Agents carve out time for continuing ed

by Olivia D'Orazio05 Oct 2015
Agents are increasingly focused on upping their credentials through continuing education, although devoting the necessary time is the first challenge to overcome.

You’ve heard of the saying, “if you want to get something done, ask the busiest person you know, and they will find a way to get it done”. 
Career-advancing, knowledge-building continuing education is on the to-do list of almost all real estate professionals, but time constraints too often keep agents from accomplishing that pivotal goal.
However, some of the busiest agents are still finding a way.
Broker Alex Ingram, who earned his FRI and ARM designations from the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) through a combination of at-home, online and in-class study options, says finding a flexible program helped him balance studies with work.
That kind of program flexibility resonates with many Realtors looking to make good on personal pledges to advance their training beyond CE credits.
Toronto-based broker Ari Zadegan, another REIC member, says she’s relies on her supportive family to pick up the slack that her continuing education pursuits have created.
“I had to focus on my priorities every day and every hour to make sure I could get the maximum done in a short period of time,” she says. “My husband was a great help with providing the time needed.”
During the time she was taking her courses, Zadegan says she worked seven days a week to keep on top of her business and focused on spending more one-on-one quality time with her husband and three children, as opposed to “quantity time.”
Lindsay Carlson, who has served the Edmonton area for more than a decade and a half, says she literally scheduled the time to study and otherwise maintain a work-life balance.
“I plan out my work and courses just like I would set up appointments with clients,” she says. “I use my day planner and block off time for both work and courses, and also for things happening in my personal life.”
Zadegan, too, uses her Google calendar to keep on top of her course load, as well as her business and personal time.
“My CRM has helped me stay on track with my to-do list on a daily basis,” she adds.
While it often seems impossible, Ingram says those with the drive to succeed will find a way to fit continuing education into their schedules.
“If you want to be successful, you have to do it yourself,” Ingram says. “We can always make excuses not to study or advance our knowledge.”
Carlson, meanwhile, says her passion for learning makes it easy to prioritize continuing education.
“I really don’t find it difficult to find the time to take courses as my goal in life, at all times, is learning,” she says. “I find that after I have been through any of these studies, I have a feeling of personal accomplishment and a drive to proceed with the knowledge I have gained.”
For her part, Zadegan points to the quickly changing real estate landscape and the importance of keeping abreast of it as something driving her studies.
“I believe if you are not growing every day, you are falling behind,” she says. “The more I know, the more I can help my clients.”

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