When I think back on the changes over the years of my career, they are staggering. When I first started in sales, by law, all agents represented the seller. Fax machines and computers were not in use. The purchase contract was one page. The MLS was a “dummy” terminal at the office or your weekly MLS book. And cell phones were in a bag in your car, if at all. I have seen legislation introducing sweeping Agency changes, a purchase contract which has morphed into 13 pages, several different MLS providers all with different platforms, State of Ohio required Residential Property Disclosure, TRID and, not to mention, the incredible leaps in technology. All of these changes have revolutionized our industry. There was only one way to accomplish the integration of all of this into our daily business practices — education. It goes beyond just putting in our 30 hours. It is a duty of our license. Our State of Ohio Canons of Ethics addresses this in Article 5 — “A licensee should represent clients competently and should promote the advancement of professional education in the real estate industry through a licensee’s conduct.” Article 6 goes on to state, “The licensee should be informed as to the matters affecting real estate in the community, state and the nation.”
In our incredibly fast-paced, highly competitive world today, we need to keep up more than ever before to best serve our clients and customers. This goes for not only new agents, but the seasoned veterans as well. There is much discussion and action around “raising the bar” — a much needed boost of professionalism long overdue in our industry. To me, the most critical factor in raising that bar is quality educational offerings that agents want to attend. That is where the Residential Education Committee steps up to do their part.
The Residential Education committee is a hard-working group of dedicated people who truly believe in the importance of being educated. Our ongoing objectives include, continuing to offer core courses at no cost, promoting the popular “EduCard Plus” card for use in CE classes plus other services, evaluate each and every course offering, continued development of relevant and current CE course ideas, expand partnerships with other association committees to enhance course offerings, topic specific forums and more. We cover a great deal of ground!
We have several task forces working on classes for the remainder of this year and into 2019. The committee has plans for the return of “The Wonderful World of Building” and its popular Trade Show, a new class to the line-up, “Defining Professionalism: The Core Skills of Real Estate” and the timely “Universal Design Living Laboratory” course led by Rosemarie Rosetti, Ph.D., Columbus REALTORS®’ 2015 Instructor of the Year. We have also been working with the Commercial Education Committee to offer the number one requested course; “Negotiations”. There will be two sessions, one for Residential membership and one for Commercial agents with details coming soon. And plans are on the table for CREM, the popular Certified Real Estate Mentor class, on tap for the last quarter of 2018.
Other classes being offered include “Ethics: What Would You Do?" This class will not only satisfy the State of Ohio requirement for Ethics but also the new NAR two-year requirement for Ethics education. We have added additional FlexMLS offerings to accommodate the increase in membership. The New Member Orientation classes, which include 2.5 hours of Ethics training, is becoming mandatory, with increased times available and with online modules in development.
There are many more educational opportunities beyond the few mentioned here. There truly is something for everyone, every skill level and specialty. You owe it to yourself to check it out and to attend any or all of these excellent opportunities. Make the time to stay current and be the best you can be for your clients and customers. Subscribe fully to the “Importance of Being Educated.” For complete details, course descriptions and to sign up, go to columbusrealtors.com. Details can also be found in the In Contract magazine.
Columbus REALTORS® is offering the ethics course that satisfies the NAR requirement (due Dec. 31, 2018) every month. The next dates are: July 24; 9a to 12:15p and Aug. 16; 9a to 12:15p. The ethics classes are free of charge for members and fill up quickly. Go to columbusrealtors.com and register, NOW!