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Changing From Sales Associate To Real Estate Professional

  • ALISO VIEJO, CA., July 12, 2005 - Residential real estate brokerage is increasingly changing from sales to a more consultative professional service. With the surge towards integration and bundled services, national real estate firms such as Coldwell Banker, Prudential and RE/MAX and large ancillary service providers such as First America Title and Fidelity National Financial are also constantly expanding and integrating their service offerings. This approach is rippling through to where the rubber meets the road and sales associates are also being required to expand and integrate their knowledge base of all the services offered in a real estate transaction, including residential real estate, appraisal, home inspection and mortgage lending. “This must not be confused with the fact that agents are now suddenly becoming appraisers or home inspectors,” said Era Swanepoel, Deputy Executive Director of The Real Estate Professionals Society (REPS), “but in 2005 it has become necessary for agents to have a broader and more extensive understanding of all key aspects of the real estate transaction. They don't need to become licensed appraisers, loan officers or home inspectors, but they must improve their overall knowledge about these services,” she said.

    Inch by inch, anything is a cinch.

    For every activity there is a step-by-step procedure and real estate is certainly no exception. Leave out a step and you lessen the possibility of success and increase the possibility of negative legal repercussions. This particularly true for new agents and they especially need to seek out and attend specific real estate courses and designations, with managing associations. "Therefore, the Real Estate Professionals Society," says Ms. Swanepoel, "has endeavored to make it easier for agents by working together with various course providers and associations to have multiple courses approved for certification. In each discipline there are different real estate designations available, each contingent upon successful completion of the related real estate course.

    For example, the AREP designation – Accredited Real Estate Professional - requires an agent to gain the knowledge of prospecting, farming, marketing, personal business and financial planning, understand the “do not call & do not fax” regulations, etc. One of the best courses that meets these requirements is the “30 days to Success” by offered by Champions School of Real Estate, a RealtyU® Affiliate in Texas. The course is based on a book with the same title by Rita Santamaria. The course also structures the agent with daily reminders of what needs to be accomplished and a realistic plan of attack for his/her real estate career.

    Many of the real estate courses are offered by various RealtyU® real estate schools across the country (search for a school near you by going to http://www.realtyu.com/html/findschool.htm) or can be taken online at http://www.realtyuonline.com/. Contrary to the industry norm, the annual cost of REPS membership is the same, irrespective of how many real estate designations a member has earned.