Last month I dutifully trudged four times a week from Glendale to Scottsdale to spend somewhere between four and eight hours in broker licensing classes. In the time since, I’ve passed the school and state exams and, once the state has returned my fingerprint clearance to me, I’ll be trudging to the department of real estate to become an associate broker.
Unlike many who take the plunge, I have little interest in hanging my own shingle. Realty ONE Group and I work well together – the company lets me do my thing, and I give them a flat rate on the sales that I close. It’s about as clean as a broker-salesperson relationship can get. Okay, maybe I’ve thought about going solo once or twice but I don’t really have anything to draw agents to that shingle and, ultimately, that’s what the business model requires. Rather, I’ll soon be teaching real estate pre-licensing courses for the biggest real estate school in town. (Getting ready to teach involves sitting in for two versions of the classes I want to teach, which means I’ll have been a student/auditor in these courses far more than any human should need to be.)
Much like the salesperson version, the broker licensing courses focus less on the x’s and o’s of real estate and more on broader concepts. I’m relatively certain I can go back to forgetting that a rod equals 16.5 feet, unless I decide to go back and sell real estate in 1794. It’s nice to know that someone living next to a river has riparian water rights, but that doesn’t apply in the state of Arizona where every drop of water not contained in a Dasani bottle is owned and managed by the state.
Puffing – legal hyperbole used in the sale of real estate – was an interesting reminder, especially since we see examples of it come from the real estate mogul in chief on a daily basis. (Once you understand puffing, much more makes sense.)
There are large sections in the class about how to take title to real estate in Arizona; we as agents, of course, never advise buyers how to take title. But it’s fun to know, I suppose.
What the classes don’t teach is how to relate to people, how to be aware that they are in the midst of one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives. It doesn’t teach how to work through a transaction with a bank or with an agent who doesn’t quite get it. It doesn’t teach how to market oneself and build a sustainable business, one that will survive the first couple years of struggle. It doesn’t teach how to be a professional and manage one’s time when no longer on the clock.
There are no classes for that sort of thing. Nor should there be, honestly. Schools, brokers, mentors and the like only can provide so much information. At some point, it’s up to each individual to figure out how to take that information, continue their journey of learning and make a living at the easiest difficult job they ever will have.