#4 Get Some Training (fourth in a series)
It always seems difficult to fit professional development activities into a busy work life. And required training, such as Ethics or Fair Housing, may use up as much time as you believe you can spare. However, now, when you are a little less busy, is a great time to invest in your professional development—learn a new skill, expand into a niche market, or earn a designation.
Learn a New Skill
Is there a tool or technique that you’ve been wishing you had time to learn? Perhaps you’d like to become proficient in PhotoShop, so that you can enhance the photos and illustrations on your website or in your marketing pieces. You might wish that you could create short, effective videos about your services and your listings, for posting on YouTube. Or, you could be ready to try building a comprehensive website, using a tool such as WordPress. The links I’ve included take you to some free online tutorials, but you can undoubtedly find onsite, “hands-on” training in a neighborhood community college or adult school, if you prefer that format for technical training.
Learn About a Niche Market
An effective way to build your real estate business is to specialize in one or two small market segments, or niches. Examples of niche markets include accessible housing, retirement communities, and vacation properties. You may already be working in a niche market like that. If you would like to strengthen your skills and knowledge in a new niche market, this is a good time to seek out the specialists who provide training and coaching in that area.
Earn a Designation
Real estate marketing methods have changed a lot, in the past decade, as has the housing market, itself. National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and other providers, such as Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI) and RealtyU, offer a variety of designations on such topics as “green” housing, effective Internet marketing, and working with sellers. Take advantage of any lull in your business to differentiate yourself from the competition, and to increase your value to consumers, by earning a designation.
Just as you create a formal business plan and marketing plan, so you should create a formal professional development plan. A slower market offers you the opportunity to put that plan into action. Do it now!
Previous post: #3 Retool Your Presentations & Marketing Pieces
Subsequent post: #5 Build Local Vendor Partnerships