Being a ‘Real Estate Professional’ is an inherently entrepreneurial undertaking.
Most real estate professionals in Australia are self-motivated business orientated people who are drawn to the fast pace and customer focused environment of the real estate industry. We thrive on the freedom we enjoy to build our businesses the best way we see fit. We have to be highly service oriented, responding to the needs of our clients who are buying or selling not just the most valuable asset they will probably ever own in their lives but, indeed, one of the most emotionally laden purchases they will ever make – their home. We need to be incredibly well informed so that we can counsel those clients on how to maximize the benefit to them of this important transaction.
Being a Real ‘Estate Professional’ has always been a challenging and dynamic career. However, the pace of change in this industry, as in so many others, has accelerated significantly. Technology has made it much easier for consumers to directly access data and information that used to be the exclusive domain of real estate professionals. It’s pointless arguing whether this is a good thing or a bad thing; it is a reality. The only question left to answer is how we as professionals are we going to respond to this.
There are some ‘Real Estate Professionals’ who have responded by creating new business models. There are also those professionals in our industry who have embraced the ability technology gives them to create new, data-driven products such as highly customised internet sites for each individual listing. Real Estate Professionals are at the forefront of the social media revolution, being among the first to tap into the immense potential these new communications channels offer to market their services and engage with their customers. Others have chosen to continue practicing their profession using tried and true approaches that have always worked for them. And that’s okay, too.
My point is that as professionals within our industry we are able to innovate and use many different business models and approaches to achieve our goals – we must, of course, respect the rules and regulations, including those laid down by the government. It is not the NREA’s role to dictate how Real Estate Professionals conduct their business or to favour one business model over another.
It is NREA’s job to help real estate professionals to maximise their success through encouraging professional development and by creating and developing educational pathways for the ‘real estate professional’ to develop their professional skills and capability so as to deliver a superior service.
The NREA has vigorously pursued the development of an educational pathway from the sales and property management career entry programs to the licensed agent’s programs via ‘work based learning’. Further, it has developed a higher education (university) pathway at both undergraduate and postgraduate via ‘work based learning’ with Leeds Trinity University in the UK at a very cost-effective fee structure. Work Based Learning is about using your workplace as the focus instead of using textbooks and/or classroom learning methods. This is not a new concept in world best practice as it has been in place in Great Britain now for over twenty years.
I have personally taught both the real estate sales and licensed agent’s course as well as lectured at a number of universities in marketing and management at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is without a doubt that the ‘work based learning’ model best suits our profession and our professionals as we are geographically diverse and have incredibly varied working hours.
A huge part of the NREA’s preoccupation over the last year or so has been around making sure we have developed the best educational pathway for our profession and then to make sure that the pathway can be well delivered and be cost effective.
Our CEO Craig Currie is at present undertaking the BA (Hons) (Professional Practice in Real Estate) from Leeds Trinity University. Craig had in recent years upgraded his agents licensed course to the Diploma of Property Services (Agency Management) as is a strong advocate of professionals developing their capability through formal education while using the ‘work based learning’ approach. We commend Craig for his commitment.
Craig will be happy to make comment on his education in future news items.
Learning is a journey – not a destination.
We as a profession must keep developing our skills and capability.
Professor Malcolm Cathcart