Continuing education is required to maintain your real estate license, but what about some real professional development?

Building on your current knowledge base keeps the job interesting. Greater expertise sends employers and clients the message that you’re not content to rest on your laurels.

The benefits of professional development are real:

  • Proficiency. Adding to your skill set builds on your years of experience and keeps you up-to-date with changing standards in the industry.
  • Improve efficiency. Professional development gives you the tools you need to be more be more productive and better manage your time.
  • Marketability. The more skills you have to market, the more clients you can serve.
  • Differentiation. Professional development will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  • Advancement. New skills lead to new responsibilities.
  • Earn more. Designations and certifications can translate into increased income.
  • Reenergize. Learning is growing. Professional development helps you reconnect with what you loved about your job in the first place.
  • Confidence and credibility. The satisfaction that comes from ongoing professional development builds confidence and confirms you as an authority that others may turn to for counsel.

The individual development plan

If you don’t have a manager or supportive brokerage, you can still build an individual development plan of your own. Consider building a plan with the help of a colleague, coach, or mentor. A different perspective will help you sort out strengths and weaknesses and better define realistic and measurable goals.

There are five steps in the planning process:

  1. Identify. Outline your career goals and the related skills and knowledge required.
  2. Assess. Now that you’ve identified the competencies needed to reach your goals, determine your strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Plan. Based on your assessment, begin to outline your plan.
  4. Act. What courses will meet your requirements? Enroll and begin the process.
  5. Evaluate. Are you meeting your development milestones? If not, what changes might you consider? Review your plan quarterly.

You say you don’t have time

Pursuing professional development has never been easier. There are webinars available when time permits. There are also online courses that allow you to move at your own pace. Resources are readily available if you are a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. A quick web search will surely reveal a number of additional resources for building on your local knowledge. You may also want to consider hiring a professional coach or seeking out a mentor.

Building a well-thought-out plan for professional development will be a benefit to yourself, the industry, and your clients. So why wait?