One of the only things that is constant and guaranteed in life is change. When confronted with change, we can either embrace it, adapt ourselves to it, and inevitably grow and learn from it or we can take the other route — resist change, plant our feet firmly in the ground of our current existence, refuse to learn or grow, eventually become outdated and get left behind.
After I graduated and entered the “real world,” I made a promise to myself that throughout my career, I would never stop learning. I never wanted to risk becoming stale or too stuck in my ways as a person and/or as a real estate agent. Over the years, learning has come in many different forms – mastering new tools to promote myself and my business, adapting myself to an ever-changing market, submerging myself in a completely new real estate landscape altogether, and so much more.
Recently, I took on one of my biggest challenges yet – becoming a licensed agent in Australia. I had become so comfortable and familiar with the real estate market in Toronto, listing there began to feel like second nature. After so many years working as an agent in Toronto, I got too comfortable. Becoming licensed in Australia means a whole new market, new climate, new buying patterns, different buyers, new target markets, different business models. It’s scary, and a bit stressful but exciting and I am totally up for this new challenge – this brand-new learning experience.
One of the tough things about real estate is that the market is always changing. We as agents need to constantly stay on top of the trends – the “up and coming” neighbourhoods, the growing competition, the flux in market value, the increasing use of social media and technology to reach new clients, amongst so many other factors. Being aware of what’s going on in this industry, adapting to it and using it to your advantage, is all part of what makes for a successful agent today.
Think about it this way: If your competitors are doing something, you should not only be doing it too, but doing it even better.
In order to always stay ahead and on top of the competition, you need to make sure that you are opening yourself up to Continuously Learning within your industry.
Why is Continuous Learning so important?
Learning Keeps You Relevant
To work effectively and remain relevant in this industry today, you must keep up with the trends in technology and social networking. Unfortunately, this skill set is no longer a nice to have but a must have. Make sure you are keeping up with trends, polishing your skill set, and always learning new things to remain a valuable asset to your clients.
Learning Builds Self Awareness
Staying ahead of the curve on your competition never hurt anyone’s business or confidence. Learning and mastering new skills in this industry means the difference between knowing your S#!* and knowing you’re S#!*. Being aware of your weaknesses is just as important as knowing your strengths. By recognizing your full capacity as well as your limits, there is no end to what you can learn and the skills you can master.
Learning Ignites New Ideas
I’ve always believed that learning breeds creativity. Opening yourself up to new ideas and skills allows your thought process to change and your creativity to really thrive. Remaining open to new ideas and ways of thinking will no doubt get your creative juices flowing. Along with new ideas, you’ll find yourself looking at your business from a different perspective and finding new ways to improve your personal and professional.
Learning Builds Leadership
Mastering this industry and becoming the Expert in your field will no doubt make you a leader and have other agents coming to you with questions and advice. Learning new tips, tools, and tricks, and showing off your evolving skill set will not only make you an Expert but a thought leader in this industry.
So, what’s the bottom line here?
You are never too old or too successful, or too smart or too comfortable to stop learning. In this business, there is always more to learn – a new skill, a new market, a new technology or trend. Continuously learning, adapting yourself to change, building your skills and further developing your business and leadership skills will keep you a step ahead of the competition, keep you sharp, and ensure you remain an invaluable asset to your clients.