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June 13, 2007

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Joe Zlomek

First, a disclaimer. I am a Pennsylvania-licensed real estate instructor, a course author, and the marketing director of the state's largest school for real estate professionals. We sell designation courses, some of them NAR approved.

I wholly disagree, Tim, with your observation on top producers and designations. In the Northeast, most of the best agents have a string of letters following their names. It has nothing to do with the letters themselves, but everything to do with how they use what they learn from those designation courses. Because they know more, and because they can apply what they know to real property selling, they are more successful than those who simply hold a license.

In a market like the present, there is a well-defined need for more specialized training in the industry, not less. Some of that may lie in a designation. And training that gets results -- ie. gets homes sold -- will win new and referral business for agents every time ... whether they write a blog or not.

Tim O'Keefe

Specialized training in what?
I would say define best agent?

I define best agent as # of sales.
In an industry where the national average of sides sold a month are 4 or 5, 6 sides makes you a superstar. In any other sales profession it would get you fired.

Professionalism is often the excuse that most make so they do not have to sell. This was my main point.


Joe Zlomek

You likely are familiar with the speech most brokers give new recruits once they've been signed: "There's your desk, there's your phone. Now, you know, you're on your own." Even among major franchises with step-by-step training programs, broker training of new licensees in the basics of real property selling can be pitiful. Specialized training can be anything from how to market to niche selling; it's more than most agents get now. Again, some of that is found in designation courses, which you seemed to discourage.

What's a best agent? Well, if you're talking "sides," NAR's average agent (the member is a woman, in her early 50s, working about 45 hours weekly, and supposedly is "Internet savvy") is completing only 13 sides a YEAR. NAR accounts for about 60% of all licensees. Based on that average, 5 sides a month IS superstardom for this industry. Which only proves my point: licensees need education, more and more of it, to bring value to the client's table and close more business.

Professionalism is often insinuated simply because agents went through the rigors of obtaining a license. To be true professionals, we agree, they need to produce.

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