Using Continuing Education To Your Advantage
Like all real estate sales people, you are undoubtedly required to complete Continuing Education (CE) requirements by your state to be able to renew your real estate license. Most real estate agents consider this as a necessary evil that must be accomplished in order to stay in the business. Why don’t you consider a more positive approach to this mandated educational requirement. You can easily and inexpensively meet those CE requirements with online classes that allow you to complete their courses in your own time, on your own schedule, and at your own pace. So, along with meeting these CE goals, why don’t you take time to evaluate your real estate goals and your career to see if you are where you want to be, or if some areas need improvement. Here’s some food for thought.
The Pareto Principle
In the early 1900s an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, observed that 80% of all the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the residents. He further observed that 80% of the peas harvested from his garden came from only 20% of the pea pods. These observations were soon applied to the business world in the idea that 80% of a business’s sales are derived from 20% of its clients. Conversely, 20% of the time invested in a business yields a whopping 80% of the revenue generated by it.
Even to the present day the Pareto Principle has been found to be true in almost all aspects of life. For example: 80% of church members give just 20% of church contributions; 20% of criminals are responsible for 80% of crimes, both in actual numbers and in total dollars lost; just 20% of drivers are responsible for 80% of accidents… by now, you get the picture, right?
In your own personal life you’ll discover that you spend 80% of the time either sleeping or working, not relaxing and enjoying family and friends, which is the 20% most of us prefer. Most important to our context here, 80% of the time you spend working accounts for only 20% of the income you generate. You see where this is headed, right? You must challenge yourself to take an accounting of the hours you spend working and identify the particular 20% of time that is most productive for you. Then, devise a plan to concentrate more and more of your energies into the activities that account for that productive 20% of your time. This will probably mean relegating some of the other “busy work” to others. A cost analysis will probably convince you that you could even pay someone to do the routine and mundane 80% tasks, freeing you up to concentrate on the productive 20%. You’ll be surprised to discover what applying your time and energy to these productive activities does for your bottom line, and for your overall effectiveness.
A good way to accomplish this analysis is to examine your income from the past year. Do a thorough vetting of the numbers. Where did most of your business come from? Now, what amount of your time was expended to achieve that particular part of your business? Budget your time and effort accordingly. You will no doubt discover some 80% of your time yielded virtually no return to your bottom line. Get out your scalpel and cut those activities from your schedule. Refocusing your time and energy to the high-return activities that yield your most significant rewards will have two pleasing results for you: 1. The higher monetary reward of spending your time in the most lucrative aspects of your career, and 2. The higher satisfaction and sense of self-worth you will receive by focusing on the areas you are good at. There isn’t anything wrong with getting paid more to do more of what pleases you, is there?
As you go about the necessary task of completing your real estate Continuing Education requirements, remember these ideas:
• You can accomplish your CE training in your own time, on your own schedule, in the privacy of your home or office, and for less expense, simply by using one of the online websites dedicated to helping you fulfill your state’s requirements.
• You can use the CE training obligation as a reminder to reflect upon your overall business progress. Use this time to focus on areas where you are spinning your wheels and on areas that you should invest more of your time in. Time is money. Use yours wisely, and reap the rewards!