Years ago, when I began teaching Brokers Prelicense classes, I recognized the fact that unlike Prelicense where I am teaching relatively ‘blank slates’ the fundamentals of real estate, brokers candidates come from all niches of the real estate industry. I once taught a class of thirty students where not a single of them claimed ‘residential’ real estate as their primary area. This class was made of students in property management, commercial, land, and industrial niche markets.
This was an eye-opener for me as a predominantly residential agent myself.
So out of this realization, I felt it was incumbent upon me as an instructor to expand my horizon and gain some more exposure to these other areas of our industry in order to better understand and appreciate where my students are coming from.
Fortunately for me, around the same time, Georgia Assoc. of REALTORS® upgraded their Commercial Forum into a full blown committee and called out for volunteers to serve on this newly formed committee. Of course, I volunteered so that I could network with these commercial practitioners and gain a better understanding of what they are seeing in market from a prospective different from the residential issues.
This involvement led me to being asked by the 2024 incoming GAR President, Jim Barner, to serve as Chairman of the Commercial Committee in 2024. As vice-chair in 2023, I had the privilege to attend NAR’s C5+CCIM Global Summit, held conveniently in Atlanta this past week!
What an eye-opener to be surrounded by the top commercial agents and economic development experts in North America! I hob-nobbed with folks from Calgary, Canada, considered one of the best places to do business in Canada, toured Google’s and Microsoft’s Atlanta offices, listened to all kinds of experts on economic forecasts for the commercial/industrial/retail/multi-family sectors, and even met more Georgia agents who I may never have met otherwise!
The primary point here is that as a REALTOR® and educator, we have an obligation to learn, expand our horizons, and engage with others in our industry in order to bring that experience and knowledge back home to our own corner of the world and share that with fellow REALTORS®, clients, and in my case, my students.
This is how I hone my skills, not by sitting on my laurels and believing that after 20+ years, I know everything there is to know. I hone my skills and expand my knowledge whenever and wherever I can so I can be the best I can be for those I serve.