There are very specific rules for Realtor continuing education. They make great sense. There is a lot of confidence placed in licensed real estate agents. Continuing education is one way to try and keep all these practitioners up to date and best equipped to serve their buyers and sellers. BUT there is another kind of real estate education that is all about teaching real estate agents new ways to get a bigger slice of the pie. There is nothing wrong with that either. Success is a good thing. Over my 43 year career I have taken hours and hours of both kinds of courses. The ones that I always get the most out of (other than the legal, law, procedures like classes that are so vital) are the ones that teach us better and better ways to take care of our existing clients so that we keep that repeat and referral business going strong. It is always more rewarding to work with someone who is coming back to you or has been referred by another client very pleased with your services.
Not so vital, and frankly I think detrimental, are the kinds of courses that teach clever techniques and sometimes “cheesy” marketing ideas that feel gimmicky. These do not make a real estate agent more knowledgeable, more helpful, or insightful. They are aimed at quick bursts of attention to make yourself stand out, at lease for a moment, in a somewhat crowded field. This isn’t something new. I have heard these things my whole career but they never cease to annoy me and make me feel like they are cheapening the profession that has meant so much to me.
In many parts of the country “Pocket Listings” or the new shiny toy “Coming Soon” have become very common. They are self-serving (I guess that is the description my mind has been struggling to come up with, self-serving, perfect!) They are not client centric they are real estate agent centric. Get more to me, me, me! You can dance all around the justifications of promoting pocket listings or coming soon pre-marketing but anything you could come up with would be “rationalizations” defending the practice. You will never convince me that is in the interest of the buying/selling public. It is in the interest of the real estate practitioner of the more for me, me, me school of thought. Those philosophies often produce well for short periods of time. For a long career convincing the public that you are there to help THEM, has always been the gold standard for me.
In a market where inventory might be scarce these techniques will start to be promoted again. There are more of them but just ask yourself, who do you think this new style of marketing is serving? The real estate practitioner or their clients. The answer is usually obvious in its simple clarity.