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Not Just a Requirement: Continuing Education Benefits REALTORS®

Posted by GCAR on September 13, 2021
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By Amelia Addor, GCAR Education Coordinator

 

At the GCAR Real Estate Professional Institute (REPI), REALTORS® can take courses on adapting your business position to the economy, review requirements of new laws, understand the industry, and communicate your knowledge to clients.

How do you take full advantage of these Education benefits?

No Cost Education
GCAR provides members access to a wide variety of CE and non-CE courses at no cost.   You save money while reaching a higher level of professional knowledge through seminars, legal briefings, NAR designations, and continuing education.

Personalized Courses with Updated Content
The GCAR Real Estate Professional Institute strives to provide members educational opportunities that can help elevate their business success level.   We do this with your help. Each class is carefully examined to ensure relevance, market timeliness, and industry significance.   The surveys given at the end of each course helps us stay informed on what you want to learn and how you want to learn it.

Extended Education on Your Timeline
To be a REALTOR® is to hold yourself to the highest standard by being the most educated, well-rounded proficient sales agent, broker, or appraiser that you can be.  Throughout the pandemic, the provision of GCAR’s educational programs quickly adapted to the new environment of Zoom and online distance learning. Free webinars, videos, advice, and experience are just a click away on: www.GCAR.com!

Instructors You Recognize
Not only will you see names of instructors that are well-known throughout the region and real estate community, but all GCAR members are encouraged to consider becoming a member of the REPI faculty by writing their own courses and applying to be an instructor. Instructors accrue two times the CE credit as the length of the course!

Two GCAR members agreed to be interviewed specifically on the topic of Continuing Education and its inherent benefits to real estate agents. Paul Homin, a REALTOR® for over a decade, has been taking advantage of the educational benefits by attending classes bi-monthly. Well known in the community for his work with Berkshire Hathaway HomesServices Blake, REALTORS®, Paul has been a staple in the Greater Capital Region real estate and rental property business. Another REALTOR®, Timothy See of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, has been participating in GCAR courses with his exceptional participation and input adding to the animated exchange always sought in virtual and live classes.  Tim and Paul were great candidates to speak on Continuing Education and its benefits.

Paul, how many years have you been a Real Estate Agent?
I’ve been officially licensed for over ten years but have been in real estate for 38 years.

How many years have you been a member of GCAR?
Since 2010, so 11 years now.

Why did you become a real estate agent?
I’ve always loved learning about people, building relationships with clientele and people in the industry like attorneys, plumbers, electricians, appraisers, renters, etc. Everyone has their story and it’s interesting learning about those stories and being a part of the biggest investment in their lives. To be a part of that is something special.

What do you think of the Continuing Education Requirements? Have they always been the same? What has changed?
For the most part, it’s stayed the same. There was a change for more hours in legal and fair housing requirements. But there can never be enough continuing education. There is inherent value in learning things [real estate agents] can apply to helping their clients, customers, and fellow agents.

In your opinion, what is the biggest benefit of the 22.5 CE hours and the specific requirements?
It forces the licensee to take classes that would be out of their purview. They really encourage student participation – you can’t be a bystander in your own education. It encourages learning and getting out of your comfort zone.

What is a course or requirement that you find most interesting and beneficial for you?
You can choose to take a plethora of classes and expand your knowledge base from other areas you’re not so strong in or well-versed in. For me, the legal requirement is the most crucial right now. Not all REALTORS® are attorneys, so this course informs us about the constantly changing laws in the state. It’s important to stay current on what is or is not allowed, how agents should deal with certain situations, etc.

What do you hope to see going into the new year?
Expansion of more class choices and increase in the course length. Adding to the time of the course instead of staying longer after class to allow for questions and answers. Hopefully, we can get back to in-person courses, too.

Lastly: Paul, do you have any advice for REALTORS® when it comes to their continuing education?
With taking courses, the key to success isn’t just receiving knowledge. The more important thing is the application of said knowledge. Gaining wisdom is about applying or not applying the information you’ve gained appropriately in your life and in your business. Participate, ask questions, learn something for the client. Push yourself!

How many years have you been a Real Estate Agent, Timothy?
Less than a year. January 1, 2021. I joined GCAR at the same time, as well.

Why did you become a real estate agent?
I recently was a food service salesperson, and my position was terminated due to COVID-19. I’ve always had an interest in years past investing in properties. I could go back to college or go into real estate- and I decided it was the best time to get my license and join an agency.

Do you feel you made the right decision?
Definitely!

What do you think of the Continuing Education Requirements?
I think they’re great-relevant information as a new agent, the content is extremely helpful, and it’s explained in a manner that people taking the classes can truly understand. And it’s fun to be engaged with the educator heading the class!

In your opinion, what are the benefits of the 22.5 CE hours and the specific requirements for new agents?
To stay current! For me, it’s not just those 22.5 hours. I’m looking at these classes as a benefit to me to become a better professional and to understand all facets of real estate. Right now, I’m trying to be a sponge and truly understand everything as I grow. The more time I spend in education, the more I’ll know what my strength is. But for now, I’m open to any and all courses and fields.

What is a course or requirement that you found most interesting and beneficial?
The fair housing class we just had with Mary Peyton. It was so important and very educational. I’ll take even more fair housing courses beyond the requirement to make sure I’m providing the right service to my clients with the right conversations and keeping things legal and professional, as it should be.

What do you hope to see going into the new year?
Different types of scenarios you’d come across as an experienced agent in a transaction. What types of stumbling blocks you could come across as a first-time agent. Preparing for the future in breakout rooms, different perspectives and different beliefs. Seeing how people think or would solve the issue.

And Timothy, do you have any advice for REALTORS?
You must be open to change and learning new things. Otherwise, you’re losing out on a lot of new opportunities and options for growth.

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