By KRISTI BAILEY
Industries are always changing. That makes continuing education essential for workers to stay current with the latest technologies, development, and skills required for their fields. Some professions also require continuing education to comply with laws, keep a license active, receive a certification, or maintain membership associated with the licensing body. Overall, it is considered a way for professionals to stay current in their fields and extend a higher level of service to their clients. REALTORS®, teachers, and engineers must have a base of education to meet licensing requirements. But it doesn’t stop there. They are required to get updated education as they continue to work in their fields to sustain the skills necessary for changing work environments.
One of the best visuals of how often local REALTORS® gather to upgrade their skills and meet continuing education requirements used to be a drive by the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) headquarters is Gray. On any given day, the parking lot would be overflowing with cars as members attended classes and seminars. During these days of social distancing, just about every meeting is now virtual. There was a prime example of this earlier this month. NETAR put together a virtual version of its annual Education Blitz. For clarification, the Education Blitz is an event that features the best and brightest of local professionals and certified instructors for several days of continuing education opportunities. It is an example of how fast and thorough the real estate profession adapted to the constraints of the pandemic. It also shows how well the profession adapts its business practices to ensure the essential service of REALTORS® and the vital role real estate plays in the economy continued at the highest and most efficient level possible.
The class topics were varied. Here are just a few examples: Tennessee Housing Development Agency, 101 Basics, John McKinney; Why We Hold Trust/Earnest Money, Dwayne Powell; Home Inspections, Susan Barnett; Oscar Worthy Real Estate Video, Craig Grant; 30 Ways to Lose a License, Cody Rife; Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars, Juanita McDowell; Five Golden Nuggets to Grow Your Business, Michelle Moore, Amendments and Addendums, Pam Hurd; Understanding TREC Advertising, Susan Barnett; Transaction Desk/Templates/Checklists, Karen Randolph; Keep the Bad Guys Out of Your Digital World, Austin Ramsey; and Benefits of Home Warranty Usage, Nick Cross. Those are just a few of the class titles to illustrate the depth and scope of the event that comprised 28 hours of continuing education. An event like this takes a lot of staff commitment and work and the generous and gracious support from a long list of sponsors. It is appreciated and worth all the extra effort.
Round Two of the Education Blitz begins next month with classes every Wednesday tailored to the educational needs of Commercial Real Estate practitioners – or those who want to expand their expertise to this component of the real estate industry. This phase of the Blitz comprises 20 hours of continuing education.
All of this continuing education demonstrates to the public is just how seriously REALTORS® are committed to education to ensure the highest professional services.
At the top of the REALTORS® education and skills pyramid is professional designations and certifications recognized by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Each focuses on an agent’s skills and expertise to meet specific components of the real estate industry. Many agents have several of the designations or certifications. You can get a list and explanation of what each means at https://www.nar.realtor/education/designations-and-certifications.
NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,300 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.