Your real estate CPD training is not a collection of steak knives or an elliptical trainer purchased from an infomercial on a whim.
If it’s cheap, cheap, cheap, you will likely get what you pay for — training that just ticks a box and leaves you no more skilled or knowledgeable than when you started.
Select your course based on your own plan for growth and the training that will most assist you in reaching your next few milestones.
2. Keep up with legislation. Your real estate CPD training is your annual opportunity to catch up on the many, MANY legislative changes that can occur in real estate in a year. Obviously this is crucial, as if you are even accidentally working outside the law, you may face hefty fines or even jail time.
A training program that offers at least some information about legislation, even if it also covers off on other topics or one other specific topic, is really important.
3. Select a training option that really works for you. As noted, some real estate CPD training is provided online and some is face-to-face. Often online training will require you to put more in, in order to get more out.
If you aren’t self-motivated, curious or your attention span is short, online is likely not the best way for you to complete training that actually helps you grow.
Training roadshows occur throughout Australia in regional and urban areas, and for most people, a face-to-face opportunity will be within an easy two-hour drive. Face-to-face options present all information directly to you, create an opportunity for discussion and deeper understanding and allow you to ask questions.
Break out: EAC Insight Roadshow
Over more than 20 years, we have worked with agents to help them manage their businesses, update their skills and knowledge, keep up with legislation and enhance their service through new and better technology.
We recognise CPD points training is not just a valuable upskilling opportunity for individual agents, but a real chance for an agency to invest in its own growth and future proof its business.
We have combined our experience in all of these areas into our NSW roadshow, called Insight. With more than 20 locations state-wide, we have worked to make it easily accessible to all members.
The roadshow generally takes place from February or March to July each year. In 2019, Peter Markay of Bowe and Lidbury attended, and here is what he had to say:
“We always need to have a bit of a refresher every now and then just to remind us of our obligations as an agent. It’s always good to get an update on regulations and changes in the industry. I really enjoyed today!”