Agent education: what happened?

by Olivia D'Orazio24 Dec 2014
Agent Barry Lebow remembers attending the College of Experts in Real Estate at York University back in the 1980s and the buzz about creating more-uniform real estate education.
“Never heard a thing about follow up,” Lebow says. “So, we have different kingdoms each controlling their own ways, what they deem to be the best education and in the meantime our American cousins have had universities and colleges that have had real estate degrees in place for years.”
Agents across the country have claimed the industry often leaves much to be desired as far as professionalism goes, but sales reps are increasingly divided in determining the root cause of that apparent incompetence. Some industry players argue that the education portion of the licensing process is far too lax, while others point to brokerages willing to hire any due-paying agent.
“The education is fine. Making the lessons longer or more intense would only get you the book wise students and hurt people that could be great,” writes one anonymous agent in the REP forum. “The membership fees and the requirements to join boards is an issue. This hurts all sales people, choking them. I also see brokerages fining their agents for lack of performance, how does adding more financial pressure help a struggling agent?”
That commenter suggested mandatory mentorship to help new agents better understand what it means to be a real estate professional.
No matter how it’s done, most agents can agree that the change is certainly needed.
“Real estate today [is] highly sophisticated, [but] real estate education [is] stuck in a 1960s model,” Lebow says. “New agents are pushed to learn rules and regulations and few practical concepts. The public is not well-served in the end.”


  • by Change is Coming 12/24/2014 10:10:52 AM

    Their model for education and commissions are in need of a total overhaul...this will come with software and big changes coming in the digital age.

  • by Michael Drakich 12/24/2014 10:35:57 AM

    When I served on the OREA board of directors in 1996-97 we were given the opportunity to provide input into the new education model. Then OREA President Robert Storring wanted a frank and open discussion on suggestions and so wanted all comments without movers and seconders. Sensing an opportunity, I immediately began making suggestions pushing for higher education requirements. First of all, I wanted a minimum grade 12 education to get a licence. After debate, a vote was held. Final tally 16-1 against. Analysis of people in the room - 16 broker owners or managers and one salesperson - me. Needless to say, all other suggestions I made were also routinely defeated. As long as brokers and managers are only concerned with filling desks the major criteria for hiring will still be the mirror test. That's where a mirror is held to the applicant's face and if it fogs up they're hired. Education change will not come from within. It must be forced on us.

  • by Don 12/24/2014 12:52:48 PM

    It is not Professionalism that is lacking in our industry ( read the British definition.) it is in fact INTEGRITY and that is something that is only ours to give away or hold dear and apply in our lives.

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