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Blurred lines: Educating agents in a COVID-19 environment

10 August 2020 Grace Ormsby
Mark Armstrong

Not only has COVID-19 forced a change to the way agents work, it’s altered the way agents access information for the better, according to an industry CEO.

In a recent conversation with REB, RateMyAgent CEO Mark Armstrong iterated education as being “so important for agents”.

“But what we see so much of is [that] they view education as being quite a long process,” he commented.

“But a lot of this stuff is really quick stuff to learn!” he exclaimed, acknowledging how many salespeople have a short-term attention span.

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“That’s just the way they are wired. That’s nothing wrong with them, they just have a short attention span, so education — particularly real estate agent education — needs to cater to that short attention span [with] bite-sized bits of information.”

Reflecting on a recent conversation he had, the CEO said: “Someone asked me a question the other day: What’s more important: experience or education?

“The idea is that if you want to be a doctor, education is more important — you’ve got to educate yourself.

“But when you’re in real estate, the lines are blurred, it’s sort of the same thing.

“It’s learning something, doing it… And this comes from the tech world to some extent. It’s the idea of constantly iterating on what you are doing and learning as you go rather than spending six months doing something and finding out what you learn at the end of six months.”

Mr Armstrong said it’s important that agents take “learning and experience almost as the same thing”, and that they constantly do that.

“Again, that’s that idea of bite-sized bits of learning, trying them out, experiencing them and adapting all the time. I think that’s a really great transition for agents to go through,” he said.

From the CEO’s perspective, such a process and way of learning has become all the more accessible thanks to COVID-19.

“The real estate industry was so geared up on conferences,” Mr Armstrong said.

“It’s forced not only real estate agents, but parents and children and the whole of society, to go onto Zoom and realise they can actually get information online!

“It doesn’t have to be a physical conference.

“I think it’s now so much more accessible for the agents to access this information.

“Taking 15 minutes just to listen and learn about new technology, new ways of how agents are adapting, that stuff is so important.”

Blurred lines: Educating agents in a COVID-19 environment
Mark Armstrong reb
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