In real estate we mostly work in small and medium firms where the day to day business pressures often prevent us thinking about our most important asset: ourselves and our colleagues. The average person will work 40 to 50 years, that’s 13,000 working days based on 50 years. Take holidays/sickness into account and you still have 12,000 days. So in your 12,000 working days, what is a realistic investment in learning?
When you look at the key skills required to work in real estate it’s obvious that such a demanding role requires a high level of training and ongoing personal development. I see three main areas for ongoing learning for anyone in a real estate business; people technology and business/process.
People skills - Real estate management is really about people management. You may not need a psychology degree, but you do need to be an amateur psychologist. There is a term used in the general business community that’s worth thinking about; “IQ gets you hired, but EQ (Emotional Quotient) gets you ahead and into more responsible roles”.
Technology skills – Today, very few businesses are using software and hardware that’s more than five years old. The proliferation of mobile technology linked with cloud based solutions is accelerating change. Learning how to use new technologies will become even more important in the future. Leading software suppliers are constantly adding new features, many aimed at improving communication with vendors, owners, tenants and third party suppliers. These can need access to the latest internet technologies, which also require new skills to deploy and use.
Processes/business skills – Every business and each person in that business needs to follow clearly defined processes that determine the best way for tasks to be undertaken in the fastest possible time. Good businesses need to constantly review these process and people are the key resource to question the processes and improve them.
So how much time do you need to dedicate to develop yourself this year? Let me suggest a few ideas for study that will make a difference to your work and home life.
- Commit two days to read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman if you want to advance your career and develop an insight into the way and why people act.
- Commit one day to research the topic of ‘management’ on Wikipedia and then commit three to 10 days to self-study over the next six months, by reading, or attending a formal management training program.
- Commit one to two days with your current software partner to learn the features of their latest software version and attend a two day conference on real estate sales or property management organised by a credible conference organiser.
- Commit one day to learn about continual improvement and then apply the ideas in your work team.
Does setting aside 10 to 12 days in 2014 for personal development seem like a big challenge? Remember if you want to develop yourself you cannot leave it to others, it really is your responsibility.
John Goddard was Rockend CEO from 2004 to 2012. He currently heads Rockend’s sales and marketing teams. He is personally committed to life-long learning and encourages all Rockend staff and their clients to take control of their personal development, both through work and personal learning.